Genesis 24 records one of several beautiful love stories in the Bible, the story of the courtship and marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was the promised son of Abraham and Sarah; the son through whom the Abrahamic Covenant would continue; the lineage through whom one day the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, would come. Read in that chapter how Rebekah’s hospitality to an elderly man would eventually lead her to her beloved husband, Isaac. Genesis 24 concludes with their simple, but beautiful marriage.
Genesis 25 records the birth of Isaac and Rebekah’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob, in that order. Their sad story of parental favoritism is told in Genesis 25-28 as a warning to all parents. Isaac favored Esau, while Rebekah favored Jacob.
But woven through their story which continues all the way through Genesis 33 is God’s story of His sovereignty in the lives of Esau and Jacob. That’s the way it is in each of our personal stories. Psalm 139 presents the comforting doctrine of God’s sovereignty and care in each of our lives. I encourage you to take time to read and meditate on that Psalm and trust Him for God’s good plan for your life.
In Genesis 25:21-34 we learn that the younger twin, Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel as he wrestled with a human manifestation of God. was the God-blessed son through whom the Abrahamic Covenant would pass; whereas Esau was rejected by God and he became the father of the Edomites, bitter enemies ofIsrael.
Actually, this rivalry of the twins had begun in Rebekah’s womb before they were born and God told Rebekah a secret which possibly she never shared with her husband. In Genesis 25:22-23 the Lord told her that contrary to custom, the first born son, Esau, would serve the second born son, Jacob.
In Genesis 27 we see Isaac, now an old man and losing his sight. It’s time to pass on his blessing to his sons. His concern is to pass on his major blessing to his oldest son, Esau, who is a hunter. He asks Esau to find and kill a deer and make him his favorite venison stew. Afterwards he will bless him.
Rebekah overhears the conversation and she begins to scheme how she can make sure Jacob gets the blessing, rather than Esau. She remembers the message she had received from God years earlier while she was carrying the twins in her womb. She knows it is God’s will that the younger son should receive the primary blessing. So with her scheming mind she plans how Jacob can inherit the blessing. She instructs Jacob to kill a goat from their flock and bring it to her. Rebekah prepares the goat to taste just like the venison stew Esau prepares and Isaac enjoys so much.
Jacob is smooth skinned while Esau has a hairy body, including his neck and arms. Knowing that Isaac will touch his son when he blessed him, Rebekah has a problem to solve. She solves that problem by fastening goat hair to Jacob’s arms and neck. Then she instructs him to go in to his aged father and pretend he is Esau. Read this account in Genesis 27 for all the interesting details.
Though Isaac is confused by the sound of Jacob’s voice, he feels his hairy arms and neck and decides it must be Esau. Then he pronounces Esau’s blessing on Jacob and eats the stew which Rebekah had prepared to taste just like Esau’s stew. Basically he passed on the Abrahamic Covenant to Jacob instead of his elder twin brother, Esau. Though it is trickery on the part of Jacob and his mother, it is ultimately the sovereign will of God.
No sooner does he pronounce his blessing on Jacob and Jacob leaves the house, when Esau comes in from hunting with the venison stew he had made from the deer he killed.
When he learns that his father has been tricked and Jacob has received the blessing reserved for him, Esau is furious with his brother. He cries out in despair to his father to bless him also. Isaac realizes the mistake he has made and is grief stricken. Isaac in Genesis 27:39-40 gives Esau the best blessing he can, but the prominent blessing has already been given to Jacob and there is no way he can rescind that.
As we conclude the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 27, we learn that Esau hates his brother and is determined to kill him. Rebekah works quickly to warn Jacob of his angry brother and she sends Jacob off to her brother Laban inHaranuntil Esau’s anger subsides. The events that follow through the rest of Genesis are more exciting than any mystery novel, as God leads and teaches and protects Jacob and his twelve sons.
FATHER’S BLESS YOUR CHILDREN!
Father’s, I share this story with you on Father’s Day so that you can realize your responsibility and privilege of blessing your children.
Children want more from their father’s than mere material things. Too many fathers think that the most important thing they can do for their children is to devote their lives to making lots of money by working overtime so they can buy material things for their children. But boys and girls want more from their fathers than mere stuff.
