What do you think of when you see a rainbow? Is it the “pot of gold” at the end? Is it the sunshine and rain and beautiful colors? Or does it remind you of God’s covenant with Noah?
Noah was a man who stood alone in a godless culture, a man whom God chose to be the father of the “new world,” a man who found favor in God’s sight, a man who walked with God. He was most likely ridiculed for building the ark, especially since it had not rained before. Can you imagine what people must have thought about Noah? We don’t know all that went through Noah’s mind, but we do know that he was faithful to do what God asked of him. By faith, he stood alone in obedience to God and refused to listen to the world. How would you have responded in that situation? My prayer for you as you study the life of Noah is that you would be encouraged to stand firm for Christ, regardless of what the world is saying around you.
“Lord, open my heart. Take away the distractions that so easily hinder me from focusing on your Word. Teach me fresh truths from the story of Noah. Help me focus on you and not on the world around me.”
1. Noah built an ark in “reverence” (NASB) or “holy fear” (NIV). What is involved in being reverent?
2. Why would reverence or holy fear be necessary to carry out the task that God had given Noah? In other words, why is reverence necessary for obedience?
3. What three things were evidence of Noah’s faith?
4. How did Noah’s faith condemn the world?
5. What is the relationship between faith and reverence?
6. In what ways do you show reverence to God?
1. Describe the moral climate of the earth at this time.
2. Verses 1-4 are highly debated concerning the interpretation of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” (You will have the opportunity to look at this further under “Looking Deeper.”) Regardless of how you interpret these phrases, we know that their intermarriage displeased God greatly. Describe God’s response to the moral climate of the culture at that time.
3. How does Matthew 24:37-39 compare the time of the coming of Christ with the situation in Noah’s day?
4. Describe how Noah’s life contrasted with the “world” at that time.
5. In Genesis 6:3, God told Noah that man’s days would be 120 years. What did He mean by this? Why would God give a timeframe?
6. God was grieved by what He saw in Noah’s day. We are told in Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” How do we grieve the Spirit of God today?
1. God chose to destroy the earth and all flesh with a flood. What are some possible reasons why He chose a flood over other ways to destroy the earth? (What insight might verse 17 give?)
2. Read the account of the flood in Genesis 6:13-8:22. Note the literary structure of this passage.
A God resolves to __________________________________ (6:13).
B Noah builds ________________ according to God's instructions (6:14-22).
C God commands the remnant to ______________________ (7:1-9).
D The flood _____________(7:10-16).
E The flood ___________150 days; water covers the mountains. (7:17-24).
F God ______________Noah (8:1a).
E The flood _________ 150 days; the mountains are visible (8:1b-5).
D The earth ______________ (8:6-14).
C God commands the remnant to _____________________(8:15-19).
B Noah builds ______________________(8:20).
A God resolves not to _______________________________________(8:21-22).3
3. What is the focal point of this structure and how does that encourage you?
4. Is there a situation in your life where you feel that you are standing alone for God? How are you handling it?
5. In Genesis 8, we see Noah’s patience and waiting on God to leave the ark. In what areas do you struggle with waiting on God’s timing in your life?
1. What was the first act of Noah following the flood (8:20) and what was God’s response?
2. Genesis 6:18 and 9:8-17 is the first mention of a Covenant in the Bible. What is the promise of the Noahic covenant?
3. Why is the sign of the rainbow appropriate for this specific covenant?
4. In Genesis 9:20-28 we read about an occurrence in Noah’s life in the “new world.” How was sin still evident in life after the flood and why did Ham’s behavior bring such strong words from Noah?
NOTE: Noah’s words here have direct reference to the nature and destiny of the Canaanites, who would later be Israel’s antagonists.4
5. How did life change for them after the flood?
6. What difference (if any) does the Noahic covenant make in your life, knowing that God will never again destroy the earth and all flesh with a flood?
1. As you review Genesis 6-9, how do you see…
2. How have you seen these attributes of God in your own life recently?
3. What are some lessons for life you can learn from the life of Noah?
Note the parallels between the creation narrative and Noah’s story.
God’s action (Gen. 2:7 and 7:23)
God’s blessing (Gen. 1:28 and 9:1-2)
God’s prohibition (Gen. 2:16 and 9:3-4)
God’s warning (Gen. 2:17 and 9:5)
Noah, like Abel, had a righteous heart. Like Enoch, he walked with God. Noah was a man who was not influenced by the pull of the world, but listened to God’s voice instead of man’s voice. Even though he was not perfect, God still considered Noah a man of faith, worthy to be included in the chapter of faith in Hebrews. He obeyed God in the midst of a disobedient society, and he never wavered in his obedience to God’s instructions. He is a great example to us of someone who stood alone for God.
1 Barton, et al., Life Application Bible Commentary on Hebrews (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 1997), 182.
2 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Pentateuch (Colorado Springs: Cook, 2001), 43.
3 Allen P. Ross, “Genesis” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985), 39.
4 Ross, “Genesis,” 40-41.