Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Joy Pople
Noah And His Family
God calls Noah
Genesis 4:16 - 6:22
Cain had children, and they had children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Cain had many descendants, but they did not love God and they did not teach their children to love God. They killed people, and they were proud of doing so.
Many, many people lived on earth, but their hearts and minds were full of sin. They did evil, and they thought only about evil.
Looking into the hearts and lives of all these people, God was sorry that He had made people, and His heart was broken. Such people were no longer fit to live. God planned to get rid of the sin and evil in the world by sending a vast flood.
Gods hope was in Seths lineage. God found a good man named Noah from among Seth's descendants, and God had great hopes for him.
Even among all those evil people, Noah always tried to do what was right. He was a good man and walked with God. In everything he did, he always thought about God. He also taught his sons to do what was right. This pleased God.
God chose Noah to make an offering to show his faith. He told Noah about His plan to destroy the evil world and make a new beginning. He promised Noah that he and his family would not be destroyed with the evil people.
"Build an ark," God told Noah. He told Noah what kind of wood to use, how big to make it, how to keep water from getting into it, and where to put the door and window.
"When it is finished you and your sons and your wife and your sons wives will go into the ark," God added. "You will live there until the flood is over." God told him to bring one male and one female of every kind of animal into the ark. God also told Noah to bring into the ark enough food for all the people and the animals.
Because Noah believed God, he began building the ark. While other people went their evil way, Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, worked on the ark.
To ordinary people, the ark looked like a three-story houseboat sitting high up on dry land, but to God it was a symbol of His hope for a brand new beginning on earth. Patiently, day after day, year after year, Noah continued building the ark as his offering of faith in God. People must have laughed at Noah and his family, but he was not upset. People must have thought he was foolish, but he kept on working. There was no water near the boat. Maybe his wife and children sometimes thought he was crazy and didnt want to help him. Still, Noah obeyed God and kept working on the ark. Again and again Noah talked to the people and warned them to stop doing evil or they would be destroyed by a terrible flood. None of them believed him.
The great flood
Genesis 7:1 - 9:19
When everything was ready, God told Noah it was time for him and his family to enter the ark. Noah was six hundred years old.
Like a parent, God called His children to come indoors so they would be safe from the coming storm. He told Noah to bring two of every kind of animal, bird and creeping thing to enter the ark. The animals followed Noah because God was working through Noah. Animals that were naturally enemies would live together in peace for many months.
God told Noah that the rain would begin in one week and that it would continue raining for forty days. Just as God had said, the rain began to fall. Great sheets of water poured down from the clouds. The creeks filled up, and rivers flowed over their banks. People left their homes and ran up into the hills. Now they knew that Noah had told the truth, but the door of the ark was closed. Frightened animals looked for shelter. Still it rained. Higher and higher the waters rose, covering the buildings, the trees, and finally the highest hills. All the people and animals that were not in the ark died.
For almost six weeks it rained. Only those in the ark were safe. The rising waters lifted the ark off the ground and it began to float. For many months it floated. Then God remembered Noah and all the animals in the ark with him. God had told Noah how long the rains would last, but He did not say when the waters would go down. Still, Noah trusted God. After many months in the ark, Noahs family might have thought God had forgotten them, but He did not. The winds came and the waters began to dry up.
One day the ark bumped into top of a mountain and stood still. The people and animals were happy to feel solid ground underneath them. Later they could see the tops of mountains appear around them, like islands.
After waiting for some time, Noah opened the window and let out a raven. With its strong wings, the bird flew around, looking for a place to call home in the new world. Noah also sent out a dove, and she returned because she could find no place to rest. After one week he sent out the dove again, and she came back in the evening with an olive leaf in her beak. Now Noah knew that the land was dry enough for trees to grow again. How happy everyone must have been to see a fresh, green leaf! A week later he sent out the dove once more. This time she did not return.
Now it was time to take the cover off the ark and look out upon the earth. It was as fresh as it was when God first made it. How delighted everyone must have been to look at the ground once again! The people and animals had been inside the ark for more than a year. God had told him when to enter the ark, and Noah waited for Him to say when they should leave.
The ground began to dry up. One day God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark, with your wife and your sons and their wives, and every living thing that is in the ark." With much joy, Noah, his family, and all the birds, animals and creeping things left the ark.
Noah was thankful to be alive. His first thought was not to build a house, but to build an altar. As soon as he came out of the ark, he set up an altar and made his offering to God. God accepted the offering. God told Noah and all living things that he would never again send another flood to destroy every creature. God promised: "As long as the earth remains there will be summer and winter, seed time and harvest, and day and night." God repeated to Noah the blessings given to Adam and Eve: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." To remind people of His promise, God set a rainbow in the sky.
Noah made his offering in faith. The flood made the world fresh and clean. The flood separated Noahs family from Satan.
Noah built a home and began raising crops. After spending long years building boats and preaching to the people, after spending long months as a sailor and zoo-keeper, Noah became a farmer. Because Noah had faith in God, his whole family was saved from the flood. Noah was the first father of faith. His children should have been deeply thankful to their father and respected him. Noah planted a vineyard and made wine from the grapes. One day he became drunk and fell asleep inside his tent. The flood had cleansed the world, and God was hoping through Noah's family to experience again the innocence of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
However, Noah's second son, Ham, saw his father lying naked in the tent and became upset. Ham criticized Noah and made his brothers feel ashamed of their father. Even when they didnt understand the reason for something, the sons should have been patient and obeyed their father.
Ham's sense of shame meant that Noah's family was not separated from the influence of Satan. Noah's sons could not connect with the realms of heart, and the way of true love was not opened. God had to look for another father of faith and a family who could unite with Him.
Shem, Ham and Japheth had children, and their children had children. Again, there were many people on the earth. People lived together and spoke the same language. "Let us build a city," they said; "and let us make a tower so great and high that its top will reach up to the sky. Then we shall not be scattered over the earth and be separated from one another."
The people set to work making bricks, mixing mortar, and building the walls of the city and tower. God saw their work and was not pleased. They were thinking more and more about their own work and less and less about God. Soon they might forget God entirely and worship the things they had made. God decided to stop their building.
Until this time all people spoke one language. Now God caused them to speak different languages. The people of one family could not understand what their neighbors were talking about. Nor could these neighbors understand the people who talked to them. The tower of Babel was never finished, because the builders could not understand one another. Finally, the people separated and moved away in different directions.
Joy Pople (email@example.com) wrote this Bible story from the standpoint of the Divine Principle.
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