Ten generations and more than 2,000 years have passed when Noah, descendent of Seth, arrives on a scene of earthly violence and near total corruption-people drowning in sin. God appears to him and promises a flood that will destroy every living thing upon the earth. He instructs Noah to build an ark, fill it with two of every unclean beast and seven of every clean animal. Noah believes in the veracity of God's Word and begins building. For a hundred years this "preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5) warns the people and builds the ark. Upon completion the rains descend and drown every living thing outside of the ark.
Noah walks down the road of faith, just like his forefathers. He understands that righteousness comes through faith, in the substitutionary death of another, and he exhibits that faith both before and after the flood: "Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. Then the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: 'Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from his childhood'" (Gen. 8:20-21).
The promise of redemption and the picture of redemption have passed from one generation to the next. Noah's sacrifice demonstrates his faith in that promise.
Noah preaches what he understands about God:
God seals His covenant with Noah by placing a rainbow in the midst of future thunderstorms. The rainbow assures Noah and his family (and us) that God will never again destroy all life through a worldwide flood.
The story resumes with eight people and the repeat of a command, "And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it" (9:7). Will Noah's descendants walk down the road of faith or create their own path? Will they believe that God is good, that His word is true, and communicate God's character and His promises to their descendants?
What does Noah's building of an altar reveal about his understanding of redemption? Where has he obtained that understanding?
Why was it important that Noah see a rainbow during a storm?
How had the cataclysmic flood affected Noah?
What do Ham's sinful actions toward his father reveal about the impact of culture before the flood and the need for redemption after the flood?
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