A father has the ability to bless or curse his children, Our children desire and deserve much more than mere material things. They deserve and need the following.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR TIME AND ATTENTION.
Our children want and deserve our time and personal attention. They want to experience and be assured of their father’s LOVE which is always spelled, TIME AND PERSONAL ATTENTION!
Read a story in I Kings 20:39-42 of a man who was given the responsibility by his king to guard a prisoner with his life. The prisoner escaped.
Later, the man made the excuse to the king that “As thy servants was busy here and there, he was gone!”
That’s the way it is with us fathers. We have our children at home for about 18 to 20 years, and then they leave home for college or for work and marriage and they are gone. How sad that we did not take the time to play with and pray with and talk with our children and show them our love and teach them the truths of God’s Word and introduce them to Christ.
Spend as much time as possible with your children. Start early from the time they are born. Cuddle your infant son or daughter. Enjoy every stage of growth. Be as involved as you can in their lives. If your work schedule allows it, be with your family for meals, some play time, bed time rituals, including a time of sharing Bible stories and truths and praying with your family. As your work schedule permits, be involved in their education, sports, musical activities, church activities, and family vacations and on your days off from work.
If your wife is constantly at home with her children, as God meant her to be, she will be more involved in their lives than you can possibly be. But if the two of you during your courtship days, discussed and agreed on your Biblical philosophy of parenting, there will be no contradiction or arguments of parenting. You will be in perfect harmony and your children will see that they cannot play one parent against another to get their own will. For much more on this subject, go to category, FAMILY, on this web site.
Whether you are a pastor, elder or deacon and are active in your church, you will understand that no church activity is more important than the spiritual welfare of your children. You will see to it that you always make time for your children and you will include them in your schedule whenever possible.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR INSTRUCTION AND GUIDANCE.
You will realistically have your children for about 16 years. After that, they will be busy with school activities, after school activities and part time jobs. That leaves you with only 5,840 days to personally impact their lives and teach them the important lessons of life.
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9 to learn your parental responsibilities. This involves teaching them about life and its pitfalls and eternal values. It involves teaching them God’s Word concerning our relationship with God and with others.
Teach them, primarily by modeling it in your own life, such lessons as to keeping their word, inter-personal relationships, sex-education, how to keep themselves and their room clean, how to drive a car safely, the responsibilities of faithfulness at work, financial matters, a Biblical political philosophy, music appreciation, home repairs and upkeep and some mechanical know-how, if you have learned it from your father.
Listen to Solomon as he instructs his children on every subject under the sun. Read and discuss the book of Proverbs with your children. By all means, introduce them to Jesus who came into this world to save us by dying and rising again for our sins.
Live your life consistently as a Christian, so you may be able to say, “My son, my daughter, give me your heart and let your eyes observe how I live my life. Proverbs 23:26 We earn the trust and respect of our children to make such a request of them by building a relationship with them through those first sixteen years of their lives. Don’t blow your opportunity! Live a life of integrity- that is, practice what you preach. Proverbs 20:7
Not only do we take the responsibility to instruct our children, but we guard them from false instruction and from wrong influences that come from wrong friends, the wrong school and even the wrong church. See Proverbs 19:27. That’s why we removed our children from public school when our oldest son was in fifth grade and from then on our children were in Christian schools and we also home schooled them. That was back in the early 70’s when others looked at us as if we were crazy.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR APPROVAL AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
We fathers are quick to express our disapproval when our children do wrong- and we should. However, we must also express our approval when our children do right; even when it’s not popular. Express it. Tell them. They need to hear it from you.
But beware of showing favoritism, as Isaac and Rebekah did with their twin sons, Esau and Jacob. This character flaw passed on from generation to generation. Jacob also showed favoritism among his twelve sons, by choosing Joseph and Benjamin as his favorites. Continue reading the rest of Genesis to learn what harm that caused.
If our children are discouraged and depressed and angry in their home situation, it’s your responsibility to solve the problem by considering your own example, fathers. According to Colossians 3:21 and Ephesians 6:4, the buck stops with you, Dad!
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR LOVE.
