By Nick Bibile
As we have been going through the highlights of Genesis, we need to understand who the author is and the audience. The author is Moses and the audience, he is telling the story of Noah and great flood to the Israelites of that day. It is very important to understand the historical narratives first before we try to interpret into our lives.† Unfortunately many evangelical Christians interpret how these stories relate to their lives but completely forget the historical narratives. By doing so they miss the whole picture, and that is very unfortunate as they miss a great blessing.†
The historical background here is the children of Israel are on the way to the promise land and now they are in the wilderness. In Genesis 1-2 Moses showed them the perfect condition of the world, creation of God and the Garden of Eden. Thatís how the world was supposed to be. Then in Genesis 3-5 he told them how sin entered into the world, the lost of the paradise, the curses, how that perfect world became corrupted because of sin, there was suffering and death.† (Gen 6:11-13)
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and God told Noah to build an ark.† The meaning of Noah is rest, relief, and comfort. Noahís father was Lamech, remember there were two Lamechís evil one and a good one. The evil Lamech was the fifth in descent from Cain, he was the first to violate the ordinance of marriage as he boasted of his two wives. (Gen 4:18-24) But the good Lamech was the son of Methuselah, Noah was the oldest of his sons, he prophesied that Noah would be a comfort. (Gen 5:29) Noah was probably 50 years old when Adam died. Ark was like a huge three stories floating house. The length of the ark was about 450 feet, with about 75 feet wide and height about 45 feet. And over hundred thousand square feet.† The Bible introduce Noah when he was 500 years old and when he entered the ark he was 600 years old. It would have taken him about 100 years to build the ark. Noah was in the ark for about 370 days.† Then God shut the door and God opened the floodgates of heaven and it rained continuously for 40 days.† There were only eight people, in the ark Noah and his family and animals that God told Noah to bring to the ark. The ark floated on the waters for 150 days. Then after the floods God commanded Noah to exit the ark. Noah lived after the flood for another 350 years.† All the days of Noah were 950 years.
Remember in the beginning of Godís creation was in perfect order and there was the cultural mandate.
Ge 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.
†That perfect order was destroyed because of sin and corruption. God destroyed all humanity and now God is reestablishing the cultural mandate, as he told Noah:
Ge 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Noahís flood brought back what God meant the world to be, yet, it was not like the perfect world like before but it brought back from going deeper into sin and corruption.
What was the first thing that brought corruption to humanity? Yes, the sin of Adam and Eve. Whatís the next big event that caused corruption? It was Cain killing his brother Abel. When Noah came out of the ark one of the immediate things that God commanded Noah was:
Gen 9:5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
Here we see God established a new ethical order of capital punishment.†
God told Noah, never again he will destroy mankind with a flood and he set his rainbow as a sign in the cloud.
Gen 9: 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.
By the way the correct translation is not rainbow but bow. If you see a rainbow, this bow is not directing at mankind, itís in the opposite direction. Godís bow in the sky not pointing toward mankind but in the opposite direction demonstrates peace instead of judgment.
Moses is telling the children of Israel, Egypt was a picture of the corrupted world; now God is delivering them just like how Noah delivered them from corruption into a new land, now the Israelites will be delivered from the corrupted world of Egypt to the land of milk and honey.
However the Israelites in the wilderness and they are on their way to the promise land, Moses is showing them, life in Egypt was a picture of the fallen world with full of misery and corruption, it was not like the life in Eden, but the opposite.
But the Israelites now in the wilderness see things in a negative way; the wilderness became a place of great hardships and difficulties. They began to murmur by saying:
Nu 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.
Instead of looking forward to the land of milk and honey they wanted to go back to Egypt, this was the false view. Israelites saw the deliverance from Egypt brought nothing but trouble as they walked by sight not by faith. Remember how the Lord told Moses to send some spies to the land of milk and honey, but when the spies returned ten out of twelve said there is no way we can conquer this land as there are giants there, the cities are big, we are like grasshoppers then the people wept and said,
Nu 14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness!
However Moses is telling the Israelites that is the false view but God had already ordained that this land will be delivered to Israel and this needs to be done by trusting in God by faith alone.
There is a parallel and a similarity between Noah and Moses. The name Noah means rest, relief and comfort, from the corruption. Also the land of Canaan, the land of milk and honey was called a place of rest, it had the same meaning of Noah.† Noah brought rest from the violence and corruption so does Moses is going to bring rest from the violence and corruption of the Egyptians.
