During Noah’s time, the thoughts and the hearts of men were only wicked all the time, this did not exclude Noah. Noah was a sinful man just like everyone else who received favor from God. Through belief in Jesus, God has chosen to have favor on us and to spare us like he did for Noah.
5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.
9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.
12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.
15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.
18 When Jared had lived 162 years he fathered Enoch. 19 Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. 26 Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.
28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” 30 Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
7:1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.
In your Bible, beginning in verse 1, and we’ll just cover two chapters in a big chunk tonight, and I’m gonna introduce you to a man named Noah, hopefully. And some of you, too, you’ve heard the story of Noah, a big boat, arkie-arkie.
You know, goat, monkey, giraffe, woo-hoo. And sometimes it’s easy to overlook the details of the story, because we’ve heard it so many times, and it sort of loses its freshness. I hope to freshen it up for you tonight. So, I’ll pray, and we will get to work.
Lord God, thank you for the Scriptures. Thank you for this Church family. Thank you for speaking to us through the word of God. And Holy Spirit, as you inspire the writing of Scripture, we invite you now to illuminate our understanding of the Scriptures as well. God, I pray in the story of the life of our brother, Noah, that we would see ourselves, and we would see your goodness, we would see your grace.
And we would see you as a patient, loving, merciful, compassionate God, who rescues and saves us from sin and death itself. And God, I pray that when all is said and done, we would have a deeper appreciation and affection of you, a deeper abiding trust in you, and a deeper desire to take your hand and to walk with you by grace.
God, we do love you, and we thank you for loving us first. And we ask that we would see you today in the pages of our Bible. In Jesus’ good name we pray, amen.
Okay, here’s where we are. Genesis 1 – I’ll catch you up to Genesis 5. Genesis 1 is about the creation and preparation of the earth. Genesis 2 is about Adam and Eve, our first parents. Genesis 3 is about Satan and sin. From Genesis 3 forward, it’s the effects of sin and God’s plan for redemption throughout human history. Genesis 4, last week, we looked at Cain and Abel – the first death, the first murder between the two brothers. And this week, you’re going to meet Noah and his big boat, his ark.
And what we’re gonna look at in Genesis 5 is 1,656 years of a family genealogy. Any of you ever done your family tree? You got chunks missing, ‘cause your parents won’t talk about it? [Chuckle]
I’ve got one of those. They’re like, “Don’t ask, you don’t want to know.” I’m like, “Okay.” This genealogy is going to look at the family line from Adam, the first man, all the way up to Noah. And in covering 1,656 years, you will see that in Genesis, it covers roughly the same amount of time as the rest of the Bible put together.
So, today we’re moving over 1,600 years in one chapter. A really quick, panoramic view of human history. And what we’re gonna see is the effects of sin on life on the earth. So, we’ll jump into Genesis 5:1. This is the written account of Adam’s line. Here is the genealogy of Adam.
The first thing you will see is that Adam was the first man, first person who has ever lived. Eve, his wife, was the first woman who has ever lived. That we all are descendants of Adam and Eve. When they sin, their sin is passed on to every ensuing generation. We are all born sinners.
The psalmist says we are sinful from our mother’s womb. We’re wicked, little people, just looking for an opportunity to get out, to wreak some havoc, and there’s something seriously wrong with the human condition. It is now not just the good image and likeness of God; it is marred by the stain of sin.
And we all descend from Adam, and he is the father and head of us all. And the line is traced through Adam. We’re part of it. And the line is traced through Adam’s descendants, who are male. You’ll see the genealogy in Genesis, as the other genealogies in the Bible go through the male line. That means, they’re patriarchal. That the men matter. That the men are the heads of each successive generation.
We don’t know of any major society in the history of the world that is matriarchal. Some will say there was this small little tribe of 15 or 20 people that was matriarchal for 15 minutes. And that doesn’t count. We don’t know of any major society that was matriarchal. The societies are all patriarchal, because God made man first. God made man to lead and to rule. Obviously, he is to have his wife as an equal. We dealt with that.
But here we see the beginning of human responsibility from one generation to the next, passed on the shoulders of the men. “This is the written account of Adam’s line. When God created him” – this echoes Genesis 1 – “he made him in the image and likeness of God. He created them male and female” – we dealt with that in Genesis 1 – “and God blessed them.”
God blesses repeatedly throughout Genesis. More than 80 times in Genesis it says that God blesses. God is a good God, and that’s a theme we’ll hit later. “And when they were created, he called them ‘man.’” Some of your translations will say “mankind.” That’s why we understand the human race, male and female, as mankind, because the man was made first, and he was made to rule.
So, that introduces us to Adam. And then it picks up his genealogy. And I’m not gonna put it up on the screen, but if you’ve got a Bible, you can read along with me. And what you’re gonna see is, somebody was born, and they died. Oh, this is gonna just warm your heart. This’ll encourage you so much. You can read it with me, Genesis 5. Don’t you love the genealogies in the Bible? It’s like reading the phone book, isn’t it?
It’s just – “Who’s that guy?” We’ll meet some of these people. “When Adam lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and he had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he –”
“Died.” [Chuckle] That’s not a real good note to end on, but he died.
One thing you’re gonna find about all these people, they live a long time – 900 years. Everybody just goes forever, and then they die. They get old and die. That’s the way it goes. So, “When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years, had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he –”
“Died.” You guys are quick. You’re picking up the theme here. “When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years, had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he –”
“Died.” Yeah. It’s a little anticlimactic, isn’t it? No “And he was a great guy. Played second base for the Red Sox. He could juggle.” Nothing. Just, “He died.”
“When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. And after he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years, had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and he –”
“Died.” You know, kicked the bucket. Pushed up daisies. Metaphysically challenged. Done.
“When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch.” I’m feeling good. I’m full of chicken wings.
I took a nap, and I ate chicken wings. I’m feeling good. Just thought I’d say that.
“And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and he –”
“Died.” Wow, this is just really breakneck encouragement here. Let me just take a little break here and explain what’s going on. When you read this genealogy, what is the predominant mood that comes upon you? How do you feel? Bored. I mean, do any of you feel bad, reading this part of the Bible, go, “This part is boring”? Don’t. This is supposed to be boring. That’s the point. It’s boring. That’s life. This is about life. Life is boring.
You’re born, and you sin, have some breakfast and pump out a few kids, and die. That’s it.
That’s the point. It’s anticlimactic. It’s just not that impressive. Now, some of you say, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no. We do very important things. I do very important things. I have very important things to do.” No, you don’t. We don’t know who you are. That proves my point. You’re not that important.
We don’t know who you are. Nobody knows who you are. You work in a cubicle. You drive an import. It’s not that big of a deal. You’re life is not that big of a deal. You say, “[Gasping shriek].” You know, it just – it is. I’m not trying to discourage ya. I’m just trying to tell ya like it is. You’re born. You have breakfast. You pump out a few kids. You die. That’s it. Most people make the newspaper twice. They’re born. They die.
In the middle, they don’t say anything about you, because you’re not doing anything that’s newsworthy, unless you do something catastrophic. You do – “I killed somebody,” or joined a boy band.
Did some awful, terrible, godless things. They don’t say anything. Why? ‘Cause you’re not that important. We’re not that important. Every generation thinks they’re so important. They’re not. And some people think, “Oh, evolution. Give it time, baby. We’re gonna get better.” More education. More time – 1,600 years – died, died, died, died, died. No evolution. No nothing. Just dead. Just dead.
Here’s the point. Human history is a stationary bike. Every generation gets on – pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal – die. Fall off the bike. Next generation – pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal – die. Fall of the bike. Next generation – pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal – die. Fall of the bike.
You know, meanwhile, all the evolutionary philosophers come along and say, “Look at all the progress we’ve made.” It’s a stationary bike. We haven’t gone anywhere. Human history is about driving around a cul-de-sac – around, and around, and around we go, “Look at that tree. Look at the tree. Look at the tree. Look at that tree. Boy, the scenery’s amazing. Look at that tree.” That’s the same tree.
