Sermon 3196. Noah's Eminence
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, MAY 5, 1910.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, OCTOBER 19, 1873.
"And the LORRD said unto Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark, for you have I seen righteous before Me in this generation."Genesis 7:1.
[Another Sermon by Mr. Spurgeon, upon verses 1 and 7, is #1336 in, Volume 23-A FAMILY SERMON.]
GOD keeps His eyes upon the sons of men and He searches among them for certain individuals upon whom He delights to fix Hisgaze. These are not the kings and princes. These are not the men of talent or of fashion. These are not the men who are regardedby their fellows as famous. When God speaks of having seen Noah, He speaks of having seen one of the kind of men for whomHe was looking, namely, a righteous man. There is not a righteous man upon the earth whom God does not see. He may be in avery obscure position, his circumstances may be those of poverty, he may be anything but famous. But as long as he is righteous,God delights to look upon him. He looks upon him so as to take care of him so that if destruction is to come upon the faceof the earth, an ark is to be prepared for the preservation of righteous Noah and his family. "The eyes of the Lord are uponthe righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry." Whoever else He does notsee, He is sure to see the righteous! But "theface of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth."
Now, what God delights to look upon, we should delight to look upon, so we will fix our mind's eye upon the righteous manmentioned in our text and notice, first, the eminence of Noah's character. Secondly, try to find out wherein that eminenceconsisted. And, thirdly, consider the gracious reward given to him because of that eminence.
I. So, first, we are to notice THE EMINENCE OF NOAH'S CHARACTER. He was a righteous man in the sight of the Lord. The Lordsaid unto Noah..."you have I seen righteous before Me in this generation."
Noah was a gracious man, one to whom the Lord had shown great favor for He had put Divine Grace in his heart and had givenhim faith, for it was by faith that Noah "prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world andbecame heir of the righteousness which is by faith." The Grace of God was within him and became the source and wellspringfrom which flowed the righteousness for which he was so remarkable. Divine Grace is the root of every righteous character,so let Grace have the honor and glory of it!
In the Chapter preceding our text, we are told that "Noah was a just man." It is especially noticeable that in an age of violenceand oppression, Noah was a just man. He was no oppressor. He dealt justly and fairly with his fellow men. Noah was also "perfectin his generations." The marginal reading is that he was "upright." He was not one who leaned this way for advantage, or wholeaned that way for gain. He stood upright in conscious integrity before his fellows. Acting in accordance with the Graceof God which was in his heart, he had learned to do that which was just towards others. He was also a devout man, for we readthat "Noah walked with God." Like his ancestor, Enoch, he lived in communion with God, in prayerfulness and pious meditation-andhis life before his fellow men was in consistency with that walk before God.
It is especially mentioned that Noah was righteous in that generation, and this is the more remarkable as that generationwas so unrighteous and ungodly! The darker the night, the more brightly shine the stars-and good men are never more preciousthan in evil times! There are plenty to go the way the stream is running. When godliness is in the ascendant, and the Puritansrule the realm, they are Puritans, too, but when ungodliness comes to the front and the Cavalier holds the scepter, they scoffat everything that is good! Like dead fish, they must go with the stream-they have not the power of the living fish to swimagainst the current. They go the way their neighbors go. But Noah was a righteous man
in an unrighteous generation. It may be that you, dear Friend, are seeking to serve the Lord among most ungodly men. Well,if it is so, be all the firmer for the right because of all the wrong that is around you! Remember how much honor it bringsto the Grace of God when it produces a righteous Noah in the midst of an evil generation. You, working man, are the only oneon your street who comes to the House of God-well, mind that you come boldly-be not ashamed of being different! And when,in your workshop, you hear the cursing and reviling of the wicked, let them know whose colors you wear and who is your King.But be careful that your life is so consistent that they cannot pick holes in it-and then you need not mind being a speckledbird among them, as Noah was in his generation!
