GEN 7v1 Come Into The Ark
Sermon #1596 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Come Into The Ark
Text: Genesis 7:1
Readings: Bob Poncer and Larry Criss
Subject: Noah in the Ark
Date: Tuesday Evening ― December 14, 2004
We read in Genesis 6:8 that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
“Grace!” – What a blessed word! This is the first time grace is mentioned in the Bible. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!” Salvation is by grace alone. The cause of Noah’s salvation was God’s free and sovereign grace. Our text does not say, “God found grace in the eyes of Noah.” It says, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!” It is never the other way around. Salvation does not begin with man. It begins with God. Grace is not the result of something man does. Grace is God’s work. Grace is God’s gift. Grace is God’s intervention.
Because God from eternity had set his heart upon Noah, and was determined to be gracious to him, the Lord God found a way to save him, though he was resolved to destroy the world. It was grace in God, not goodness in Noah, that saved this man from the flood of God’s wrath.
Grace is here mentioned for the first time by divine purpose. Grace first appears when the sin of man had reached its climax, as if to teach us from the beginning that there is nothing in man which causes God to bestow his grace. Grace is free. Grace is sovereign. Grace is unconditional. The world was lost; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” The world was condemned; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” The world perished; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” God always has a remnant to whom he will be gracious. Noah alone was God’s remnant in that day (Rom. 11:5). Noah’s family was blessed, because of their association with him. However, there is no indication in the Scriptures that, at this time, any of them knew God. It appears that only Noah believed God, that the Lord revealed himself to no one else.
The ark, by which Noah and his family were saved, beautifully typifies our Lord Jesus Christ and the atonement for sin he accomplished at Calvary as our Substitute. There are two things in particular which set forth our Lord’s work of atonement.
First, Noah was commanded to pitch the ark within and without with pitch (Gen. 6:14). The word which is here translated “pitch” simply means “to cover”, or to “take away”. At least seventy times in the Old Testament it is translated “to make atonement”.
The pitch was a covering that sheltered Noah, and all who were in the ark, from the terrible storm of God’s wrath. As the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat covered the broken law of God on the day of atonement, so the pitch covered the ark. This is a picture of Christ’s blood atonement. The pitch without portrays redemption accomplished (Heb. 9:12). The pitch within pictures redemption applied (Heb. 9:14).
Second, the storm of God’s wrath fell upon the ark with all the fulness of its fury. As the rains descended and the depths of the earth were broken up, the angry, merciless billows of God’s unmitigated wrath beat down upon the ark. Everyone in that ark went through the terrible storm of God’s undiluted wrath. But it was the ark which took all the punishment.
Do you see the picture? When our Lord Jesus Christ was made sin for us, the terrible storm of God’s wrath fell full force upon him and beat him to death, without mercy, until his justice and wrath were fully satisfied and totally expended. As our adorable Redeemer hung upon the cross, dying as our Substitute, he cried, “All thy waves and thy billows have gone over me” (Psa. 42:7). As those in the ark went through the flood, in Christ all God’s elect have gone through the storm of his holy wrath. But it was Christ, our Ark, took all the punishment.
Having once endured God’s wrath, Noah had no cause to fear another flood. He was assured that he would never again suffer the flood of wrath. He had God’s promise for it, and the bow of God’s covenant to attest it (Gen. 9:11-13). So too, those who endured the wrath of God once in Christ, the sinner’s Substitute, shall never endure it again, not to any degree, not at any time, not for any reason.
Now, let’s look at chapter 7. The title of my message is — Come Into the Ark. How I pray that the Lord God will graciously cause you who have never yet entered into Christ, our great Ark of Salvation, to enter in and find salvation in him. And I pray that he will cause each of us to enter into the Ark anew this hour. Oh, may our great Noah stretch out his hand and take his dove into the Ark with himself, that we may find sweet rest for our souls.
Proposition: In the Ark Christ Jesus we find complete safety and an all-sufficient provision of grace for our souls.
