Genesis 6

* The wickedness of the world which provoked God's wrath. (1-7)

Noah finds grace. (8-11) Noah warned of the flood, The

directions respecting the ark. (12-21) Noah's faith and

obedience. (22)

1-7 The most remarkable thing concerning the old world, is the

destroying of it by the deluge, or flood. We are told of the

abounding iniquity of that wicked world: God's just wrath, and

his holy resolution to punish it. In all ages there has been a

peculiar curse of God upon marriages between professors of true

religion and its avowed enemies. The evil example of the ungodly

party corrupts or greatly hurts the other. Family religion is

put an end to, and the children are trained up according to the

worldly maxims of that parent who is without the fear of God. If

we profess to be the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, we

must not marry without his consent. He will never give his

blessing, if we prefer beauty, wit, wealth, or worldly honours,

to faith and holiness. The Spirit of God strove with men, by

sending Enoch, Noah, and perhaps others, to preach to them; by

waiting to be gracious, notwithstanding their rebellions; and by

exciting alarm and convictions in their consciences. But the

Lord declared that his Spirit should not thus strive with men

always; he would leave them to be hardened in sin, and ripened

for destruction. This he determined on, because man was flesh:

not only frail and feeble, but carnal and depraved; having

misused the noble powers of his soul to gratify his corrupt

inclinations. God sees all the wickedness that is among the

children of men; it cannot be hid from him now; and if it be not

repented of, it shall be made known by him shortly. The

wickedness of a people is great indeed, when noted sinners are

men renowned among them. Very much sin was committed in all

places, by all sorts of people. Any one might see that the

wickedness of man was great: but God saw that every imagination,

or purpose, of the thoughts of man's heart, was only evil

continually. This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring. The

heart was deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles were

corrupt; the habits and dispositions evil. Their designs and

devices were wicked. They did evil deliberately, contriving how

to do mischief. There was no good among them. God saw man's

wickedness as one injured and wronged by it. He saw it as a

tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious

and disobedient child, which grieves him, and makes him wish he

had been childless. The words here used are remarkable; they are

used after the manner of men, and do not mean that God can

change, or be unhappy. Does God thus hate our sin? And shall not

we be grieved to the heart for it? Oh that we may look on Him

whom we have grieved, and mourn! God repented that he had made

man; but we never find him repent that he redeemed man. God

resolves to destroy man: the original word is very striking, 'I

will wipe off man from the earth,' as dirt or filth is wiped off

from a place which should be clean, and is thrown to the

dunghill, the proper place for it. God speaks of man as his own

creature, when he resolves upon his punishment. Those forfeit

their lives who do not answer the end of their living. God

speaks of resolution concerning men, after his Spirit had been

long striving with them in vain. None are punished by the

justice of God, but those who hate to be reformed by the grace

of God.
8-11 Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated

and persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he

condemned 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 be

accepted of him. When the rest of the world was wicked, Noah

kept his integrity. God's good-will towards Noah produced this

good work in him. He was a just man, that is, justified before

God, 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 to

do the will of God. God looks down upon those with an eye of

favour, who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. It is

easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it shows

strong faith and resolution, to swim against the stream, and to

appear for God when no one else appears for him; Noah did so.

All kinds of sin were found among men. They corrupted God's

worship. Sin fills the earth with violence, and this fully

justified God's resolution to destroy the world. The contagion

spread. When wickedness is become general, ruin is not far off;

while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to empty

the measure as it fills, judgments may be long kept off; but

when all hands are at work to pull down the fences, by sin, and

none stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can be

expected but a flood of wrath?
12-21 God told Noah his purpose to destroy the wicked world by

water. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, #Ps

25:14|. It is with all believers, enabling them to understand

and apply the declarations and warnings of the written word. God

chose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown the

world. As he chooses the rod with which he corrects his

children, so he chooses the sword with which he cuts off his

enemies. God established his covenant with Noah. This is the

first place in the Bible where the word 'covenant' is found; it

seems to mean, 1. The covenant of providence; that the course of

nature shall be continued to the end of time. 2. The covenant of

grace; that God would be a God to Noah, and that out of his seed

God would take to himself a people. God directed Noah to make an

ark. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted to float upon

the waters. It was very large, half the size of St. Paul's

cathedral, and would hold more than eighteen of the largest

ships now used. God could have secured Noah without putting him

to any care, or pains, or trouble; but employed him in making

that which was to be the means to preserve him, for the trial of

his faith and obedience. Both the providence of God, and the

grace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent. God gave

Noah particular orders how to make the ark, which could not

therefore but be well fitted for the purpose. God promised Noah

that he and his family should be kept alive in the ark. What we

do in obedience to God, we and our families are likely to have

the benefit of. The piety of parents gets their children good in

this life, and furthers them in the way to eternal life, if they

improve it.
22 Noah's faith triumphed over all corrupt reasonings. To rear

so large a building, such a one as he never saw, and to provide

food for the living creatures, would require from him a great

deal of care, and labour, and expense. His neighbours would

laugh at him. But all such objections, Noah, by faith, got over;

his obedience was ready and resolute. Having begun to build, he

did not leave off till he had finished: so did he, and so must

we do. He feared the deluge, and therefore prepared the ark. And

in the warning given to Noah, there is a more solemn warning

given to us, to flee from the wrath to come, which will sweep

the world of unbelievers into the pit of destruction. Christ,

the true Noah, which same shall comfort us, hath by his

sufferings already prepared the ark, and kindly invites us by

faith to enter in. While the day of his patience continues, let

us hear and obey his voice.
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