What makes the character of Noah all the more remarkable is the fact that he was almost alone as a righteous man. The Lordsaid to him, "You have I seen righteous before Me in this generation," as though he was the only righteous one in that generation!When the flood came, his ancestors had all passed away and the members of his own family were not all that they ought to havebeen. He practically had to stand alone and standing alone is not easy work. You know how we are all helped by the companyof godly people, how good it is for us to be where the Word is preached with power, or where we can listen to the gracioustalk of Christians who are more advanced in Divine things than we are. But to stand quite alone-to be the one white man amida nation of aborigines, to be the one traveler in a land which all the inhabitants are your foes, to be in a community wherethere is no one to help you-it is only the Grace of God that can make a man of this sort and enable him to say, "If the world,itself, is to be destroyed, one honest man shall be found upon its surface. The Grace of God has so settled me in the fearof the Most High that whatever others may do, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
But the special point about Noah's character is that we are not only told that he was righteous, but that he was righteousbefore God. The Lord said to him, "You have I seen righteous before Me in this generation." As I have turned that expressionover in my mind, I have thought of the various tribunals before which we all have to stand. And as I try to take you, in imagination,before them, one after another, I wonder how many of you will be able to pass them all and to endure the supreme test so that,like Noah, you may be righteous before God?
First of all, there is the common tribunal of ordinary society and public repute. I hope that without any conceit, the mostof us can say that we believe we are reckoned as righteous by our fellow men. They trust us in business matters, they do notsuspect us of dishonesty. We hope we have not given them occasion to do so. Yet, in so large an assembly as this, there maybe some who dare not say that even in the opinion of their fellow men, they are righteous. And if it is so, my dear Hearers-ifyou are justly condemned by your fellow creatures-how can you expect to stand before the tribunal of God? If you cannot disputethe justice of man's verdict, you may well tremble at the thought of appearing before the bar of God! You are evidently unrighteousbut oh, thank God that there is a Savior for the unrighteous, "for when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ diedfor the ungodly." That last word describes you-you know that you could not stand without a degree of shame before those whoare acquainted with your character. Well then, fall down upon your knees before God-tell Him that you are sinners, but alsoquote Paul's faithful saying that, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Do not be afraid to do so! Christ didnot come to save sham sinners, but real sinners such as you are! Go to God in all your sinfulness, without first attemptingto make yourselves better, and cast yourselves upon His Infinite Mercy in Christ Jesus!
There is another tribunal a little further on. A man may have a pretty good character among his fellow men who do not knowhim intimately, but how does he stand in the opinion of his more immediate friends? Those who know us well, those with whomwe constantly trade, those whom we meet in our daily work-our employers, our servants, our fellow workers-what do they thinkof us? If any of them think badly of you because you try to do what you believe to be right, you need not mind that, but ratherrejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake! But, on the other hand, if friends who judge you as favorablyas they can are obliged to regard you as far from upright, how will you stand before the all-seeing eyes of God? Let the painfulfact that you do not stand well before those who know you drive you to humble yourself before the Lord and to seek pardonand peace through Jesus Christ, the sinner's Savior!
Suppose we have been able to pass these two barriers of public repute and our more immediate acquaintance? How do we standin the inner circle at home? Occasionally, when I have spoken well of some young man or woman, I have been grieved to hearthe parent stay, "I wish, Sir, your judgment had been correct. My son (or daughter) may behave very well before strangers,but it is very different at home." Sometimes I have thought a good deal of certain men whom I have met here but I have afterwardsdiscovered that they had broken-hearted wives whom they had not treated with the love and kindness they ought to have showntowards them. And I have also known professing Christian women who have not studied the comfort of their husbands and havenot made their home the little paradise it ought to be. If we have a good cha-
racter in the Church, and a reputation for sanctity there, what is the verdict of those who know more about our private life?What is the verdict of the servant concerning his master? What is the judgment of the wife concerning her husband? What doesthe parent or the brother or sister say? I solemnly fear that there are many professors of religion who cannot pass this test-andI am deeply sorry when this is the case-for if there is any place where Christianity should be best seen, it is in the homecircle! Rowland Hill used to say that he would not give a penny for the religion of the man whose cat and dog were not thebetter for it. And there is much good sense in that homely remark. I do not know anyone here whom this cap will fit, but ifthere is such a person, I hope he will put it on and wear it. This is the sum and substance of the matter-if our charactercannot endure the scrutiny of those who are around us in our home, how can we hope to stand at the bar of God when all thatwe have done shall be published before the assembled universe?