That love is going to be restored one day, Malachi 4:5-6 prophesies. But this loving relationship between parents and children can be restored in your home now, if you’ll take the leadership and set the example, Dad! Let your children observe and feel your unconditional love. They may need to earn your trust, but they must never need to earn your love. They must understand that your love is unconditional.
A child who does not experience his father’s unconditional love will have difficulty in ever believing John 3:16 He may also have trouble loving his or her spouse and children.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR UNDERSTANDING.
Nothing provokes our children to wrath as much as our lack of understanding them. Ephesians 6:4. That comes from not listening to them. Listen to them and converse with them while they are young and you will develop a life-long relationship with them of understanding. Start while they are young. If we listen to them and make an effort to understand them, they will be more prone to incline their hearts to understand and obey His Word and to listen to and obey our instruction.
Understanding comes with wisdom as we spend time in the Word of God. Read Proverbs 2:1-11 and 3:1-5.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR DISCIPLINE.
Yes, our children want and cry for our discipline. It helps them understand we love them. Nothing is more comforting to a child than a spanking he deserved. Hebrews 12:6. Children crave a firm, loving hand from their father. Proverbs 13:24. They crave your attention.
Punishment must be consistent and fair and given in love.
Nothing is so cruel to a child as a father or mother who allows children total freedom and who never reprimands or punishes wrong doing. Such parents scream at their children in frustration or roar in anger all day. That’s not discipline. That’s ignorance and lack of discipline on our part.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR EXAMPLE.
Every pastor and every father ought to be able to say with the Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 4:15-16 “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel. Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”
Speaking of Abraham in Genesis 18:19 we learn that God could bless Abraham “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.”
Paul in I Corinthians 11:1 pleaded with the church, “Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.”
How hypocritical it is of us as fathers and pastors when we do not set the right example to our family or flock.
WE BLESS OUR CHILDREN BY HAVING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR MOTHER, OUR WIFE.
Children deserve and need to see their father love their mother. A father can best love his children by loving their mother. If that love is missing, the love you try to show your children will be empty and meaningless. Your love for their mother gives them security and stability. They can go to sleep at night knowing all is well with their home. The word husband comes from two words, House Band. The husband is the one who holds the house, the home together.
WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR PRAYERS
We start praying for our children before they are born. We pray; not simply public prayers, but we breathe prayers about everything in our lives without ceasing. We pray about big and little problems. We pray with them, for their pet’s needs. For them as they study. We pray with them for our testimonies as individuals and as a family.
Your children should be observing that prayer is a normal, consistent part of your life as eating and drinking and conversing with the family.
Long after they have grown up and left home, our prayers continue to follow them.
WE BLESS THEM WITH A FINANCIAL INHERITANCE
Of all the ways to bless our children, this is the least important, but it is important.
I Corinthians13:22 declares that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Although not all of us can leave a financial inheritance to our grand children, all of us can leave a spiritual heritage to them if we are walking with the Lord.
If we miss leaving a spiritual inheritance, the money we leave them will be squandered and wasted just like the Prodigal Son wasted his inheritance as in a few months he was living in a pig pen with the pigs, eating what they ate.
A CONCLUDING WARNING
Isaac blessed his twin sons the best he could after making the terrible mistake of showing favoritism to one of the twins and showing rebellion to God in this matter of God’s sovereignty. Will you join me in asking wisdom and humility for the great responsibility of being a good father?
We live in a world that is filled with increasing evil influences on our families. The world is not growing more righteous. It is becoming increasingly more evil from generation to generation. Paul warned it would be that way in II Timothy 3:1-7 and 13-17. In the light of that fact he challenged young Pastor Timothy in II Timothy 4:1-4 to counter Satan’s assault with the faithful preaching of God’s Word so that the Church can be light and salt in a dark corrupt world.
Our kids can become more Christ-like than we were
Regardless of how evil the world is, our young people can grow spiritually stronger and more faithful to God from generation to generation, Romans 5:20 assures us that “where sin abounds, grace can much more abound”.
Though Satan tries to blur the distinction between Christians and non-Christians, the contrast between Christians and non Christians must become more pronounced.