You’re not going anywhere. This is human history. It’s dull, boring, predictable, unspectacular, and then you –
Die. I hate to break it to ya. I hate to break it to you. Life is dull. Boring. Predictable. You’re born, you sin, you die. Your kids are born, they sin, they die. This could go on forever. Born, sin, die. Not that exciting. Not that encouraging. But then this other guy shows up, and he’s peculiar in the genealogy.
Out of 1,600 years, we have one guy who’s worth talking about. See, some of you say, “Why does God move so fast in Genesis 5, through 1,600 years?” ‘Cause there’s nothing to talk about. Just sin and breakfast and death. That’s it. Not that encouraging. But here’s where it picks up.
It gets a little better here, verse 21, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.” Walked 300 years, then he had kids. Imagine that, telling your wife, “I feel like it’s time to start a family.”
“We’re 300 now, we got our careers settled.”
“We finally got that college debt paid off. Whoo, it took a while. I think it’s time to pump out some little ones.” So, they have a few kids. Can you even imagine at 300, like you’re in a diaper, like chasing your kid in their diaper?
That’s just weird. So, full of chicken wings, feeling good. Here’s the story about Enoch. “Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years.” Which isn’t that long compared to the other guys. Something happened to Enoch, though. Enoch what? Walked with God. Well, that’s different. Everybody else just died, and Enoch walks with God.
Now, the first people to walk with God were Adam and Eve in Genesis 1. They walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day. Enoch is gonna walk with God. Noah’s gonna walk with God. Abraham’s gonna walk with God. This metaphor continues through the rest of the Bible, even into the New Testament. Do you walk with God? That’s the question.
We’re all born into this world that is sinful. The wage for sin is death. We’re all gonna die. There’s no way around death. It doesn’t matter how hard you try or how long you live, you’re all gonna die. There’s only one way to beat death, and that’s to walk with God.
And walking with God here is simply this, being a friend of God. Who do you go for a walk with? People you love – your spouse, your friends, your kids. That’s who we go out on walks with. I like going on walks with my family. I love it when my kids take my hand.
Yesterday, we were grocery shopping. My son, who’s almost 3, he’s the snuggler, affectionate one in the home. He and I are kinda the same dude. We’re major touch guys. And we’re walking through the grocery store, me and my wife and my four kids, and my son walks up to my wife and he says, “Can I carry your hand?”
That’s my son. He likes to hold his mama’s hand. I love that. I love it when my kids hold my hand and they walk with me. I love that. The picture here is that God is a father. That we’re his kids. And to walk with God means you just take dad’s hand, and you walk with him. Wherever dad goes, that’s where you’re going. Whatever dad’s doing, that’s what you’re doing.
Dad leads you, loves you, protects you, keeps you outta harm’s way, keeps an eye on ya. The key is what? I just want to be close to my dad, that’s all. I trust my dad. My dad’s a good dad. He loves me. It’s always safe wherever he’s at. This is faith. This is trusting in the goodness of God. People who walk with God are people who read the Bible and say, “Well, if that’s what Dad says, that’s where I walk. I walk with God.”
There’s people who go to church, people who pray, people who love God. Do you walk with God? Not just believe in God – walk with God? Not just cognitively, intellectually assent to the fact that God exists, do you walk with God as a friend? Do you walk with God as a child of God? Do you walk with God in faith that there’s no better place to be than wherever the father is? Enoch walked with God.
And then something amazing happened, “And then he was no more, because God took him away.” Poof. He’s just gone. Away he goes. Theme song from The Jeffersons, just moving on up. Just gone – he’s just gone.
There’s only two dudes in the Bible who don’t die – Enoch and Elijah. They don’t die; they’re just gone. And some speculate that the two witnesses who come back at the end of time in the book of Revelation, who are then killed and resurrected, may be Enoch and Elijah, because they’re the only two that never tasted death. I don’t know. We’ll see when we get there.
But here’s the point with Enoch, he just – the point is you’re born a sinner. You live a sinner. You die a sinner. The only way around this is to walk with God, and then you don’t die, you go to Heaven and you live forever. Isn’t that great? It’s a nice, simple picture of Christian faith.
You’re all gonna die. I’m gonna die. If we walk with God, we don’t just die, we’re taken from this life. Paul says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” We’re taken into God’s eternal rest. We’re in his Kingdom, his Heaven. We walk with the Father now. At the end, the Father just takes us home. That’s the picture.
The only way to deal with sin, friends, is to walk with God. The only way to overcome the penalty of sin, which is death, is to walk with God. That’s the only hope we have is to walk with God. Do you walk with God? You gotta answer that. Not just believe in God, do you walk with God. Is this a lifestyle? Are you in relationship with God? Do you hear from God through Scripture. Do you speak to God in prayer? Are you walking with God, hand in hand?
The narrative continues, “When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years, had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he –”
“Died.” It’s interesting. Methuselah is the oldest man in the Bible – lives to be 969. Enoch only lives 365 years, which is relatively short in comparison. The difference is, Enoch walked with God. Apparently, Methuselah did not, because he just died. He didn’t get to go into Heaven.
The point is this, so many people are highly concerned about living a long life, that they forget the fact that there’s more than just this life to be worried about. Enoch’s life was short in days, but it was long in relationship with God. Methuselah’s days were long, but they were short in relationship with God.
We want you to have a long life, but we also want every day you have, may they be many or few, to be filled with relationship with God, to walk with God. Enoch had a short life, but he spent it walking with God. Methuselah had a long life, and he didn’t spend it walking with God. If you had to choose between a long life or a life walking with God, the point is, you should choose the life walking with God. It’s not just about how long you live, but about how well you live, and who you live for, and who you walk with.
The story then continues, the last generation, “When Lamech lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah” – this gets us from Adam to Noah – “and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.’ After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he –”
“Died.” You see the pattern? That is the wage for sin. The result of sin is death, and everybody dies. “After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.” Here’s the point. God lets human history roll along for 1,656 years. In that time, all we have evidence of is one guy who walked with God.
Everybody else just sinned, pumped out a few sinners as kids, died, and then their kids climbed on the stationary bike, lived the same life as their parents, sinful folly, and died. Pumped out a few kids, who then climbed on the bike and took their parent’s place. Generation after generation after generation, for 1,600 years, that all sinned, that all died, but no one beats the sin problem, but no one conquers the grave, except for the one guy who walks with God. There’s no evolution. There’s no forward progress. And then we get to a guy named Noah.
Introduce you to Noah. “When men began to increase in number on the earth” – it’s not just Adam and Eve, now it’s their descendants and offspring. And I tell you what, if you live 900 years, you’re gonna have some kids. Right? I mean, you’re just gonna have some kids. Even if you don’t have a great marriage, you’re still gonna have a few kids. Right? I mean, 900 years, you’re gonna have some kids. The number of human beings starts to increase on the earth.
“And daughters were born to them,” – and now we get into three things in this section that are some of the most controversial, freakish interpretations in all of the Bible. In a few chapters, you’re gonna see Noah get drunk, and I think half the commentators have been doing the same thing. There’s just some freakish interpretations out of Genesis 6.
“The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful” – literally hot in the Hebrew text is what it says – “and they married any of them they chose.”
Okay, here’s the first thing. Who are the daughters of men and the sons of God? We’re gonna deal with that in a little bit. Some think, “Ooh, that’s demons coming down to have sex, like the Bride of Chucky, and have these little poltergeist, demonized freakish kids who never blink and kill people.
Don’t watch the Sci-Fi channel – that’s all I was talking about. We’ll get there. We’ll talk about that in a minute. We’ll set that one aside. We’ll deal with the second issue, which is verse 3, “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be numbered to a hundred and twenty years.’”
Second thing here is, what’s the hundred and twenty years? Some say, the hundred and twenty years is God says, “Nobody’s gonna live to be 900 any more. I’m just gonna cut off human life at 120, and that’s it.” Okay, that is possible. What we see is the first man to die at 120 years of age is Moses, the author of our book, at the end of the book of Deuteronomy.
I remember when I was a brand new Christian in college, as soon as I read this, it was a Saturday, I ran to the library to read in the Guinness Book of World Records who was the oldest person that had ever lived, and curiously, it’s about 120 years of age. This seems to be the human life span. Maybe that’s what he’s talking about.
