Genesis 6:22
Prediction of deluge and way of escape were alike trials of faith; beyond reach of foresight; rejected or neglected by the world. Key to the typical meaning, 1 Peter 3:20, 21. Baptism the initial seal of the Christian covenant. Text therefore sets forth salvation through Christ.

I. "Make thee an ark." Why? BECAUSE SENTENCE OF DEATH RESTS UPON ALL MEN (Romans 5:12). As in the destruction of first-born (Exodus 11:5). No exceptions. Covenant people saved only by the blood; so here (cf. Job 9:30). Men, even now, are slow to believe this. Maxims of society contradict it. From childhood trained to live as if no danger, as if many things more important than salvation. And when preacher proclaims (Acts 2:40), men listen and approve and go on as before. Yet this is the first step towards salvation, the first work of the Holy Spirit - to convince careless (Matthew 16:26) and well-living people that they cannot save themselves. Until this is done Christ has no attractiveness (Isaiah 53:2). Who would shut himself up in the ark if no deluge coming? Who would trust it if another way would afford safety?

II. "Make thee an ark." IT IS GOD'S APPOINTED WAY OF SAFETY. "The Lord hath made known his salvation." As surely as the deluge is according to his word, so surely is the way of deliverance (Romans 5:20). But mark the way. Can you trust that which seems so frail? At the root of sin lies unbelief of God's truth. This caused the fall. God says, Will you trust me? One will say, I live a good life; is not that the main thing? (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11). Another, I pray that God would love me, and be reconciled to me. Does he not love thee? (Titus 3:4). Is he not longing for thee? (Isaiah 1:18). And is not this unbelief of what God says? Thou needest indeed to pray that the Holy Spirit should open thine eyes to what God has done. But that thy prayer may be answered there must be the will to be taught (Psalm 85:8).

III. "Make thee an ark." THE TEST OF FAITH. There is a faith which does nothing, which merely- accepts a doctrine. Such was not that of Noah. His life's work was to act on what he believed. The object of our faith is Jesus Christ, the personal, living, loving Savior; not merely the doctrine that he died and rose again. "Make thee an ark" is more than knowledge that he is the Deliverer. It is taking refuge in him, and walking in his steps. - M.

Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded, so did he.

1. The circumstances in which he was placed.

2. The means he was directed to use for the preservation of God's chosen remnant.

3. His perseverance in the use of these means till he had completed the work assigned him.


1. The danger to which we are exposed is similar.

2. The means provided for our escape are similar.

3. The distinction that will be made between the believing unbelieving world will be similar.Learn:

1. The office of faith. Not to argue, but to believe God.

2. The necessity of fear.

3. The benefit of obedience.

(C. Simeon, M. A.)




(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

Sketches of Sermons.
I. THE RULE OF NOAH'S OBEDIENCE. "All that God commanded." Mankind need a rule for their conduct.

1. It should come forth from God, and have the Divine sanction.

2. It should be practicable in its requirements.

3. It should be plain and circumstantial in its phraseology.

4. It should be beneficial in its results.


1. Noah's obedience was pious in its principle.

2. Prompt and decided in its acts.

3. Laborious in its exercise.

4. Universal its extent.

5. Persevering in its course.

6. Successful in its object.Learn from the subject —

1. What terrible desolations sin makes in the world, and how the severity of God was displayed in making the very elements conspire to the destruction of those who had slighted the Divine counsels.

2. How tenderly God cares for His servants, and how easily He can provide means for their safety.

3. How much human security depends upon human exertion. The way of duty is the way of safety.

(Sketches of Sermons.)

I. Noah was — A READY — worker. And in this respect he is a good model to set before us. It was a very hard thing that Noah was commanded to do. He was told to build an ark, or a ship, that was very remarkable for its size. But Noah was not a ship builder himself, neither were his sons. He did not live in a seaport town, where the people were familiar with the business of building ships. He lived in an inland country, far away from the sea. We do not know that he, or anyone else then living in the world, had ever seen a large ship. And this must have made the work that Noah was told to do very hard indeed. How easy it would have been for him to make excuses when God commanded him to build that huge ark! He might have said, very truthfully, "I do not know anything about the work of building ships. I have no ship carpenters to help me, and know not where to get any." And if, for reasons like these, he had begged to be excused from undertaking a work of so much difficulty, it would not have been at all surprising. Instead of this he went out to work at once. No doubt he asked God to help him. And when we get such help as He can give, nothing can be too hard for us. The apostle believed this fully, when he said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

