Sunday November 21st
God at Work - Noah
I’m sure most of you read your Bibles regularly, but how many of you are aware of the football game that they played on Noah's Ark?
It seems as though after the animals had been on the ark for thirty days and thirty nights, they were getting bored. So, the B-Deck animals challenged C-Deck animals to a game of football. They began playing and the C-Deck team was unstoppable. You see, they had the Rhinoceros and once he gets going nobody can stop him. Soon the first half is over and the score is 24-0. The second half begins and the Rhinoceros looks over at B-Decks defensive line and sees a Centipede is now on their defensive line. "Give me the ball," he says, "I'm gonna crush that little bug right here and right now" The Center snaps the ball and the quarterback hands it off to the Rhinoceros who begins charging right at the Centipede. The Centipede grabs Rhinoceros by the legs and SLAMS him to the turf. The ball pops loose, and the centipede grabs the ball. He rushes down the field and scores a TOUCHDOWN!!! The crowd goes wild!
C-Deck's captain rushes over and says, "Centipede that was amazing! But where were you in the first half?" The centipede says, "I was busy lacing up my shoes."
We’re going to take a look at God at work through Noah today, starting in Genesis 6:9-22
9 This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and 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. 17 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. 18 But 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. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them." 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
God called Noah to work with him by building a gigantic boat called an ark. “Noah’s Ark” measured over one and a half football fields long and took one hundred and twenty years to complete! In a similar way, God has called each of us to the task of building lives that can literally change the world. And like Noah, the only way we can ever hope to complete this assignment is by answering God’s call by working with Him. And today, that’s exactly what we’re going to look at; answering the call to work with God.
God’s Call on Noah’s Life Shows Us Three Prominent Truths About Working With God
The 1st Prominent Truth About Working With God is to know that God is Actively Working in the World Today.
Why is this idea so important? Because there are many people who seem to think that God is not really active in our daily lives. They look at creation as though God basically wound up a celestial clock, left us to fend for ourselves and then He will return when His heavenly alarm goes off. Theologians refer to this false belief as “Deism”. Don’t fall for that lie. Because just like in Noah’s day, nothing escapes God’s sight. Listen to Hebrews 4:13:
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account
God is actively working in the world today. And whether you know it or not, He is actively working in your life as well. Notice what Jesus said in John 5:17:
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
So, here’s the big question; What is the work of God in the world today? The answer is simple. God is still doing the same thing or the same work that He did in Noah’s day. God’s work is none other than the redemption of mankind.
Paul told Timothy,
“God our Savior … wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4
He accomplishes the work of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ, who came and “gave his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). But even after He was crucified, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, His work has not stopped.
He’s still working today! He has not left us to ourselves. He promised that everyone who believes in His Son will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; the very Spirit of Christ that will live in us and through us. He does not leave us alone (John 14:18).
We are living in a time when there are more Christians living in the world today than ever before. God is amazingly at work in places like China, India, Africa and South America, where revival is taking place! Even in the most hard-to-reach places, word is getting out that the Holy Spirit is alive and well! Make no mistake about it; God is actively at work in the world today and His work is still the redemption of mankind.
This leads us to the 2nd prominent truth about working with God which is that . . .
God Is Personally Inviting Us to Join Him in His Work.
“…the Lord who created you says, "Do not be afraid— I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
When God decided to wipe out the wickedness in the world by sending a flood, he revealed it to Noah. And along with that revelation was an invitation to work with God, building an Ark that would save Noah and his family. This pattern is observed all throughout the Bible. When God is at work in the world, He reveals His work to men and invites them to join Him in His work. That include all of the prophets, as well as you and me!
Remember that God knows you inside out. Even with all of the billions of people in the world and the numerous angels in heaven, you are not just a number. He knows your name. He longs for you to work with him.
In fact, He created and designed you for that very purpose … to walk and work with him. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul tells us:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
If God’s work in the world is redemption, and he calls us to join us in His work, then what’s our role? I mean, let’s face it, we can’t “redeem” anyone ourselves.
Well, our role is not to redeem people, but rather, our role is to be ambassadors of God’s redemption.
That’s exactly what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
God is calling each of us to build lives that become an A.R.K. for lost souls:
A-mbassadors of God’s R-edemptive K-indness
There’s a 3rd important truth about working with God that we can learn from the life of Noah and it’s found in Genesis 6:18:
But 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.
God made a covenant or promise with Noah. And the 3rd prominent truth about working with God that we need to keep in mind is that . . .
God is Faithful in Keeping His Promises.
God promised Noah several things:
That He would send a flood and wipe people out … And it happened.
That He would instruct Noah how to build an Ark … And it floated.
That He would save Noah and his family … And He did.
That He would rescind the waters … and He did.
That He would never send a global flood again … And He hasn’t.
It’s easy for us to look in retrospect at these events and think it was no big deal. But remember that when Noah entered the ark, it wasn’t raining yet. In fact, they were in the ark for seven days before it even started to rain. Genesis 7:16 tells us that . . .
The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
Can you even imagine what was going through Noah’s mind when the Lord shut the door of the ark?
God is at work and He has invited us to join him, but make no mistake about it, it takes faith to join God in his work of redeeming the world. It takes the kind of faith that Noah had to join God in his work.
Listen to Hebrews 11:6-7
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Let me read you those same verses from the Message Version:
It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
It’s also interesting what Jesus had to say about Noah.
In Matthew 24:36-39 Jesus said,
36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus compared the last days with the days of Noah. Make no mistake about it, there is a day coming when, the very last person on this earth to place their faith in Jesus will do so and just like Noah, the door will be shut. Not that most people will even notice. Because just like Noah’s days, people will be going about their daily lives without a clue about what’s coming. Think about what must have been the scene at the outside of the ark when the flood waters came. People would have been banging on the door, trying to climb up the sides of the ark, looking for any possible way to get in. But it was too late. God had already shut the door.
The thing is that God always keeps his promises.
And to all who place their trust in Him, He has promised to save them. But unbelievers will be left out of the ark of salvation for all eternity.
That is truly sad. But the good news is this: The door to salvation is still open.
Jesus said in John 10:9
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved …”
Are you ready to work with God today? Are you willing to build an ark with your life as an Ambassador of God’s Redemptive Kindness?
Now is the time to share the good news of salvation – while the door is still open!