Thursday, September 23, 2010

OTC Day 4: Genesis 8-9

Noah was a regular dude, just like the rest of us. He struggled with sin and deserved the death his sin earned, but God chose him and saved him by grace.

This was all theoretical to Noah at some point. God tells him to build the boat because he is going to judge the earth, and for years, Noah built the Ark and preached repentance. Nothing happened.

Then God said, “Get in the boat.” He closed the door, and the rain started. As the waters rose, I’m sure people were screaming for help, beating on the door, and pleading for rescue. But it was too late.

For the next year, Noah was stuck on a poorly ventilated boat full of animals, poop, and eight people. The whole thing smelled worse than a port-a-potty at the state fair. A year with nothing to do but sit, stink, and think.

What do you think went through Noah’s mind as he sat there? I’m sure he thought of the faces of his neighbors, family, and friends. The kids who played ball on his street. The guy he used to race camels with. All the people who mocked him for years. They were all judged for their sins, but he’d committed the same sins.

How would you respond to watching the judgment of God for over a year?

The first thing Noah did when he left the boat was to offer a sacrifice for his sins. He built an altar, took some of the clean animals and offered them as burnt offerings. Noah thought back to his sins and confessed them to the Father.

What was God’s response?

He was so pleased by Noah’s offering that He promises to never flood the earth again as a means of cleansing it from sin. God’s answer to sin became a covenant of grace. Noah’s offering pointed to Jesus’ death as a sacrifice of atonement.

It wasn’t long before the whole sickening cycle began again. Noah was lying around drunk and naked in his tent while his family was falling apart because he was just a dude like us. But there is hope. Jesus is coming and He is not coming to judge the world, but to save it.

1. Moses interrupts his lengthy genealogy between Genesis 5 and 10 to focus on one man, Noah. Why do you think he did this? What was he trying to teach us through the life of Noah?

2. Does Noah’s sin surprise you? Why or why not?

3. If God’s judgment came today, who in your life would be on the outside looking in? How are you “preaching righteousness” to them (2 Peter 2:5)?

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