The Gospel According to Genesis–A Boat, A Drunk, A Pervert and A God of Mercy

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

We are studying how the Old Testament points to Jesus.  This week we hit the story of Noah’s Ark, which too often is told as if it is a children’s story.

Let’s look at a few verses from the story:

Genesis 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Eventually the flood subsides and God establishes a covenant with Noah.  He only asks that Noah and his children scatter and fill the earth (9:1), which, as we will see next week, they won’t but that’s another story.

God saves Noah and his family and establishes a relationship with them and then things go sideways. 

-9:20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him…

Now, I don’t know what Noah’s son did to him.  I think that verse 24 makes it clear that he did something to his father because Noah realized when he woke up that something had been done to him.  It is significant that the author of Genesis doesn’t tell us what it is because he has no problem telling us that two daughters sleep with their own father (Gen. 19:30-38)! So, it is hard to imagine what Noah’s son did to him. 

So, God saved a drunk and his pervert son! Why? 

If God can see the past, present and future (which I believe He can) then why would we save these people?

The incomprehensible fact is that everyone God saves is wholly undeserving.  

I came to Christ in dramatic fashion having been saved from cancer, I earned a seminary degree with honors, I earned an Ivy League law degree and fought for the less fortunate, have a blog getting more and more traffic and may even publish a book or two before it is all over but the simple fact is that the only way I live eternally with God is to plead the blood of Jesus Christ just like everyone else!

We all have a sinful tendency to say it is all grace but to believe that there are still some who are more deserving than others but Scripture is clear that it is ONLY by the life, death and resurrection of Christ that ANY of us may be saved.  

Yet, if there is anything else to be said about this text it may be that what we are saved from does make a difference in how we will react.

We often seek “salvation” from present circumstances rather than eternal ones. Thus, we are shallow people who live shallow lives because we worship a shallow god.  We look to God primarily for help in our relationships or with our jobs or managing our cash or with a variety of potential troubles.  Thus, we worship a friggin’ Santa Claus rather than a Holy God.

It is only when we realize what Christ has truly done that we are broken to seek salvation and moved to worship and service.  It is only when we understand how truly sinful that we are and how truly deserving of eternal punishment that we can appreciate the magnitude of God’s grace.  We cannot understand that good news of the Gospel without understanding the bad news of our treason and just condemnation.   

We are all as guilty as Adam, as Cain and as Ham but if our hearts are broken and we humbly go to the cross we receive grace.

So, how else does this passage of Scripture point to the cross? It is important to remember that Jesus doesn’t lead us onto a ship of safety from the flood as the new but better Noah but he is outside the ark drowning in our place, absorbing the just wrath of God. He then greets us in the new earth after the wrath of God has cleansed creation.  There he will serve wine from his own vineyard but there won’t be drunkenness or violence or unspeakable acts because evil will be cast away and there will only be worship, friendship and a new beginning in a new Eden.

Saving us from a present disaster doesn’t change us…saving us from hell does. Ironically, it is when we realize our eternal salvation that we have the power to truly face today.  It is when we begin to grasp grace that we may face the trials of every day by looking to our God and saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you and I love you, I love you and I love you.”

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Comments
  1. Julie says:

    The portion on Santa Claus is spot on. Great post.

  2. “So, how else does this passage of Scripture point to the cross? It is important to remember that Jesus doesn’t lead us onto a ship of safety from the flood as the new but better Noah but he is outside the ark drowning in our place, absorbing the just wrath of God. He then greets us in the new earth after the wrath of God has cleansed creation. There he will serve wine from his own vineyard but there won’t be drunkenness or violence or unspeakable acts because evil will be cast away and there will only be worship, friendship and a new beginning in a new Eden.”

    The way you read Jesus into the old testament inspires me. As I read these ancient Jewish books I can’t help but see Jesus in every page!

    The greater Adam, the greater Noah, the greater Abraham, Moses, and David. He is the greatest of the great!

    And that He would choose us? Drunks, filthy sinners, adulterers, murderers, and decide to redeem that which is worthless…It is unimaginably wonderful. No one could make up something as grand as the salvation of sinners through Christ Jesus!

    • Revolution says:

      Thanks, bro. For me the preaching of Tim Keller and the work of Edmund Clowney has been life changing.

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