We as Christian parents have the responsibility of protecting our children from evil influences, including the influences of carnal Christianity and false doctrine. We can best do that by spending time with them, listening to them, knowing them, loving them, teaching and guiding them in God’s Word. This includes avoiding all hypocrisy and praying for them and modeling before them a pure and joyful, life fully surrendered to Christ.
When our responsibility ceases
Once they leave home, whether single or married, they cease to be our responsibility as parents. The direction they go and the decisions they make are beyond our responsibility and control, though not beyond our prayers. We never cease loving them and praying for them;
“We will serve the Lord.”
Just before Joshua died at the age of 110, he made this declaration in Joshua 24:14-15 concerning his family.
“Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your father’s served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your father’s served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
The generation that outlived Joshua stayed true to God, we learn in Joshua 24:31. The generations that followed are described in the book of Judges as spiritual failures, for the most part. The reason for their failure is summed up in Judges 21:25. “Everyone did that which was right in their own eyes.”
Ruth and Boaz were the exception. They were a godly couple who lived in the time of the Judges. Their beautiful story has its setting in this period of moral declension, we learn in Ruth 1:1. Read their love story in The Book of Ruth and on this link
Hidden within the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 is a promise in verses 5 & 6 to godly fathers and mothers that if we will love and serve the Lord, we can count on God’s blessing on our families to the third and fourth generations.
My grandfather Simon Bicker was a godly pastor who loved and served the Lord. As part of his second generation, I can testify that God kept His promise to him. His son, Clifford, my father, was a faithful missionary to Peru, South America where he gave his life. As Clifford’s son, I was blessed with living in a strong Christian atmosphere where I heard the Gospel and responded by being saved and surrendering my life to Christ. Each of my three children are faithfully living for the Lord. God has kept His Word to my grandfather.
The line of blessing can be broken
In any generation when an individual turns in rebellion from God, the line of blessing is broken. Learn this truth well, Christian reader. The life you choose to live is not just your business. The choices you make affects not only you; but your posterity for generations to come. When one turns away from God, he not only loses the blessing on his own life, but He cuts off God’s blessing to his future children, grandchildren and generations to come. The blessing of God on our posterity is dependent on our relationship with God, as far as we are concerned.
However, as far as God’s grace is concerned, He can reach down into the depths of an ungodly family and take a trophy of grace and use him or her mightily for His glory, I’ve seen Him do that repeatedly throughout my ministry.
To broken-hearted parents
To parents whose young people have rejected Christ and turned to a life of rebellion towards God, I’m not going to even consider pointing a finger of blame. My heart aches for you. Nothing in life can be more agonizing; not even the death of a child.
I want you to understand that God fully understands the pain you are experiencing. He experienced Himself as He saw His beloved chosen people, Israel, upon whom He had poured His blessings, turn in an adulteress affair to their false gods. Read of that pain in Ezekiel 16 and Malachi 1:6.
We also see the pain in God’s heart as revealed in the story Jesus told in Luke 15:11-32 of the loving father with his two prodigal sons: the younger son, a profligate, who turned to harlots and the wild life and the older son , a cold-hearted, self-righteous legalist. Thank God, the younger son repented and returned to his father. Sadly, we learn of no change in the heart of the older son.
SIX CHALLENGES FOR EVERY FATHER
1. Accept your responsibility as head of your household.
Fathers; not government, are to provide for their families. You are to provide for them materially, according to I Timothy 5:8. To fail is a shame and disgrace. How you divide the work load is between you and your wife; but ultimately the responsibility rests on the husband and father.
You are to provide for their spiritual wellbeing. That’s God’s command in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Adam was responsible for his wife Eve, but he failed. He ended up blaming her when God confronted him with his disobedience. How spineless of our first father!
Abraham’s sin of deception left scars not only on his own life, but also on his son Isaac and on his grandson’s Esau and Jacob. They learned deception from their grandfather.
Eli, the priest of Israel, failed as a father to restrain his sons from vile sins which they practiced in the Sanctuary with the women. As a result I Samuel 3:12-13 records how God removed Eli from his responsibilities as a priest.
David, a man after God’s own heart and a great king of Israel, became guilty of the sin of adultery and murder. His heart was broken and he truly repented of his sins and God forgave him, as recorded in Psalm 51. Though God forgave him, he suffered terrible tragedy in his family as his sons Amnon, Absalom, and Solomon, and his daughter Tamar ruined their lives with sin. Their tragic stories are recorded in II Samuel and I Kings.