I prefer another interpretation, which says that from the decree that God said he was gonna flood the earth and kill the sinners, he gave a hundred and twenty years for people to repent. I get this out of I Peter 3:20, where it says that God waited patiently in the days of Noah. God waited patiently in the days of Noah. What God did is he said this, “I am going to judge sin. So, you’ve got a hundred and twenty years to repent.” God’s patient. God’s patient.
Okay, this is not unlike the way he treats us. Most of you will expect to live a long life. Today, the average man lives to his early to mid 70s. The average woman lives to her mid to late 70s. They tend to outlive us, sort of grind us down until we’re done, and then they keep going.
I’m just kidding. Sort of.
And so, what they’re saying now is with developments and technology and advancements in medicine, you all could expect to live maybe to be a hundred plus years of age. What that means is, that God is giving you perhaps 80 or 100, or some of you maybe even 120 years, like Moses, to repent of your sin. To trust in him. To turn from your wicked ways, and to walk with God.
God’s a patient God. God’s a very patient God. And during this hundred and twenty years, God is going to be preparing people, giving them an opportunity to come to him by faith. I believe that’s what it’s talking about is the great patience of God.
See, we live in a day today where God has promised judgment. We’ve been waiting 2,000 years, and just like the days of Noah, it’s not that God is slow; it’s that God is patient. And God is not willing that people should perish, but he’s giving an opportunity for them to come to eternal life, as Peter so well articulates in the New Testament.
So, we’ll deal with the last two issues, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days.” Who are the Nephilim? You heard freakish things about the Nephilim? The Nephilim – who are the Nephilim?
“And also afterward” – jumps down – “They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” Now, some people say, “These were giants.” I grew up in South Seattle, we called ‘em Samoans. These are huge people. I’m not kiddin’ ya, I had a guy on my little league team, was like 11, bigger than my dad. Samoan kid – huge kid.
All right? This is like Yao Ming or Shaquille O’Neal. These are huge men. Maybe they were giants. Maybe these were the men from whom Goliath descended. Or as my son calls him “Go–liath.”
Maybe that was this guy. And what they do is, they go over to Numbers 13:33 and they say, “The Nephilim in Numbers were giants. They were huge. So this must be the same guys.” Think about it. Between the Nephilim in Genesis and the Nephilim in Numbers, what happened? A huge flood. That means that these guys can’t be these guys, unless these guys were like Kevin Costner in that ridiculous film Water World, living on rafts with jet skis.
Unless these guys could swim like no other, for a long time, they all died in the flood. Right? It’s not like they dog paddled for the better part of 40 days and 40 nights, and then waited for the water to recede and like, “Oh, man, that was a bummer.” They didn’t make it.
So, the Nephilim are not the giants. The Nephilim are the heroes of old, men of renown. These are the rock stars. This is Nelly and Tim McGraw. This is P. Diddy, you know, Bling and Posse and the whole thing. That’s who these guys are. This is Bill Gates, Paul Allen. This is Donald Trump, freakish hair and all. Does it look like he caught a squirrel and put it on his head?
And these are the – these are the guys that set culture, and everybody knows who they are. They’re rich and famous and powerful and record deals and media. And they set the cultural pace. All the Nephilim were, they were the dude of dudes. That’s who the Nephilim were. They were the cool guys. These were the guys that had their own clothing line. These were the dude of dudes in the Hebrew.
And so, the hundred and twenty days is God’s patient. The Nephilim are the dude of dudes. Last question is, who are the sons of God and the daughters of men? Okay, it says that, “The sons of God went to the daughters of men” – the hot girls – “and had children by them.” So, the guys are marrying the hot girls and having kids. And the question is always, “Who are the sons of God, and who are the daughters of men?”
Some say the sons of God are demons who come down and marry and impregnate women. Some say it’s demon-possessed men, which is really weird. I don’t think that’s who we’re talking about here. The sons of God are supposed to be the guys who belong to God. The daughters of men are just regular, old, hot pagan girls, working at Hooters, handing out wings. That’s all it is.
And the sons of God go to Hooters and they wanna be with the Hooters girls. That’s all it’s talking about.
That’s what it’s talking about. “I can’t believe he said Hooters.” I’ve said much worse than that.
That’s all it is. And what he’s saying is this, it was such a godless, deplorable, depraved day, that God’s men were chasing non-Christian girls. See, now some of you guys gotta go dump your girlfriend. You gotta move her out of your house. You gotta stop sleeping with her. Why? If you’re a son of God, you’re not supposed to be chasing the daughters of men, you’re supposed to be chasing the daughters of God. You’re supposed to be chasing the Christian gals. That’s what you’re supposed to be doin’.
In those days, it was so bad that the Christian guys were chasing after the non-Christian gals. That’s a bad day. Some of you should be convicted by that. Say, “Oh, that’s me.” See, guys, most guys – you say, “What do you look for in a wife?” “Hot and breathing.”
“That’s what I’m looking for.” That’s these guys. They’re like, “Hey, she meets all my objectives. She’s hot and breathing, amazing. She fits the bill.” What God is saying, “No, you’re supposed to put something else down, like godly. Like loves the Lord. Like belongs to God. Walks with God. A wife and woman of character and nobility and stability. Not just hot and breathing.”
In this day, the people, the men who were supposed to walk with God were just going after girls because they were attractive – women because they were attractive. Very, very, very, very sad day, indeed. Meanwhile, the rock stars were just running around, getting all the credit, and the non-Christian men are trying to keep up with the rock stars. Just like today. A lot of Christian guys are just trying to live the same life as the non-Christian men who live like superstars. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
Two reasons why these sons of God and the daughters of men are not demons. I’ll give you two verses. Who’s the best Old Testament professor in the history of the world? Jesus. Jesus. Okay? If you’re new, answer all my questions with Jesus and you’ll be right all the time.
How do you get your sins forgiven?
How do you go to Heaven:
Yeah, just go with that.
The answer to every question’s Jesus. And Jesus talks – now, he didn’t go to college, but the kids is sharp. This Jesus guy, he’s on to something. We’re gonna go with that. He’s an amazing Old Testament scholar. And what it says in Matthew 22:30, he says this, “At the resurrection, people will neither marry, nor be given in marriage. They will be like the angels in Heaven.” Angels don’t get married. So it can’t be demons marrying women, because all demons are is fallen angels.
In addition, it’s interesting. Jesus talks about the days of Noah in Matthew 24:37-39. Now, a lot of scholars say, “Hmm, I’m not sure I believe in Noah. I think it’s myth.” Jesus believed in Noah. Jesus talked about Noah. Go with Jesus. Alright? Say, “Well, the community college prof. – I mean, he says, ‘No,’ and he’s got a goatee. He looks French. I’m just totally conflicted.” Go with Jesus.
Okay? Go with the guy who beat death, is deity incarnate, and is the centerpiece of the whole Bible, and forgives sin and conquers death. Go with that guy. He doesn’t have a degree, but he’s sharp as a tack, that guy.
And here’s what Jesus says, “As it was in the days of Noah” – he goes back and he’s commentating on Genesis – “so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” He’s talking about himself. “For in the days before the flood” – what were people doing? – “people were eating, drinking,” – people, not demon-seeded Chucky. Right? – “people were eating, drinking, marrying, given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. They knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. This is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Here’s what he’s saying, people were getting married, but God was frustrated, ‘cause people – men who claimed to belong to God, were marrying women who didn’t want anything to do with God.
So, here’s where we’re at. We’re at the days of Noah. This is in the middle of a big genealogy. The genealogy will pick up in a few chapters. It goes from Chapter 5 forward. In the middle, this is a big excurses, looking at the life of Noah, right in the middle of a genealogy. The camera pans in, because for the first time in 1,600 years, we have something significant to talk about and to focus on.
Now, human sin had continued unabated, and was increasing. A lot of people say they believe in evolution. I believe in devolution. I believe that we were made image bearers of God, and the farther we get from God, one generation after the next, the more we start to act like animals.
