Matt Hagee - That's Never Been Done Before
We're going to be talking about Noah and the flood. It's a Bible story that most people are familiar with in some context. But most of the time they simply overlook it as a thing that you tell your children about whenever they ask how rainbows were made. This message is entitled "That's never been done before". How many of you have ever had someone say that to you? This could pretty much summarize everything that God asked Noah to do, because when you read the Word of God, until the flood, there was no rain. There was no dew on the earth. God just sustained everything. And so Noah has a conversation with God, and God tells him there's going to come a flood. And Noah said, God, what's a flood? And he said, it comes from rain. And he says, well what's rain? He says, you need a boat. And he says, what's a boat?
And the longer this conversation goes, the more Noah recognizes he's not prepared for what God has just told him is about to happen. And so Noah has a decision to make. He can either choose to think like a carnal man, and say, "That's never been done before: it's foolishness". Or he can choose to live like a supernatural man, who has faith in God, and says, "If God says it, I believe it". How often do we disqualify ourselves from being a part of what God wants to do, because we take on the mindset of "That's never been done before"? God reveals to us an idea. He gives us a concept. He gives us a plan. We see a problem. All of a sudden we see a solution. But rather than pursue something that God may be whispering in our spirit, we simply just throw it out because it's never been done before.
Maybe you have the courage to share your idea with those closest to you. And somebody looks at you and says, "That's never been done before," and you simply give up. You need to know something. If you're going find faith in the flood, faith is not faith until it's tested. It's just a feeling until all of a sudden the thing that you have faith for is the test that you're walking through, and you continue to believe in spite of what other people see. The faith that you have that God is a healer will not be faith until it's tested by sickness. The faith that you have that God is a provider, will not be proven until you see an hour of need.
The faith that you have that God is a way maker will not come to pass until you see something that seems impossible, and the whole world is looking at you saying, "That's never been done before," and you declare, "But I believe God. I believe he is too wise to be mistaken. I believe he's too loving to be unkind. I believe that his word is true. I believe that he is for me and not against me. I believe that he has brought me this far: and that he, who began a good work in me, is faithful and just to complete it even unto the day of Christ Jesus"! When the rest of the world says, "That's never been done before," stand up in your faith and say, "But I believe in a God who can do all things"! Why did Noah find grace in the eyes of the Lord?
Some people will tell you, "Well, he was perfect". No, he wasn't perfect. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord because the Bible tells us that Noah was perfect in his generations. Say that with me. "He was perfect in his generations". In what way was he perfect? He was of pure human blood. There was no corruption. God could start over with Noah and accomplish his plan that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. God looked at Noah and he traced him ten generations back to Adam. And he recognized that between Adam, the first man: and Noah, ten generations later, there had been no demonic corruption in his bloodline. What does that mean to you and me?
You say, "Pastor, this is getting out into the star trek stuff". Let me tell you: if you read the Bible, it's a lot cooler than star trek. Hollywood doesn't have special effects like what God can do. What does this have to do with you and me? Very simply this: salvation is for real people. God's desire, from the beginning of time, has been to redeem flesh and blood like you and me. Sometimes we read that people like Noah were perfect in their generations, and we think: well see, God only wants perfect people. God doesn't want perfect people. God wants messed up people like you and me. God wants people with too much pain in their past to remember. God wants people who need salvation. God wants people who need forgiveness. God wants people who need a way maker. God wants people who need a mountain mover. God wants people, who don't know what to do, because life has broken you in so many pieces: you've forgotten who you used to be.
He's the God who wants to walk into your situation, and pick up those broken pieces, and mend what the enemy has tried to destroy, and set you free: "For whom the son sets free is free indeed". Church, I've got good news today! Salvation, redemption, forgiveness, grace, mercy: it's for real people like you and me! Now why do you think God would go so far as to tell us, "In the 600th year of Noah's life, on the second month, on the 17th day of the month, on that day"? You know a lot of history is estimated. We believe this happened around 4000 to 8000 b.C. Well way to go, genius: that's a 4000-year guess. God don't guess. God said, "In the six hundredth year, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of that second month, in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on that...That's when it started raining". You might not have seen the flood coming, but God picked the day when it would pour.
And you say, "How am I supposed to be comforted by that"? You need to know that he's the God of yesterday, today, and forever. If he saw something 600 years in your future, he's already there waiting on you to arrive. He saw it before you knew about it. When you were formed in your mother's womb, he looked into your future, and he said, in the 13th year, in the second month, on the fifth day, they're going to need a friend that's closer than a brother. I'll be there to meet that need. In the 32nd year, in the sixth month, on the 15th day, at 2:05, when the doctor walks in, they're going to need a physical healer: I'll be there.
