Rise and Shine
The Lord said to Noah there's gonna be a floody floody Lord said to Noah there's gonna be a floody floody Get my children (clap) out of the muddy muddy Children of the Lord
So rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory glory Children of the Lord. The Lord said to Noah you're gonna build an arky arky Lord said to Noah you're gonna build an arky arky Build it out of (clap) gopher barky barky Children of the Lord. So rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory glory Children of the Lord. The animals, they came on they came on by twosies twosies Animals, they came on they came on by twosies twosies Elephants and (clap) kangaroozies roozies Children of the Lord. So rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory glory Children of the Lord. It rained and poured for forty daisies daisies Rained and poured for forty daisies daisies Drove old Noah (clap) almost crazy crazy Children of the Lord. So rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory glory Children of the Lord. The sun came out and dried up the landy landy Sun came out and dried up the landy landy Everything was (clap) fine and dandy dandy Children of the Lord. So rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and give God the glory glory Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory glory Children of the Lord.
The story of Noah is a story of faith. The story of Noah is a story of obedience. The story of Noah is a story of salvation. And over it all, the story of Noah is a story of Jesus.
Genesis 6-9 is where we find the famous story about the flood. Much has been written about the universal nature of the flood. You see, every culture and people group in the world has a version of this story. Though the story varies slightly, the basic facts are always the same: God or a god is angry at the world and decides to destroy all of creation with a flood. And everything is destroyed except a man, his family and representatives of all the birds and animals of the world who escape, in a huge boat, with the help of the angry deity.
Much has also been written about the ark. Shipbuilders comment on how the boat was not built for speed or navigation, but would be almost impossible to sink. Studies have been conducted to see if a boat the size described in Genesis could hold every known species. It could. And for over 100 years people have diligently searched for the remains of the ark in the mountains around Mt. Ararat located in modern day Turkey.
Because of the restraints of time, I will not read the whole story this morning but I encourage you to read Genesis 6-9 this afternoon. In the meantime, you remember the story don't you? God told Noah he was going to destroy the world because of all the evil and violence. He instructed Noah on how to build a boat to save him and his family. God then brought all the animals to the ark and they all entered the ship. Then the rains came down for forty days and nights and everything in the world was destroyed. For 150 days after the rain stopped, the world was covered with water.
Finally, the waters receded and Noah released a raven that flew around and came back to the ark because there was no place to land. Seven days later he released a dove that returned with an olive branch. Seven days after that, he released the dove again and it did not return. The flood was over.
When they got off the ark, Noah offered a sacrifice to God and God made a promise to Noah and to the world. He would never destroy the whole world again with a flood. The covenant was sealed with the sign of the rainbow.
The story of Noah teaches us a powerful lesson about faith, obedience and salvation. We often talk about the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But the real pot of gold is not some magical material possession but the promise from God that we should be reminded of every time we see the rainbow.
First, the flood reminds us about...
Hebrews 11:7 speaks of Noah in glowing terms. 7By faith Noah,(the Hebrews writer says) when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
This faith of Noah's becomes even more amazing when you consider the environment Noah lived in. Look at Genesis 6:5, 11 & 12. 5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time…11Now 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.
Faith is a whole lot easier when you are surrounded by faithful people. The real test of faith is what you do when you are not around faithful people. It is easier, isn't it, to become a chameleon and blend in with those around you.
Much has been made of Noah's faith when he built this huge boat in the desert. And much has been made about him entering the ark with all those wild animals. But may I suggest that that part was easy compared to how he lived before God told him to build the ark. After God spoke to Noah, he had no doubt what he should do. But how did he live before he started sawing gopher wood?
You see, temptation surrounded him whenever he left his house. The pressure to conform was tremendous. And literally, everyone else was doing it. What would it matter if he sinned? No one would care. No one would be hurt, no one would be shocked, and no one would condemn him.
How many of us could remain faithful in a society like that? And yet Noah is held up to us as an example to imitate. What was it about Noah that gave him the courage of his convictions and allowed him to remain faithful when no one else was?
How do we obtain a faith like Noah? Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
The only way we can ever possibly hope to have faith approaching that of Noah is when we immerse ourselves in the teachings and thoughts of Jesus. Genesis 6:9 tells us that Noah walked with God. More than hiking together, that means Noah spent time getting to know God, he grew in his knowledge of him, he attempted to become like him. In other words, he spent time listening to the word of God; he worshiped God and he tried to apply those things to his life.
You've heard the old saying, "you are what you eat"? Well, we are also what we study, what we think about, and what we spend our time doing. The only way we will become a better Christian, the only way we will grow, the only way our faith will increase is when we pick up our Bible and begin to read it. There is no other way to walk with God. There is no other way to have faith.
