When I get stressed, I eat chocolate. Some people drink coffee or soak in a bubble bath or take a walk. I should probably choose a walk over chocolate, but who has time for that? Semi-sweet chocolate chips are my go-to for a quick fix.
What if I made God my go-to in times of stress? Turning to God and His Word leads to peace and doesn’t stick me with that empty feeling I always find at the bottom of the bag of chocolate chips.
Noah’s situation was stressful. The details were overwhelming. God told Noah to lead his family to build a huge boat to avoid a flood in a community that had never seen rain. Then he would need to herd hundreds of wild animals into a boat-shaped cage. Can you even imagine the stress that weighed on Noah each night as he struggled to sleep?
I wonder if Mrs. Noah stashed some chocolate in a secret compartment on the ark.
The Bible says that Noah wasn’t overwhelmed with all the details because he walked with God. He’s also described as righteous and blameless. Who was this guy and how did he get to this point? I’m glad you asked.
Sin entered the world through Adam & Eve, and then sin grew in the hearts of their children.
God taught Adam & Eve about forgiveness and offering a sacrifice. Adam & Eve taught their sons. Cain & Abel both brought a sacrifice as an offering to the Lord, but God wasn’t happy with Cain’s offering. Cain didn’t follow the guidelines laid out by God. So He gave Cain another chance to make it right – that’s called grace.
Grace is defined as unmerited favor or an undeserved second chance.
But Cain didn’t want to accept God’s grace. He wanted God to accept his offering. He was angry and unwilling to change, so he lured his brother out into the field and killed him. God didn’t reject Cain; Cain rejected God.
Sin always escalates. It progresses. Eve listened to the snake and ate the forbidden fruit, shared it with her husband, hid from God, blamed the snake and got expelled from the Garden of Eden. God takes sin seriously.
One of the big questions your kids might be asking you is, “What’s the big deal?”
“What’s the big deal about not cleaning my room when all my friends are doing drugs and getting drunk and sneaking out?”
The answers to life’s big questions are found in the Bible (not at the bottom of a bag of chocolate).
The Bible says the progression of sin is a big deal. There are no big or small sins. Sin is sin, and sin leads to death.
James 1:14-15 New Living Translation(NLT)
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
After Cain killed Abel, God blessed Adam & Eve with another son named Seth and with many other sons and daughters. Noah is a part of their family tree.
As time passed and babies were born, sin continued to increase.
Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV)
The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.
As you dig into what the Bible has to say about Noah, remember that all scripture is about God. Ask yourself these two important questions as you study:
What do I learn about God?
What do I learn about myself & my relationship with God?
– God knows the hearts of men.
– God was grieved that He had made men.
– God’s heart was filled with pain.
– God created mankind for relationship, and sin was breaking down that relationship.
Genesis 6:7 (NIV)
So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.”
Could God have destroyed everyone and started over?
No. God could not start over. He would find one family to preserve because God doesn’t break His promises. He cannot break a promise.
God promised a Savior would come through the offspring of Eve:
Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
From now on, you (serpent) and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring (Jesus) will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth; we messed it up; God promised a Savior.
Eve ate the fruit…she shared it with Adam…they hid from God…they blamed each other…Cain killed Abel…sin kept on increasing…
Genesis 6:8 (NIV)
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Favor is another word for grace. Favor doesn’t mean that he was God’s favorite because he was so perfect. Favor means that God chose to offer grace to Noah, a chance that he didn’t deserve. You can’t earn favor. It is given as a gift.
God considered Noah a righteous man.
Genesis 6:9 (NIV)
This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
What do you learn about yourself and your relationship with God in these verses?
– In a world corrupt with sin, one man is found righteous and blameless.
– One man walked with God and received His favor.
How can you Walk with God in the midst of a corrupt world?
Connect with God
Get to know God and His character by studying the Bible.
Chocolate with God
When stress leads you to chocolate, invite God to join you, and talk it out with Him.
Coffee with God
When you need energy to start your day, enjoy a cup of coffee with God by your side.
Read Genesis 6:11-18
Just like God created and designed our bodies perfectly with millions of precise details, God had a specific design for the ark. With dimensions of 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high with 3 decks, the ark was the biggest boat built before the 1800s.
But did you notice there aren’t any specific dimensions listed for the door? It just says, “put a door.”
That door was the only way into the ark.
Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
There’s no measurements because everyone is welcome, no matter how big or small your sin! Jesus is the door, and He is immeasurable!
In the New Testament, Jesus says that He is the only way to salvation.
John 14:6 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
If I asked you how Noah and his family were saved from the flood, you would probably say they were saved by a boat – the ark. They obeyed God by building the ark, so they were saved. In other words, they were saved by what they did.
But they were not saved by what they did – they were saved by what God did!
Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
In a world corrupt with sin, God chose to preserve one man and his family and give them a fresh start.
Noah and his family were not saved by a boat; they were saved by the grace of God.
In a world corrupt with sin, Jesus came to give His life as a sacrifice for many. You can have a fresh start by accepting the grace of God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.
You cannot be saved by what you do. You are saved by grace, and grace cannot be earned.
But you are not saved to sit. You are saved to serve.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Just like Noah, you are saved by grace so that you can walk with God and obey His commands. Invite God into your stressful situation. Sip some coffee with God today. Enjoy some chocolate with your Creator. Walk with Him and follow wherever He leads you.