Just hold your Bible open on your lap and follow along, while I try to show you what the Lord has been pleased to show me about Christ our Ark and the blessedness of life and salvation in him.
Notice, first, that Noah was brought into the ark by God’s gracious call. — “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark” (Gen. 7:1). And if ever you enter into the Ark, it will be by the call of God.
Though God pours out his unmitigated wrath upon the wicked, he is ever gracious toward his own elect. In wrath, he remembers mercy. Before the flood sweeps the rest of the world away, an ark is provided for God’s chosen. Before the world shall be driven away into everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, the Lord Jesus shall gather his jewels from the earth and separate the precious from the vile, and shall be glorified in them who believe.
The God of all grace, who provides the Ark of salvation for our souls, not only calls us to enter into the Ark, but sweetly forces us to obey his call and causes us to enter the Ark. — “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causeth to approach unto thee!” The call of grace, is not, Noah, Go into the ark, but come into the ark. God the Father so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son that all who believe on him might be saved; and he also gives his Holy Spirit to make that salvation effectual. It is he, God the Holy Spirit, who graciously enables us to hear his voice, causing us to enter into the Ark Christ Jesus, who makes us willing in the day of his power “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” He shows us that Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” and causes us to come unto the Father by him. — Now, watch this…
Hang on to your seat. Christ came to call sinners to repentance. Our Savior tells us that three times in the New Testament (Matt. 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32). “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” “Not the righteous, not the righteous, sinners Jesus came to save.” The gospel is addressed to sinners as sinners. We call sinners as sinners to Christ.
But, if you will look at verse 1 again, and you will see that the basis of God’s call is the righteousness of the one called.
(Genesis 7:1) And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
God says to Noah, “Come into the ark; for (because) I have seen the righteous in this generation.” — God does not call sinners to Christ in order to make us righteous before him, but because he has already made us righteous before him.
· He made us righteous before him by his sovereign decree in Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, when he made us accepted in the Beloved before he made the worlds (Rom. 8:28-31; Eph. 1:3-6).
· He made us righteous before him in Christ when he accepted Christ as our sin-atoning Savior, when the Lord Jesus died as our Substitute (Rom. 4:25-5:1).
· He calls us in time to come to Christ, to come into the Ark by faith, that we may obtain and enjoy that righteousness that is ours in Christ.
Look at verse 5. Noah was obedient before he was called into the ark. — “And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.” There is no question, this has immediate reference to Noah’s obedience to God’s command in building the ark. But there is more here than the immediate, historic record. All who come to Christ in faith are accepted of God in him because of a perfect obedience we have rendered to him long before we come to him. In Christ, while our Lord Jesus Christ lived on this earth as our Representative doing the will of God, we “did according to all that the Lord commanded us” perfectly. By the obedience of that one Representative Man, Christ Jesus, we were made righteous.
In verse 7 we read, “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.” Noah went into the ark. Oh, blessed, sweet, irresistible grace! When the Lord God, by his omnipotent Spirit called us, we went willingly into the Ark Christ Jesus.
· Noah went into the ark “because of the waters of the flood.” — We went into the Ark Christ Jesus because the Lord God made us aware of our desperate need, because of his great wrath.
· Noah went into the ark with all God’s elect. Shem and Japheth went into the ark with him. — Christ is the only Ark of Salvation. To him all God’s elect flee. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
(2 Samuel 22:3) The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
(Psalms 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
(Psalms 144:2) My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
(Proverbs 18:10) The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
I love that word “runneth.” It implies both constant need of refuge and a constant fleeing to Christ for refuge. Run, O my soul, run in every time of need to Christ your Ark and Refuge, and find grace and mercy to help in time of need.
In the ark Noah experienced redemption, deliverance, grace, and salvation. That is what we see in the rest of this 7th chapter. The ark was built and provided, stocked with every provision he needed before ever he was called into it. But Noah could not experience God’s deliverance and could not feast upon the bounteous supply in the ark until he entered into the ark.