In the 46th year, in the eighth month, on the 17th day, whenever their heart is broken, they're going to need somebody to catch every tear that they cry. I'll be standing there ready and waiting. I'm not going to leave them. I'm not going to forsake them. I'm going to go before them and prepare a table in the presence of their enemies. I'm going to assign my angels to them, because I am the God of yesterday, today, and forever! Church, there are no random days in your life! There is a God, who knows each and every step that you take, each and every breath that you breathe, each and every tear that you cry, each and every need that you have! And that God will not fail you!
Now it's hard, when the routine is changing, for you to tell those who know you best, that the routine is changing. It's difficult to walk in and tell your wife, who's known you for 500 years, whew! Just let that sink in for a minute. "All these years I've known you and I never saw this coming. I'd have thought you'd done this in your two fifties". Five hundred years, he walks in and he says, I think God wants us to build a boat. She says, what's a boat? It's the first time that a man ever asked his wife for permission to have a boat and she didn't say "No". But she didn't say "Yes" either, so, Noah can't find any encouragement in his wife because this has never been done before. He goes and he talks to his sons. He says, Ham, Shem, Japheth, come around here, boys: I need to talk to you. There's a project that we're going to start working on tomorrow. And he said, I don't know how long it's going to take. It's going to take a lot of work. I need to know if I can count on you.
Yeah, dad: you can count on us. What are we going to do? We're going to build an ark. What's an ark? He can't find any encouragement in his sons. This has never been done before. And he goes to his neighbors. And he says, hey, I know you've got a lot of new tools. I may need to borrow them from you. Would that be a problem? They said, no problem, Noah. What is it that you're working on? He says, well it's kind of a floating zoo. Well what's a zoo? He didn't know because that's never been done before. And so Noah, in search of someone that could encourage him, I believe he went and talked to his grandfather, because by the time Noah was 500, his father, Lamech, was dead. But his grandfather, Methuselah, he was still alive.
You see everything in the Bible is there for a reason. Paul told Timothy, "All scripture is profitable". If you believe that, say, amen. So then why are there genealogies? I used to think, in my childhood, they were there because it was like God's melatonin: it would just put you right to sleep. And Adam begat, and Seth begat, and Enoch begat, and Mehujael begat... It was like scriptural Tylenol PM. But they're there so that we can trace the life, and the plan, and the sovereignty of God. You see Methuselah's the guy that you read about in trivial pursuit. "And who was the oldest person in the Bible"? Oh, ding: Methuselah, 969 years old. Could you imagine 969 years of living? What do you say at that guy's funeral?
It was such a surprise. It came so suddenly. It was so unexpected. I would say, "Finally. Congratulations: you did it". And you have to wonder: why would God let Methuselah live 969 years? "The steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord". Here's what I believe. I believe that as long as you have purpose, the enemy cannot take you out. And the day that your purpose is fulfilled is the day that God wants you home more than he wants you here.
And so Methuselah's 969 years old. Why? Because when you look at Genesis 5, and you take the age of Adam when Seth was born, and you add to Adam's age, the age of all of his subsequent generations that came, you'll find out that Adam was 687 years old when his great great great great great great grandson, Methuselah, was born. So if Adam lived to 930 years, Methuselah spent 243 years of his life with Adam. You say, "Well what's that got to do with anything"? Adam was the man who walked with God in the cool of the day. Adam was the man who remembered what it was like before sin came into the world. Adam was the man who knew what it felt like when there were no thorns, and there were no thistles, and there was no struggle, and there was no sweat on your brow. And Adam spent 243 years of his life telling young Methuselah.
You say, "How can you be young at 243"? When you're going to 969, you've got some time. Adam spent 243 years of his life telling young Methuselah, "If God says it, do it. If God says don't do it, leave it alone. If he says, freely eat of every tree, then eat of every tree. But if he says, don't touch that one, don't even look at it, because the consequences for not keeping God's word are far more severe than walking in faith". Methuselah also had a daddy named Enoch. Enoch was 60 years old whenever he had Methuselah. And Bible says that Enoch walked with God until he was 360. And then he was raptured off of the earth, because God said, let's finish this conversation up here. When you do the math, you recognize that Methuselah was 368 years old when his grandson, Noah, was born. And when Noah was 500 years old, Methuselah was 869 years old. And when Noah was searching for an encouragement to make him have enough faith to believe that what God had told him was true, I think he sat down and he had a cup of coffee with Methuselah.
You say, "Well how do you know it was coffee"? When you're that old, you need something to help you stay awake. And he said, grand dad: he said, I don't know what to do. He said, God has told me there's this flood happening. And he's told me about this ark. He's told me about the wood. He's told me about the shape, the size, the height, all of it. He's got it all figured out. But I don't have it figured out. Nobody's ever seen it rain. Nobody's ever seen a boat. Nobody's ever done anything like this. This has never been done before. And Methuselah looked at his grandson, and said, son, if God says it, do it. Just like Adam told me when I was a boy, obeying God is far better than ignoring his command.
