|大洪水/In the Beginning 5
以赛亚书53：6 说，“我们都如羊走迷，各人偏行己路...。”当你活着只为使你自己喜悦时，你就是在偏行己路。你和我生来就有自私的意念，只想讨自己的喜悦。当你把个人自私的喜好置于相信和顺从主耶稣之上时，那就是罪。当你取笑那些相信和事奉主耶稣的人时，那就是罪。注意！罗马书6∶23说：“ 罪的工价乃是死。。。”如果你不带着你的罪来到主耶稣的面前，你必会与神和他美丽的天堂永远隔离。不仅不能享受神的永生，那些拒绝相信主耶稣的人将会受到永死的惩罚。
许多相信圣经的科学家说，在那之前可能从没下过雨，所以挪亚连一般正常的下雨都不知道，更不要说世界范围的洪水。你认为挪亚在那之前见过方舟吗？方舟不仅将是巨大无比，而且看起来方舟不象船，倒像一个巨大的漂浮的盒子！挪亚一定是仔细的听神的指示，把问题都留在心里，因为创世纪6：22说, "凡神所吩咐的, 挪亚都照样行了..."
核心真理：如果你已经信靠主耶稣为你的救主, 把你从罪恶中拯救出来, 神要你听从和顺从他的话!今天神借着圣经对你我说话, 每一天我们都要认真读经, 听神要我们做什么。找一找要我们相信的应许, 要我们留心的警戒, 或者要我们去做的事情。
雅各书1：22说, " 只是你们要行道, 不要单单听道, 自己欺哄自己。"如果你已经信主耶稣基督, 神要你听和顺从他的话。那就是你每天与神同行的方式。顺从神总是很容易吗？现在并不是这样, 在挪亚的时代更是不容易!
尽管挪亚在造方舟时很仔细地听神的指令, 但那并不是容易的事。要砍树还要准备木材。他的妻子和三个儿子一定在给他帮忙, 但这是一项多么庞大的任务啊!当挪亚造方舟时, 他周围的人经过时可能都会笑话和讥笑他。圣经表明挪亚花了120年的时间建好方舟。在挪亚造方舟时, 他一定也在告诉和警戒当时的人----神将降洪水于地上。圣经称挪亚为传义道的(彼得后书2：5)。在长达120 年的时间里, 神通过挪亚的传道和所建的方舟努力地提醒人们。神如此长久地为人类自己的罪发出警告, 神也显明了他对人类的爱和忍耐。
神也爱你!在以弗所书2：4-5 说, "然而神既有丰富的怜悯，因他爱我们的大爱，当我们死在过犯中的时候，便叫我们与基督一同活过来。。。。。"神不仅造了你, 他也爱你, 并且他要你与他永远地在天堂里。但是神是圣洁的神, 是完全没有罪的神。神不容许天堂里有罪。因为神爱你, 所以他提醒你的罪并告诉你当如何处理你的罪。神不想因你的罪使你与他永远隔离。
神爱挪亚时代的人, 所以他通过挪亚耐心地提醒人们, 罪带来的惩罚即将到来。当挪亚造完方舟时, 还有一些工作要做。神告诉挪亚要收集食物并储存在方舟里。神已经告诉挪亚要召集动物, 但是突然之间, 每种动物, 飞虫, 和鸟类, 都有一对儿过来, 一公一母地进入方舟!他们如何知道即将有危险呢？他们如何知道方舟是他们唯一安全的地方呢？他们的创造主--神一定帮助他们知道的。其实神也帮助人类知道即将有危险, 因为神派挪亚来提醒他们。但是人类却固执地拒绝相信神。
当挪亚和他的家人都在方舟里面观望时, 方舟的大门突然啪地关上了。神已经把门关上了。此刻, 神的仁慈警告已经结束, 而神对罪的重大审判即将开始。出于对人类的爱, 神为人免于罪的刑罚提供一条出路, 但是人却拒绝相信和接受。
出于爱, 神也为你能免于罪的永远刑罚开了一条出路。。我们安全的方舟就是主耶稣基督, 神的完美的儿子!大概在2000年前, 耶稣降生到世上, 他知道他将要承但我们罪的刑罚。在耶稣走向十字架为我们死之前, 耶稣说, "人子必须受许多苦, 被弃绝, 并且被杀, 第三日复活。" (路加福音9：22)现在, 主耶稣就在天堂里, 而且他也永远不会再死。
主耶稣说, "我就是门, 凡从我进来的, 必然得救。"神已经赐给我们主耶稣作为我们唯一安全的方舟。当你真心相信他并求他救你的时刻, 你已经被救脱离了永远的死亡及与神隔绝。
