Genesis 6* The wickedness of the world which provoked God's wrath. (1-7)Noah finds grace. (8-11) Noah warned of the flood, Thedirections respecting the ark. (12-21) Noah's faith andobedience. (22)1-7 The most remarkable thing concerning the old world, is thedestroying of it by the deluge, or flood. We are told of theabounding iniquity of that wicked world: God's just wrath, andhis holy resolution to punish it. In all ages there has been apeculiar curse of God upon marriages between professors of truereligion and its avowed enemies. The evil example of the ungodlyparty corrupts or greatly hurts the other. Family religion isput an end to, and the children are trained up according to theworldly maxims of that parent who is without the fear of God. Ifwe profess to be the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, wemust not marry without his consent. He will never give hisblessing, if we prefer beauty, wit, wealth, or worldly honours,to faith and holiness. The Spirit of God strove with men, bysending Enoch, Noah, and perhaps others, to preach to them; bywaiting to be gracious, notwithstanding their rebellions; and byexciting alarm and convictions in their consciences. But theLord declared that his Spirit should not thus strive with menalways; he would leave them to be hardened in sin, and ripenedfor destruction. This he determined on, because man was flesh:not only frail and feeble, but carnal and depraved; havingmisused the noble powers of his soul to gratify his corruptinclinations. God sees all the wickedness that is among thechildren of men; it cannot be hid from him now; and if it be notrepented of, it shall be made known by him shortly. Thewickedness of a people is great indeed, when noted sinners aremen renowned among them. Very much sin was committed in allplaces, by all sorts of people. Any one might see that thewickedness of man was great: but God saw that every imagination,or purpose, of the thoughts of man's heart, was only evilcontinually. This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring. Theheart was deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles werecorrupt; the habits and dispositions evil. Their designs anddevices were wicked. They did evil deliberately, contriving howto do mischief. There was no good among them. God saw man'swickedness as one injured and wronged by it. He saw it as atender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebelliousand disobedient child, which grieves him, and makes him wish hehad been childless. The words here used are remarkable; they areused after the manner of men, and do not mean that God canchange, or be unhappy. Does God thus hate our sin? And shall notwe be grieved to the heart for it? Oh that we may look on Himwhom we have grieved, and mourn! God repented that he had mademan; but we never find him repent that he redeemed man. Godresolves to destroy man: the original word is very striking, 'Iwill wipe off man from the earth,' as dirt or filth is wiped offfrom a place which should be clean, and is thrown to thedunghill, the proper place for it. God speaks of man as his owncreature, when he resolves upon his punishment. Those forfeittheir lives who do not answer the end of their living. Godspeaks of resolution concerning men, after his Spirit had beenlong striving with them in vain. None are punished by thejustice of God, but those who hate to be reformed by the graceof God. 8-11 Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hatedand persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching hecondemned the world: but he found grace in the eyes of the Lord,and this made him more truly honourable than the men of renown.Let this be our chief desire, let us labour that we may beaccepted of him. When the rest of the world was wicked, Noahkept his integrity. God's good-will towards Noah produced thisgood work in him. He was a just man, that is, justified beforeGod, by faith in the promised Seed. As such he was made holy,and had right principles; and was righteous in his conversation.He was not only honest, but devout; it was his constant care todo the will of God. God looks down upon those with an eye offavour, who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. It iseasy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it showsstrong faith and resolution, to swim against the stream, and toappear for God when no one else appears for him; Noah did so.All kinds of sin were found among men. They corrupted God'sworship. Sin fills the earth with violence, and this fullyjustified God's resolution to destroy the world. The contagionspread. When wickedness is become general, ruin is not far off;while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to emptythe measure as it fills, judgments may be long kept off; butwhen all hands are at work to pull down the fences, by sin, andnone stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can beexpected but a flood of wrath? 12-21 God told Noah his purpose to destroy the wicked world bywater. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, #Ps25:14|. It is with all believers, enabling them to understandand apply the declarations and warnings of the written word. Godchose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown theworld. As he chooses the rod with which he corrects hischildren, so he chooses the sword with which he cuts off hisenemies. God established his covenant with Noah. This is thefirst place in the Bible where the word 'covenant' is found; itseems to mean, 1. The covenant of providence; that the course ofnature shall be continued to the end of time. 2. The covenant ofgrace; that God would be a God to Noah, and that out of his seedGod would take to himself a people. God directed Noah to make anark. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted to float uponthe waters. It was very large, half the size of St. Paul'scathedral, and would hold more than eighteen of the largestships now used. God could have secured Noah without putting himto any care, or pains, or trouble; but employed him in makingthat which was to be the means to preserve him, for the trial ofhis faith and obedience. Both the providence of God, and thegrace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent. God gaveNoah particular orders how to make the ark, which could nottherefore but be well fitted for the purpose. God promised Noahthat he and his family should be kept alive in the ark. What wedo in obedience to God, we and our families are likely to havethe benefit of. The piety of parents gets their children good inthis life, and furthers them in the way to eternal life, if theyimprove it. 22 Noah's faith triumphed over all corrupt reasonings. To rearso large a building, such a one as he never saw, and to providefood for the living creatures, would require from him a greatdeal of care, and labour, and expense. His neighbours wouldlaugh at him. But all such objections, Noah, by faith, got over;his obedience was ready and resolute. Having begun to build, hedid not leave off till he had finished: so did he, and so mustwe do. He feared the deluge, and therefore prepared the ark. Andin the warning given to Noah, there is a more solemn warninggiven to us, to flee from the wrath to come, which will sweepthe world of unbelievers into the pit of destruction. Christ,the true Noah, which same shall comfort us, hath by hissufferings already prepared the ark, and kindly invites us byfaith to enter in. While the day of his patience continues, letus hear and obey his voice.
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