Charles Stanley — Blameless Servant Of God
Well, this message is about Noah. One of the greatest men in the Bible, and the Scripture says that "Noah was a righteous man, blameless," before Almighty God and, "walked with God". And as I think about those characteristics, should that not be true in the wishes of all of us for ourselves, that we be blameless, righteous, and walking with Almighty God. And it is only with Enoch and Noah that the Bible says that they walked with God. Now, I'm sure Abraham and many others did, but it states it specifically here. And the Scripture says that "Noah found favor," with God. And I think the old King James says, "found grace in the eyes of the Lord," the same. But he found favor with the Lord and the Lord chose him for an awesome task.
And we think about Noah and the ark and all the things that go along with it, so I want you to turn if you will to the sixth chapter, and just sort of set the stage of the environment in which Noah was going, living, and with what was going on in his life at this time in which he was walking that way. And beginning in verse five, the Scripture says, "The wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry," He was grieved, "that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.'"
Now, it's got to be really bad for God to say, I'm sorry for something I did, "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. And these are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God". And when I think about that, I think, Lord, is there a higher calling for any of us than to think that we could be blameless, righteous, that is, that we are righteous; that our heart's right. Blameless that our conduct is right and walking with God, which is the way we all should walk and it should be the goal for all of us.
So, everybody's heard about Noah and the ark. And you know every children's books got Noah and the ark and all those things; but I want us to see what the real message here is because it is not only a message of hope and assurance, but it's a message of warning. Because the truth is that God hates evil. And if you go back to that first chapter of Genesis, and remember what God said? He looked around at all the things He'd been creating and He said, everything that He saw, God said, He looked at that and it was good. Now, in Noah's day, everything He looked at was evil, it was bad. It was so bad, so evil, so unrighteous, so wicked that even Holy God said, I'm sorry that I made man. I regret that I made him because he is so evil, so wicked, so far removed from Me.
So, thinking about the corruption and violence in the earth at that time, which we just read, it's interesting how He said it. He said, "Wickedness of man was so great that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". That is, he was absolutely wicked and vile. Now, listen to me carefully. That happened in Noah's day. We're living in a time when mankind is becoming more and more like Noah's day. And in spite of what was happening in Noah's day, the Bible said he was a righteous man. The Scripture says that God decided, It's so bad, I'm going to blot man off the face of the earth. I'm taking every single one of them out except Noah, because he's a righteous man. And he's a man who has lived according to what God had taught him.
And so, what changed the outlook? From chapter one, everything was so good. To chapter five, it's just one little three-letter word. What is it? Sin. S-I-N. That's the thing that changed everything. And so, God said, I'm resolved, put an "end to all flesh, the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them; I am going to annihilate them from the earth". So, well, where does that leave Noah? And so, God comes to Noah and He says, I have a job for you. It's a, kind of, responsibility and job that you would never come up with. Because remember, until this time, there had been no rain. In other words, the mist was taking care of everything and what was coming out of the ground and so forth. And so, when God spoke to him He spoke to him very clearly, and, He said, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood".
And so, we'll talk about the ark for a moment. And so, he was the only man. His was the only family that was to be left. Plus, you know the story that all the animals and insects and everything that God also preserved them. And remember this. That Noah's six hundred years old. Now, if you're talking about starting a big project, you've starting a little late, but he lived; he lived over 300 years after that. And so, when you look at the ark and how it was built, and what God told him to do, It was about four hundred and fifty feet long. So, that's one and a half times a football field; so remember, what that looks like, one and a half times a football field. It was like a shoebox. Four hundred and fifty feet long; seventy-five feet wide; forty-five feet high, like a shoebox. Because, watch this, it wasn't going anywhere. It had no rudder. God was the rudder. It had no wheel, God was the guide. It had no engine, no sail because God was its energy. God was saving Noah and his family, they weren't on a trip.
And so, when you look at the ark and you look how, really, unimpressive it looked, all these pictures you see in books and all colored up and so forth, that's not the way the ark was. It was for the purpose of housing one family and all of these animals that God decided that He was going to save. And God gave him full instructions how to do it. And remember this now, it's three floors; so it's about a hundred thousand square feet of space inside of that. Remember all the animals and so forth. And God knew exactly what size it needed to be, so He gave him instructions, gave him the plans. And think about this. They had no saws like we have; no machinery; nothing electric. They had to cut down all the trees; where did they do that, wherever they were, they found them. God knew exactly when He chose Noah what He was doing. Had to cut down all the trees. How did they get the trees from this forest to this particular place they were building it?