神已经为人提供了一条免于洪水的出路, 但是直到最后一刻, 除了挪亚一家，没有人相信和听从神的警告。当天上的雨开始降下来的时候, 圣经说, "在同一天, 大渊的泉源都裂开了, 天上的窗户也敞开了。"相信圣经的科学家说, 这包括地震, 当地下的水泉把地壳冲破时, 天然喷泉, 火山熔岩, 及水蒸气都从地的裂缝中喷出来。当神的重大审判临到地上时, 可能有许多人意识到他们无望的处境时，都惊恐地尖叫, 。
圣经告诉我们，大雨持续40昼夜。在那期间, 水往上涨, 把方舟从地上浮起。方舟并不是被设计成驶向某个地方, 而是只是漂浮在水面上。水位上涨直到最高的山完全被水淹没。创世纪7：23非常清楚地告诉我们："凡地上各类的活物, 连人带牲畜、昆虫，以及空中的飞鸟，都从地上除灭了，只留下挪亚和那些与他同在方舟里的。"你能想象他们为自己相信和顺服神是何等的欢喜吗？
你是否在思想, 神如何把那许多动物弄到方舟里去的？挪亚和他的家人又是如何照顾那些动物的？当然我们不能完全确信事情的经过, 因为圣经并没有给我们讲述每个细节。但是同意神创造论的科学家认为, 把所有动物的代表放在方舟里, 并且留出一些空间, 并不是问题。那么大恐龙呢？恐龙是爬行动物, 爬行动物都是随着活着的时间继续长大。创造论的科学家说, 有可能神把小恐龙放在了方舟里, 如果是那样的话, 他们的个头儿不会太大。
许多人曾经问过, "挪亚如何喂养那些动物的, 他又如何使那些动物不互相残杀？"同样的, 相信圣经的科学家有一个很好的理论。既然动物的天性使动物在恶劣的气候中保持少动和安静, 那么动物也可能都进入了冬眠状态。在冬眠时, 动物几乎不用吃东西。
即使在40昼夜的大雨停止后, 圣经告诉我们, 过了许多个月地上的水才逐渐退去。在洪水发生和水位退下的过程中, 地的面貌却大大改变了。那之后出现很多更高的山!正是在那段时间里, 水冲刷得很厉害, 以至于形成了大峡谷和地球上其他的巨大峡谷。不相信圣经的科学家也有其他的解释, 但是很容易就能看出，世界范围的洪水就是形成的原因! 在这些大峡谷和山脉的断层中, 你看到了什么呢？你能看到许多许多层的岩石, 这些岩石在大洪水之后曾是一层层的泥。那些泥最终慢慢变干, 硬化成岩石。今天你能看到, 在岩层中夹有数不清的各种生物的化石。那些化石就是在大洪水中死去的生物。
当水退下的时候, 方舟停在了今天土耳其的亚拉腊山。许多年来, 许多人相信他们看到了方舟是夹在山峰中的!
当地完全干了的那天, 神告诉挪亚把方舟的所有人和生物都放出来。你能想象那些鸟都飞出来, 动物们伸伸腿, 在一年之后第一次跑一跑？随后, 挪亚马上建了一座坛, 向神献祭。当挪亚和他的家人看到一个完全不同的世界时, 他们深深的感谢神救了他们。然后他们惊奇地抬起头看他们的第一道彩虹, 那彩虹色彩瑰丽横跨天空!神就是以彩虹立约, 他将不再用洪水毁灭地了。
当挪亚和他的家人看到整个世界只有他们八个人时, 他们一定很难过。如果他那时代的人相信神的警戒就好了, 那样他们也会得救了。
你是否已经相信神对你的罪的警戒呢？你是否已经告诉神, 你将接受使你罪得赦免的唯一道路呢？使徒行传16：31说, "当信主耶稣, 你就必得救。"神提醒你, 你需要相信主耶稣和他在十字架上为你所做的, 使你免于罪的刑罚。你愿意去看一下"怎样成为神的孩子"并照着做吗？
如果你已经相信了主耶稣, 你会听神的话并去顺服吗？这一周里你会每天读八到十节圣经吗？读经时, 你要问你自己三个问题并写出答案：
Introduction：Here is a riddle for you：“I am a word that you may see on roadways or medicine bottles, and even on some of your toys! What am I？” Did you guess the word WARNING!”？Why do we need WARNING signs？We need to know of possible danger, don’t we!