So it is with us. The Ark of Salvation, Christ Jesus was provided by our God in eternity and stocked with all-sufficient grace before the world began. Indeed, the Ark was provided for us and grace was given to us in eternity; but we could never experience it until we entered into the Ark by faith. — “By faith we have peace with God.” — By faith we receive the atonement. — By faith we experience redemption, forgiveness, righteousness, sanctification, grace and salvation.
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
· When Noah entered into the ark, he found everything he needed in the ark. — Everything we need is in Christ. “Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption!” — Grace all-sufficient!
What an inexhaustible Barrel of goodness and mercy Christ is! In him and in that sure and everlasting covenant of grace, founded upon his blood and righteousness there is boundless mercy, love and grace to meet every need we have in this world and in the world to come. And “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” He will give us grace for grace so long as grace is needed. Then, he will give glory, too.
· Yet, though Noah was in the ark, there was an enemy with him the whole time, a secret enemy lurking in dark subtlety. Ham was in the ark. Again, so it is with us. We are in the Ark Christ Jesus, but there is an enemy with us all the time, an enemy that would destroy us, were it possible for him to do so. — The Flesh!
· Still, Noah was completely and perfectly safe in the ark, and all who enter into the Ark Christ Jesus are completely safe and secure in him. — “There shall no evil happen to the just” (Pro. 12:21).
Noah was kept perfectly secure in the ark while the earth was being destroyed. So we are kept secure in our Ark of salvation, “preserved in Jesus Christ.”
“Under the blood of Jesus,
Safe while the ages go,
Under the blood of Jesus,
Safe, though the thunders roll. —
Safe, though the world may crumble,
Safe, though the stars grow dim,
Under the blood of Jesus,
I am secure in Him!”
But not all who went into the ark with Noah were believers. As it is written, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” Many, by virtue of a professed faith in Christ, are mixed with the people of God in this world, found in the visible church, partakers of the ordinances of divine worship, and recipients of temporal mercies, who do not know Christ and are not in him.
As Ham was in the ark with Noah but not in Christ, as Judas was among the apostles but not among the saved, so there are many who profess faith who do not possess grace. Tares are often found in the wheat field and goats are often found among sheep. We must never be surprised by this or shaken by it. And our Lord tells us that we must never try to separate the one from the other. That is his work alone. And he will, at his own appointed hour and in his own appointed way, make a manifest distinction “between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”
Move on to chapter 8. We read in verse 1,— “And God remembered Noah.” — How thankful we ought to be to be reminded that our God ever remembers his own! He ever remembers to be gracious and makes his mercies new every morning. After destroying the old world in the flood of his wrath, “God remembered Noah.” Noah and his family are brought out of the ark into a new world (2 Cor. 5:17).
· In the last part of verse 1 we read, “And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged.” — Come into the Ark, Christ Jesus and God will send the Wind of heaven, his Holy Spirit, to you and cause the waters of his wrath to assuage in your soul. — “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
· In verse 4 we read that, after the waters assuaged, the ark rested upon the high mountains. — “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.” Blessed rest of faith (Matt. 11:28-30)!
Raven and Dove
There are instructive lessons to be gathered from the raven and the dove Noah sent forth out of the ark (Gen. 8:6-11)
The raven, like the carnal mind, lives upon the dead carcasses without and is perfectly content. It has no need to return to the ark for its comfort and joy. So it is with all who profess faith in Christ, but have not the grace of God in Christ. All that provides gratification for such is that which is found in the cursed world.
The dove is a different bird. It very properly and clearly represents the heaven born soul. It finds no rest for its feet until taken in and secured in the Ark, Christ Jesus. Blessed is that person who can never find rest for his soul outside the Ark. Blessed are they who must return to the Ark, being compelled to return because God the Holy Spirit has put in them a need that cannot be satisfied by anyone or anything but Christ! — “Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My heart and my flesh faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” May Christ, our blessed Noah, put forth his hand this day and take us into the Ark and give us rest.
