A little sin is almost never enough. In fact, the norm among humanity is that sin, left unchecked, leads to ever-increasing amounts of sin. We see this truth throughout the next segment of scripture. Our story jumps ahead eight generations, from the children of Adam and Eve to the family of Noah. In that time, the world has become entrenched in their sin. It is present at the very core of humanity throughout the entirety of the world: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
We learn a few important truths about God's character through the story of Noah's Ark. We learn that sin breaks God's heart. It grieves Him. We also learn that because He is holy, God is just in His anger and judgment in response to sin. At the same time, we see a picture of God's love and grace in that He saves humanity in the midst of their sin. Even those who haven't read much scripture likely know the broad details of Noah's story. Noah is chosen to build the Ark in order to preserve the human race because God is going to flood the earth in order to wipe out an exceedingly sinful generation. In contrast to the rest of humanity, we are told that Noah was a "righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." This week's reading displays God's just judgment of humanity's sin, while graciously saving humanity through the faithful obedience of one righteous man, Noah.
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Genesis 8:1, 15-22
FAMILY INGREDIENT: WORSHIP, THANKSGIVING, & JOY
In the days of Noah, God see continual wickedness in the hearts of humanity. This makes God sad. However, there is one man and his family who choose to live differently. Noah chooses to love and obey God, going against what everyone else is doing. In turn, God saves Noah and his family. In obedience, Noah builds the ark, which God uses to sustain, deliver, and protect Noah, his family, and the animals throughout the flood. Noah is so thankful for God's protection that after leaving the ark, he builds an altar to the Lord and worships Him. This is pleasing to God. God created us; He created you and longs to sustain, deliver, and protect you. By faith in Jesus' obedient death on the cross, God offers us salvation and new life. This should lead us to worship. The family ingredient of Worship, Thanksgiving, and Joy is pleasing to God.
- How did Noah find all the animals that God wanted on the ark? For a clue, look at Genesis 7:9.
- What was different about the ark than any other boat ever built?
- Who shut the door when they all went into the ark? For a clue, look at Genesis 7:16.
- How deep did the water get? For a clue, look at Genesis 7:20. (That's like a two story building or the highest point of our sanctuary.)
- Do our sins make God sad? Why?
- What does it mean in Genesis 8:1 when it says, "God remembered Noah?" Does God always remember us? Why is that special?
Food Craft: Build an altar using eight jumbo marshmallows, pretzels, peanut butter or frosting, and gummy worms or candy. Make the bottom of the altar with four marshmallows formed into a square. Set the other four marshmallows on top to make your altar taller. You may need to use peanut butter or frosting to attach the marshmallows together. Build a fire on top using the pretzel sticks for wood and gummy worms for flames. As you eat your snack, share about times that God has kept your family safe. Thank God for that protection. Thank God for forgiveness and for Jesus dying for our sins. This would also be a great time to add a worship song of thanksgiving to your time together.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION
- Is there an example to follow? A major portion of the Bible is written in story form. Each book contains the lives of real people who strive to follow God; they are an example for us to follow.
- As you read about the life of Noah we see that “Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9) What are some of the qualities that we find to describe Noah’s character?