A couple of weeks ago I shared my thoughts on my first look at Genesis 8 for my series “In The Beginnings”
So, I thought some of you might like to see how that came together into a sermon.
Here you go, from yesterday – In The Beginnings #8 – Genesis 4:1-14
We are in a series called, In the Beginnings. We are looking at the first 12 chapters in single messages for each chapter. Creation, Man, The Fall, Calling on the Name of the Lord, The Created Order, the Invitation to Life, and Surviving the Storm (The Flood), have preceded. But God put Noah in the Ark, so he could bring him through and Begin Again.
How we begin again is connected to what we know and believe about God.
I don’t know what you are facing today. God called Noah into his plan, and we don’t know much about the next 120 years, except that Noah obeyed God doing everything he commanded him. He built an ark, he raised a family, and he was a preacher of righteousness and judgment. Then they got into the ark and the rain came.
7:11 says all the sources of the watery depths opened, and the floodgates of the sky were opened, and the fain fell for 40 days and 40 nights.
7:24 then says the water surged on the earth for 150 days.
So, 120 years, then 40 days of rain, and 150 days of surging waters. Now, stuck in the Ark with who knows how many animals, imagine that aroma. You ever feel stuck in the plan of God in the middle of the ocean with no way out?
Now, before we read chapter 8, let me set the stage.
I’m not a scientist, nor an expert on these things; but, I believe this account because:
1) God said it and inspired men to write it
2) Jesus believed it, and
3) the Apostles believed it.
There ARE great Christian scientific writers that you can read for more scientific explanations. I recommend “The Genesis Record” by Henry M. Morris. He explains what we believe the Bible teaches about the World before and after the Flood. He puts science to the commentary, and it’s a deep and profound read. Scientists like Morris teach that the world changed dramatically after the flood. They observe it to be a complete change of environment, atmosphere, the earth was different.
Read the Psalmist talking about it.
Psalm 104:1–9 (CSB)
1 My soul, bless the Lord! Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with majesty and splendor. 2 He wraps himself in light as if it were a robe, spreading out the sky like a canopy, 3 laying the beams of his palace on the waters above, making the clouds his chariot, walking on the wings of the wind, 4 and making the winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. 5 He established the earth on its foundations; it will never be shaken. 6 You covered it with the deep as if it were a garment; the water stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke the water fled; at the sound of your thunder they hurried away— 8 mountains rose and valleys sank— to the place you established for them. 9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; they will never cover the earth again.
Think about those last 4 verses. And imagine the violent things that happened in this storm; subterranean and subaqueous volcanic eruptions, mountains created, valleys cut, canyons carved, fossils created, sediment crushed.
I remember when Lisa and I took the boys to the “painted desert” in Arizona. They said “the only way this could have been created was with a “large regional flood” – WELL that’s close.
So, READ 8:1-14
God Remembered Noah… God caused a wind to pass over the earth… the ark came to rest in the 7th month on the 17th day, on the mountains of Ararat.
Go with me on a journey now. We are going to tread over and over the same theme and hopefully drive it home. Three sections for my thoughts today.
1. Truth To Communicate
Three important truths in these first four verses:
A. God Knows
God remembered Noah
Oh my, I barely got past this verse. God remembered Noah.
Ever felt like God has forgotten you? 120 years of building and preaching, then months in the ark, a floating casket, completely in the hands of God. They couldn’t sail, they couldn’t steer, the could only trust the hand of God.
God has not forgotten you. Stay here for a minute. As I read the story of God, and God building a people to love. God sees all things completed. 1000 years is like a day. It only seems long to us. He measures the universe with the span of his hands, and yet this world seems big to us, but for God it is but a dot on a finger.
As I read this story, again and again, this truth rings out, God Knows, God Remembers.
Abraham thought he missed his chance, but God took him outside the tent and said, “look at the stars, so shall your descendants be”.
Rachel was loved by Jacob, but she couldn’t have children, and wondered where was God
Hannah too couldn’t have a child, and sought the Lord, year after year.
Zechariah and Elizabeth, served the Lord, but their prayers for children seemed unanswered.
But God remembered Rachel in Genesis 30:22
He remembered Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:19.
In Luke 1:13, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and said, your prayer has been heard
Joseph was sold into slavery, falsely into prison, but God remembered Joseph
Israel was 400 years in Egypt, but in Exodus 2:24, God heard and God Remembered his covenant. Then he told Moses in Exodus 3:7-8, I have seen… heard… I know… and have come down to rescue
Psalm 136:23 says, he remembered us in our humiliation, his faithful love endures forever
Taken to Babylon in captivity, Israel had hung their harps in the trees,
Daniel was praying and fasting in captivity in Babylon, then after 70 years
Daniel 10:10–12 (CSB)
10 Suddenly, a hand touched me and set me shaking on my hands and knees. 11 He said to me, “Daniel, you are a man treasured by God. Understand the words that I’m saying to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” After he said this to me, I stood trembling. 12 “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers.
