Biographical sermons have become one of my favorites in general because they’re sermons that concentrates on the study of the life of a person from Scripture, studying how they lived and how they walked with God and how God worked in their lives and responded to the things they did in life. So, by studying their life and their walk with God we learn to relate to God in our own lives with some of the situations we face in life. The ever-relevant Bible has a way of bringing us to where we come to sympathize with them and relate with them in an intimate way even though they lived 2,000+ years ago and on the other side of the world in a different culture. I love that about God’s Word!
In light of my voyage to Kentucky this week, I want to take us back to one of those amazing marks of “A Man of the Flood”. You know, when we think of Noah we typically think of him as a man of God, but I want you to think of him as a man of the flood. Noah was the man of the flood. He lived in light of an impending judgment – a coming judgment. But you know what? So do we. You and I both know that there is a flood of judgment coming upon those who have not placed their faith in Christ. And so Noah is going to be our example today as to how we should live in light of a coming judgment as men and women of the flood.
Mark #1 in the story of Noah is that “A Man of the Flood Walks with God.” You see this in Genesis 6:5-12.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. So the Lord was sorry that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Then the Lord said, “I will wipe out mankind whom I have created from the face of the land; mankind, and animals as well, and crawling things, and the birds of the sky. For I am sorry that I have made them.”
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for humanity had corrupted its way upon the earth.”
One of the sinful cities of that time, mentioned in Genesis 4:17, was the industrious and innovative City of Enoch. Ancient man was not as clueless as he is usually portrayed to be, walking around with clubs and dragging his knuckles. He was smart, built musical instruments and forged implements out of bronze and iron (4:21-22). This city of Enoch was built by Cain, murderer of Abel, when he went out from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. It was named after his son, Enoch (not to be confused with the godly son bore to Jared and called Enoch also) and was the birthing center of a God-rejecting, self-sufficient society. According to Charles Ryrie the city had its, “sense of guilt eased by cultural development and geographical expansion,” and Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe also says, “In the city of Enoch, they had everything but God.” Satan desired to use Cain’s line to destroy the godly line of Seth, through whom Christ would come, which is a key reason for God to flood the world as well.
But thank God for Noah! Because while the rest of the world was walking according to their own way, following their own lusts that come from their wicked hearts, here he is – standing out as a flower among thorns in the eyes of God. In fact, the word used for favor, when it says Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord, is the same word for grace in the OT and it’s the first mention of grace found in the Bible. Even in the most wicked moments in history, you still find God’s grace, just like man’s greatest wickedness and God’s greatest grace both met on the cross. Noah found God’s grace.
The Bible says Noah was righteous man and a blameless man. That doesn’t mean he was perfect, as we’ll see, but that he hungered and thirsted for righteousness and took our holy God seriously. He wasn’t mindlessly falling in line with the ways of the world and the pattern of this world. He wasn’t doing what everyone else was doing because it was the cool thing to do or because it was the normal thing to do. He actually thought about what God would think of his life’s choices. He didn’t chase what was the latest and greatest devices or fads to come out the City Enoch. He used his mind. He actually thought about what God would think of his choices and made decisions based on that, and not on some personal, temporal pleasure.
And that’s just it: to walk with God you have go against the grain of this world. You have to ask God that question, “God, what would you think if I did this or that?” To be a man of the flood means being more concerned about what God thinks of you than what people think of you. Noah’s decision to go against the grain and walk with God in a corrupt culture reminds me of a couple other biblical characters who did the same. One is Daniel, who instead of enjoying all the great luxuries of Babylon, made up his mind not to defile himself with the king’s requests (Dan. 1:8). The second is Moses, whom Hebrews 11:24-26 tells us,
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.”
When me and my wife spent some time in South America doing missionary work there, I noticed several billboard signs in the city that read, “Solo escucho mi corazon,” which means, “I only listen to my heart.” These signs usually had someone on them drinking hard alcohol and with a big smile, having what appeared to be a great time. Those signs really irritated me because I was an alcoholic for years, even being voted the biggest alcoholic in my graduating high school class, I can tell you that those signs are lies. They are not the long-term reality. The reality of alcohol is your friends rolling their car on a back road and dying prematurely. The reality is your uncle nicknamed ‘Whiskey’, lying on a hospital bed and turning a yellowish color from toxins as his liver fails to filter them out. The reality is broken homes and fatherless children because “I don’t have a drinking problem” suddenly becomes an addiction.
Following the lusts of the heart is the way that seems right, but leads to death (Proverbs 14:12) because and the heart is desperate for wickedness (Jeremiah 17:9). Following the heart is a sure-fire way to self-destruct and walk the path of God’s judgment. Noah and Moses decided against it and were preserved for it 1 John 2:17 illustrates the precept perfectly:
“The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
The question we must ask ourselves in light of all of this is, "Am I a man of the flood who is living in light of a coming judgment?" Those who are living like a man of the flood are those who are walking with God even when no one else will. Even when it’s not cool, not acceptable, and worthy of being canceled in our cancel culture. Even when it's hard and will cost us much personal sacrifice.
Men of the flood realize they have an unceasing daily responsibility to walk with God, to keep short accounts with Him when they sin by confessing it and repenting of it, while recognizing it is only His enabling Spirit who gives them the grace and power to walk with Him and to work with Him in building the ark that is Christ’s body, the Church. Unless you are shut in Christ as Noah was shut in the ark, you will not survive the coming judgments and that’s all the more reason to tell others about Him and live for Him.
Noah, my dear friends, is evidence that just because the world is corrupt that we live in, it cannot be used as an excuse for not walking with God. Noah made up his mind to walk with God in a corrupt culture and found God’s favor. Have you?
Folks, I’m just being real honest with you here. This world doesn’t need any more men and women who walk in the ways of the world and the flesh. It needs real men and women of the flood who walk with God, even when the rest of the world is walking the other way. Anyone can walk in the ways of the world and the lust of the flesh… but to walk with God? That takes a real man... A man of self-sacrificial love like Christ. I challenge you, for your sake and for the sake of your children and for the sake of others and for the sake of the glory of God – be a man of the flood.
Building the “Ark” with you today by His grace,