Noah was the son of Lamech, the grandson of Methuselah, and the ninth descendant from Adam via Seth. The story of Noah is found in the book of Genesis in chapters 6-9. His birth is the first recorded after Adamâ€™s death. Noah and his household are the sole human survivors of the Flood, which God brought upon the world to punish human sin. Noah, sole righteous man of his era, was chosen, with his entourage, to perpetuate life on earth.
The earth was no longer the perfect paradise that God had intended. The world in Noahâ€™s day was flooded with evil. All of humanity quickly forgot about God and in all of the world, only one man and his family still worshipped God â€" Noah. The account says that Noah was righteous and blameless but that does not mean that he never sinned. It means that he wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. For a lifetime he walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation. Godâ€™s response to the severe situation of sin was a 120-year-long last chance. God did not change his mind and wish that he had not created mankind but he was grieved and expressed his sorrow or what the people he had created had done to themselves. During this time Noah built the ark. God was giving the world time to quit their evil ways and to begin living his way. When the world did not change its evil ways, God saved Noah and his family from the vast flood that destroyed every other human being on earth. Noah and his family were saved because of their faithfulness and obedience to God.
According to the account in chapters 6-9 of Genesis, Noah was commanded by God to build an ark. God gave Noah specific dimensions that the ark was to be. He was to put inside this ark male and female pairs of every terrestrial and flying species. Many people have wondered how this animal kingdom roundup happened. The accounts of the story of Noah tell that God took care of the hard part by providing the animals that Noah needed. Scholars have estimated that almost 45,000 animals could have fit into the ark. The lesson here is that Noah took care of his part and let God take care of the difficult details.
Noahâ€™s ark floated for ten months, alighting atop the Armenian mountains of Ararat (present day Turkey near the USSR border). There it rested for almost eight months before Noah, his family and the animals stepped onto dry land. After sending a raven (unsuccessfully) and a dove (successfully) to scout the area, Noah knew is was safe and dry enough to emerge with his family. In those days it was not unusual to use a bird to find dry ground and even though the dove came back with a dry olive branch Noah stayed in the ark until God told him to come out. He waited for Godâ€™s timing and showed great patience and obedience during that time. Once Noah and the family emerged they performed sacrifices and received Godâ€™s promise not to send more floods. A rainbow appeared as the sign of Godâ€™s new covenant or promise with humankind. Noah also received laws prohibiting bloodshed and consuming of lifeblood during this time.
Noahâ€™s life can teach people today four specific lessons:
God is faithful to those who obey him.
God does not always protect us from trouble, but cares for us in spite of trouble.
Obedience is a long-term commitment.
A man may be faithful, but his sinful nature always travels with him.
The key verse in the story of Noah is found in Genesis 6: 22 and is a testament to how people should live like Noah. The verse says, â€œNoah did everything just as God commanded himâ€.
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