God remembered his promises and brought them home.
Oh what might have happened, But For God
But for the memory of God
But for the Knowledge of God
But for the Power of God
Remember in Genesis 6:18 he told Noah, I will establish my covenant with you. God had made a promise to SAVE Noah and his family. God never speaks hastily or frivolously, always clearly and truthfully.
The idea in Scripture of God “remembering” doesn’t mean he forgot, but that he paused in his working toward, but now he is working again directly on the promise, because…
B. God Works
Notice the working of God
God caused a wind to pass over the earth.
Oh God was at work all along.
In John 5:17 Jesus says, my Father is still working, and I am working also
God was working in the rain, working saving Noah in the Ark. God was always working, but now the storm has stopped, but that was nearly four months ago.
Then the WIND. Oh my, like the rushing of a mighty wind
Wind, or Breath. The presence of wind always brings the image of the Spirit of God. Genesis 1:2, the Spirit of God was hovering over the earth as creation began. Now, I’m certain this is REAL Wind here, not a symbol. It’s like the wind that God caused to blow all night like parting the Red Sea for Moses and the Children of Israel to cross on Dry Land. And the same wind STOPPED, allowing the waters to cover their pursuing enemies.
The Holy Spirit came blowing into the Upper Room at Pentecost.
Yet even in every natural action, the Hand of God was at work. Colossians 1:15-17 says, he created all things… and he holds all things together. He is in the Gentle Zephyr and the Turbulent Tornado, or the Harrowing Hurricane.
The wind blew in the working of God and The Waters began to Recede
Then v2 says the sources of the water depths and the sky closed.
The same sources that God opened to allow the Flood, God closed to allow it to recede.
God is Working
Creation Scientists tell us they believe that before the floods there was a dense vapor in the atmosphere creating a perfect global climate. But when God opened the floodgates, everything changed.
The depths were opened, God was working. There would have been violent waters and waves. Magma would have rumbled in subaqueous eruptions, mountains created under the floodwaters. Imagine the violence in the working of God, and the ark at God’s mercy riding through it.
God knows, God Works, and
C. God Finishes
The Ark came to rest…
The storm, the surge, then God rested the ark. We already know that when God finished creation, he rested.
Remember the Ark is a type, a picture, of Christ. So, in the 7th month, on the 17th day, day, the Ark Rested. Why would God want us to know the exact day?
Well, the Civil Calendar 7th month, is the same as the Religious Calendar 2nd month for Israel. So, Henry Morris points out that this 17th Day is the same day that Jesus Rose from the Grave. The Ark Rested. Jesus Rose, salvation’s work complete. Let that sink in.
Then I read something else. The Ark came to rest on the Ararat range of Mountains. Now, there were mbountains on earth before the flood. But Ararat, if you visited there, you would find it is made of “pillow lava”. That means that this was lava formed in deep waters. Ararat also has sediment with Ocean Fossils. Do you see that? While the storm raged and the floodwaters surged, God was creating the place on which the ark would come to rest.
As the waters receded, the mountains rose and the Ark came to rest.
Whatever you face today, whatever the storm, God Knows, God Works, and God Finishes.
So, in the Truth, there are…
2. Conclusions to Make
God knows, God works, God finishes, what’s the Common Denominator?
It’s God, First, Last, Always
Oh, some of the greatest words in scripture are the first words in John 3:16,
He is BEFORE all things, he will be AFTER all things, and he is IN all things. He is Eternal, Self-Existent, Constant, the same yesterday, today, and forever. All things were made BY Him and FOR Him
God is the who, the what, the why, and the when. He is the Answer, the Reality to explain everything.
It’s God, and
B. God Knows
I know we’ve already said it, but I’m saying it again. God knew before, what was coming. He is never caught off guard. God never makes a surprised face. He never says, “I didn’t see that coming”.
God knows in the middle what is happening and how it will end, and then…
C. God Remembers
His silence doesn’t mean he has forgotten or changed his mind. The promises he made are as good as the day he gave them.
Jesus was on the cross dying for the sins of the world, yet he had time for the prayer of one single sinner by his side. There was a thief at his side, worthy of his own sentence. He had mocked Jesus earlier, but then, he looked at Jesus with eyes of faith in Luke 23:42 and said, Jesus, Remember Me when you come into your Kingdom. And Jesus replied, Today, you will be WITH ME in Paradise.