An Altar Built
After experiencing so great salvation, Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifice to God.
(Genesis 8:20-22) And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (21) And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (22) While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
· The Lord God accepts his sacrifice and promises that he will never again destroy the world with a flood, though “the imagination of man’s heart was still only evil continually.” What great, boundless, free grace (1 Pet. 2:5).
· In chapter 9 verse 1, God spoke his blessing to Noah.
· In verse 2 put the fear of Noah upon every creature (Rom. 8:2).
· In verse 3 the Lord told Noah that the whole earth belonged to him. — “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
(Psalms 84:11) For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
All this was done because of an everlasting covenant (Gen. 6:18; 9:9-17).
(Genesis 6:18) But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
(Genesis 9:9-17) And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; (10) And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. (11) And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. (12) And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: (13) I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. (14) And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: (15) And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (16) And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. (17) And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Every time I read this blessed chapter, my heart is filled with joy in meditating on the rainbow the Lord God set in the sky as a token of his covenant. The very first thing John saw when he was called up to heaven in Revelation 4 was the throne of God. What an awesome sight! The next thing he saw was the bow of God encircling his throne. What a blessed sight! It is as if the Lord God showed his servant that everything that proceeds from his throne is done according to his sure and everlasting covenant of grace made with Christ our Surety before the world began.
After God destroyed the world with the waters of the flood in his fierce anger, he promised Noah that he would never do so again. He made a covenant with Noah, by which he assured him that he would never again destroy the world with a flood. And as a perpetual reminder of that covenant, God set a rainbow in the sky (Gen. 9:11-16).
· Ever since the days of Noah, the rainbow has stood as a perpetual reminder of God’s covenant (Isa. 54:9-10).
· As the throne is a symbol of God’s sovereignty, the rainbow round about the throne is a symbol of the covenant of grace.
John Gill wrote, “The rainbow is a reverberation, or a reflection of the beams of the sun upon a thin watery cloud. And the covenant of grace is owing to Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness.”
Of course, we know that majestic arch it formed in the heavens is produced by natural causes, that it is the reflection of sunbeams on the mists of rain. But we are not worshippers of nature. We worship the God of glory who rules nature. Established laws of nature are but the works of his providence. And he who is our God, is the God of nature and of grace.
“Such is the sovereignty of his goodness and his power, that all things are made to act subordinate to his high designs, who worketh according to the counsel of his own will” (Robert Hawker).
When our ever-gracious God hangs his bow in the sky, it is to remind his believing children that he will never forget to be gracious. When the great Father of mercies hangs his bow in the heavens, a bow that can never be seen except he send storms and clouds, it is to remind us of his covenant grace and sure promises of mercy, to assure us that he will do us good, no matter how things may appear to the contrary. The rainbow appears as a token of his covenant to teach us to look away from the storm and the cloud to our great Savior who rides upon the storm and the cloud.
In Revelation 10:1 John draws a picture of Christ as One clothed with a cloud having a rainbow upon his head. The fact is the whole of the covenant of grace is Jesus Christ himself. He is the Surety of the covenant, the Ratifier of the covenant, the Blessing of the covenant, and the Embodiment of the covenant. God the Father said to his Son, “I will preserve thee and give thee for a covenant of the people” (Isa. 49:8). May the Lord be pleased to grant us grace, that we may ever look to our Savior and be assured of his unfailing, covenant goodness.
Application: — Come into the Ark!
· I say to you over whom the storm clouds of God’s offended justice hang heavy, terrifying your soul, Come into the Ark because of the waters of the flood.
· I say to you who, like the dove, find no place of rest for your soul in this world, Come into the Ark, carrying with you the olive leaf of God’s peace, and rest.
· I say to you all, Come into the Ark and behold the bow of God in the sky above your heads and be assured of his abounding, unfailing mercy, love and grace to your souls in Christ Jesus.