NOAHS FAMILY: WALKING WITH GOD AND BUILDING THE ARK
Key Verse: 6:9
WALKING FAITHFULLY WITH GOD
* Review how sin entered the world and spread (3:6; 4:8,23–24; Ro5:12,19a).
How had sin degenerated marriage in Noah’s times? (6:1–2,4) What did God see as the root problem? (6:5; Ro1:21) How did God respond to this? (6:3,6) How did the corruption spread to the point of God’s judgment? (6:11–13) How did Jesus characterize those times? (Lk17:26–27) How does this reflect on our times? (2Ti3:1–4)
What spiritual legacy had Noah inherited? (4:25–26; 5:22–24,29) How was he different from the people of his time? (6:8–9) What does it mean to walk with God? (Heb11:5b–6) (In Hebrew, the verb “walked” implies an ongoing intimacy with God.) How can we walk with God practically? (Col2:6–7; 3:15–17; 1Th5:16–18)
BUILDING THE ARK IN HOLY FEAR
What did God decide to do? (6:7) What did he share with Noah? (13) What specific instructions did he give him? (14–16) Why? (17) What were God’s covenant promise and commands to Noah? (18–21) How did God value him and his family in his plan to save the whole world?
Read verse 22. How did Noah carry out this overwhelming task? Think about the meaning of “everything” and “just as.” Why is it important to obey in God’s way, not in our own way? How could Noah obey like this? (Heb11:7) How did his holy fear of God make him a spiritual influence to his family? (6:18; 7:13; 9:8–11)
How might people have responded to Noah’s building the ark? (2Pe3:3–4) How could he overcome the unbelieving and ungodly atmosphere around him? (Ps42:3b,5,10–11) How should we follow in Noah’s footsteps in our time? (2Pe3:7–11; Mk13:13) What does it mean to build an ark today? (Mt28:19–20a; Ro1:5)
God made a beautiful world and saw it was very good. A godly family was at the center of his creation. But people disobeyed God. Then sin entered the world and spread like a terrible disease, bringing curse and corruption until every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time (6:5). God regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled (6:6). Finally God revealed his plan to destroy the whole world (6:7). At the same time, God revealed his plan to save the world through Noah and his family through asking them to build an ark (6:14,18). In this, God’s character can be clearly seen: he is the God of judgment, and at the same time, the God of mercy and salvation.
Noah inherited the spiritual legacy of his ancestors who called on the name of the Lord and walked with God (4:25–26; 5:1,22–24,29). God preserved this kind of remnant person in those dark times and chose him for his world salvation plan.
Lesson 2 is divided into two parts:
Part 1 is, “Walking Faithfully With God.” This part reveals the intimate personal relationship between God and Noah. We learn from Noah the kind of person God uses in his world salvation work and history.
Part 2 is, “Building the Ark in Holy Fear.” This part reveals how Noah and his family responded to God’s warning, covenant promises and specific instructions to build a huge ark. Despite the daunting nature of the task and the ungodly environment around him, Noah did everything just as God commanded him and led his family into the ark. In this Noah demonstrated a healthy and holy fear of God.
Jesus compared the times of Noah to the coming judgment of God (Lk17:26–27). Apostle Peter did as well (2Pe3:7–13). So Noah’s response to the message of God’s judgment and salvation is a model of faith for all Christian families, especially those living alone and surrounded by ungodly influences. As Noah and his family believed God’s message and dedicated themselves to building the huge ark, so we too must believe the gospel and dedicate ourselves to the task of warning people of God’s judgment and bringing them to know God’s salvation in Jesus, in obedience to the world mission command (Mt28:19–20; Ro1:5).
Noah’s loneliness, his overcoming persecution and misunderstanding, his being faithful to God’s task, and the fact that only his family was spared are a great comfort to us. Sometimes, the faith and labor to serve God of only one family may seem insignificant, and they may feel isolated. But God treasured Noah’s family and used them as main characters in his work to save the whole world, and he still uses families of faith like Noah’s in our time.