Why? Because he remembers and
D. God Responds
Jesus had said in John 3 that he didn’t came to condemn but to save.
He said he came to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19:10).
If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive. (1John1:9)
God Remembered Noah, God Works, God Finishes
Yes, God Remembered NOAH… because
E. God Knows My Name
God Remembered Noah. God Remembered Abraham, Rachel, Joseph, Israel, Hannah, Daniel, Zechariah, The Thief on the Cross, and so I know the Lord Remembers Jim Goforth, The Lord Remembers YOU.
“the Lord Remembers ME”
He Knows My Name
He knows My Every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call (author: Tommy Walker)
Psalm 91:1, 4-6, 14-15 (CSB)
1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
4 He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, 6 the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
(And God says)
14 Because he has his heart set on me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name. 15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor.
Yes, he knows my name, and I know his name, so one other conclusion
F. God Has A Timetable
All those timetables, dates. Did you notice those details?
1) These are REAL Historical Events.
2) These were appointments on God’s Calendar. We have an ordered God. He may be eternal and outside of time, but God made time. He made the sun and caused the earth to spin, to orbit the sun. He made the evening and the morning. He created time and seasons. And so, God is always right on schedule, right on time.
Because of these truths and these conclusions, we have…
3. Confidence To Trust
A. God Is On The Throne
The flood itself said to those who were opposed to God that though, Every inclination of their heart was evil all the time, still God will not be mocked
Psalm 93:2–4 (CSB)
2 Your throne has been established from the beginning; you are from eternity. 3 The floods have lifted up, Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their pounding waves. 4 Greater than the roar of a huge torrent— the mighty breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is majestic.
He is on the throne, and we’ve said he has a timetable, but it isn’t just a plan, but
B. God has Perfect Timing
It may not be MY time, or YOUR time, but it’s the RIGHT Time.
Romans 5:6 (CSB)
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes 8:6 (CSB)
6 For every activity there is a right time and procedure, even though a person’s troubles are heavy on him.
Then it asks in v7-8 no one knows what will happen… no one has authority over the wind… no authority over the day of death
Well, No One But GOD, He has Authority of the Throne and the Knowledge of Perfect Timing.
If God is silent, he will speak at the right time. If God is doing something else, he has perfect timing.
The confidence is that
C. God has Not Forgotten
Psalm 25:7 (CSB)
7 … in keeping with your faithful love, remember me because of your goodness, Lord.
Psalm 56 says that God knows, he takes note, he gathers our tears in a bottle, and written a book about me, about you. Oh, in God’s office, he has a little shelf for “nik-naks” and he has a bottle with your tears in it. He has a library and there is a book with your life concerns written down. He has not forgotten
So know this, in his silence, inactivity…
D. God is Not Lazy, He is BUSY Working On The Finish
He is Patient, he is right on time, making preparation for the finish.
Did you notice, the mountains of Ararat, where the Ark came to Rest, was created in the Flood. The surging storm, storm, formed the place of Rest for the ark.
Could it be that the storm that is surging around you right now, may be forming the place where the finish of God will come to rest? God knows what he is doing. God is Busy working on your behalf.
What you thought was Evil, God means for good.
So… While you Wait
E. Trust and Obey; Pray and Praise
- Call out For Salvation
That thief on the cross, in the midst of the final and worst day of his life, He Called Out – “Remember Me” – You are my only hope for the “day after Tomorrow doesn’t Come”
Cry Out to Our Only Savior
Jeremiah 15:15 (CSB)
15 You know, Lord; remember me and take note of me. Avenge me against my persecutors. In your patience, don’t take me away. Know that I suffer disgrace for your honor.
- Pray For Strength To Serve One More Time
Samson had great highs, and an embarrassing Low. But then as he turned back to the Lord,
Judges 16:28 (CSB)
28 He called out to the Lord, “Lord God, please remember me. Strengthen me, God, just once more…”
And his last act was greater in the War Against Evil than all he had done before
- Trust God’s Timing
Job 14:13 he says …if only you would appoint a time for me and then remember me
Well, I know this, God does have an appointed time, and he will remember you, if you will call out to him
So, you can trust God, trust his timing, trust his working, trust his finish
- Praise Him
Psalm 106:1–2,4 (CSB)
1 Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. 2 Who can declare the Lord’s mighty acts or proclaim all the praise due him?
4 Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people. Come to me with your salvation
God has NOT forgotten you
God is Busy Working
God WILL Finish
You Can Begin Again