************ Sermon on Genesis 7:16b ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on January 14, 2007
Genesis 6:9-16; Genesis 6:22-7:16
"Which Side of the Door are You?"
Subtopic: Amusing Statements Of
Title: Out of the Mouth of Babes
A Sunday School Teacher asked her class to write notes to God. Here are some of the notes that were turned in...
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool!
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't You just keep the ones You have?
Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other if they had their own rooms. That's what my Mom did for me and my brother.
Of all the people who work for You I like Noah and David the best.
Lots of people like Noah. One of the questions I ask at family visiting is the favorite Bible story of the children. When I asked this at the Richmond home, one of their boys said they loved the story of Noah. So, we talked about Noah for a while. I asked the Richmond boys how many animals Noah brought on the ark. "Two of each kind." When we read the story we were reminded there were two of every kind of unclean animal and seven of every kind of clean animal.
I looked at the story of Noah and the ark when I got home. I wondered why Genesis 6:16 was included in the Bible. In a Spirit-inspired Bible every verse has a reason for being there. So what is the reason for including "Put a door in the side of the ark ..."? Why a door? Couldn't the animals have been brought in from the top deck? Was a door even needed? Doesn't this sound kind of leaky, like an accident waiting to happen?
When I read the words of our text for this morning I realized why God commanded Noah to put a door in the side of the ark. "Then the Lord shut him in." God wanted to be the one Who shut the door. That was part of God's plan.
I A Dividing Door
A We all know what brought this about. The earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence (Gen 6:11). God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people ... So make yourself an ark" (Gen 6:14). God determined to bring judgment upon the earth with a flood. But God also determined to save believing Noah and his family through the ark.
So Noah built the ark. Noah brought the animals into the ark. Noah and his family entered the ark. "Then the Lord shut him in" (Gen 7:16b). Then the Lord shut the door.
"Then the Lord shut him in." Now we know why this door did not leak and could not leak. Now we know why this door was in no danger of being ripped off its hinges by the great flood. Those behind the door were safe because their safety was assured by God Himself. It was God Who shut the door!
Do you think Noah would have been safe if he and his sons shut the door? If Noah shut the door do you think the door would have handled the attacks of drowning mobs trying to get in? If Noah shut the door do you think the door would have handled the pressure of the waters from the deep? If Noah shut the door do you think the door would have remained sealed as the ark was tossed back and forth by the wind and waves?
Noah's safety and security lay in the hands of God. That's why God shut the door!
B What a division God made at the time of Noah. One family, and only one family, was delivered from death – the family of righteous Noah (Gen 7:1). And all other families – they were judged. In a world full of weeds God's eye of mercy separated out the one single stalk of wheat.
God shows us something of His character here. God shows Himself both as a God of mercy and a God of judgment.
Noah and his family experienced God's mercy. They weren't perfect by any means – as we see in Genesis 9 & 10. So, salvation wasn't anything they earned or deserved. Their salvation was purely by God's grace.
We also see that God is just. The wicked got exactly what they deserved. Their sin and violence was more than God could stomach. So, they were destroyed in the flood. And God shows He is just when He did not destroy the righteous along with the wicked (cf Gen 18:23).
C "Then the Lord shut him in." What a striking symbol of the destiny of the righteous and the wicked. Those inside the door are saved. Those outside the door are drowned. Which side of the door are you?
Wouldn't it be scary, terrifying, to be the people shut outside of the ark in Noah's day?
I want you to listen very carefully to what Jesus says to us on this Lord's Supper Sunday:
(Mat 24:37-39) As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (38) For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; (39) and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.Do you hear what Jesus is saying? What happened in the days of Noah will someday happen again. Some day, congregation, the door of salvation will be shut forever. Some day, congregation, the door of God's mercy will be everlastingly shut by God Himself. Which side of the door are you?
This reminds me of the "Parable of the Ten Virgins." The five foolish virgins stood outside the door, knocking to come in. "Sir! Sir!" they said. "Open the door for us!" But it was too late. The door to the wedding banquet was shut against them. And, through the shut door a voice said, "I tell you the truth, I don't know you" (cf Mt 25:1-12). They were on the wrong side of the door. Which side of the door are you?
I need to tell you, congregation, that only those inside the door of God's mercy can take the Lord's Supper. Only those who have Noah's faith and righteousness can take the Lord's Supper. Only those who, by grace, experience God's mercy can take the Lord's Supper.
II God's Safety in Times of Judgment
A "Then the Lord shut him in."
It is surprising the number of times we see something similar throughout the history of salvation. It was surprising to me, at least, as I thought about it this past week.
Think of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. God determined to destroy these cities because their sin was so grievous even as He determined to destroy the world at the time of Noah. At that time God used a door to separate the righteous from the wicked. At that time God used a door to separate those who were to be delivered from those who were to be judged. Just as God Himself shut the door of Noah's ark, so His angels shut the door of Lot's house (Gen 19:10). Only those safely inside Lot's door were delivered from the fiery wrath God rained down upon the wicked cities of the plain (Gen 19:24-25).
B "Then the Lord shut him in."
We see something similar happening in Egypt. It was the children of Israel's last night in Egypt. God announced that His angel would go through Egypt and strike down the firstborn. Moses told the children of Israel to put the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses (Ex 12:7). At midnight the angel of death passed over every door marked with the blood of the lamb but he struck down all of the firstborn whose doors were not marked with blood. Those inside the door were kept safe. Those outside the door experienced God's awful judgment.
C "Then the Lord shut him in."
Remember Jericho and Rahab? Rahab, by faith, hid the spies and provided for their safety. Because of her faith Rahab and her household were delivered from the sword and fire of God's judgment that fell upon Jericho. The spies instructed Rahab to bring her family into her house. Then they added this:
(Josh 2:19) If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head; we will not be responsible. As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him.Those inside the door were kept safe. Those outside the door experienced judgment.
"Then the Lord shut him in."
Do you see what God's mercy does, time and again? God's mercy provides a door of safety in a time of judgment.
Those inside the door – whether it be Noah, Lot, Israel in Egypt, Rahab – do not need to fear judgment for their security is from God and in God. Noah did not shut the door of the ark. God did.
A judgment is coming, congregation. Those inside the door will be kept safe. Those outside the door will face judgment. Do you fear this? Does it make you scared? Well, then, you need to make sure you are inside the door. Which side of the door are you?
Jesus says, "I am the door" (Jn 10:7). Jesus is the Door of Safety in the time of judgment. It is Jesus Who alone saves us and is able to save us.
On this Lord's Supper Sunday I urge you to come to Jesus. It is He Who delivers you and me from the judgment and wrath of God.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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