Because of that, some people hypothesize that we came from animals. We didn’t. We’ve just fallen, we’ve descended to where we’re acting more like animals than we intended to. That happens, as well, in the days of Noah. Sin continues. We don’t evolve; we devolve, and our condition gets worse. God looks down, and he judges the situation on the earth, and he gives a judgment call about human sin.
“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become,” – God looks down and says, “I let it go for 1,600 years, and here’s where we’re at. If I don’t get involved, all we have is sin and wickedness – “and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” This is as pessimistic as it can get. The theologians will call this the statement of total depravity.
What that means is this, everything about us and in us is corrupted by sin. Our mind is corrupted. Our heart is corrupted. Our emotions are corrupted. Our intentions are corrupted. Our hands are corrupted. Our mouth is corrupted. We’re made in the image and likeness of God. We’re made for greatness, but now we’re sinners, and we do great evil. The greatness is still there, but it’s marred and bent and made crooked by sin.
And what God is saying is this, “I know your hearts, and it’s only evil all the time.” See, we only see people’s actions with their hands. We only see the words that proceed from their lips. We don’t see the intentions of their heart. God looks down, he looks at the heart. God’s the only one who really knows and judges the heart, and God says, “I know their heart. It’s only evil all the time.” Sinful, wicked, rebellious, obstinate, proud, hard hearted.
And here’s God’s response, and I want you to see this about God. God is not just a concept. God is not an impersonal force. God is a person. He’s not a man, but he’s a person. God has feelings. Here, God is going to share with us one of his most prevalent emotions, and that is grief and sadness. Just like the Lord Jesus wept over Jerusalem, you’re going to read with me here that God wept over the condition of human life in that day.
And it tells us that today, friends, when we sin, God still experiences that same emotion of pain. It tells us in the New Testament that when we sin, we grieve the Spirit of God. That sin still grieves God. God’s not just middle management, up in Heaven with a clipboard, saying, “He fell short of glory. He fell short of glory. He fell short of glory. He fell short of glory.” God is a personal, loving God, who is personally, emotionally troubled by what human beings do and their wickedness.
It says that the Lord was grieved. I want you to feel that. Grieved. When you sin, you grieve God. God sheds tears over who we are and what we do. God cares about you more than you care about yourself. God cares about your life more than you care about your life. God pays closer attention to your life than you pay to your life. God is deeply and intimately involved in our life. He knows our heart, and he’s grieved by our sin.
It says that he was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. One of the most sorrowful statements in the whole Bible. God made us. God blessed us. God loved us. God looked at us, and God said, “I am grieved that you exist, and there is nothing but pain for me.”
See, we think we’re so great – we’re not. We think we’re so helpful to God – we’re not. We think we’re so smart – we’re not. We think we’re so holy – we’re not. And you think about it, I’ve got four kids that I love with all my heart. I love my kids. But as a father, going to the kids, how bad would those kids need to be for me to look them in the eye and say, “I love you very much, but I regret the day you were born, and I’m grieved that you exist, because you have been nothing but trouble and sorrow and shame. You have been nothing but death and sin and folly and destruction. I regret your birthday. I regret the fact that I made you. I regret the fact that you’re here. This saddens me. It pains me, but I’m sorry that you exist.
Friends, God is a father. We are his kids. And that’s exactly what he’s saying. I couldn’t imagine saying that to my children, but I guess, if my children are wicked and obstinate, if they were just murderers and thieves and rapists and crooks, and just evil and wicked and awful and rebellious and disobedient – if I saw all the injustice that they had brought on the earth, and all the people that they had harmed, and all the evil that they had done, I could understand finally, reluctantly coming to the point where I was more saddened than joyful at the existence of my own children.
And friends, that’s where God comes with the human condition. God is grieved. God is saddened. God is heartbroken. Do you know that God actually knows your thoughts? He actually knows the inclinations of your heart. He actually knows who you are. And what you think. And what you want. And what you say. And what you do.
Do you know that God is grieved? A lot of people think that God doesn’t know. If they do something in secret, God doesn’t see. If they say something under their breath, God doesn’t hear. God knows all. God sees all. God is deeply, deeply, deeply grieved by the human sin problem.
So, God is going to deal with sin. God is going to deal with sin in two ways. The first way is justice. “The Lord said,” – here’s what God promised us – “‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth’” – this is justice. Some people say, “Well, couldn’t he wait a little longer?” He waited 1,600 years. “Couldn’t he give ‘em a second chance?” He gave multiple generations a chance. “Well, couldn’t he give ‘em an example?” Enoch walked with God, nobody else cared.
“‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and the birds of the air’” – all of creation suffers because of our sin. Romans 8 says, “To this day, it still groans, waiting for liberation.” – “‘for I am grieved that I have made them.’”
Here’s what God says, “My first thing is, justice. Every sinner is gonna die anyways, so I’m gonna expedite the process. I’m just gonna wipe ‘em all out in one day. They’re all gonna die.” And God’s gonna kill all the sinners.
Now, some of you hate that. You look, you say, “That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not good.” That’s because you’re a sinner. And sinners don’t like justice, except for when it’s convenient, and we’re all selective hypocrites. If someone’s heart inclination was only evil toward you all the time, and they would not stop doing evil, and the only way to get them to stop doing evil was to execute them, would you want justice? Absolutely.
But if you sinned, and you were the transgressor, and you were the wicked one, would you want justice or mercy? Mercy. See, we’re all hypocrites. We want justice for that guy, and mercy for me. When we read this story, we say, “That’s not fair.” If it was fair, God would have flooded the earth and spared no one. You’re gonna see that in his wrath, he does remember mercy.
But first, there will be justice for sin. You need to see this, guys. God doesn’t just wink at sin. God doesn’t say, “Well, majority rules. Every generation’s wicked. They’re all bad. I understand. You try the best you can.”
God says, “Sin equals death. You will die anyways. I will expedite your death.” And he’s gonna wipe mankind from the earth. Justice is coming. But, in addition to the justice, there will be mercy, because God’s a good God.
In the next section, I’m gonna tell you about a guy named Noah, who’s gonna build a big boat, and God is gonna save him and his family. And God is gonna preserve and spare them. Here’s the question on which all of Genesis 6 hangs. It’s a very important question. I want you to answer it for me. Why does God choose Noah to be the man through whom salvation is given, deliverance is made? Why is Noah chosen, when no one else was chosen? You could talk to me. It’s a big room.
Some say, “He walked with God.” What else? What have you heard? See, you all know I’m tricky, so you don’t want to talk to me. Why did God choose Noah? Some say, “He was a blameless man. He was a righteous man.” How many of you’ve been told, “God chose Noah ‘cause he was a righteous man”? He didn’t. He didn’t. Noah was a lug nut, just like every other guy. That’s who he was. Just a regular old lug nut. Nothing special about Noah. Here’s what happened to Noah. Some people have said, “Noah was a righteous man. God chose him and spared him. There’s good guys and bad guys. God loves the good guys. God hates the bad guys. The good guys get to go on the boat. The bad guys gotta swim for it. Be a good guy.”
That’s not what the Bible ever teaches. The Bible teaches that everybody’s a bad guy, and God’s a good God. We just learned in Genesis who was only evil all the time? Everyone, including Noah. Noah is a regular dude.
He’s a regular dude like every other dude, downloading porno from the Internet, drinking cheap beer, just calling in sick to work, stealing money, mooching off his buddy. A meathead. Just a regular dude. Junkie apartment, a couple posters from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar, some beat up import that he doesn’t even change the oil on. A regular dude.
Nothing fascinating about Noah. It’s not like God looked down and said, “Oh, Noah, would you look at that. Noah’s a great guy. I need to draw a straight line. I need a straight stick. Hey, there’s a straight stick.” All the sticks are crooked. God draws straight lines with crooked sticks.
