Withstanding the Pressure
Memory Verse: Genesis
6:11 “Meanwhile, the crime rate was rising rapidly across the
earth and, as seen by God, the world was rotten to the core.”
When we say “rotten
to the core”, what does that mean? If something is rotten to the
core there is no place on it that is not rotten. There is nothing good
about it. That was the situation in the world in the days of Noah. Every
imagination, thought and action was completely rotten to the core.
1 “Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters
were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took
any they wanted as their wives. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit
will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only
mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than
4 In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on
the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women,
they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors
of ancient times.
5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and
He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and
totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put
them on the earth. It broke His heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I
will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth.
Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the
large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even
the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8 But Noah
found favor with the Lord.”
God was sorry that He had
made man. In the short time that man had been on the earth – less
than 2,000 years, man had become totally rotten to the core. The situation
was so bad that there was only one family that had not been tainted
by the rampant sin, evil and corruption that was in the world. God called
him blameless. The NKJV says that Noah was a just man, perfect in his
God decided to save this
one family that had avoided being tainted by universal sin and evil.
9 “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous
man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked
in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons:
Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with
violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone
on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided
to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with
violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!
14 “Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with
tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its
interior. 15 Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet
high. 16 Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around
the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the
boat—lower, middle, and upper.
17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will
destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die.
18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you
and your wife and your sons and their wives. 19 Bring a pair of every
kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you
to keep them alive during the flood. 20 Pairs of every kind of bird,
and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries
along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. 21 And be sure
to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”
22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.”
How difficult do you think
it was for Noah? Do you think the people made fun of him building a
boat in the middle of dry ground? Can you imagine gathering a male and
female of every kind of animal, how about gathering seven pairs that
were approved for eating and sacrifice? Notice that even back then God
had set laws as to what foods people could eat.
1 “When everything was ready, the Lord said to Noah, “Go
into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the
earth, I can see that you alone are righteous. 2 Take with you seven
pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for
eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others. 3
Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. There must be a male and
a female in each pair to ensure that all life will survive on the earth
after the flood. 4 Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down
on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until
I have wiped from the earth all the living things I have created.”
5 So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.
6 Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth. 7 He went
on board the boat to escape the flood—he and his wife and his
sons and their wives. 8 With them were all the various kinds of animals—those
approved for eating and for sacrifice and those that were not—along
with all the birds and the small animals that scurry along the ground.
9 They entered the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded
Noah. 10 After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered
11 When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second
month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain
fell in mighty torrents from the sky. 12 The rain continued to fall
for forty days and forty nights.
13 That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons—Shem,
Ham, and Japheth—and their wives. 14 With them in the boat were
pairs of every kind of animal—domestic and wild, large and small—along
with birds of every kind. 15 Two by two they came into the boat, representing
every living thing that breathes. 16 A male and female of each kind
entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door
17 For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and
lifting the boat high above the earth. 18 As the waters rose higher
and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface.
19 Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth,
20 rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks. 21 All
the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild
animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people.
22 Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died. 23 God wiped
out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals
that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed.
The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat.
24 And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days.”
1” But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock
with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the
floodwaters began to recede. 2 The underground waters stopped flowing,
and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. 3 So the floodwaters
gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days, 4 exactly five months
from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains
of Ararat. 5 Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to
go down, other mountain peaks became visible.
6 After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the
boat 7 and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the
floodwaters on the earth had dried up. 8 He also released a dove to
see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. 9 But the
dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the
ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew
the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released
the dove again. 11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening
with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters
were almost gone. 12 He waited another seven days and then released
the dove again. This time it did not come back.
13 Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten
and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost
dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and
saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 Two more months went
by, and at last the earth was dry!
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Leave the boat, all of you—you
and your wife, and your sons and their wives. 17 Release all the animals—the
birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so
they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.”
18 So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 19
And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat,
pair by pair.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as
burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that
purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice
and said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because
of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent
toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.
22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
1 “Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be
fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. 2 All the animals of the earth,
all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the
ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror.
I have placed them in your power. 3 I have given them to you for food,
just as I have given you grain and vegetables. 4 But you must never
eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.
5 “And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s
life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders
a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s
life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in
His own image. 7 Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.”
8 Then God told Noah and his sons, 9 “I hereby confirm My covenant
with you and your descendants, 10 and with all the animals that were
on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild
animals—every living creature on earth. 11 Yes, I am confirming
my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures;
never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with
you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I
have placed My rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant
with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth,
the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant
with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters
destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember
the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.”
17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the
covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”
18 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were
Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) 19 From these
three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.”
