Title: A Long Walk
Text: Genesis 6-8
Series: The Walk Series; #2
Introduction: Just last week we took our first walk together. If you remember, it was a glorious walk in the Garden of Eden with a couple named Adam and Eve. By the end of our walk though, Adam and Eve had sinned and been forced out of the Garden. As we start our walk today, I want to ask a question. Is humanity getting better? Are humans moving towards a more loving caring society? Many writers have speculated that mankind is getting smarter and smarter and will eventually create a utopian society. War will be abolished and poverty a thing of the past. Science fiction often portrays technology leading the way to everyone living in peace and harmony. This is a belief of many people that simply isn’t true. Open up your newspaper or watch the news and you will see that world isn’t moving towards utopia, but deeper and deeper into realms of evil.
We are living in evil times. What should we do? Should we run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off? Should we just bury our heads in the sand? Should we climb a mountain and just wait for Jesus to return? None of these answers suffice. There must be a better answer. Perhaps there was someone that lived during evil times that we can look at as an example. You know what? There is a man that lived a godly life even in the midst of evil. Today, we are going to look at the walk of Noah. Turn with me to Genesis 6:5-7
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them." NIV
I. In evil times, Noah was righteous.
It didn’t take long from the perfection of man in the Garden of Eden to mankind’s thought’s being evil all the time. Yet during this evil time, Noah was different. The Bible says that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). That’s quite a testimony. God had planned to destroy the entire human race because of wickedness, yet there was one man that hadn’t let himself be corrupted. He had remained righteous.
The pressure to conform is all around us. The world constantly bombards us with images, philosophies, and lifestyles that are contrary to the standards of God. It’s easy to give in. It’s easy to go with the flow. In a day where people change their view of right and wrong with opinion poll changes. “Honey, 76.3% of Americans think murder is okay now. I guess murder isn’t wrong anymore.” It takes a strong person; it takes a righteous person to stand against the overwhelming tide of public opinion. When we consider Noah, he was considered to be out of step with the entire human race. Noah didn’t have the opportunity to go to church and be surrounded by like-minded believers that sympathized with him. He was it. “Noah, the entire world thinks your crazy for your beliefs.” Noah wouldn’t back down though. He knew God and couldn’t be persuaded to join the evil lifestyles of the people around.
Not only was Noah righteous during a very wicked time, but he called others to righteousness. It’s one thing to hold quietly to a set of beliefs when surrounded by evil and another thing to speak out. Noah could have gone about his business without ever telling anyone about the impending doom. Being truly righteous, he couldn’t do that. He had to let people know. We see this in 2 Peter 2:5. “[God] did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.” Noah was actively preaching during the time leading up to the flood. You can picture it. Noah’s out pounding away with a hammer building a part of the ark. A crowd begins to gather to laugh at him. “What are you doing Noah? Why are you building such a big boat out in the middle of nowhere? You’re crazy Noah! Hey everyone, look at weird old Noah. You’re foolish for believing in God anyway!” At this point Noah would lay aside his tool. He could take the comments about himself, but God must be defended. He would then stand and begin preaching against their wicked lifestyles. I can see him preaching for quite some time and then making the offer. “Friends, turn from your wicked ways and follow God. Join with me.” Many times the offer was probably made yet no one ever tool him up on it. Still, he remained faithful and righteous.