Not long after God created the world, God gave a very serious WARNING to the people of the world. There was danger ahead! Even though people lived much longer back then, they were very much like the people today. They were busy working and playing, getting an education, building homes and cities, traveling, marrying and having families. However, just as most people today, the people back then missed the most important thing：they didn’t believe in the true and living God. As the number of people was increasing, so was their sin! Disobeying parents, hatred, murder, divorce, sexual sin, stealing, violence were all increasing because people had no desire to please God. Genesis 6：5 says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” God saw people living sinful lives, living only to please themselves.
You and I are like that too. Isaiah 53：6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way…” When you live to please yourself, that is going your own way. You and I were born with that selfish desire to please ourselves. It is sin when you put your own selfish pleasures ahead of believing and obeying the Lord Jesus. It is sin to make fun of those who do believe in the Lord Jesus and serve Him. WARNING! Romans 6：23 says “The wages of sin is death…” If you do not come to the Lord Jesus with your sin, you must be forever separated from Him and His beautiful Heaven. Instead of enjoying His eternal life, those who refuse to believe in the Lord Jesus will be punished with eternal death.
Genesis 6：6 says that the sin of the people “grieved him (God) at his heart.” God had created a beautiful, happy, and perfect world without sin. But man had “corrupted his way upon the earth.” (Genesis 6：12) However, God saw one man who did believe and obey Him! His name was Noah. He was a descendent of Shem, Adam’s third son. And his great grandfather was Enoch, a man who walked with God closely. We know that Enoch’s friendship with God had a great effect on his grandson for Genesis 6：9 tells us that “Noah walked with God.” It was Noah that God chose to tell about His terrible judgment upon sin：“I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air…Make…an ark of gopher wood; ” Then God instructed Noah in every detail of this ark. It was to be 450 feet long, that’s as long as 22 railroad cars put together! The ark was to be 75 feet wide and 45 feet tall, higher than a 4 story building! It was to have only one door. It was to be pitched inside and out with tar, which would make the ark waterproof. Noah was to build rooms, or stalls, in the ark. God told Noah that He was going to send a flood to destroy the earth and its people. The ark would be the only place of safety for Noah and his family. God also instructed Noah to take into the ark pairs of every kind of animal and insect and birds, two pairs of some animals and seven of others.
Many scientists who believe the Bible say that it had probably never rained before, so Noah could not have been familiar with a normal rain, much less a worldwide flood. And do you suppose he had ever seen an ark before？The ark was not only going to be HUGE, but it would be more like a huge floating box than a boat! Noah must have listened carefully and kept his questions to himself, for Genesis 6：22 says, “…Noah did according to all that God commanded him…”
Main Truth：If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your Savior from sin, God wants you to listen and obey His Word! God uses the Bible to speak to you and me today, and every day we should read it carefully, listening for God to show us what to do. Look for a promise to believe, a warning you should heed, or something God wants you to do. James 1：22 says, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” If you have believed on the Lord Jesus, God wants you to listen and obey His Word. That’s how you walk with God daily. Is it always easy to obey God？Not now, and surely not in Noah’s day!
Even though Noah was careful to obey God’s instructions in building the ark, it was not easy. There were trees to cut and lumber to prepare. His wife and his three sons would have helped him, but what an enormous task! The people around him were probably laughing and mocking as they passed by his building project. The Bible indicates it took about 120 years to build the ark, and while Noah built the ark, he also must have been preaching and warning the people that God was going to send the flood. The Bible calls Noah a preacher of righteousness. (II Peter 2：5) For 120 years God was trying to warn the people through Noah’s preaching and through seeing the ark being built. God showed His love and patience for the people in warning them for so long about their sin.
God loves you too! Ephesians 2：4-5 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, …” God not only made you but He loves you and His plan is for you to be with Him forever in Heaven. But God is holy, completely without sin. He will not allow sin in Heaven. Because He loves you, He warns you about your sin and tells you what to do about it. God does not want your sin to keep you away from Him forever.
God loved the people in Noah’s day, so He used Noah to patiently warn them about the coming punishment for sin. When Noah finished the ark, there was still work to be done. God had told Noah to gather food and store in the ark. After Noah’s family helped him gather food for themselves and all the animals, then it was time to board the ark. God had told Noah to gather the animals, but suddenly here came the animals of every kind, insects and birds, parading by pairs, male and female, into the ark! How did they know there was danger ahead？How did they know the ark was their only place of safety？God their Creator somehow helped them know. God had also helped the people know there was danger ahead by sending Noah to warn them. But the people stubbornly refused to believe God.