Supposing that we can satisfactorily pass that ordeal, how do we stand before our enemies? "Before our enemies?" asks someone.Yes, for you remember what was said by the jealous presidents and princes of Babylon concerning Daniel, "We shall not findany occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the Law of his God." He was such a godly man thatthey could not find a flaw in his character however closely they examined him. There he stood fully clad in the armor of righteousnessand before they could lay hold of him, they had to get their king to make a new law ordaining that any man who would prayshould be cast into the den of lions. Look, too, at our Lord Jesus Christ when He was accused by His enemies-they broughtvarious charges against Him, but they could not substantiate them. And even when they bribed two witnesses to give evidenceagainst Him, even theydid not agree with one another as to what He had said! His life had been so perfect that there was nothingthat could be truthfully laid to His charge. "Ah," says one, "that zsa test, to live so that even our enemies cannot truthfullyfind any fault in us." It is no dishonor to a man to be wrongfully accused-it is rather a mark of honor to have bad men plottingagainst him-but it is a subject for gratitude to God when one can run the gauntlet of our enemies and remain unabashed beforetheir cruel, wolfish eyes! They are always on the watch for anything wrong or inconsistent with a Christian profession. "Well,"says one, "that is a test that I could not pass." If so, dear Friend, remember this-there is no enemy whose eyes are as clearand as keen as those of God! Even the great archenemy could not detect a thousandth part of the imperfections and infirmitiesthat lie open before the Most High! How important it must be, then, to be found righteous before God!
Then, further, I wonder whether all of us who profess to be Christians could pass the test of being adjudged righteous beforeour own conscience. I do not mean that we should be self-righteous-God forbid that we should ever be that! But I mean thatwe should have so lived that our own conscience would declare that we had not been hypocrites, nor liars, nor deceivers, butthat, through the Lord's upholding and restraining Grace, we had been true to our profession and had done that which we sincerelybelieved to be right. You remember how the Apostle John, taught of the Spirit, writes concerning this matter-"If our heartcondemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart condemns us not, then have we confidencetoward God." [See Sermons #1855, Volume 31-what is the verdict?
and #3152, Volume 55-THE LOWER COURTS.] Can we, all of us, pass this
test? Happy and blessed are we if we can! But even then, we must remind ourselves and one another that there is a still sternertest which Noah was able to pass, for he was righteous before the Lord.
II. This brings us to the second part of our subject, in which we are to try to find out WHEREIN THE EMINENCE OF NOAH'S CHARACTERCONSISTED. He was distinguished for his righteousness before God, for the Lord expressly said to him, "You have I seen righteousbefore Me in this generation."
So the eminence of Noah's character consisted in this-his righteousness must have answered to the Divine standard. God wouldnot have called Noah righteous if he had not been righteous-and we cannot suppose that God's standard is anything short ofperfection. Then did Noah live a perfect life? No, speaking popularly, and as the Scripture often speaks, we may say thatNoah's character was a righteous one. There must have been flaws in it and, certainly, after this time, there was one greatsad flaw of which it is not now necessary to speak more particularly-still, God regarded him as righteous-and that must settlethe question as far as we are concerned.
Noah had the righteousness which is of faith, and that faith of his enabled him to look forward to Christ's Atonement. Doyou ask how I know this? Well, when he came out of the ark, he "built an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast,and of every clear fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar." Those sacrifices were acceptable unto the Lord, for He"smelled a sweet savor"-"a savor of rest"-in them, and they were among the many types of the one great Sacrifice that wasafterwards to be offered upon Calvary's Cross. It was in this way that Noah's faith enabled him to look forward to Christas the sin-atoning Lamb of God. And his faith, like that of Abraham, "was counted unto him
for righteousness." God looked upon him, in Christ, as a perfectly righteous man-and his righteous life was the experimentand outflow of the inward righteousness which God had imputed to him in answer to his faith. He was righteous before God,and no man was ever that in his own naked character! Job's friend, Bildad, said concerning God, "The stars are not pure inHis sight. How much less man, that is a worm? And the son of man, which is a worm?"