Because our examples are so vitally important in leadership positions, Paul wrote in I Timothy that those in church leadership positions, such as pastors, elders and deacons, are to live moral, godly lives above reproach, or they disqualify themselves from serving in those offices.
A Father with the help of his wife should set the spiritual tone of his home, making sure that his children are receiving the proper spiritual training in his home, in his church and in the education of his children.
Together they set the standards for dress, music, television entertainment, the use of the telephone, and internet from the earliest years of a child. The parents; not the child, determines what he will eat and how he will dress, what he will watch on television and his use of the internet. If a father is firm, but reasonable and loving and sets the right example and teaches God’s Word to his children, their values will be set by the time they are teenagers and there will be no power struggles or arguments.
A husband and father is also ultimately responsible for the financial condition of his family, including the management of his credit. In my case, I have learned that my wife is skilled in this area, so she handles the check book and credit cards. I can fully trust her to mange wisely and keep us out of debt. I am, however, ultimately responsible. The buck stops with me.
Remember, a husband is a hus- band or a house band. He ultimately holds the home together with his unconditional, self-sacrificing love for his wife and children.
2. Refuse to allow the evil world system to influence your children.
If you start while your child is an infant you, with the help of your supportive, loving wife, can control the influences that bombard your children from the television and other media.
You can help your child develop a taste for healthful food and not junk food.
You can determine the hours of sleep and can forbid his use of a cell phone through the night when he or she ought to be sleeping.
It’s up to you to see that home work is completed.
It’s up to you to see that he keeps his bedroom clean and cleans up after himself wherever he is and whatever he is doing.
If you insist on quiet, prompt obedience in the home, that will be his pattern in public. The child who does not behave in the home is not going to behave in public.
You and your wife will determine where he goes to school and whether it is home school or Christian school or public school. My wife and I removed our two boys from public school when they were in 3rd and 6th grades. We removed them from public school primarily because of the poor academics as well as the ungodly influences. From that time forward our two sons and daughter completed their education in Christian schools, including a Christian college.
Galatians 1:4 teaches us that salvation is not simply salvation from sin and hell. It also saves us from the influences of this present evil world system.
3. Its up to you, father, to command the obedience of your children.
You don’t have to do it cold-heartedly like a drill sergeant.
Genesis 18:17-19 tells us that God rewarded Abraham because he commanded his children to follow his example.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Joshua determined for himself and his family that they would serve the Lord.
The question facing many parents is “How do we enforce obedience?”
Hebrews 12:5-11 teaches that God enforces obedience through chastening. “Whom He loves, He chastens!” For more on this go to my link FAMILY and then go to DISCIPLINE. There I go into detail on how to discipline effectively.
Let me summarize. Fathers must control their children with love, tenderness, firmness and consistency. A child must never have to wonder if he can get away with disobedience. You must convince him that he will be punished for disobedience or disrespect every time without exception. Fortunate is the husband who has the full support of his wife in these matters. These are the things we dealt with in our conversations BEFORE we were married. We were both in absolute agreement on these matters; otherwise, we would not have married each other.
4. A father and mother must set the example of a godly, disciplined life.
Youth despise hypocrisy and double-standards in their parents. How brazenly hypocritical it is to tell your children to do as you say, but not as you do. The Philippians jailer was so changed when he was converted, as recorded in Acts 16, that his entire family followed him in his conversion and baptism.
5. A father must love his children unconditionally.
That love for our children, as well as for our wife must be unconditional love. They should not have to earn nor deserve it. On the other hand trust must be earned and with that trust, greater responsibility. That love is best expressed by the way we devote our time in the concerns and interests of our wife and children. Our children would far rather have our time and attention than the toys we buy them. The times our children most remember and appreciate in their childhood were the camping trips we took together in the summer when I could devote all my attention to them.