How does knowing what Noah
might have gone through help you to deal with people making fun of you
because of your belief and practices in keeping the Sabbath and the
Holy Days? Noah was pretty much all alone, except for his family. They
were the only ones in the world obeying and worshiping God. The pressure
to sin must have been terrible for Noah and his family. Noah withstood
that pressure. You can withstand it also.
What if you were the only
one following God? Would you have the strength to go against the peer
pressure to sin like everyone else in the world? Would you follow God
if you were the only one in your country that obeyed Him? How about
if you were the only one in your state? How about if you were the only
one in your city? How about if you were the only one in your school?
Would you follow God if you were the only one in your family?
God gave all those people
in Noah’s world the freedom to obey or not. Everyone except Noah’s
family chose to disobey Him. They became so evil that God wished He
had never created them. Only one family, Noah’s, followed and
obeyed Him. God decided to try this experiment in free will one more
time through Noah’s family, but this time He promised mankind
that He would never again destroy all life on the earth with a flood,
no matter how evil mankind became.
What do you think were the
evils in Noah’s day? How is our world today similar to the world
in which Noah lived? Do you think, looking around you at the world,
that mankind has done any better than those in the days of Noah? Have
we become rotten to the core? If not, are we getting closer?
What can you do to keep from
becoming rotten to the core? Does God still chastise or does He just
look the other way? What consequences are there to doing evil? How do
those consequences extend to nations that are evil or who do evil?
God still punishes, spanks,
corrects, chastises individuals and nations. His incredible patience
with mankind is because He wants all of mankind to turn to Him and be
2 Peter 3:3-10
3 “Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days
scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.
4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming
again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained
the same since the world was first created.”
5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of
His command, and He brought the earth out from the water and surrounded
it with water. 6 Then He used the water to destroy the ancient world
with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and
earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day
of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like
a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9
The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people
think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone
to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the
Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass
away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear
in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve
God wants all mankind to
be saved. He gives us time to repent. He allows trials to happen in
our lives sometimes to get us back on track, but also to teach us compassion
for others, especially for those who refuse to acknowledge Him and who
go their own way sinning and doing evil. They are still trapped in their
sins and refuse to go to the only One who can free them. God gave them
free will, just as He gave you free will. They refuse to see. It is
How are you to live your
lives for God in a godless world? Peter goes on to tell us.
2 Peter 3:10-18
10 “But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.
Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very
elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything
on it will be found to deserve judgment.
11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what
holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day
of God and hurrying it along. On that day, He will set the heavens on
fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking
forward to the new heavens and new earth He has promised, a world filled
with God’s righteousness.
14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen,
make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and
blameless in His sight.
15 And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.
This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom
God gave him—16 speaking of these things in all of his letters.
Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant
and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different,
just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result
in their destruction.
17 I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that
you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and
lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace
and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to Him,
both now and forever! Amen.”
You are to live in peace
with others (Romans 12:18). You are to live pure lives in spite of the
evil around you. You are to resist temptation, and when tempted, are
to tell Satan to back off. You belong to God, not to Satan (James 4:7-8).
Follow Jesus’ pattern of loving your neighbor as yourself –
doing good to those who do you harm, praying for them (Matthew 5:44).
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He asked God the Father to “forgive
them for they know not what they do”(Luke 23:34). Forgive as you
have been forgiven (Matthew 6:12,14-15). Obey God’s commandments
to love Him and to love your neighbor (Mark 12:28-31). Do not be deceived
(Luke 21:7-19). Do not be deceived by lying signs and wonders (Matthew
24:24) (2Thessalonians 2:9-10). Put on your armor everyday so you can
stand against evil (Ephesians 6:10-18).
These are just a few of the
many, many illustrations of ways you can live pure lives in this wicked
and evil world. In order to use these tools, you must know about them.
Everything has been given to you to teach you how to live pure lives,
but you must also do your part in finding them and using them. In order
to know about them, you will have to read and study your Bibles because
that is where you will find them.
God can give you the strength
to withstand the pressure to sin, just ask Him. Jesus is going to return
and when He does, He will bring judgment with Him for those that do
evil. He is giving you time now to repent, to accept the gift of salvation
and eternal life that He freely offers to you and to all sinners. Time
is short and getting shorter. The signs are all around you that His
return is getting closer. Will you withstand the pressure to be just
like everybody else? Will you volunteer to be in His family?
Jesus is exclusive. There
is no other name by which you can be saved. No other belief system in
the world can save you. No other belief system in the world will lead
to a relationship with God the Father, as revealed to you in your Bible.
Jesus is the only way.
6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father except through Me.”
“10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of
Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,
the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 For Jesus
is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,‘The stone
that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under
heaven by which we must be saved.”
Noah and his family were
saved because of the ark. Jesus is your only “ark”. It is
only through Him that you can be saved.