And when you think about four hundred and fifty feet long, and seventy-five feet wide, you'd think lot of questions would come to our mind. But God is the one who gave him the instructions, and He gave him the help to make it happen. As he said, it had one door and a window for the light; and eight people plus all those animals. And so, when I think about God is the one who called them in. And the Scripture says that God shut the door. It started raining a little bit and it got a little stronger, and a little stronger, and a little stronger until finally it was pouring down rain. Then imagine this. More rain, deeper water, they were knocking on the door, knocking on the sides, anything, everything because all of a sudden, unbelievers became a believer in the message of Noah. God was destroying their earth right in front of them, reminding them of their sinfulness. In fact, it was so sinful and wicked, God said, I'm sorry for what's happened and now I'm going to destroy it.
Can't you imagine the first time they felt that big whopping boat budge, when it just budged a little bit. And then it just rocked a little tiny bit; and then before you knew it, they were floating. Forty days and forty nights, it rained and rained and rained and rained. And people died and people were drowned and the animals and everything else. But do you know what? It was too late. Now, watch this. There can come a time in your life rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ when it's too late. You can get so evil and disobedient before God till you lose any desire for God, even though you know you're going the wrong direction. And so, the whole earth was covered. And five long months it was covered.
And after forty days, after that, Noah opens the window and looks out to see what he can find and finally there was a mountain peak over yonder somewhere, just a peak. And so, that gave him a little hope that they wouldn't be there forever. But they must have had lots of thoughts. Watch this. They didn't have this Book to read about all the instructions. In other words, God told them what He would do, but He didn't give them all these promises at one time. We're reading back to see what happened. They're living in it. And they are awaiting and watching and listening to what God is up to in the process of Him doing it. And so, the days pass; the months pass; and probably some of them wondered in their own mind and heart, Will we ever get out of this boat?
And I'm sure that probably had their difficult times in there. God must have told them how much food to carry. He knew how long they would be there. And think about all the friends you had; and maybe relatives that you had. And you had to live with the fact that every single one of them drowned. They all died. Why didn't God pick more than just this one family? He was a godly, righteous, obedient servant of God in a society that was absolutely totally ungodly in every single aspect. And I think there is some real instruction here for all of us. You may struggle; you may doubt; it may, you may have problems; but if God tells you to do something, who's responsible for getting it done? God is responsible for fulfilling His promise to you, whatever He tells you to do. And He'll protect you in the process.
And one of the reasons that people never reach the goal that God has for them in life is because they don't believe Him. They go along for a little while; they hit a couple of bumps in life and they say, You know what? I made a mistake. No, you didn't. I could look back in my life and think about some tough times. I could have said, Well, God, maybe You didn't, maybe You didn't call me to Atlanta. Maybe that was my idea. No. And so, we have to remember this. Watch this. When God gives us instructions, they come from the most knowledgeable, highest known mind and awesome power that exists or ever will exist. There are no questions, no doubts. God doesn't leave out anything; wasn't anything He should have added to the boat. The boat was exactly all that was needed to accomplish God's purpose. They had no need that God didn't supply. Don't forget that. Three hundred and sixty-five days; because they had landed a couple of months before God let them out. They had no idea what they were going to meet when they exited the ark. God took care of every single thing.
Watch this. Our responsibility in our life; whoever you are, whatever your calling, whatever you're doing, wherever you are, with whom. Our responsibility is to be obedient to Almighty God and trust Him for guidance, direction, provision. All that we'll ever need, He is sufficient. And the truth is this. We get in trouble when we start guiding our life. When I think about Noah, he could have said, Well, now, exactly how are we going to move? But finally, he caught on. The God who created this vehicle would be the God who moved it. And He would move it by the wind blowing this way or that way. It would land where God wanted it to land. And so, they lived this year by absolute faith, trusting God. And they were blessed because of Noah, a righteous, blameless man who obeyed God.
So, I would ask you dad. As a father, could your children say that you're righteous and blameless? Could your family look at you as the head of the family and say, "My dad is a righteous, blameless man"? Or, what do they say? Can your family trust your spiritual guidance? Can they trust you to lead them in a way that is pleasing and honorable to God? What better word could be said about you than you lived a righteous, blameless life, serving Almighty God? Because the truth is, that's really sort of what we know about Noah. He had to be a man of faith. Was he perfect? No, he wasn't. He wasn't a perfect man. Righteousness doesn't mean perfect; but it means that your heart is clean and that your thinking is right. And when you make mistakes, you correct them and you confess it and repent of it. You don't linger in your sin.