6. Claim the promises of God by faith.
When we started out as parents in 1956, my wife and I had only the promises of God. We had no books on child rearing By simple faith we took God at His Word. He promised us that if we would train and discipline our children according to His Word, they would not depart from it. We took His Word by faith and did what we were told. He kept His promise and our children grew up without ever going through the so-called “terrible twos” or “teen age rebellion” They were a constant joy to us then and even now as parents and grandparents.
Philip in John 14:8 asked Jesus to “Show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” That’s what our children are looking for from us. They are looking for us to show them what God is like. If they can’t see Him in us, they probably won’t be interested in seeking Him in the Bible. “We are Epistles to our children, known and read of them. II Corinthians 3:2.
Are you sufficient for the task of raising your children as you ought? Neither am I. II Corinthians 3:5 comforts and encourages us that “our sufficiency is of God.”
Recently I shared this Father’s Day message with our church. My desire is to help you grasp the world situation in which Noah raised his three sons and thus help you raise your children in our present sinful world.
Boring dates? Not at all!
Let me start by giving you some pertinent and interesting genealogical figures. The dates I give you are not BC nor AD. We’re going to refer to the years as following the day of Creation which date is 0.
Adam was created in the year 0 and died 930 years later, as we read in Genesis 5:5. Adam and Eve were created as full grown adults and placed in the beautiful Garden of Eden untouched by sin. They were given the command in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful and multiply”. Cain and Abel, their first two sons, were born after the Fall and after they had been cast out of the Garden of Eden. So it is probable that the Fall took place within a few months of creation.
Seth, a third son of Adam and Eve was born when Adam was 130 years old, Genesis 5:3 tells us. From the line of Seth came the Antediluvian patriarchs listed in Genesis 5. They each lived almost 1,000 years and had their children at well over the age of 100.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was born 622 years after the day of creation. Jude 14-15 informs us that he was a preacher of righteousness and he walked with God. At the age of 365, or in the 987th year from creation, an amazing thing happened to him. He did not die, but was simply “raptured” into Heaven.
This is just a foretaste of what is going to take place any moment when all Christians are raptured or caught up to Heaven without dying, as is taught in I Corinthians 15:51-58 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18, as well as several other Scriptures. See my prophecy series for more information concerning the Rapture.
Noah was born in the year 1056 from creation as you can easily calculate from Genesis 5. His three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth were born after Noah was 500 years old. One hundred years later according to Genesis 7:6 the Flood took place in the year 1656 from creation when Noah was 600 years old.
Keeping in mind that most of these patriarchs lived close to 1000 years and had many sons and daughters, it is not difficult to believe that in these 1656 years from creation the world population had risen to well over one billion and they were spread all over the face of the earth. Keep in mind that although there were oceans, the land mass was connected throughout the earth and did not look at all like the shape of continents today. Also the mountains were not nearly as high and the oceans basins were not nearly as deep as they have been since the Flood of Noah’s day. For much more on the geological affects of the Flood, get hold of John Whitcomb’s book on The Genesis Flood written about fifty years ago. This scholarly book was the forerunner of the modern Creation movement that blasts holes in the evolutionary theories being taught as scientific fact in public schools. Check out the following interesting and informative web site http://www.answersingenesis.org/
By the time of the Flood, all the godly patriarchs had died and Enoch was raptured. According to Genesis 6:1-13 there were intellectual and perhaps physical giants in the human race, but the awful fact is that there remained not one single godly person on the face of the earth, except for Noah and his wife and their three sons and their wives; a grand total of eight people! All the rest of these perhaps billion people had turned their backs on God. The reason for this mess is that godly people had married ungodly people and thus filled the earth with sin and violence. That’s still the dreadful consequence of Christians marrying non Christians today.
This was the world situation in which Noah raised his three sons. Amazingly, he lived such a consistently righteous life that his family followed him in their love and devotion and obedience to God. Of all the fathers that have lived on the face of the earth, Noah is a supreme example in the Bible of the power and influence of a godly father.
The Judgment That Fell on this earth over 4300 years ago
The Flood that came in Noah’s day, described in Genesis 7-8, and referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:37-39 and by Peter in both of his epistles, covered the earth to a depth of over 22 feet over the highest mountains, according to Genesis 7:20. Remember, prior to the Flood, mountains were not nearly as high as they are today and ocean basins were not dearly as deep. Those geological changes took place as the flood was receding. The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a wonderful testimony to the Flood.