You know what? When I met Christ, I was a regular dude. I was a horny freshman in college, sitting in a dorm, eating carbohydrates from a cafeteria and watching Sports Center all night. Not impressive. Right? Not incredible. Not the kind of guy you look at and say, “There is a future servant of God. He’s unlike every other guy.” Regular dude. Regular guy. Just a normal, everyday, thuggish – whatever you are. Some of you are cowards. Some of you are jerks. Some of you are perverts. Some of you are liars. Some of you talk on the phone and run people off the road, and you drive us crazy.
And the point is this. If it’s only God loves the good guys, then we’re all jacked, because we’re not good guys, and it’s too late. I’ll prove it to ya. Here’s the process. Look at the order. Noah found – what?
Favor, that’s the first occurrence in the Bible of the Hebrew word for grace. He was a lug nut, wife beater, porn addict, drunk, hypocrite, community college prof. atheist – just a dude. Right? Terrorist, in a boy band. Just a dude. Just a dude, just a regular dude, and then he found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Grace. God gave him grace.
Noah wasn’t a great guy. Then afterward, righteous man, blameless, walked with God. But first things first, what did he get first? Grace. See, God’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. People are saved today, and yesterday the same way. We are saved by grace. This means you don’t earn it and merit it. This means God just looks down and says, “You’re all pathetic. I’ll love that one.” Why? “Gotta love somebody. Gotta start somewhere.”
God does this repeatedly. Abraham, the great patriarch, is called, we will see, out of Babylon. Babylon – man, that’s a terrible place. The Rolling Stones have an album named after it. That’s a terrible place. God doesn’t look down and say, “Ooh, look at that, Chiggerville Baptist. Look at that kid. He won the Bible bee. He’s my guy.” God doesn’t pick the good guys. He picks thugs, weirdos, nut jobs, perverts, murderers – that’s how I got my job. Right? You see where I’m going with this?
And what happens is, God is a God who likes glory, so he picks pathetic servants, so when things happen, everybody knows who got the job done. I’m just a lug nut. Just a regular dude. Noah – regular dude. You guys that are saved – regular people. God just looks down and says, “I love you. I’ll forgive you. I’ll save you. I’ll change you. I’ll walk with you. I’ll embrace you. Here’s my hand, let’s just do this. Walk with me.” This is the goodness of God.
Now, I hope this makes you feel good. Some of you come in here and you say, “I hate Christians. They all think they’re better than we are.” We’re not. We’re worse.
But we got cuts to the front of the line, so we’re happier than you. We’re just not any better.
Like, we’re like, “Cool, man. I got cuts. I got backstage passes, and I don’t even know the band. This is awesome. This is great. This is wonderful.” God just decided to love us. It’s favor, it’s grace. I love at the birth of Jesus, the angels sing this, “Glory to God on highest and peace on earth upon people whom his favor rests.” Favor. How many of you have experienced the grace of God?
You’re just a total, regular nothing, and God loved you. Saved you. Forgave you. Extended his hand to you. That was me. I’m sitting in college. I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know what I want to be. I don’t know what I’m gonna major in. I don’t know how I’m gonna get a car. Just a regular guy. And God says, “You’re mine.”
You can read in Romans 1, it says, “And you are called from among those to belong to Jesus Christ.” “Hmm, okie-dokie. I belong to Jesus. Cool. If he’ll take me, I’m down with that. Beats going to hell, and it’s a great option.” Like Enoch, you die and go to hell, or you walk with God and go to Heaven. This is a good option.
And then I love the fact that God gives favor to people. How many of you have gotten favor? I rolled over this morning, looked at my wife, thought, “No way. Look at that.”
“This is great. This is great.” I go kiss my kids, “This is great.” I come here, “Hey, you guys are great. The building’s great. The sound system’s great. It’s great.” You know what? It’s favor. Just great. It’s God’s like, “I’m gonna be nice to ya.” And here’s the deal where Christianity differs from every other religion. Every other religion tells ya, “Good guys and bad guys. God loves good guys. Be a good guy.” Christianity says, “All bad guys. God’s a good God.”
There’s no glory in it for us. There’s no boasting or pride or arrogance in it for us. There’s no credit in it for us. We just go, “Well, I was loved. That’s it. And the love changed me, because God’s that good.”
Every other religion invents a God that makes people look good and rewards those who are good in their own eyes. Christianity is the truthful religion. It is the only one that tells us that we’re not good. It’s the only one that accounts for the human sin problem. It’s the only one that gives a remedy. It’s the only one that gives grace.
And here’s the key. Grace comes to us through Jesus. Somebody lived, died. Somebody lived, died. Somebody lived, died. We’re born; we sin. Jesus died. And if he died for us, we don’t die; we live forever. So, our life doesn’t need to be birth, sin, death. It can be birth, new birth, eternal life. Because Jesus died so we don’t have to. Great.
Jesus says, “You give me your sin, I’ll give you my forgiveness. You give me your death, I’ll give you my life.” Really? I’ll take the deal. That’s amazing. That’s grace. That’s grace. And then favor. God blesses. I tell you what, for me, this has been the most encouraging, exciting, humbling, confusing part of my whole walk with God is favor.
See, when I – when we started this church, I didn’t know if we were gonna make it. Eighty (80) percent of churches fail. They don’t even make it. We made it. What is that? That’s grace. And we grow. That’s grace. People get saved. That’s grace. Kids are born. That’s grace. People fall in love. That’s grace. Friendships are made. That’s grace.
We get a great building. That’s grace. We get a great sound system. That’s grace. The building fills up three times. That’s grace. That’s grace upon grace upon grace upon grace. There’s 300,000 churches in America. Only 847 are over 2,000. We’re past that. It’s grace. We’re in the least churched city in the country, and it’s going pretty good. It’s grace.
Not only that, certain places in the city that should absolutely despise us actually embrace us. We’ve gotten positive media coverage from The Stranger.
Right before the swinger classified ads, which is not our team, if you’re new. And that’s favor. That’s favor. That’s really favor. I went in for – this week to Seattle Times and they offered me a job to be writing religion columns. And I said, “Well, you know I’m gonna be talking about Jesus,” and they’re like, “Yeah.” “Okie-dokie, I’ll do that.” It’s just weird. It’s weird.
And the media keeps asking, “What’s the secret? What’s the secret?” Jesus is alive, and he’s apparently generous. That’s our secret. Like, he’s good. There you go. We’re kites in a hurricane. He’s good to us, and we appreciate that.
I had this one, recently I was talking to Seattle Magazine, and they came out “The 25 Most Powerful People in Seattle” and they decided I was one of ‘em. So I was talking to the reporter, and she says, “What’s the secret?” I said, “God’s great. God is generous, kind, he’s nice. I’m a lug nut. I was just a dude trying to get carbohydrates and figure out what to do with my horniness in college. Next thing I know, this is what I get to do.
“You know, everything between there and here is grace. Like everything between the cafeteria and the ministry that I have is grace.” She’s like, “No, really.” “Seriously, it’s grace. It’s grace. I don’t know – grace. It’s just grace, upon grace, upon grace – favor, kindness, blessing.” But we should never boast in it, ‘cause where’s it come from? God.
It’s not that we’re good guys and God blesses the good guys. It’s that God’s a good God. God blesses us. God makes us good. It’s all God. That’s where Paul and Jeremiah say, “Don’t boast. If you’re gonna boast, boast in the Lord.” See, we should be gracious. We should be honest. We should be bold. We should be confident. We should boast – but not in ourselves.
We should encourage people and say, “Look, I’m probably more wicked than you. God’s a great God. He embraced me; he’ll embrace you. He’s helped me; he’ll help you. He’s provided for me; he’ll provide for you. God is a good God.” The one thing I’m more convinced than ever, is that God is a good God. He’s a great God. Not a God of our imagination, who’s up there doling out grace according to how hard we’ve worked and how much we’ve done.
I love this. “Noah found favor” – grace – “in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah. Noah” – then, because of God’s grace, saving and empowering grace he – “was a righteous man.” I’ll tell you what. Okay, this is not boasting – I’m a righteous man. Some go, “You can’t say that.” I tell you what, if you’re a Christian, you have to.
