After Noah and his family left the ark, he told all the animals to go forth and multiply. A few days later, Noah reentered the ark to remove some personal effects, and Noah noticed a couple of animals were still on board. He said to them, “Did I not tell you to go forth and multiply?” They replied, “Noah, we can’t multiply. We’re adders.”
Okay, you can groan now. I love a good pun, and that one is too good to pass up.
God did place the animals in Noah’s care so that he could care for them. God placed this animals in Noah’s care because Noah was exemplary. Let’s think about what made Noah exemplary.
WE CAN BE RIGHTEOUS IN A CROOKED GENERATION
When God looked at the earth, he saw a wicked society. God saw that every thought of man’s heart was evil (Gen. 6:5). Man was so evil that God was sorry that he had made man and decided to destroy man (Gen. 6:6-7).
Even though he lived in a wicked society, Noah was an upright man (Gen. 6:8-9; 7:1). Noah was a just and perfect man–he had dedicated himself to doing right. Noah walked with God. Noah’s life was closely in line with God; he honored God by the way he lived. Even though the society was godless, Noah placed God first in his life.
We must live differently than this world. “Friendship with the world is enmity with God” (Js. 4:4). We are to come out from the world (2 Cor. 6:17).
Noah gives us the encouragement that we can live differently than the world. We live in a wicked society—just pick up a newspaper and read the headlines. But, in spite of the evil around us, we, like Noah, can live differently.
OBEDIENCE IS IMPORTANT
Throughout the flood narrative, God gave Noah instructions. God told Noah concerning how to build the ark, the animals to bring into the ark, and the food to be brought onto the ark (Gen. 6:14-21). God told Noah to bring seven clean animals and two unclean animals unto the ark (Gen. 7:2-4).
Throughout this narrative we read that Noah did according to what God had commanded him (Gen. 7:5, 9). We cannot pretend that God would have continued to bless Noah had Noah refused to obey. Precisely because Noah was willing to obey, God blessed him.
God still expects his servants to be obedience. Jesus is the source of eternal life to “all who obey him” (Heb. 5:9). Only those who do God’s will will enter heaven (Mt. 7:21).
WE CAN SAVE OUR FAMILIES
When the flood came upon the earth, Noah and his wife, and his sons and daughters-in-law entered the ark (Gen 7:7). Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5). Yet, the only ones he saved were those of his home.
We often neglect to save those in our own home. Dad is too busy with work, and coaching little league. Mom is too busy teaching how to cook, iron, and clean. The Bible is simply left out of instruction.
Parents must constantly look for opportunities to teach Scripture. Parents must find the time to teach (Deut. 6:6-7). Fathers must “bring [their children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Timothy’s faith first lived in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5).
If we don’t train our families, who will?
WE NEED TO BE THANKFUL
After the flood, Noah and sacrificed burnt offerings of the clean animals (Gen. 8:20-22). God had been so good to Noah-telling him of the coming flood, giving him instructions for building the ark, and watching over him during the flood. In these sacrifices, Noah showed his thankfulness and his praise to God.
We, too, need to show thankfulness to God. God had blessed us beyond measure: He sent his only Son to die for our sins, and he continues to bestow spiritual blessings upon us without number. Our worship needs to show our thankfulness: Whatever we do, we are to be giving thanks to God through Christ (Col. 3:17), and in everything, we are to give thanks (1 Thess. 5:18).
Because God had watched over Noah, Noah showed God gratitude. Because God has done so much for us, we, too, need to show God gratitude. Are you showing that gratitude?
DRUNKENNESS CAUSES SHAME
Noah became drunk and lay naked in his tent (Gen 9:20-21). People just do not lie around naked; that’s shameful. Yet, Noah was drunk and knew no shame.
When we become drunk, drunkenness causes us shame as well. Those led away by wine are not wise (Prov. 20:1). Those who drink have woe (Prov. 23:29-35).
We dare not condone drunkenness, and we dare not become drunk ourselves.
WE CAN’T REACH EVERYONE
Noah did not reach everyone to whom he preached. Noah is described as a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5). Yet, he only saved his wife, his children, and his daughters-in-law.
We cannot expect everyone to whom we speak to obey. In the parable of the sower, Jesus described four souls and only one soil produced fruit (Matt. 13:18-23). When the rich young ruler came to Jesus, he went away sorrowful (Matt. 19:16-22). He came to Jesus and wanted to know what to do to inherit eternal life. When Jesus told him to sell how that he had and give to the poor, he left. Even Jesus himself could not reach everyone. If Jesus couldn’t reach everyone, why do we believe that we must convert everyone?
Because of Noah’s faith he “became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7). If we follow his example, we will become heirs of eternal life. Are you an heir?