The Flood instantly killed and buried under tons of rock and earth the bodies of men and animals and birds so that they fossilized and we can find those fossils throughout the earth today. They are constantly being discovered by geologists.
The only living creatures who survived the flood were Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives and the birds and animals within the ark. All other living creatures died.
It was not a local flood as unbelievers would teach. In Genesis 6-9 at least thirty times God makes clear that all living creatures died. Three times in those chapters God promised He would never send another universal flood to the earth. If the flood of Noah’s day was a localized flood, as liberals teach; then God has lied every time local floods have killed people down through the centuries.
How were Noah and his family saved?
Genesis 6:8 tells us they were saved by God’s grace, just as we are saved by God’s grace according to Ephesians 2:8-9 and according to the doctrine of salvation as taught in Romans.
Hebrews 11:7 also teaches us that Noah was saved by faith in God. God warned him of the Flood and commanded him to build the ark according to His specifications. Noah obeyed God and was saved.
So the Bible teaches that we are saved by the grace of God and through faith in Him. Consider Noah’s faith in God. God told him he would send a world-wide flood that would destroy mankind. Up to that time there had never even been a rain storm on the earth. Genesis 2:6 teaches us that the earth was watered by dew each day. Can you imagine the joke Noah was to all his contemporaries; building an ark for a Flood? What was a Flood? Noah and his three sons worked on this gigantic ark, the size of over 400 railroad stock cars.
Why did his three sons believe him? It was his godly, consistent life of obedience to God that caused them to endure all the scorn of the world and keep building. Read of Noah’s life in Genesis 6:9, 7:1 and Hebrews 11:7. I expect that for 100 years Noah became famous throughout the world as “the fool who was preparing the ark to protect his family from a coming flood.” No doubt, people traveled for miles to come and see this “weird character and his monstrosity”. Hebrews 11:7 tells us that he condemned the world by this act of obedience to God.
How are we saved today?
Noah’s ark was a type of Christ. Christ is our Ark today. We can do nothing to prepare the ark. It is finished. To be saved, we must enter the ark in this age of God’s grace. We enter the ark of Christ by believing that His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead three days later provided the full atonement for our sins. We cannot add any works to His finished work. We simply come to Him and trust Him.
Listen to the COMES of the Bible.
The first come is found in Genesis 7:1 And the Lord said to Noah, Come thou and all thy household into the ark, for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.”
In Isaiah 1:18 God invites us to come and reason together with Him. Though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
In John 6:37 Jesus teaches, “All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” The first part of that verse has to do with the sovereignty of God. That is good to know, but not necessary for us to fully understand or explain. It’s God’s business. The promise for you and me is that anyone who will come to Jesus for salvation, He will not refuse. So you can’t blame God if you go to hell.
John 5:40 makes it clear that there is only one reason people reject Jesus. It’s their own decision to reject Him. Jesus says, “Ye WILL NOT come to Me that ye might have life.” How do you receive eternal life? By coming to Jesus in faith and believing that He died for your sins.
A final come is found in Revelation 22:17. There we learn there are two persons who are seeking to win you to Christ: the Spirit of God and His Bride. I, as a born again Christian, am part of the Bride of Christ. I implore you to come to Jesus today and receive God’s gift of eternal life. As you read this article, not only are you hearing my invitation, but the Spirit of God is at work in your heart convicting you and convincing you of your sins and of the Truth of His Word. Are you going to go on rejecting Him until one day God shuts the door of the ark?
God Shut the Door!
Note finally, that God shut the door of the ark. I’m glad Noah was not commanded to do that. I’m glad I am not commanded to shut the door of salvation. That would be a greater responsibility than I or anyone could bear. Only God shuts the door of salvation.
Once the door was shut and the rains began, it was too late for anyone to try to gain entrance to the ark. Once God shuts the door of salvation for you by your death or by the rapture of the Church, it will be too late for you to be saved. II Thessalonians 2:11-12 warns that all those who rejected the truth in this church age will be deceived by the Anti-Christ during the Tribulation.
I beseech you to come to Christ today while the Spirit and the Bride are saying Come.