Free files for youth pastors:
“Whatever you do, don’t press that button!” Think way back with me and remember the original Nintendo Entertainment System. You teenagers today have it so easy with your memory cards and hard-drives which save your games for later play! On the NES, we had to pause it and leave the system on when we left the house. But the worst was when someone would press the “reset” button when you were in the middle of an important game.
Have you ever wanted to press reset on your own life? Maybe after you just made a dumb decision, or at a time you really rebelled against God…you wish you could do it all over again. Please read Genesis 5 – 9 and learn how God pressed reset with all of creation, and how the flood, Noah, and the entire narrative is written by God to point us to His Son, Jesus Christ.
This story begins with God telling us that Adam had a third son, Seth, who was very important because he would be in the line of the coming Seed who would crush Satan’s head (Gen 3:15). In the midst of the curse and sinfulness of Cain, God is showing us His powerful grace as His plan is unstoppable. I don’t know if you’re like me, but the following section is a genealogy which often bores me to tears. But then I look closer and see the repetition of “and he died” which is pointing us to the awfulness of the curse that brings not only sin but also death. This is pointing to our need of the Seed who will conquer death. God then tells us about the rebellion of all the earth and describes it as “every intention of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). So God decides to wipe out His creation and press reset by restarting it with a righteous, blameless man in the generation: Noah. We must remember that just like Abraham, Noah’s work didn’t make him righteous. It was his faithful walk with God.
God explains to Noah how to make an ark, how to waterproof it, and how to carry all the pioneers of His new world once the flood was over. These pioneers include a male and female of each kind of animal, seven of each kind of clean animal for sacrifice, Noah’s wife, his sons, and their wives. By the way, I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where Noah was persuading others to come with him into the ark. If you know where it is, please point me to it! It is an important detail to note that as the flood rose, the waters covered the highest of mountains and the tallest of trees. The flood is an act of God’s wrathful judgment on all of his creation. The waters covering everything is a picture of God’s wrath over all that is cursed. It is unfortunate that the ark is used as names for children’s preschools since all we think about is Noah as a Dr. Doolittle with all the furry animals. The ark wasn’t a zoo, it was the life-boat during a holocaust!
When the flood waters receded and God commanded Noah to leave the ark and make sacrifices to Him, God does something very interesting that should jog our memory. He blesses Noah and commands him to be fruitful, to fill the earth, and to have dominion over all the animals (Gen 9:1-2). He tells Noah that he is continuing his covenant (promise) with him, his descendants, and the animals he brought with him. What is God doing? He is restarting the new creation with His new pioneer, His new Adam – Noah! We have got to remember that God’s desires are about His plan being accomplished on earth. He wants us as a part of His plan rather than He merely blessing our own plans. God is all about His will, His gospel, His covenant. God then writes something we’d all probably leave out…Noah Gone Wild. He gets drunk and naked. This is all to point out that Noah isn’t the final Seed, but rather he too is under the curse.
But the One to come is not under the curse. The One this true story is pointing to is perfectly righteous and walking with God at all points. In fact, Jesus even says that His coming will be like the days of Noah in that He will sweep away those who aren’t walking with Him (Matt 24:37-51). Just as God sees rebellion, destroys the earth, and resets it with a new pioneer in Genesis, He will do the same thing with the final Pioneer Jesus, sweeping away the wicked, saving the faithful, and dawning the New Creation which will never be cursed again.