And, when they landed, the ark was in the exact place God intended for it to be in order for them to begin their life brand new. And to tell their descendants, generation after generation after generation who is this ultimate, supreme awesome being, Almighty God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim in the Hebrew, who He is and what He did. And so, the Scripture says, built an altar, and worshiped the Lord, and then, something else happened. Turn, if you will, to the ninth chapter, and I want to read a few verses of this ninth chapter because God, who is not incomplete about anything, He wanted to be sure that they all knew this would never happen again. This was one time, but it'd never happen again.
So, if you'll notice in verse nine of chapter nine. God says, "Now, behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you," your children. "And with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth". That is, He says, I'm making a covenant that includes everybody, now watch. "I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never be cut off by water of the flood, neither shall there be again a flood to destroy the earth".
Now, you think they believed that? I don't know whether they believed it or not, but I believe it. All of us believe it, I think. God says, thousands of years ago, it'll never happen again. It never has, why should I doubt Him? Now, He says the next time it's going to be with fire. Why should I doubt that? Listen, God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I'm making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud".
So, how many of you've ever seen a rainbow? Well, I want to show you another one. Thirty years ago, I was on a horse with my friends coming around the bend and I looked and saw that, and I jumped off and took a shot of that, and I thought, I wonder what it looked like in Noah's day? God set a rainbow in the sky, and that's His promise. Now, let me ask you a question, do you believe God? Do you believe everything He says? Well, some of you do, some of you don't, I understand. Some of you who are watching do, and some of you don't. Do you believe what God said about a rainbow? He's got thousands of years to prove that He would do what He said. He would never destroy this earth by water, again. The next time it'll be fire. How much do we trust Him? Can you give me a good reason for doubting God?
You can just look in the Scriptures and see how God worked. Whenever God makes a promise, you know what's behind that promise? Omnipotence; all the power of Almighty God is behind every single promise. So, let me give you a promise. He promises this. "If we confess our sins, He's faithful," that is, you can trust Him, and He has a right to "forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". That is the promise of God. Here's another promise, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, you will be saved". And on and on we could go with the promises of Almighty God. He has never failed to keep a promise.
Now, watch this, When He says that if you and I trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we will be saved, period. No conditions. If I trust Him as my Savior, it isn't trust Him as my Savior and do this, and not do that, and do the other. It is a promise from God. The wisest thing you can do, is to read the Word of God and see what His promises are. He has promises to bless you, prosper you, walk with you through difficulty, hardship, pain, and suffering, and loss. Bring you out joyful. He has all kind of promises. The question is, Do you believe the promise? Do you think Noah ever doubted God again? Never! And the truth is if you read the Word of God, read His promises, you do not have a legitimate reason for doubting God. You say, well, I've trusted God for things, and they didn't come out that right. Well, what did you trust Him for, and did you really and truly trust Him? And is it something He said you could trust Him for? The last thing I would ask is this. Can you say of yourself it is my goal in my life, it is my desire, I want to be a righteous, godly, person who is blameless in my conduct? Pleasing to God. Righteous in my heart, blameless in my conduct, obedient to Almighty God.
Father, how grateful we are for this awesome story. What You did in this one man's life, because You saw in him someone You could trust. And I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to each one of us and remind us You want us to be righteous people; walking in Your will; walking in Your way day by day; doing to the best of our God-given abilities, talents, and skills, whatever You call us to do until You call us home. So, we ask that the Holy Spirit would speak to somebody here today who's never trusted Jesus as their Savior. And they're betting on their goodness, which You've already said it just won't cut it. Not by righteousness which we've done, but according to Your mercy You save us.
So, I pray that anyone here today who is lost, and that's what they are, lost, separated from You, they'd be willing to acknowledge that, confess that; ask You to forgive them, not on the basis of their worth, but on the basis that Your Son, Jesus, went to the cross, shed His blood in order to make it possible for lost people to be saved; and that they can be saved this very day, right where they're sitting, right now, if they're willing to ask You to forgive them, surrender their life to You, we know that You'll change them even now. We love You, Father. Thank You for Your grace and love toward us, is our prayer in Jesus's name, amen.