Suddenly, as Noah and his family watched from the inside, the one big door of the ark banged shut. God had shut the door. It was now the end of His merciful warning and the beginning of His terrible judgment on sin. God in His love had made one way for the people to be saved from the punishment of sin, but the people refused to believe and come.
God in His love has made one way for you to be saved from the everlasting punishment of sin. Our ark of safety is the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son! When Jesus came down to earth almost 2, 000 years ago, He knew He was coming to take our punishment for sin. Before Jesus went to the cross to die for us, He said, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected…, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” (Luke 9：22) Now the Lord Jesus is in Heaven, and He will never have to die again.
He says, “I am the door：by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” God has given the Lord Jesus Christ as our only ark of safety. The moment you truly believe in Him and ask Him to save you, you are saved from the everlasting death and separation from God.
God had made one way for the people to be saved from the flood, but not one of them outside Noah’s family believed and obeyed God’s warning until it was too late. As the heavy rains began to fall, the Bible also says “the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Scientists who believe the Bible say that this would have included earthquakes, as well as geysers of water, lava, and steam shooting up from cracks in the earth, as the fountains from underground broke up the earth’s crust. Noah and his family, and all the creatures in the ark must have felt the shaking of the earth. As the terrible judgment of God fell upon the earth, many probably screamed in terror, realizing their hopeless condition.
The Bible tells us the heavy rains continued for 40 days and nights. During this time, the rising waters caused the ark to begin to float. The ark was not designed to be steered anywhere, just to float. The waters rose until even the highest mountains were completely covered with water. Genesis 7：23 tells us clearly：“And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground…and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” Can you imagine how glad they were that they had believed and obeyed God!
Are you wondering how God got all those animals on the ark, and how Noah and his family cared for them？Of course we are not sure exactly how it happened, because the Bible does not give us every detail. But scientists who agree that God created the world say that it was no problem to house some of all the animals on the ark, with much room to spare. What about the big dinosaurs？Dinosaurs are reptiles and reptiles continue to grow larger as long as they live. Creation scientists say that perhaps God sent the younger dinosaurs to the ark, and if so, they would not be the larger size.
Many have asked, “How did Noah manage to keep all the animals fed, and how did he keep them from eating each other？” Again, Bible-believing scientists have a very good theory. Since the nature of many animals is to be still and quiet during bad weather, the animals could have gone into something like a hibernating condition. During hibernation animals eat very little.
Even after the 40 days and nights of rain ended, the Bible tells us it took many months for the water to gradually go down. During the flood and even as the water was receding, the earth had drastically changed its form. Now there were much higher mountains! It was during this time, when the waters were running off rapidly, that the Grand Canyon and other huge canyons of the earth were formed. Scientists who do not believe God’s Word have other explanations, but it is so easy to see how a worldwide flood would have done it! In the strata of these canyons, and mountains, what do you see？You see many, many layers of rock which right after the flood were layers of mud. That mud eventually dried out and hardened into rock. Today you can see the layers packed together with billions and billions of fossils of all kinds of creatures. Those were creatures that died in the flood.
As the waters receded, the ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat, which is in the country of Turkey. Through the years, many people believe they have seen the ark wedged into the side of the mountain!
The day came when the earth was dry enough, and God told Noah to take everyone out of the ark. Can you imagine the birds flying out, the animals stretching their legs and taking their first run in over a year？Right away Noah built an altar and made an offering to the Lord. As they looked around at a very different world, Noah and his family were so thankful to the Lord for saving them. Then they looked up in wonder to see their first rainbow, stretched across the sky in brilliant bands of color! God had given it as His promise that He would never again destroy the whole earth with a flood.
What a sadness Noah and his family must have felt, as they looked around at a world in which their family of eight were the only inhabitants. If only the people in his day had believed God’s warning, they could have been saved.
Have you believed God’s warning about your sin？Have you told Him you are accepting His one way to have forgiveness of your sin？Acts 16：31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” God warns you that you need to be saved from the punishment of sin by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for you on the cross. Will you go now to "How to Be a Child of God" and take those steps？If you have already believed on Jesus, will you listen and obey God’s Word？Will you this week read 8-10 verses in your Bible daily, asking yourself these 3 questions and writing down the answer：1)Is there a promise to believe？2)Is there a warning I should heed？3)Is there something God wants me to do？When you listen and obey God’s Word, you are walking with God!