Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our Country Living study, Lesson 3! Please join us, as we seek to understand more about the faithful experience which was Noah’s…
He Preached & He Practiced
Let’s go back to Genesis and find some interesting things about Noah’s experience. Have you noted the fact that Genesis for verse after verse, and chapter after chapter tells the story of Noah, and does not deal with his preaching? What does it deal with? — His ark building. As I was studying this anew I was impressed with something that I hadn’t noted before, it’s there all the time. Did you know that they had a great agriculture program going along with the ark building program? Proof?
And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shall gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. – Genesis 6:21
Now wait a minute; are you interested in proof? Country living, country life. Did Noah have a country life program? Who gave it to him? — God did. He said, “Noah, I want you to get busy and gather enough food for not only you and all the people in the ark but for all those animals”. If you want something interesting, begin to estimate how many tons of hay it would take for all the animals, all the elephants and the cows and the goats and the horses. No wonder it was a big ark.
My point is, Noah wasn’t hammering all the time. He was cultivating crops part of the time. Shem, Ham, and Japheth were helping him. Can you make anything else of this? Why just look at it folks, how long were they in the ark? Do you remember? — Just about a year. My, my! Some people struggle quite a bit just to get through a winter, but Noah had to stock up for how long? — A year; and no supermarket to go to. No one to call and say, “Send me so many cases of such and such”. For a whole year they were living on what they had laid by and gathered in, in obedience to God’s command.
By the way, how did those animals and birds get in that ark? Wasn’t that a sight? After Noah had preached for 120 years and made his final appeal and was ridiculed, God brought the animals in to do what human beings didn’t have sense enough to do – to get ready for the storm. Wasn’t that a sight? To see wild beasts from the forest leave and without any attempt to hurt anybody, just march 2 and 2 up that gangplank into the ark.
And then the birds coming, clouds of them, from all directions. Eagles, doves, robins, bluebirds, water birds, land birds, all of them coming and finding their places in the ark. Talk about an organization; wasn’t that an organization Noah and his family had? — To arrange places for all those birds and animals. If you want something interesting, look up the chapter on this in The Story of Redemption, you’ll find that it took them 7 days to get in there and get their places.
But now I want you to notice the relationship from what Noah was doing day by day in planting and building – building the ark, and what that relation had, or what the relation that had to his preaching. This is from the little book, The Story of Redemption:
He was not only to preach, but his example in building the ark was to convince all that he believed what he preached… Every blow struck upon the ark was preaching to the people. Noah directed. He preached while the people looked on in amazement and regarded him as a fanatic. – Story of Redemption, pg. 63
Praise God friends, not once did he wilt under that barrage of ridicule and opposition. He kept on preaching. He kept on hammering. He kept on growing food. You know who was saved with Noah? – His entire family. Too bad for all that were lost, but wasn’t it wonderful. Ah, dear ones, as I trust that there are fathers and mothers [going through these lessons] whose hearts are impressed with the example of Noah. I trust that God will help us to be as faithful to our trust as Noah and his wife was to theirs, what do you say? Can it be done?
What was the relation of Shem, Ham, and Japheth as young people to those around them? —They were different, they had to be. All the other young people their age were drowned in the flood, my friends, weren’t they? But Shem, and Ham, and Japheth and their wives were all saved. Oh, that God may help our young people and their parents and teachers to sense our glorious privilege and follow Noah’s program of being something different from the world around us; something different my friends. What made Noah different, what made Noah’s life different? — Following the instruction of the Spirit of Prophecy. Who told Noah it was going to rain one day? – God did. Any evidence? – Only that God said so. In simple faith he went to building the ark.
Another Ark To Build
Those who have read the book Another Ark to Build know that there are some wonderful Bible texts and Spirit of Prophecy quotations in this book, making an application to our modern times. I’m not going to go into all that now. But I earnestly urge you to study what God has given us from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. My point is, God has given us a program and a way of life which is as distinctive today to us as Noah’s ark was back there. It is based upon simple faith in what God says, and based upon our understanding of coming events.
Turn now to Hebrews 11, and you’ll see what I mean. Another wonderful New Testament Text about Noah.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” – Hebrews 11:7
What are the first 2 words? – “by faith”. That’s the way Abel succeeded. That’s the way Enoch succeeded. That’s the way the first martyr gave his witness. That’s the way the first translated man left this world. And that’s the way Noah prepared an ark for the saving of his house. And he became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Did Noah believe in righteousness by faith? Oh, sure enough, because he was working all the time. People who have faith don’t work, do they? If they work they don’t have faith, do they? What does the Bible say? Faith without works is what? – Dead. And works without faith are dead too, you know that don’t you? That’s right. I want the blend, what do you say?
Noah had it; he preached and he practiced it. His vocal cords preached, and his hammer preached, his hoe and shovel preached. He was working every day (don’t miss it), doing the things that showed he believed his message. If you and I are in any line of activity that does not preach that Jesus is coming and coming soon, we’d better change our vocation, what do you say? God has called every individual, every home, every church, every institution to be to this world today what Noah’s program was back there – showing the way out of the troubles and problems of this world.
And Noah lived where? — In the city? He wouldn’t have found the great trees there that he had to build and bring down. He wouldn’t have found the extensive acres he needed to grow the food. So there in his country out-post, I like to think of Noah and his family building, growing, preaching. People came, they were curious. I can imagine a man coming some day by the place for the first time. He’s a visitor in the parts where Noah lived. And he says to the man he’s walking with, “What in the world is that anyway?” “Why that is a boat. Haven’t you heard about it? It is Noah’s folly”. “Noah’s folly, well what is it?” “That man thinks there’s a flood coming. He is building this ark to float”.
Had it ever rained? The rivers had never overflowed their boundaries. And here is this man, this foolish man, this insane man; religion went to his head, thank God it went to his head and went to his hands too. Thank God friends. Is there another storm coming? A storm is coming relentless in its fury. Are we prepared? We are if we’re doing what Noah did – listening to God speak to us through the Spirit of Prophecy, doing what He says, and following His instructions in where we live, how we live; what we eat, the growing of food; the way we dress; our education; our helping people with physical problems; our study of the Bible — The whole program is all outlined. And when we’re doing what God told us to do, we have the same promise as Noah – come into the ark. God took Noah safely through; He’ll take us through, won’t He?
A Covenant Between God & The Earth
Now turn back to Genesis 9. After spending that year in the ark, the day finally came when God took them out. He made a covenant with them, a special promise.
And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. – Genesis 9:11-13
Thank the Lord. What name do we give that? – A rainbow. And God bent the bow; He put it in the sky after the flood so that every time we see the rainbow, you know what God intended. We should remember. God intended that His children come along. They would come to the place where they noticed those beautiful colors, and were to be told the story of the flood, the story of Noah, the story of the destruction, the story of God’s promise to take them through. The story that God did take them through, and the story that God promised that He’d never again destroy the whole earth with water.
The rainbow, of course, is a mixture of blending of light and water — Water from the dark cloud, and light from the sun. So, at the cross of Calvary we see the rainbow of God’s love. His justice and mercy blended — As love is revealed in God’s attitude towards sin, to hate it and destroy it; His attitude towards the sinner to love him and save him. Is there a rainbow in the book of Revelation? Where is it? — Round about the throne. The same rainbow colors that God gave Noah to be sure of His covenant love, that same rainbow goes round about the throne. And Jesus points to it as He takes our names on His lips. I thank God for it. What do you say?
Invite a friend, as we –continue on with our study–
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- Country Living
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- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.