Dads are by no means all powerful, but they are all responsible. Eve took the first bite of the forbidden fruit, but God came looking for Adam.
Back in 2007 we were privileged to be invited to see an advanced screening of Evan Almighty with about a thousand other pastors, and while it is in many ways an irreverent spoof, the ‘Noah’ of that story is a dad held responsible for his household. He also recognizes his importance for the sake of the world…something we too need to get a grip on.
Imagine with me the building of the ark, what it looked like…and how the world must’ve felt about what Noah was preaching. Imagine the animals entering, and finally the sky beginning to fall. Think about what it had to be like inside…and what it would have been like outside! What a storm it was that brewed all around them. But God was with them all the way, and He must’ve dispatched a lot of angels to hold it all together as well as to help calm the circus it must’ve been inside!
Eventually the storm would calm. But the waters would remain for many days and many nights. Can you get a sense of what it felt like to finally come to rest on land and eventually step out onto the ground. What a world it was as God gave a fresh start and a 2nd chance to try again. And though He’s promised to never destroy this sinful earth by flood again, He has promised it’s destruction by fire one day.
As fathers today we need to see that we have a lot in common with Noah in these stormy days we live in, and we need to learn how to build an ark of refuge for our family.
[chorus] “Build an ark, head for the open waters. Save your sons and your daughters, build an ark!
[when the storm is ended, all the world will be mended]
I’m tired of all the villains, tired of all the killin’s
Tired of the men who make the laws and break them any time they please
I’m tired of all the big lies, Where are all the good guys?
Sometimes I swear I feel the way that Noah did when the Lord commanded… [chorus]”
After we had our first son, we remodeled our nursery in a Noah’s ark theme…but we had no idea that our children would then come 2 by 2, male and female!
A woman of 99 years lay dying, with her husband at her side. Her breath was short but suddenly she gained strength and
said, "My! It’s dark."
Her husband said, "Yes, Janet, it is dark."
She said, "Is it night?"
He said, "Oh, yes! It's midnight."
She then said, "Are all the children in?" Her mind was taking her back to early years of marriage and revealed her concern that all her children were in for the night.
Are all the children in? The people of Noah’s day were in trouble, and we are in trouble. But God has a message of hope that provides us with His wisdom about what to do in these perilous times.
God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” (Genesis 6:12-13)
Noah lived in a time remarkably similar to ours. People in Noah’s day were hardened toward spiritual matters, and that would be a fair assessment of our culture today.
The Bible says that right before the Second Coming of the Lord and end of the world, things will be like they were in the days of Noah. Get ready friend, He
is coming. Before this day is over you could be stepping into eternity. One of the great prophecies indicating the return of Jesus is the similarity of Noah’s day and ours.
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the son of man. (Matthew 24:37)
The ancient world, like ours, was filled with heartache and turmoil, but there was an exception to the norm. His name was Noah.
When everyone else was swimming downstream into an abyss of sin, Noah was headed upstream, in large part because of his Godly heritage.
Noah’s family included such spiritual giants as Enoch, his great-grandfather; and Methuselah, his grandfather; …and his father, Lamech, who lived 777 years!
METHUSELAH: Methuselah means "his death shall bring".
Enoch (Methuselah's father) had a vision that, as long as his son was alive, the flood that would destroy the world would not come. So in effect, Methuselah's death shall bring the flood. The year Methuselah died was indeed the year the flood came.
In American universities and other institutions of higher learning, there is an ongoing argument that “environment dictates character.” In these verses we learn
that it is Godly heritage that really influences character. Noah’s life was like a beautiful rose that blossomed in the desert. In the midst of ungodliness, Noah was a God-fearing man steadily
raising his family on a daily diet of faith and obedience.
There is no substitute for a Godly heritage. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can receive or pass on to your children. Do everything in your power to pass on your faith, to raise your family in a way that honors Christ.
Children, your parents and grandparents aren’t your history…they are your heritage!
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.
You got it from your father, it was all he had to give
So it’s yours to use and cherish for as long as you may live
If you lose the watch he gave you, it can always be replaced
But a black mark on your name, son, can never be erased
It was clean the day you took it and a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father there was no dishonor there.