You have to say, “God did something, and I’m changed.” It doesn’t mean I’m sinless. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect. It doesn’t mean that you are sinless, or you are perfect. But what it does mean, God’s working on me. You know, the sins that we were committing, we’re not committing those anymore. God is straightening out our crooked mess. God is fixing us. God is changing our life. Am I sinless? No, I’m fully aware of all of my sin. But before God, I’m righteous, because I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Jesus took all of his righteousness, poured it on me. II Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who knew no sin to become sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” If you’re a Christian, you are righteous. It’s not something that you work to achieve. It’s a gift that’s given you by grace, and you walk in that righteousness as a new creation in Christ.
It’s amazing. God is that good. We’re the righteousness of God.
“Blameless among the people” – people around him going, “Noah’s a decent guy. We like that Noah. Works hard, pays his bills, loves his kids, kisses his wife. Noah’s a good guy.” Do you know what? Some Christians think unless you’re hated and despised, you’re not holy. Now, you may be hated and despised. Jesus said that people will speak well of you and harm you. But sometimes, like Noah, you get favor. People say, “Well, we don’t understand that guy, but God loves him, and he’s good to him, and we see God’s hand on his life, and he’s nice to us.”
Noah’s a guy who didn’t only find favor with God, because of God’s grace and God making him righteous, God making him a righteous man enabled him to have good character so that other people would appreciate him. Respect him. “And he walked with God.” Walked with God. “God, I love you. Wherever you’re going, that’s where I’m going. Whatever you’re doing, that’s what I’m doing. Whatever you say, that’s what I believe. Whatever you want, that’s what I do.” He walked with God.
After what, friends? He was saved by grace. This is Ephesians 2:8, 9, and 10. This is the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith. This is the bedrock of our whole understanding of God. “It is by grace you’ve been saved, through faith. It is a gift of God, not by your own works. No one should boast in this.”
God did this to enable us to do a life of good works. Grace saves us. Grace empowers us. Grace enables us to walk with God. We’re blessed. I’m blessed. Your blessed. We’re a blessed people. Not because we’re good, but because God is good.
It goes on, “Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now, the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” People are killing each other, destroying each other, mayhem, murder. People had to put locks on their doors and come up with a police force to defend themselves. Right? This is the day when people can’t leave their doors unlocked. People can’t assume that the people who will come over to their house intend them good and not evil.
It’s just like our day. “God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on the earth had corrupted their ways.” They’re not victims. It’s not that they were forced to be bad. They corrupted themselves. People do it to themselves. In the garden, it was life and death – two trees. Our first parents ran to death. Everyone since runs to death. We just kill ourselves. We corrupt ourselves. We’re self-destructive and foolish people.
“So God said to Noah,” – and I love this, because God speaks to Noah after he’s a believer. Some of you say, “I’m not gonna become a believer until God speaks to me.” Well, if it’s like Noah, he’s not gonna speak to you ‘til after you become a believer. Maybe you’ll need to trust him, and then he’ll talk to you. God comes and he speaks to Noah.
How many of you have had God speak to you? Sometimes he speaks through Scriptures, circumstances, friends. God very – not often, but God speaks to me. I believe in a supernatural, miraculous God. I believe God can heal. God can speak. God can show up. God could send an angel. God is a miraculous, supernatural, free God, who’s free to do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to say something, he could say it. God could do whatever he wants to do.
I still remember the first time God spoke to me. I was a brand new Christian at a men’s retreat in college. I remember going out for a time in prayer, and I remember God spoke to me. And he told me – I said, “God, I’m a new Christian. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. Just tell me what to do.”
God spoke. He said, “Marry Grace, preach the Bible, train men, plant churches. That’s your life. That’s what you need to be doing.” God spoke to me. Some of you say, “How do you know that’s God?” Well, if he said, “Marry the stripper and plant déjà vus and preach the Bhagavad Gita and be a terrorist,” I’d say, “Well, maybe I got the wrong number on that prayer.”
In my life, usually when God speaks to me, it’s always Scripture. It’s just taking the Scripture and applying it. God’s already spoken. He’s had a lot to say. And God speaks to us. He spoke to me last night. I woke up this morning, just in tears. God spoke to me this morning – last night and this morning, through the course of the evening.
And you know what? God’s a living God, friends. He speaks. I think just a lot of people don’t listen, to be real honest with ya. I think a lot of people are busy sinning. And if they were walking with God, they would hear his voice. That’s what Jesus says, “My sheep” – what? – “hear my voice and they listen to me.”
If you walk with God, you hear from God. God doesn’t have to speak. God’s not predictable in when and how he speaks. But he does. He spoke to Adam. He speaks to Noah. He’s gonna speak to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. The only one of the patriarchs that he doesn’t speak to is Joseph. He doesn’t work through his visible hand of miracle and speech with Joseph. He works through his invisible hand of providence and circumstance. We’ll get to that, starting in Chapter 38. But God speaks.
God tells us what to do. That’s why I love the Scriptures. God speaks. It’s God’s word. If we want to hear from God, we read. And sometimes, God breaks in and specifically applies certain Scriptures to our life. It’s so good of God to speak to us. God doesn’t just stand off at a distance and say, “I like good guys and bad guys. You go be a good guy, and if you’re good enough, then I’ll speak to you.”
God comes. He says, “I love you. I’ll give you grace. I’ll change you. I’ll hold your hand. I’ll walk with you. And I’ll speak to you, so you know what you’re supposed to be doing. He’s very involved in the details.
And here’s what he says to Noah in verse 13, “‘I am going to put an end to all the people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark’” – big boat, big boat, huge boat – “‘of cypress wood’” – a wood that’ll float. God’s in the details. Right? Get a floating wood – “‘make rooms in it’” – right? We’re gonna have some animals, and it could end up being a big PBS documentary if we don’t get some rooms in here – “‘and coat it with pitch inside and out.’” Fill the cracks, right? Because Noah lives where? A desert. He is not highly skilled in boat building. So God’s gonna tell him how to build this boat. Note to self: Fill the cracks.
“‘This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high.’” One point four (1.4) million cubit feet, big enough to house 522 modern day railroad cars. In the shape of a modern day battle ship. This is a huge boat, particularly for a desert.
Now, how long did it take him to build this boat? A hundred and twenty years. A hundred and twenty years. Who helped him build it? His sons, Pete, Repeat, and the other guy.
He had three boys. They help him build the boat. For a hundred and twenty years, they’re building a boat. Now, is this a lot of work? We gotta get lumber – cypress lumber. A lot of it. We gotta get tar – a lot. Does this cost anything? This is a few bucks. This is a big home improvement project. This is a hundred and twenty years of work.
Every day, for a hundred and twenty years, except for the Sabbath day, Noah gets up, puts on his tool belt, wakes up his boys, goes out and works on the boat. In the middle of the desert. While all the non-Christians get drunk and go to Hooters and just do whatever frat guys do. And Noah gets up with his – “Boys, get up and go to work. We gotta go build that boat.” “Dad, everybody thinks we’re a freak.” “Yeah, we have a huge boat in the middle of the desert. But God says, it’s gonna flood in a hundred and twenty years.”
Right? I mean, this is a peculiar story. I love the fact that Hebrews says that in holy fear, Noah built the ark. Holy fear. Which, you could think about it, like him and the boys are out there, a big cloud comes over, he’s like, “Ohhhhhh no. We don’t have the boat done. Not today, God, not today! We don’t have the boat done!”
Holy fear, Noah built the ark. And you know the neighbors had to think, “What in the world is up with that guy? That’s a boat. That seems like overkill. Big boat.” Okay, and here’s the deal. We now look at Noah and we think, “Noah, the godly man.” In that day, he was the freakish nut job who was building a boat. He’d get up, put his tool belt on, and go out and build the boat. People walk by, “What are you doing?” “God said it’s gonna flood. We only have a hundred and twenty years. Quick, get some pitch, help me build this boat.”
This is like the dude down at West Lake Center, with the big huge afro and the turn-or-burn sign, talking about Jesus. I’m sure Noah came off like that guy, like [Whistle] the oars are not in the water. That guys not doing so good.
He’s not all there. This is a guy with the underwear on the outside of the pants. I don’t think he’s doing so good.