Next, the flood reminds us about...
Genesis 6:8 says: 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
What did he do that was so special? Why was he chosen above everyone else to be saved? Genesis 6:22 and 7:5 give us the answer. 6:22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. And 7:5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
Now contrast that with our obedience today. We obey if it is convenient. We obey if we agree with or understand the reason. We obey if it helps us. But do we obey if we are ridiculed? Do we obey if it is embarrassing? Do we obey if it will cost us our friends or position?
In July, 1976 Israeli commandos made a daring raid at the airport in Entebbe, Uganda. 103 Jewish citizens had been captured and were being held captive. In less than fifteen minutes, the soldiers killed all seven of the kidnappers and set the captives free.
As successful as the rescue was, however, three of the hostages were killed during the raid. You see, as the commandos entered the terminal, they shouted in Hebrew, "Get down! Crawl!" The Jewish hostages understood Hebrew and lay down on the floor, while the kidnappers, who did not speak Hebrew, were left standing. Quickly, the rescuers shot those who remained standing.
But two of the hostages hesitated - perhaps to see what was happening - and were also killed. One other young man was lying down and actually stood up when the commandos shouted to get down. He, too, was shot with the bullets meant for the enemy. Had these three heeded the soldier's command, they would have been freed with the rest of the captives.
Sometimes we don't always understand why God wants us to do something. Noah certainly must have had a hard time explaining his ark building in a dry land. But obedience, in spite of doubts or questions, is what God expects from us.
2 Peter 2, beginning with verse 4 tells us: 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
The story of the flood should remind us of this. The promise is when we obey, he will protect us. You see, the point of the flood is not the guilt of those who died but the obedience of those God saved.
John Sammis wrote, "When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do his good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey."
This obedience is not beyond our reach. In Genesis 9:20-23 we read that Noah wasn't perfect. He sinned, he fell short. But even in his weakness, he obeyed God. Will you be obedient today?
Finally, the flood reminds us about...
Genesis 7:23. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
Noah and his family were saved because of his faith and obedience. Peter uses the story of Noah to illustrate how we are saved today. 1 Peter 3:20 and 21 is my favorite Scripture teaching on baptism. It says, in part, 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
How do we receive salvation today? In the same way as Noah: it was faith and obedience that led Noah to build the ark which saved him. It is faith and obedience that leads us to baptism that saves us. The water of the flood wiped out all the sin and corruption in the world. The water of baptism wipes out all the sin and corruption in our lives.
Is there another way? What if Noah had said, "I'm not going to build an ark. I'll just get some raincoats." Would God have saved him?
God could have saved him you know. But Noah was obedient and was saved. How about you?
When we read about the flood, we are reminded of God's salvation. We are reminded not only of the salvation of Noah but our salvation as well.
Listen to the warning of Jesus from Luke 17:26 & 27. 26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
The people in the days of Noah thought they had all the time in the world. According to the Bible, before the flood people lived seven, eight and nine hundred years. After a couple hundred years of living, there was not much concern about dying in a year or two. They pretty much did what they wanted to do and went on with their lives, century after century.
Even though we don't live as long today, we pretty much do the same thing, don't we? We eat and drink and get married and pretty much live our lives without giving too much thought to dying or to spiritual matters.
The time to repent is now. Today is the day of salvation. For most of us, there will be no near-death experience to convert us. Most of us will not see something so dramatic that our lives are changed forever. But just like Noah, through faith and obedience we come to salvation when we accept Jesus as our Lord and are immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins.
Remember the story of Chernobyl - the 1986 disaster at the atomic power plant in the former Soviet Union? A 1991 report said there were two electrical engineers in the control room that night who were conducting what the Soviet Union later called, "unauthorized experiments.” They were trying to see how long a turbine would "free wheel" when they took the power off it.
Now, taking the power off a nuclear reactor is a difficult, dangerous thing to do. Reactors are very unstable in their lower power ranges. In order to get the reactor down to that kind of power, they had to override manually six separate computer driven alarm systems.
One by one the computers stopped the process and said, "Stop! Dangerous! Go no further!" And one by one the engineers ignored the warnings, shut off the alarms and kept going.
The result was nuclear fallout that was recorded around the world from the largest industrial accident ever on this planet. There were still high levels of radiation around the plant years later. The local residents are still suffering and dying. And all this happened because someone ignored the clear warning.
The instructions and warnings in Scripture are just as clear. We ignore them at our own risk just like they did in the days of Noah. The story of the flood is a clear example of how God can save us through his son.