So be sure you guard it wisely; after all is said and done
You’ll be glad the name is spotless when you give it to your son.
3 Ways to pass on a Godly Heritage:
1. Get Saved you have to receive the heritage first! (Noah found grace…)
[Turn your eyes upon Jesus…]
Gen. 7:4—there were 7 days people could be saved…all ended in “Y”…(you can get saved any day until suddenly the door slams shut…the last sinner walks the aisle!)
2. Get Right (might mean getting rid of… / getting right w/ a family member / getting married!)
3. Get into Church
(do you love Jesus?…you’ll love what Jesus loves!)
Have you noticed that God was able to pull off His plan with just one man and one family? That gives me hope! Even if I feel my impact is insignificant, God can still use it to accomplish His wonders.
Noah and his family were amateurs…not professionals (like the Titanic!)
Remember this important truth: God may want to use your family in an unusual way. God wants to use your family as an instrument of His grace through which He can unleash His creative plans and projects. The story of Noah is an excellent illustration of this. Will you, like Noah, respond with obedience?
(the same way faith can save you today!)
You can protect your family in a lot of different ways, but the greatest way you can protect them is by faith.
Acts 16:31-- And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
(Also note Acts 16:14-15--Lydia had her whole house saved…this is a good verse for the moms who are acting as the spiritual head of the house.)
Dads: take the lead and claim your kids for the kingdom. (lead ‘em to church, lead ‘em in prayer, lead ‘em to know the Lord!)
By faith Noah--Everything Noah did in preparation for the threatened deluge was done in virtue of simple faith or belief of what God said.
(they’re 500 miles from water…and people are asking “what’s a boat? What’s rain?” [A giant canopy in the heavens and regular provision from the ground provided all the moisture the world needed].)
It was not because he could show from the weather reports that things were heading to such a catastrophe (winter ark pic!… there would be many excuses why it couldn’t work!);
…it wasn’t because such an event had happened before.
No, It was simply because God had warned him of something to come, and he put his trust in God’s warnings.
(Story of Noah retold, w/ typical excuses included!)
The Lord speaks to Noah and says: " I am going to make it rain and cover the whole Earth with water until all is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on the Earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark."
In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an Ark.
Fearful and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the Ark.
"Remember," said the Lord, "You must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in time."
Years later, the Lord saw Noah sitting in his front yard weeping.
"Noah." He shouted, "Where is the Ark?"
"Lord, please forgive me!" cried Noah. "I did my best but there were big problems. First, I had to get a permit for construction and your plans did not comply with the codes. I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans.
Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system and flotation devices.
I’m still trying to imagine how the elephants are going to fit! [slide]
Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.
I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. And I had this terrible dream of what would happen once the woodpeckers came aboard anyway!
When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me only taking two of each kind aboard.
Just when I got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They said that much water could promote mold growth!
The Lord said, “See, this is why I’m destroying the earth!”
Noah operated on faith! He did what he was told.
Noah had an ear for God. Spiritual hearing comes from spiritual listening. The Bible is not a spiritual dessert, to be eaten every now and then…or when you have a craving…but rather it is to be your daily bread. Faith cometh by hearing... If you want to have the faith that can protect your children, you have to be a man / woman of the Word.
Faith saved him…
2. Noah’s Fear Moved Him
Fear (of fire) is a good thing. It will put smoke detectors in your house, and a diligence about taking care of candles.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet (seen hell?), moved with fear, prepared an ark...” If Noah had no fear of God, he would not have been motivated to build the ark that saved their lives.
Year by year, Noah built the ark for the saving of his family. There is nothing more important than the saving of our homes.
Dad, can your fear protect your family? Noah’s did!
In the day in which we live -- we need spiritual dikes built that can withstand the greatest storms of all time…like the storms of life and eternity!
Noah’s stock was riding high while the rest of the world was in liquidation!
There’s no better thrill than to have the followship of your family!
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Some family won’t follow (example: his son’s wives’ families?)
Dads, you’re not almighty, but are you trusting in the God Who is? Have you looked to the eyes of the Lord for grace? Are you constructing your house by God’s design plans? Are all the children in?
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