Moses is telling the Israelites; I am a type of Noah, Noah delivered the world from the judgment of God, so like Noah Moses is going to deliver Israel,† God delivered Israel from the Egyptians as the Pharaohís army was drowned by the judgment of God. Noah and his family were delivered from the floodwaters so does Moses delivered Israel through the red sea.
During Noahís time, there was judgment and deliverance by the waters, so during Moses time there was judgment and deliverance by waters. Moses is telling the Israelites, there is a false view and a true view. The false view is to see in a negative way, to see the difficulties in the wilderness and to look back to Egypt, then to see the enemies are like giants and there is no way we an conquer.
But the true view is just like in the days of Noah, how God told Noah to build and ark and he and his family are going to be delivered from the corruption of the world, Noah believed by faith and began to build on the ark, and God fulfilled his promise as he delivered Noah and his family from the corruption of the world. Now† God is using Moses the same way to deliver Israelites to the land of rest. Like Noah Israel need to believe Godís word and by faith alone they can be delivered.†
Remember in the perfect world of creation God provided vegetation for man, there were seasons.
Gen 1: 11 And God said, ďLet the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.Ē And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
But due to sin there was corruption and violence, God destroyed the earth but after the flood Noah entered a new world. Then God is reminding the Israelites Moses is going to deliver you into rest, to the land of milk and honey and God will bring good vegetation and seasons if they obey God.
Deut 11:13 ďAnd if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15 And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.
Apostle Peter sums this up beautifully.†
2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Verse 5 Peter is telling of the old earth and heavens, which was the perfect creation of God.
Verse 6 Peter is telling what happened to that perfect earth as God poured out his judgment through the flood.†
Verse 7 Peter is telling of the present earth and heavens which is corrupted now like in Noahís days, reserved for judgment as God will destroy the ungodly.
Then in 2 Peter 3:13 says, Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Today we are living in a world of sin, violence and corruption, no difference than the days of Noah. No difference than the days of Moses, when Pharaoh said, who is the Lord that I should obey? People are attacking God and we are living in an evil generation. Children of Israel were negative in their thinking as they went by feeling not by faith they grumbled, started to murmur and feared of their enemies, didnít trust in God.†
Jesus is our deliverer from this evil world of sin
Noah and Moses both were shadows of Christ, the ultimate deliverer and Savior is Jesus who was going to come to deliver his people from the ungodly corrupted world.
History should educate us that we should not be like the children of Israel, we should not be negative, not walking according to our feelings but walk by faith.††
Heb 4: 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Jesus is the ultimate rest.
Mt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Your heart is proud, and high, and black, and lustful; but look at Christís heart, it is meek and lowly. There is your encouragement. We were slaves to sin but Christ redeemed us from slavery and brought rest to our souls, we too are living in an ungodly, sinful corrupted world. There is enough headaches and heartaches in this world and we are to live a holy life, sanctified life in this ungodly world.† Do you have a false view how Israel did as they wanted to go back to the delicacies of Egypt, to the delicacies of sin or do you have the true view as God is a rock so his promises shall be as a rock, it never fails, looking forward to our Savior to come and delivers us from this ungodly world. Let us learn from this lesson and trust in our mighty deliverer the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 17: 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet 2:5) Which means Noah was a man of upright, sincere godly, keeping the commandments of God. In the midst of the crooked generation Noah never compromised and, never bowed down to their evil ways. When God told Noah to build the ark, it seemed pretty absurd to build an ark as people never saw rain. May be the multitudes of people mocked Noah, made fun of him, and ridiculed him. I am sure there was tremendous pressure on Noah from the world. In the midst of the pressure Noah and his family did not walk according to their feelings but trusted in Godís word. Noah and family did not quarrel. The family stood together, they were obedient to Noah and his family loved and feared God. Noah was a preacher but no one listened to him, they all laughed at him but his family believed him. God opened the flood gates and rain came pouring down, they probably remembered the words of Noah, probably they all ran to the ark because ark was the only place where you could be saved, but it was too late as† God shut the door of the ark.† Yes my beloved, ark is a type of Jesus Christ.† Jesus is the only refuge in this ungodly world. Those of you who are living in sin, enjoying your worldly lusts and passions, you have heard the call of repentance many times but you keep on sinning, adding sins and multiplying sins to your account but let me tell you Godís fury and his wrath is building up against those who are lazy, living in sin and disobedience. You will not feel Godís wrath as you are living in peace, but when his wrath comes it will come in dreadful force.
Fall at the feet of Jesus now and repent of your sins, worship the God of glory and he will forgive your sins and you can live a changed life and looking forward to heaven.