"It is a wonderful fact of human nature that we learn far more easily from example than we do in any other way. Now, you have in this passage an example of a sinner saved by faith. It shows you how a sinner is saved. And as Noah fled into the ark which he had prepared, so should you. You too, have an ark provided; and just as Noah thereby condemned the world — that is, shewed that the world was righteously condemned so will you; if you enter in, you will show by your faith that its condemnation is just.Let us go over these things and see:
First, Noah's warning: "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." We have an account given us of the warning of Noah in the 6th chapter of Genesis:
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth ... that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years; verses 1-3.
That was the first warning.And the LORD said, 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; for it repenteth me that I have made them; verse 7.
This is the second warning. That was the warning which God gave Noah; he told him that the Holy Spirit would not always strive with man, and then he told him that he would destroy man whom he had created. Now, if Noah had been like some of you, he might have said, God is a merciful God — he will not destroy the souls that he has made. Or, like some of you, he might have said, O! it is a long time yet; it will be time enough to turn to God a year before the flood comes. But, no; "Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house."Now, brethren, if you would be like Noah, you should be moved with fear. God has warned you, not once, nor twice, but a hundred times. God warns you in the Bible that "his wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men" - Romans 1:18. It says, "Except ye be converted ... ye shall not enter the kingdom of God" - Matthew 18:3; it says, that if you commit such things you shall die; it says that if you do not believe you shall be damned - Mark 16:16; it says that if you are not converted and become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of God - Matthew 18:3. Ah, then, man, have you ever trembled at the warning of God? No; then you are not like Noah; you are not like him, for he believed God. I tell you, you could not live on as you do, if you believe God's Word; it is because you are infidel at heart - that is the reason why you do not tremble at his Word: "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."Again, you are warned by providence. Some of you have seen souls cut down, and yet you are left. Some of you have seen those whom you led into sin taken away, and yet you are left. Ah, brethren, can you say that you have not been warned? and how have you taken it? Some of you have gone deeper into sin. Ah! you are not like Noah. But some of you will make this objection. I do not like to be moved with fear; I like it to be all love. It is quite true that none were ever brought to Christ by fear. We must be brought to Christ by a sight of his love. But then, it is quite as true that you will never be brought out of your security but by fear: you must be drawn out by fear, and drawn in by love.I come now, in the second place, to consider the ark. "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." are told about the preparation of the ark in the 6th chapter of Genesis, 14th verse: "Make thee an ark of gopher-wood: rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch"; then, verse 16: "A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above: and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof, with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it"; verse 21: "And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food to thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.""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." Noah saved his house by fleeing from all other refuges. "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come, thou and all thy house into the ark" - Genesis 7:1. "And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood."First of all, he entered in. Carnal men would have said, Better go to the top of the mountains; but Noah believed God, and fled from all other refuges; and not only did he go to the threshold, but he entered in, and his Wife and his sons, and their wives with him, into the ark, and the Lord shut him in. So must it be with you if you would enter in.Some rest in the ark of God's general mercy, but that is a false ark. Some rest in the ark of their decent moral character. Some rest in their knowledge of the ark, but these are all false arks; all that proceeds from man is false. Brethren, we must flee from all refuges of lies, and remember you must not stop on the threshold; there are many that look in, but do not enter in.There are many that know what is in the ark, but they do not enter in. But come thou into the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee, and the Lord will shut you in. You must not only hear about the ark, but you must enter in. You are not safe because you have wept and prayed. You are only safe when you enter in.Observe, brethren, how completely the ark represents Christ. It was of God's planning; and so it is with Christ and the gospel salvation. All the men that lived could not have devised an ark to hold so many: so, in like manner, neither man nor angel could find a way whereby the sinner could be saved. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..." - John 3:16.It is said, the angels desire to look into the plan of redemption. It is said, "it is unsearchable". It is a plan that saves the sinner, and that gives glory to God. It is a plan laid so as to bring the sinner to God — a plan that gives glory to God in the highest..."
"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away" - Matthew 24:37-39.
Rev. Robert Murray M'Cheyne