Noah came off like that guy. But he trusted God. He trusted God for the flood. And here’s what it says, too, what he was doing in this hundred and twenty year period. It says in II Peter that he was a preacher of righteousness. So, he’s building the boat, and on Sundays he’s preaching in church. Who’s in this church? Is it a big church? Mega church? Seven people, they all have the same last name. That is not a movement.
Right? A hundred and twenty years, “Today, I’m talking about the goodness of God.” A the end it’s like, “Did we get any visitor cards?” “No, it’s been a hundred and eighteen years. We never had a visitor. We need a phone booth. We all have the same last name.” This church is not going anywhere. This is not a movement. This is one dude and his family. That’s it. That’s it.
Do you think Noah was ever laughed at. I’m laughing at him, and I’m the pastor. I’m sure the regular guys in that day are looking at this going, “Oh, come on. Come on.” But Noah, here’s what he does. He spends his days building the ark in faith that God’ll send a flood, and preaching the goodness of God and the repentance of sin, inviting others to be saved by grace and help build the boat. That’s what he does for a hundred and twenty years.
You think about it. How long have you been obedient to God? You say, “Man, that was 15 minutes of unbroken commitment. And now I just totally burned out.”
A hundred and twenty years swinging a hammer and preaching to an empty room. A hundred and twenty years, building a boat and preaching to nobody. Noah walked with God.
It goes on. God tells him the details, “‘Make a roof for it’” – [Chuckle] you’re gonna need that. Need a roof – “‘finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.’” Details.
“‘I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But’” – don’t you love that? Everybody’s gonna die, but – A lot of people are going to hell, but – A lot of people are not gonna get their sins forgiven. Broad is the path to destruction, narrow is the way to eternal life.
“‘But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark” – here we are introduced to the great theme of covenant, friends. Covenant is gonna be one of the dominant themes in Genesis, one of the dominant themes in the Bible. And it moves from this. God made us – that’s creation. We sinned – that is the curse. God’s answer is a covenant.
This is God’s language for his commitment and pledge and devotion to relationship with us. This is God blessing people. This is God loving and saving and redeeming and embracing people. It’s covenant. Covenant is God’s way of overcoming curse and going back to his original intentions of creation, to be blessed. To belong to God. To live forever. To have joy. To be connected to one another.
We have messed up creation with curse. God is restoring his purposes of creation with covenant. That’s why we believe here in covenant families. We believe in a covenant church. We believe that our relationship should be marked by covenant. That God is a good God, who has pledged himself to us. And the human side of the equation is that we walk with God.
And he says (here’s the covenant), “‘I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark. You and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.” Question, was Noah a blessing to his wife and children? Yes. That’s what it means to be a patriarch.
I hear all the time today people saying, “Well, we don’t like that patriarchal language of the Bible.” At least they admit it’s there. It is there. There’s patriarchs. What God does, God grabs nobody, picks them up, saves them. Loves them. Straightens them out. Makes them blameless. Gives them his righteousness. Entrusts to them ministry that is important. Puts under their loving care a family – a wife to stand alongside of him, and children to bring up, and that’s a patriarch.
Okay, so many of you men are unmarried and single. The great problem in the Church today is that we’re lacking patriarchs. We’re lacking men who take responsibility for the condition of their own household. The governments of church and state are built on the government of home. And at that the head of that family is supposed to be a man. A man who loves the Lord. A man who walks with God. And because of that, a man whose wife and children are blessed because they’re part of his family.
Sixty percent of Christians today are female. There’s between 11 and 13 million more female than male Christians. I am glad that the women love the Lord, but I would just probably speak alongside of the women and ask, “Where are the men? Where are the men? Where are the patriarchs, the men who stand up and say, ‘I will walk with God’?”
God has been gracious and good to me. He has given me his righteousness. I will take responsibility to work as he has commanded me, for his glory, and to preach the good news of the Gospel, whether or not others should listen.
I will be faithful to God, because God has been faithful to me. I will trust God, because he has proven himself trustworthy to me. I will walk with God, because he is the one who has taken my hand and led me each step of my good life. And I know that sometimes I’m really hard on the men, and I beat on the young men. But here’s what I really want in my heart, gentlemen. I want to see a whole nation of patriarchs.
I want to see guys like Noah. Some of you guys did not have a Christian father. Like 40 percent of kids who go to bed tonight, you didn’t even have a father. You don’t have a patriarch. But you know what? God’s intention is that you be that patriarch. God’s intention is to start with you, a guy whose genealogy up to this point is sinner who died, sinner who died, sinner who died, sinner who died, saved by grace, walked with God, things changed there.
That’s God’s intention for you men in this room. Women, children, future generations are depending upon that. We want it to be the day, gentlemen, when the story is told that my granddad, or my great-granddad, or my dad, or my great-great-granddaddy met Jesus. My family was a wreck. Things were a mess. Men weren’t taking responsibility. We all looked like the sons of Adam, blaming others and excusing ourselves for sin. We were in league with the enemy. We were running around just chasing hot girls and doing stupid things and acting like rock stars.
And then God got my granddaddy, and he got him all at once. And he straightened him out. And he made him an amazing man of God, and he walked with God. And today, our family line is changed, and it’s no longer born/dead. It’s born again, live forever. And we’ve been building some momentum toward the Kingdom.
I want you men to feel that down in your soul. I want you to grab that. Corinthians tells us that the men are the glory of God. When I see you young men, I see the glory of God. I see nothing less than the glory of God in the face of my brothers.
And I want so much for the men in this church to not be arrogant, but to be confident. To not shrink back and let their sin of their past dominate their future, but to embrace the fact that they have been given the righteousness of Christ. And to walk forward in the new life that God has for them, with women and children and ministry and family and responsibility – whether or not anyone understands. Whether or not anyone else embraces or supports. Whether or not anybody converts, and whether or not anybody cheers you along. Knowing that you serve, gentlemen, for an audience of one. And you belong to the King. And he has taken you by the hand. And you are his royal prince, and you are about Kingdom business.
Noah got that. And not only was he spared, so was his wife, so was his children, and so were their spouses. Gentlemen, so much is contingent upon you walking with God. Some of you men did come from godly families. Your fathers did love the Lord. Your granddaddy did love the Lord. You know what it’s like to live under a course of blessing that comes upon a covenant family.
But it’s incumbent upon you to not only live under the blessing of the covenant, but also yourself, to be a covenant head, to be a man who likewise walks with God. We’re gonna see that not all Noah’s sons do that. Guys, I just want you to embrace this. Gentlemen, do you get this? Do you get this down in your heart?
God is saving a multitude of men in the least churched city in America, in the least likely place where a young man would belong to Jesus. And God is grabbing them by the fistful. And he is loving them. And he is saving them. And he is changing them. He’s molding them. And he is enabling them to grow into the kind of men who could be patriarchs.
Response: Amen. Yeah.
I just want you guys to get this so bad. I tell you what. I’m a regular guy, who’s got an extraordinary life, ‘cause God got me. Has got gotten ya? What a difference a good God makes in the middle of a chaotic world.
Close with the last statements from God, “‘You are to bring into the ark two of all the living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal, of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.’” We’ll deal with this next week. “‘You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.’” God tells them exactly what to do to load up the ark.
“Noah did” – what, dear friends? – “everything.” See, gentlemen, ladies, it’s not just enough to do some of the things that God says. You need to do everything. You need to do everything. God in his Word, speaking to you, doesn’t waste any of his commands. Everything is for our good, and everything’s important.
“Noah did everything just as the Lord commanded him.” Just as God told him, that’s what he did. So, “The Lord then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous” – I would say, “because I have made you righteous” – “‘in this generation.” Here’s what he says, “It’s time. The hundred and twenty years are up. Get in the boat.”
You think this is a sad day or a good day for Noah? It’s a good day, ‘cause he’s gonna see the justice of God. It’s a sad day, ‘cause he’s gonna see it on his neighbors. His family and friends. His cousins, his aunts, his uncles, his nieces, his nephews The kids that were on his kids’ little league team. The kids that were in his kids’ school. The woman next door that he would go visit because they were friends.