I don't know what a boat is. But if God said build it, build it. I don't know what a flood is, but if God said it's coming, it's on the way. I don't know how long it's going to take. But if God asked you to do it, he'll keep you until it's time to get it done. But whatever you do, son, don't ignore what God told you to do. Keep driving the nails. Keep cutting the trees. Keep building the boat. Keep being faithful. I promise you this: no matter what flood you're walking through in your life, God has put somebody sovereignly in your path that you can reach out to, who can tell you exactly how he'll bring you through the flood. There's somebody for those who are sick in this place, that can say, I'll testify: God's been a healer.
There's somebody for those who are in need in this place to say, "I'll testify: he's been a provider". There's somebody in this place, who can tell you that he is a way maker, he is a burden bearer, he is a yoke breaker, he is a mountain mover. No matter what you're walking through, no matter what flood you face, no matter what need you have: God's put somebody in your life, who can tell you, "God will make a way where there seems to be no way"! So you say, "How do you know it happened when Methuselah died"? Because Methuselah's 369 when Noah is born. In the fifth hundred year of Noah's life, God tells him, "Build the ark". You take 369 plus 500, that's 869 years. And then in Genesis 7:11, it says, "In the 600th year".
Now how many years separate 500 from 600? Thank you, Jesus: you're not working in the new math. There's a hundred years. If Methuselah is 869 when Noah is 500, and Noah is 600 when it starts to rain, what happens when you put 100 on 869? 969 years. Every day that Noah needed him, Methuselah was there. And when the ark was built, and the animals were on, God tells Noah, "In seven days..." Seven is God's number of perfection. He was saying, in my perfect time, it's going to rain. Methuselah was gone. And when they sang the funeral song, the storm clouds started on the horizon.
How do you think Noah felt when he saw the clouds? You know there's a lot of people that they hear about a flood that's coming, and they start to worry, and they start to wonder: what's going to happen? Jesus Christ told his disciples: he said, "You're going to hear of wars. You're going to hear of rumors of wars. You're going to hear of pestilence and disasters in various places. But this is just the beginning of sorrows".
People watch the news and they run to church, and they say, "Oh, pastor, what are we going to do"? Let me tell you what we're going to do. We're going to do what I believe Noah did. You imagine you've been in a 100-year building project waiting for rain, and there's nothing but sunshine? You're building a boat for a flood and there hadn't even been a drop from a cloud. Nobody's even seen a cloud.
I can imagine whenever Noah looked up on the horizon, and he saw a dark cloud forming, he didn't pull out his tissue box and cry about what was coming. He said, oh thank you, God. Your word is true. Your promises endure. Your plan is perfect. Your timing is flawless. I've just driven the last nail in the ark and there's the first cloud that I see. Jesus said, "When you see these signs in various places, just lift up your heads and rejoice: for your redemption draweth nigh". Church, I don't know what flood you're going through this morning. But whatever flood it is, you can just lift up your head and rejoice, because God has already made a way where there seems to be no way. You can lift up your head and say:
Father, I thank you that you're a healer. Father, I thank you that you're a provider. Father, I thank you that you're my banner in battle. Father, I thank you that you can do all things and that nothing is impossible for those that believe.
No matter what need you have, I assure you he can open the windows of heaven and bless you with blessings you cannot contain if you'll lift your hands and rejoice in the Lord. No matter what the doctor said, I assure you he can conquer the sickness. He can cure the disease. He can make a way if you'll lift up your hands and just magnify the Lord. No matter what's going on in your family, no matter what the enemy's trying to destroy, I assure you he can let God arise and his enemies be scattered. He can send his angels before you. If in the midst of your battle you'll just lift up your hands and say, you're my shield, and you're my strong tower, and your my shelter, and you're present in a time of need. Church, whenever you see these signs, lift up your heads and rejoice: for your redemption draweth nigh! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Can we stand in this place? You're here today, and you say, pastor, I'm in a flood. Things are changing, expected or unexpected. But I've been afraid of what's happening. And this morning, I want to exchange my fear for faith. And I want to thank God that in his perfect timing, he saw this coming and he has already made a way, through Jesus Christ, where there seems to be no way. You see, church, Noah had to build his ark. God gave us an ark and his name is Jesus. You say, pastor, I'm in a flood today and I need God's strength to get through it. Right where you are, I just want you to raise your hand. It may be a physical flood, a financial flood, an emotional flood, a spiritual flood, a family flood, something that's getting ready to get out of control, as far as you're concerned. But you're going to believe in faith today that God is in total control. Now I want this entire congregation to raise their hands and repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, today I thank you that you are my ark of salvation. I thank you that you are sovereign and the God of yesterday today, and forever. Lord, you have seen my need. You've known about my flood even before I was aware. And you've already made a way. So today I'm letting go of fear. And I'm embracing faith, believing that Jesus Christ will not fail me, because he is the author, and he is the finisher, and the orchestrator of every step that I take. Today, in faith believing, I declare, "Even though it's never been done before, if God says it, I believe it. And in faith, I will fly over my flood," in Jesus' name. Amen.