I have set forth the character of Noah before you and commended it to the utmost. Yet I know that in the sight of God, thePatriarch's character was not, in itself, perfect. There must have been innumerable imperfections, infirmities, and faultswhich God's Omniscient eyes could see in it. How, then, could he be said to be righteous before God? Why, God looked at himin Christ! He became heir of the righteousness which is by faith, or, as Paul puts it, he was "accepted in the Beloved." Then,in consequence of that acceptance, he was "righteous" in the modified sense in which all the Lord's people are righteous whenthe Grace of God has taught them to walk uprightly and so made them, at least in a measure, like their righteous Father whois in Heaven!
But let me add to this, in order to clear the Gospel of anything like legal defilement, that the eminence of Noah's characterappears in the fact that he was righteous before God, that is to say, his righteousness had respect to God. When he dealtwith his neighbors, he did not say to himself, "Now I must deal righteously with these men, or I shall lose my reputationas an honest, upright man." Oh, no! He dealt righteously with men because he desired to be righteous before God. He did notask himself, "What will my neighbors think or say concerning the building of the ark?" His great concern was to be obedientto the commands that the Lord had given him and, therefore, we read again and again, "according to all that God commandedhim, so did he." He fashioned his life by the will of God, not by the will of his fellow men, nor by his own will and, Beloved,this is the way for us to be righteous before God, when He brings us, by His Grace, to desire to live according to His willand to His praise and glory! I fear that many professors go blundering on, not stopping to pray, "Lord, show us what You willhave us do." Noah did not act thus-he was righteous before God, righteous with respect to God, righteous in God's sight!
I would like to have, in this Tabernacle, a band of men and women who will be just and fear not. Who will do the right eventhough all others are opposed to them, or though no one else shall know anything about it. Are any of you seeking to pleasemen by your religion? If so, such religion is of little or no worth. Be not the servants of men, but the servants of God!Take your orders from Him and from Him alone. Do not shape your course and character according to the fashion of society.If you are truly born of God, you belong to a noble race which should never stoop to such degradation as that, so be righteousbefore the Lord! You have already had the righteousness of Christ imputed to you, so may the Spirit of God impart that righteousnessto you that you may live unto God, and before God, fearless and careless of what men may say against you so long as you areright in the sight of the Most High! May the Lord graciously give us such a righteousness as this! And, Beloved, we must haveit, we must have it, for without holiness shall no man see the Lord! Our own righteousness can never save us-we must havethe righteousness of Christ!
But remember that we must be purified in heart, character and conduct, or else, where God is we cannot go. How searching willbe that test which we shall have to endure at the last! When we are judged by our fellow man, they may be deceived-but whenwe shall be judged by God, He will never be deceived. Men may accept fair words as signs and tokens of Divine Grace, but Godwill not so much regard our words as read our hearts! If men hear us pray, they say, "What good men they must be." Yet Godknows what hypocrisy may be lurking behind those pretty sentences! Men judge us by our actions, but God can read the motivesthat prompted us to those actions. You know how righteous men have appeared to be in the eyes of their fellow men, yet theyhave proved to be false after all. God grant that none of us may ever be like that, but may we have a character that willbear holding up to the Light of God, a character concerning which, when the eyes of God examine it, He will say, "Here istruth in the inward parts. My Spirit has worked truth and integrity within this heart and life-this man is weighed in thebalances, and is not found wanting." I am speaking these solemn words to myself, to the deacons and elders around me, andto you who have long professed to be Christians-not to you outsiders, but to the very best people here. None of us are anybetter than we ought to be and I cannot help fearing that some of us are not what we seem to be. Do not let us imagine thatwhat we seem to be in the sight of our fellow creatures will have any weight in the judgment of God! We may be reckoned righteousby our neighbors and friends, but if we are not washed in the precious blood of Jesus, if we are not robed in the righteousnessof Christ, if our lives have not within them the evidences of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our friends' favorablejudgment will avail us nothing when the all-seeing eyes of God beholds us as we really are! I pray with all my heart thatwe may, each one of us, be righteous before God even as Noah was in his generation.
III. I have no time left for dealing with the third part of my subject which was to have been THE GRACIOUS REWARD GIVEN TONOAH BECAUSE OF THE EMINENCE OF HIS CHARACTER.