If Noah was indeed a preacher of righteousness, which is what the Bible says that he was, do you think he was crying out ‘til the bitter end, until the door shut, inviting his neighbors to stop sinning and to join him in faith? “Please, justice, judgment is coming. Please, please repent. We built this for a reason. It’s big enough to house all of us. There’s enough room for all of us. Would you please trust God?” No. People just mocked, laughed, ignored him.
And slowly, the door shuts. The opportunity for repentance is gone. Dear friends, one day you will die. The opportunity for repentance is only as long as you should live. Some of you will die soon. Some of you have many years. Some of you God may give a hundred and twenty years, we don’t know.
The door shuts, and at this point, Noah and his family are in the ark, and it begins to rain. We’ll deal with that next week. Everything that God promised comes to pass. Apparently, Noah and his family were the only ones who believe it. And I want to say this to you, friends, in closing. Genesis is not just about what happened. Genesis is about what happened and what always happens – always happens. Today is just like the days of Noah.
Christian men, men who are supposed to be Christians, are acting like non-Christian men, chasing non-Christian women, trying to be like all the rock stars and porn stars. Today, people are just getting married and drinking and having kids and dying. Life is unspectacular. It is predictable. It is boring. It is not much that is newsworthy. Most of what makes the news is violence and evil, and sin and the consequence of sin.
And today, people live, and people die. And occasionally, a few people like Enoch show up, and they walk with God. And they’re spared the kind of judgment that is going to come upon these people. Today, though, we live in a day not unlike the day of Noah. In the day of Noah, the decree was sent out that there is a hundred and twenty years before justice comes. And people paid no heed. They thought that God had forgotten his promise, or that God was wrong.
Two thousand years ago, the Lord Jesus promised that he would be coming again. He tied it to the coming of Noah, and he said, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be upon my second coming.” Just as people were ignoring God and sinning and living, they will ignore God and sin and live in the end. And then it will come upon them, just like the flood.
The first judgment was by water. The second judgment will be by fire. That God will destroy the earth and evil doers on the earth by fire. That is the fiery torment of hell. And some people laugh and they mock and they scoff, and they say, “There is no hell. There’s no eternal death. There’s no justice. We don’t come before God in the end. That’s all myth and fable and folklore. People have been doing this for 2,000 years. And where’s Jesus? He said he was coming back.”
And Peter says, “He’s just patient. He’s giving every ample opportunity for people like you and me to trust him. To be saved by grace. To walk with God so that we don’t die and go to hell and suffer judgment, but that we would be forgiven. That Jesus’ death would cover our sin, and that we would live forever as the people of God.
And today, friends, is no different than that day. In that day, God raised up a patriarch and said, “I’m gonna start here, with your family.” Today God is raising up men from this very room, to be patriarchs and to start there. To stop the cycle of sin and decline and violence and death and abuse and neglect and wickedness and rebellion in the generations that have preceded us.
God’s intention is to bless, as he always does. To redeem and to save by grace. To renew and empower by grace. To clothe people with righteousness, so that they might be his possession, blameless and holy in his sight.
And today, just as in the days of Noah, there was a day when this enormous boat was built, because God told Noah and his family, the believers in that day, “Build a place for yourself to dwell.” And since the Lord Jesus has gone into Heaven before he comes again, he has told us to be about the same thing, to build the Church. To be building the Church as that place in which the family of God gathers to hear about the goodness of God, and to be warned of the coming storm, so that we, too, might trust in God by faith and be saved by grace.
And so today we are here. We are here as the family of God. As Noah and his family were in the ark, we are here as judgment has been promised. We are here as mockers and scoffers are out there, saying that it’s never coming. That we’re delusional. That we’re spending our time and our money on a myth and a fairy tale. That there is no hell. There is no judgment. There is no justice. There is no God.
By faith we believe that it will all come to pass. And, friends, I would tell you this. Don’t go out of here distaining and hating your neighbors. Love them to the bitter end. Love them until you stop breathing or they do. Invite them to repentance. We’re no better than anyone. We’re just saved by grace, and we invite everyone to be saved by grace. To meet the Lord Jesus. To avoid the judgment that is to come.
And in this world, the Church is the ark. It’s the place where the people of God gather together to travel through judgment and sin and folly and death, to be redeemed and delivered into the Kingdom of God.
I love you guys with all my heart. I tell you this every week, and I mean it from the bottom of my soul. I want to see you men be patriarchs. I want to see you women be matriarchs. I want to see a whole nation rise up from wickedness and folly and sin. I want to see us continue to walk with God, hand in hand, as the children of God and the family of God.
I don’t want any of you to go to hell. I don’t want any of you to come before God in the end and say, “You know what? You didn’t give me enough time.” Friends, there should be a sense of urgency. For some of you that are non-Christians, there should be a great sense of urgency.
We know not how many days we have, but we know that today we have an opportunity to walk with God. We have an opportunity to be saved by grace. We have an opportunity to start over. We have an opportunity to be about God’s Kingdom business, and to live and not die. And we invite you to do that through the Lord Jesus. We beg you, we beseech ya, like Noah screaming out of the ark, we’re just begging you to come to Christ.
But ultimately, as the call went out in the days of Noah for a hundred and twenty years, the call goes out today. And you will need to decide for yourself, “Do I take the hand of God and walk with him, or do I play my odds, thinking that just as in the days of Noah, that the fire is not coming? As they thought the flood likewise was not coming.”
I have to leave this in your hands now. I want you to see great hope, though. Grace. I want you to look around the room. I want you to see how much grace has been poured out. How many of you have been saved by grace? How many of you have found favor? Been blessed? God is a good God, dear friends. We invite you to him today. His name’s Jesus. His name’s Jesus.
Response: That’s right. Amen.
His name is Jesus. Apart from him, you cannot deal with sin. You will just die. With him, his death will give you life, and he will walk with you always. We’re gonna ask you to respond by faith, trusting in him. We’re gonna ask you to respond, maybe today for the first time taking communion as a Christian, remembering Jesus’ body and blood, shed for your sin. His death to give you life, so that you don’t need to die.
Give of your tithes and offerings. We’re gonna sing. We’re gonna celebrate. We’ll throw a little party and have a good time. Why?
We’re saved by grace. Jesus has come. Jesus has lived. Jesus died. Jesus is coming again. And when he does, those of us who belong to him will not hear, “Depart from me. I never knew you.” We will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.” You will hear his voice.
Lord Jesus, we do love you. We love you because you’ve loved us. Jesus, we confess. We know our hearts. Our attitudes are not good. Our motives are not good. Our desires are not good. Our inclinations are not good. But God, you’re good. You’re extremely good. You’re exceedingly good. You are spectacularly and unpredictably good. You are pure goodness. You are light, and there is no darkness in you at all.
God, we read the Bible. It’s all villains and Jesus is the hero and victor. Lord Jesus, we thank you for being our Savior. We thank you for dying, that we might live. We thank you for picking some of us to begin anew. To start over. To turn around crooked families. We thank you that though maybe our dads and our granddads, and our moms and our grandmas didn’t love you, that you love us, and you’ve got us, and we belong to you.
That you’ve taken us by the hand, and like the perfect father that you are, you’re walking with us. You’ll never leave us. You’ll never forsake us. You will not lead us into temptation. You will not do us harm. The safest place is to be at the hip of the Father.
God, we pray that you would enable us by grace to be saved. Enable us by grace to be kept. Enable us by grace like Enoch and Noah to be righteous and blameless. To be obedient and to walk with you.
And Jesus, I pray for my brothers. I pray for the nation of patriarchs you’re raising up. I pray for their wives. I pray for their children. I pray, God, that they would be blessed as part of a covenant family.
Jesus, we love you. We thank you for this big ark we’re meeting in tonight. We thank you. It’s a great place for respite and rest and worship from the storms. And God, we pray as we leave that many would be invited to come to join the Church. To join the cause. To join the Christ, and we pray that they would respond.
We pray it wouldn’t be like the days of Noah, where no one listened, but instead, it would be a great harvest, to your glory and our joy, in Jesus’ name, amen.