II. But Noah was a model worker, because he was — A PERSEVERING — worker. If we have anything hard to do, or anything that will take a long time in which to do it, we never can succeed in doing it without perseverance. And no one ever had so much need of perseverance as Noah had in the work he was told to do. From the day when God first spoke to him about building the ark, until it was finished, one hundred and twenty years passed away. All that time he was engaged in the work. How strangely Noah must have felt when he laid the first piece of timber in the keel of the ark, and knew how many years were to pass away before that great vessel would be completed! We read of men who have become famous by the discoveries or inventions they have made, such as the art of printing, the use of steam engines, and other things. Some of these men were working away for seven, or ten, or fifteen, or twenty years, before they finished their work. And when we read about the difficulties they had to overcome before they succeeded in what they were trying to do, and how they persevered in overcoming these difficulties, we cannot but wonder at them. And yet, how short the time was in which they did their work, compared with the hundred and twenty years through which Noah had to go on labouring! His perseverance was the most wonderful ever heard of in the history of our world. How much trouble he must have had in getting the right kind of wood with which to build the ark! And when the wood was found, how much trouble he must have had in getting the right sort of workmen to carry on the building! And how many other difficulties he must have had, of which no account is given! But, notwithstanding all these difficulties, he went patiently on, for a hundred and twenty years, till his work was done. How well we may speak of Noah as a model of perseverance! Let us study this model, till we learn to persevere, in all the work we try to do, for God, or for our fellow men. After a great snowstorm, a little fellow about seven or eight years old was trying to make a path through a large snow band, which had drifted before his grandmother's door. A gentleman who was passing by was struck with the earnestness with which he was doing his work. He stopped to look at him for a moment, and then said: "My little man, how do you ever expect to get through that great snow bank?" In a cheerful tone, and without stopping at all in his work, the little fellow's reply was: "By keeping at it, sir. That's how." "By keeping at it" Noah was able to get through with the great work he had to do. And it is only "By keeping at it" that we can expect to succeed in any good work in which we may be engaged.

III. Noah was a model worker because he was — A THOROUGH — worker. We see this in our text when it tells us, "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he." Some people are willing to obey God just so long as He tells them to do what they like to do. But if He commands them to do anything that is disagreeable, they are not willing to obey Him. But this was not the way in which Noah obeyed God. And it is very important for us to follow the example of Noah in this respect, because this is the only kind of service that God will accept. It was what David taught us when he said, "Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all Thy commandments." And this was what Jesus taught us when He said: "Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." And it is always pleasant to meet with persons who are trying to serve God as thoroughly as Noah did. A religious meeting was once held among some working men. One after another of them rose up to speak of their experience on the subject of religion. This was the way in which one of them spoke about himself: "I used to be an odd-job Christian; but now, thank God, I'm working on full time." This was very expressive. There are a great many "odd-job Christians." They work for Jesus just when it suits them. For the rest of their time they are pleasing themselves. But Noah was not one of this kind. He was on full time.

IV. Noah was a model worker, because he was — A COURAGEOUS — worker. If we had a history of all that took place while Noah was building the ark, how interesting it would be! It was such a strange work that he was engaged in! Nothing like it had ever been heard of in that country. People would come from all quarters. They would look on in wonder. They would call him an old fool, and make all sorts of fun of him. And this is something which it is always very hard to bear. Many men who have courage enough to go boldly into battle, and face the glittering swords or roaring cannon of their enemies, have not courage enough to go on doing a thing when men laugh at them, and ridicule them for doing it. But Noah did not mind this at all. He let them laugh as much as they pleased, while he went quietly on with the work that God had given him to do.

V. Noah was a model worker, because he was — A SUCCESSFUL — worker. He laboured on through all those long years until the ark was finished. And then, when the flood came, he was saved himself, and his family was saved, while all the rest of the world was swept away in its wickedness. And who can tell how much good Noah did by his successful work on the ark? That good has extended to all who have lived since then. And this is a thought that may well encourage us in working for God. We never can tell how successful our work may be, and what great good may follow from it. And we shall find prayer a great help to success in all the work we have to do.

(R. Newton, D. D.)

, T. Brooks., Herle.
I would rather obey than work miracles.

( Luther.)Wicked men obey for fear, but the good for love.

(.)All God's biddings are enablings, says an early Christian writer. An obedient soul is like a crystal glass with a light in the midst, which shines forth through every part thereof.

( T. Brooks.)A soul sincerely obedient will not pick and choose what commands to obey, and what to reject, as hypocrites do.

(T. Brooks.)He praiseth God best that serveth and obeyeth Him most: the life of thankfulness consists in the thankfulness of the life.

( W. Burkitt.)The knowing of God, that we may serve Him, and the serving Him, that we may enjoy Him, take up the whole duty of man's obedience.

(Herle.)Jesus Christ intended, when He opened your eyes, that your eyes should direct your feet. Light is a special help to obedience, and obedience is a singular help to increase your light.

( J. Flavel.)A man sincerely obedient lays such a charge upon his whole man as Mary, the mother of Christ, did upon all the servants at the feast: "Whatsoever the Lord saith unto you, do it."

( T. Brooks.)

It ought to be the great care of every one of us to follow the Lord fully. We must in a coarse of obedience to God's will and service to His honour, follow Him universally, without dividing; uprightly, without dissembling; cheerfully, without disputing; and constantly, without declining: and this is following Him fully.

( M. Henry..)

As fruits artificially raised or forced in the hothouse have not the exquisite flavour of those fruits which are grown naturally and in their due season; so that obedience which is forced by the terrors of the law wants the genuine flavour and sweetness of that obedience which springs forth from a heart warmed and meliorated with the love of God in Christ Jesus.

(H. G. Salter.)

Some of the members of the household of Tiberius were so attached to their master that they obeyed all his commands with the most implicit care. One of them had such perfect faith in him that, when he declared he never failed to do what Tiberius commanded, and was asked, if he had been ordered to burn the Capitol, whether he would have done it, he answered that Tiberius would never have given him the order; but, when the question was repeated, he declared that, had it been commanded, he should have thought it right, for Tiberius would never have laid such a command on him if it had not been for the advantage of the Roman people. When we render allegiance to the Saviour, it is with the express understanding that He bids us do nothing but that which is essentially right; that if anything is cruel in its nature He cannot order it; but that, if He appears to do so, there is some hidden good beneath the action that He bids us perform.

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