Noah & the Flood

Bible Passage: Genesis 6-8

Because of the great wickedness of human beings upon the earth, God decided to judge the world by sending a Great Flood. But in times of judgment, God is always merciful. Before God brought the great judgment of death upon the world, God appointed a “savior” for the human race. He was a righteous man named Noah, and he delivered everyone in his household safely through the waters of death to a new heavens and earth. The apostle Peter describes this experience as a baptism, a metaphoric death and resurrection. Discover how Noah’s deliverance anticipated the even greater deliverance of Jesus, the True Noah and the Savior of all the world!

Lesson Commentary

Listen to Dr. Warren Gage & Dr. Robey Barnes discuss the story of Noah and how it teaches the gospel by pointing us to the suffering and glory of Jesus!

The Gospel Connections

In Luke 24, Jesus taught his disciples that every story in the Bible points directly to him! He explained that we simply need to look for the gospel pattern of “suffering followed by glory.” That is, we need to look for something that points to his suffering on the cross, followed by something that points to the glory of his resurrection! Use the gospel chart below to help you find “the story within the story!”

The Story of Noah

The Story of Jesus

1. Lamech names his son Noah (Heb rest), saying, “this one will comfort us from the work and toil of our hands from the ground which the Lord has cursed” (Gen 5:29).

1. “Come unto me all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb 4:9)… “and there was no more curse” (Rev 22:3).

2. “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Gen 6:9).

2. Jesus was “a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet 1:19).

3. In obedience to God’s word, Noah built an ark to the salvation of his house in the flood (Gen 6:17-18; Heb 11:7).

3. Jesus offers words of salvation such that those obeying them build a house upon a rock that the flood cannot destroy (Luke 6:48).

4. Noah prepared an ark for the salvation of his house, and set a door in the ark (Gen 6:16).

4. Jesus says, “I am the Door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (John 10:9).

5. By faith Noah delivered his house to a renewed creation, a new heavens and earth (Gen 8: 15-19; Heb 11:7; 2 Pet 3:6-7).

5. Jesus promises a new heavens and earth to his household of faith (Rom 8:20; 2 Cor 5:17; Rev 21:1).

6. Noah offered a sacrifice that caused the wrath of God to rest (Gen 9:20-21).

6. Jesus offered a sacrifice that caused the wrath of God to rest for all time (Heb 10:10).

7. Noah received a covenant of peace, and was given the sign of the rainbow (Gen 9:13).

7. Jesus sat down at the right hand of the rainbow throne (Rev 4:3), having made peace by the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20).


Gospel Study Notes

Connection #1

Noah’s father spoke prophetically over his son in the hope that Noah would be the promised one who would deliver the earth from the ground cursed because of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:17) and so bring rest (Heb “Noah”) to the people of God (Gen 5:29). The hope here expressed is certainly that Noah would be the promised Seed (Gen 3:15). His name means “Rest,” and the word and its derivatives are deployed to characterize the effect of his obedience in preserving life after the flood: the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat (Gen 8:4), the dove first sought rest for the sole of her foot on dry ground and found none, then was sent out again (Gen 8:8-12), and finally Noah built an altar of sacrifice and the Lord received the aroma of rest (lit Heb) (Gen 8:20-22).  While Noah was a man of great faith, it is Jesus, our True Noah, who gives us his everlasting rest (Heb 4:9), and whose sacrifice will at last deliver the world from the curse (Rev 22:3).

Connection #2

The word used to describe Noah’s righteousness is the word that describes a sacrifice without any defect (Gen 6:9, c.f. Exod 12:5; Heb tamim). Jesus is similarly described as a sacrificial lamb without defect by Peter (1 Pet 1:19).

Connection #3

Noah delivered his house from the flood by his obedience to the word of God in building the ark. Jesus likewise exhorts our obedience to his word, promising that if we build on him, our house will be delivered when the flood comes (Luke 6:48). In context, Jesus contrasts two houses, one built on a rock to survive the flood and one built on sand that is washed away by the flood. The word “house” refers to the temple. The “days of Noah” are coming to Jerusalem, Jesus warned (Matt 24:37-39). The second temple (Herod’s temple), the house of God not built on his teaching, will fall in the flood of judgment in AD 70. And great would be its fall! (Matt 7:27). The temple Jesus will build (Ephesians 2:19-22), resting on the Cornerstone Rock (of his word, Matt 21:42), will sustain the judgment and deliver all those obedient to his word, even all his house.

Connection #4

Noah is directed to place a door in the side of the ark (Gen 6:16). This door separates the ones who will be delivered from death through the judgment of God. It is therefore a door of safety. Jesus boldly claims that he is the Door, that any who enter by him will find safety (John 10:9).

Connection #5

Noah delivers his house from the old heavens and earth to a new cosmic order, which Peter calls “the present heavens and earth” (2 Pet 3:7). But Jesus, the True and Greater Noah, will deliver us to a new heavens and earth “where righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13)! Noah delivered through the water (2 Pet 3:6), but Jesus will deliver us through the fire (2 Pet 3:10-13).

Connection #6

Noah’s obedience in the sacrifice is rewarded by the covenant God makes with creation (Gen 9:8-17). Jesus’ obedience in his sacrifice is rewarded by the New Covenant, which will at last fulfill the prophetic hope of Noah’s father Lamech, giving comfort to the people of God that their work is not in vain, and delivering the ground from the curse on that day when the children of God are brought forth in a new heavens and earth (Gen 5:29; Rom 8:19-21).

Connection #7

The favor of God on Noah after the judgment of the flood is expressed in the beautiful sign of the rainbow (Gen 9:13). The favor of God on Jesus is expressed in giving him the throne of heaven, overarched by the rainbow (Rev 4:3).

Gospel Applications

1. The Book of Hebrews celebrates Noah’s faithful testimony, by which he condemned the world (Heb 11:7. How much better is the gospel testimony of Jesus, by which the world is saved! Our gospel too must warn the world of judgment (John 16:8), for the days of Noah will yet come again upon the earth (Matt 24:37). But just as the Lord of All Mercy set a door of safety in the ark for Noah and his household (Gen 6:16), so the God of Grace has given Jesus as the Door of Safety for us (John 10:9), the refuge for all who seek him in the days of wrath to come.

2. William Holman Hunt has a beautiful picture called The Light of the World. It is based on Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Hunt has Jesus knocking at the door with his nail-pierced hand. The door, representing our soul, has no handle; it must be opened up from inside. All of us must respond to the offer of salvation from the Lord himself. May the Spirit of God so work upon our hearts that we cry out to the Lord for mercy and find his free salvation, the joy of table fellowship with Jesus himself!

Dr. Warren A. Gage © 2022

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