Lesson 6 - Noah’s Flood

    Suggested Bible Reading: Genesis, Chapters 6-9

    The Disobedience of Man

    In the last lesson, we learned that after Cain murdered Abel, God gave Adam and Eve another child by the name of Seth. The descendants of Seth believed God and continued to look for the coming Savior, promised by God in the Garden of Eden. Noah, a descendant of Seth, lived about 1,500 years after God created Adam. Noah had three children by the names of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. By the time of Noah, there was a large population living on the earth, possibly three billion people. Most of the people were only interested in following the ways of Cain. Most of the people were wicked, and their thoughts were evil all the time. The Bible says in Genesis 6:5, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

    God used Noah to tell the people to turn from their sin and trust in God, but they refused to listen to Noah. They were proud, self-centered, and boastful. They were covetous, which means they wanted what other people possessed. They were jealous and hateful to other people. They argued and fought all the time. They were cruel to each other. They continually gossiped and said evil things about others behind their backs. They were unrestrained in their sexual passions. The earth was corrupt and full of violence. Who do you think was behind all this evil? Who do you think wanted to corrupt and destroy man, so the Savior could not be born? Of course, it was Satan.

    God saw all their sin. They may have hidden their lies, adultery, stealing, and murder from others, but none of it was hidden from God. God sees everything. No one can hide from God. He knows our thoughts and hears every word we speak and knows the motives of our hearts. The Bible says in Genesis 6:3, “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” God would not allow this situation to last forever. He saw and hated the disobedience of these people, but He also loved and wanted to accept them. To be accepted they would have to admit they were wrong, and believe God. The inward change would express itself outwardly by coming to God in the way He instructed Adam and Eve. That is, to offer a lamb as a sacrifice like Abel did. God said he would give the people 120 years to repent, and if they would not repent, then He would judge them.

    The Great Patience of God

    God was grieved at the behavior and the attitude of people on the earth. They made the situation intolerable for God. The Bible says in Genesis 6:6, “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Man was so corrupt that God decided to destroy man and start over with Noah and his family. Noah was born separated from God and under Satan's control just like all of Adam's descendants. Noah did not deserve to be saved by God. He too, deserved to be punished, but Noah believed God and came to Him like Abel, bringing the blood of animals. The Bible says in Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” God forgave and accepted Noah. God saved Noah and his family from judgment because they believed Him!

    God revealed to Noah that He was going to send a great flood which would cover the whole earth. He instructed Noah to build a large boat, called an ark, so that all those who believed God would be saved. There was only one way to get inside the ark. God instructed Noah to build one door. Every person and every animal that was to be saved from God's judgment had to come into the ark by this one door. God was going to use the ark to be a picture of what the coming Savior was going to do. The Savior would rescue man from evil, Satan, and death. God was only going to send one Savior, just like there was only one ark with one door. We will study more about this in a later lesson.

    Noah was obedient to God. He did everything just as God had commanded him. The Bible says in Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” While Noah built the ark, he warned the people that a flood was coming to destroy the earth. He also told the people about God's way to escape the coming judgment. How many people do you think believed him? No one, but his own family. The Bible says in Genesis 7:1-5, “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.”

    Noah had warned the people of God's coming judgment. They did not repent. God waited 120 years for them to repent, but the time came when He would wait no longer. It was time for God to judge them. God caused all the animals to come to Noah. He did not have to go hunting for them on a safari. Then, God commanded Noah and his family, with the animals, to enter the ark through the one door.

    The Destruction of the World

    The Bible says in Genesis 7:15-16, “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” When God shut the door, it was too late for anyone else to get into the ark. Those inside the ark were safe from God's coming judgment. Those outside the ark had no way to escape God's judgment. He made it rain for forty days and nights until the whole earth was covered with water, even above the highest mountains.

    It is very sad to think about all those people dying, because they rejected God. God wanted to accept them, but He only accepts those who believe Him. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.” After the 40 days of rain, the water covered the earth for another 150 days. So for 190 days (more than 6 months), the earth was covered with water. No one could survive that long by floating on a piece of wood without food. Everyone who had refused to believe God was outside the ark and had been destroyed. Only Noah and his family believed God and were saved from His judgment. God is patient with man. He waited 120 years for them to repent of their evil ways. They simply refused to believe God.

    God Restores the Earth

    The Bible says in Genesis 8:1-4, “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”

    God protected Noah and his family, with the animals, inside the ark from the flood. God sent a strong wind to begin the evaporation process that helped the waters to recede. Finally, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. These mountains are in the present day country of Turkey along the border with Armenia and Georgia. It took another 6 months for the earth to dry completely. Once the earth was dried from the flood, Noah and his family, and all the animals came off the ark. This must have been totally different from the world they had left before the flood. No neighbors, houses, or cities could be found. It was very quiet with only 8 people and a few animals inhabiting the entire planet.

    God gave Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, control over the animals, birds, and fish just as he had given it to Adam in the Garden of Eden. The world and everything in it belongs to God, but He gave it to man to manage it for Him.

    The rainbow was given as God's sign to show that He would never again destroy the whole earth by a flood. Many thousands of years have passed since the flood, and God has kept His word. When you see a rainbow, remember that God gave the rainbow as a sign that He will never destroy the world by a flood again. God can be trusted!

    Study Questions

    1. By the time of Noah, most of the people on Earth were basically good people.
    2. God told Noah to …
    3. God accepted Noah and his family because…
    4. God loves everybody, so He doesn’t really mind our sins.
    5. There were many doors to get inside the ark.
    6. There is only one Savior who can take you to heaven.
    7. The earth was covered with water for days.
    8. What promise did God give that He would never destroy the earth with a flood again?
    9.Do you believe that God can be trusted?

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