You all know that the Lord will bless the righteous forever and ever, but the great question that we all have to answer is,are we righteous Oh, what searching sermons, what tremendous blows hypocrites will endure without showing a sign of feelinganything! I usually notice that if I preach a sermon that is more than ordinarily searching, there are sure to be some tender-heartedsouls crying out at the close that they are hypocrites. Dear Creatures, I wish I had no hearers more hypocritical than theyare! Those who take such discourses most to heart are often those who have the least reason for doing so, while the real hypocriteis no more moved by it than is the marble in our baptistery! I might almost point him out with my finger, for he would notstir-he would be as bold and brazen as Judas was when he sat with the rest of the Apostles just before going out to betrayhis Lord. Oh, the dreadful presumption, the terrible hardness of heart to which men may come! Lest this should be the casewith any of us, let us, each one, now pray David's prayer, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts:and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Let each one also pray, "Lord, let me know the truth about my case! Let me neither be self-deceived nor a deceiver of others!Let me know the worst of my case! Open my eyes even though the sight of my petition before you should be horrible to the lastdegree! Do not let me go down to Hell dreaming that I am going to Heaven! Let me know what I really am-and if my heart hasnever been broken, break it now! If I have never been washed in the precious blood of Jesus, wash me in it now! Jesus, thesinner's Savior, I come to You this moment. I cast my arms around Your Cross, O frown me not away! Look in mercy and loveupon me and tell me that my sins, which are many, are all forgiven."
Let the most trembling soul in this whole congregation cling to the Cross, crying to Him who hung upon it-
"Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to Your Cross I cling. Naked, come to You for dress. Helpless, look to You for Grace.Foul, I to the Fountain fly- Wash me, Savior, or I die!"
If we cannot cling to Christ's Cross as the sailor clings to the mast, let us cling as the limpet clings to the rock-and themore the devil tries to detach us from it, the more closely let us cling to it. Let us come either as saints or sinners, whicheverwe may be, to the foot of the Cross and look up at that dear head crowned with thorns and those blessed hands and feet andside so rudely pierced and, as by faith, we see the precious sin-atoning blood flowing from the Savior's cruel wounds, letus each one sing as we have often done before-
"There is a Fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Emmanuel's veins And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all theirguilty stains! The dying thief rejoiced to see That Fountain in his day, Oh may I there, though vile as he, Wash all my sinsaway!"
Then, though you have not, up to now, been righteous before God as Noah was, you shall be so for the future! The blood ofChrist and the righteousness of Christ shall make you so! And then a new heart and a right spirit shall be given to you-God'sown Spirit shall be put within you and God shall be glorified in you even as He was in righteous Noah! May it be so, for Hisdear Son's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: GENESIS 7.
Verse 1. And the LORD said unto Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark Notice that the Lord did not say to Noah, "Gointo the ark," but, "Come," plainly implying that God was, Himself, in the ark, waiting to receive Noah and his family intothe big ship that was to be their place of refuge while all the other people on the face of the earth were drowned. The distinctiveword of the Gospel is a drawing word-"Come." Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all
you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And He will say to His people at the last, "Come, you blessedof My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." "Depart" is the word of justice andjudgment, but, "Come," is the word of mercy and Grace! "The Lord said unto Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark"-
1. For I have seen you are righteous before Me in this generation. Therefore God drew a distinction between him and the unrighteous,for He always has a special regard for godly people.
2, 3. Of every clean beast you shall take to you by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two,the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face ofall the earth.Of the clean creatures which might be offered in sacrifice to God you see that there was a larger proportionthan there was of the unclean, that there might be a sufficient amount for sacrifice without the destruction of any species.The unclean beasts were mostly killers and devourers of others and, therefore, their number was to be less than that of theclean species. Oh, that the day might soon come when there would be more of clean men and women than of unclean, when therewould be fewer sinners than godly people in the world, though even then there would be the ungodly "by two" like the uncleanbeasts.
4. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substancethat I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. It is the prerogative of the king to have the power of lifeand death, and it is the sole prerogative of the King of kings that-
"He can create and He destroys." But what destructive power is brought into operation because of human sin! Sin must be avery heinous thing, since God, who despises not the work of His own hands, will sooner break up the human race and destroyeverything that lives rather than that sin should continue to defile the earth! He has destroyed the earth once by water becauseof sin and He will the second time destroy it by fire for the same reason. Wherever sin is, God will hunt it. With barbedarrows will He shoot at it. He will cut it in pieces with His sharp two-edged sword, for He cannot endure sin. Oh, how foolishare they who harbor it in their bosoms, for it will bring destruction to them if they keep it there!
5. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. Here was positive proofof his righteousness, in that he wasobedient to the Word of the Lord! A man who does not obey God's commands may talk about righteousness, even the righteousnesswhich is of faith, but it is clear that he does not possess it, for faith works by love-and the righteousness which is byfaith is proved by obedience to God. "Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him," and so proved that he wasrighteous before God.
6. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. He was nearly 500 years old when he beganto preach about the flood-a good old age to take up such a subject! For a 120 years he pursued his theme-three times as longas most men are ever able to preach! And now, at last, God's time of long-suffering is over and He proves the truthfulnessof the testimony of His servant by sending the flood that Noah had foretold.
7. 8. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of theflood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of everything that creeps upon the earth Thislargest and most complete menagerie that was ever gathered together was not collected by human skill-Divine Power, alone,could have accomplished such a task as that.
9. There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and female, as God had commanded Noah. They "went in." Noahhad not to hunt or search for them, but they came according to God's plan and purpose, even as, concerning the salvation whichis by Christ Jesus, His people shall be willing to come to Him in the day of His power-with joyfulness shall they come intothe ark of their salvation!
10, 11. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth yearof Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deepbroken up and the windows of Heaven were opened. Perhaps the world was in its prime, when the trees were in bloom, and thebirds were singing in their branches, and the flowers were blooming on the earth, "the same day were all the fountains ofthe great deep broken up and the windows of Heaven were opened."
12-13. And the rain was upon the earth forty day and forty nights. In the same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth,the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark These eight persons are very carefullymentioned. "The Lord knows them that are His." "And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up"-or,shut up-"my jewels," as He was about to do in this case. In similar fashion,
God makes a very careful enumeration of all those who believe in Him-precious are they in His sight-and they shall be preservedwhen all others are destroyed!
14. Theey and every beast after his kind, and all thee cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps uponthe earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort "Every bird of every sort," that is, everykind of bird! They are all mentioned again. God makes much of salvation, oh, that we also did! We may recount and rehearsethe story of our rescue from universal destruction-and we need not be afraid or ashamed of repeating it. As the Holy Spiritrepeats the words we have here, you and I may often proclaim the story of our salvation and dwell upon the minute particularsof it, for every item of it is full of instruction!
15, 16. And they went to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in,went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. [See Sermons #3042,
Volume 53-THE PARABLE OF THE ARK and #1613, Volume 27-SHUT IN OR SHUT OUT.] Now the jewels are all in and, therefore, thecasket is closed!
17. And the flood was forty days upon the earth. Just as it had been foretold, for God's Providence always tallies with Hispromises or with His threats. "Has He said, and shall He not do it?"
17. And the waters increased, and lifted up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. You can see it begin to move untilit is afloat. The same effect is often produced on us-when the flood of affliction is deep, then we begin to rise. Oh, howoften have we been lifted up above the earth by the very force that threatened to drench and drown us! David said, "It isgood for me that I have been afflicted," and many another saint can say that he never was lifted up until the floods wereout, but then he left the worldliness with which he had been satisfied before and he began to rise to a higher level thanhe had previously attained.
18-19. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the water. Andthe waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole Heaven, were covered IfMoses had meant to describe a partial deluge upon only a small part of the earth, he used very misleading language! But ifhe meant to teach that the deluge was universal, he used the very words which we might have expected that he would use. Ishould think that no person, merely by reading this chapter, would arrive at the conclusion that has been reached by someof our very learned men-too learned to hold the simple Truth of God! It looks as if the deluge must have been universal whenwe read that not only did the waters prevail exceedingly upon the earth, but that "all the high hills that were under thewhole Heaven"-that is, all beneath the canopy of the sky, "were covered." What could be more plain and clear than that?
20-23. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. Andall flesh died that moved upon theearth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth, and every man: allin whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land died. And every living substance was destroyed whichwas upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the Heaven; and they weredestroyed from the earth: and Noah, only, remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. This is the counterpartof what will follow the preaching of the Gospel-those who are in Christ shall live, shall rise, and reign with Him forever-butnone of those who are outside of Christ shall live. "Noah, only, remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."
24. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.