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A Little Sin Goes A Long Way
by Gary Sims
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The Scriptures
Genesis 6:11-22; 7:24; 8:14-19 - A Little Sin Goes A Long Way

Key Verses:
  • 6:11: "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence." - After only ten generations from the beginning of creation, God looks around and sees evil thriving in the world.

  • 13: "And God said to Noah, 'I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth." - "Noah was a righteous manů Noah walked with God." (Gen 6:9) Referring to humanity with this accusation, sinful-man was responsible for the corruption that had transformed God's perfect creation into an abomination.

  • 14: "Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch." - Noah faced a decision: should he obey God's command and build the ark even without any rain in sight?

  • 17: "For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die." - God brought about the waters to destroy that that had already been decimated by sin.

  • 18: "But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and yours sons' wives with you." - The groundwork for the re-creation is laid.

  • 22: "Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him." - Righteousness means obedience in all things.

  • 8:17: "Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh - birds and animals and every creeping that that creeps on the earth - so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth." - Patiently Noah had waited to leave the ark until he had received God's blessing.
Points to Contemplate:
  • How much sin is too much? As you read the story of the flood do you get a sense of the extent of God's dislike of sin? Do you realize how far He is willing to go to erase sin from your life? Do you understand how painful it is for God when you choose to continue living in sinful ways? But wait! Are you saying that your sins have been forgiven? Do you point to the cross and the abundance of grace in your life as examples of how God's handling of sin has changed since the flood? Does His forgiveness of your sins change His dislike for them? Do you see that your sins still hurt Him deeply and cause Him to grieve?

  • Are you being obedient to God? In all the earth Noah was the only one God could find who would listen and obey? How are your listening skills? Do you purposely seek God's advice for your life? Do you allow Him ample opportunity to lead and guide you? Do you walk with God? Once you have honed your listening skills do you then obey? Do you follow where God leads you even when the skies overhead are clear and the proof you seek is not visibly present? Will you respond to Him even when it seems you are the only one?

  • Are you patient? It appears that Noah had to wait nearly one-hundred years for the flood to come. Once it came he lived on the ark for an entire year and then he had to wait another month after the earth had dried before God allowed him to release the animals. How patient are you for God's promises to reach fruition in your life? Do you seek instant success? Does doubt permeate your heart if things are not progressing as you think they should? Are you willing to stand by and wait, even when the footing ahead seems dry and firm?
Promises of the Gospel:

In many ways the story of Noah and the flood is perplexing to us. Why would God destroy everything He had created? If He was so completely upset by the sin and violence of the world, why bother saving any of it? Even when we attempt to tie the waters of the flood with the waters of our baptism, we wonder what was achieved by the flood. Humanity did not change. Sin is still running rampant. The only thing that seemed to truly change was God's method of handling sin. Has He learned to accept it? Did He come to realize how much He loves us and regrets His actions? Or was the flood a demonstration for us to learn just how much God hates sin? If we are to take the promise of the Gospel and God's wonderful gift of grace seriously, we have to also understand the depths of pain we cause God when we choose to sin. A little sin is not easily erased. It causes God great sorrow. With Noah, we see that we have the ability to live righteous lives when we choose to walk with God, listen intently to His instructions, and obey Him regardless of our limited viewpoints. We can also see with God's promise blazoned across our skies that death does not have the last word. Regardless of the flood waters of life that come into our lives and seemingly destroy everything in our path, life will continue to flourish on earth and forever more.

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Member Comments
Member Date
26 May 2005
A little sin sure does go a long way. Noah's son Ham disrespected (sin) his father by teling the 2 younger brothers of his nakedness in a drunken stupor(sin). Noah was so angry(sin) that he cursed Canaan, Ham's youngest son. The rest is our history. So a little sin does go a long way. Question: Do you think that Noah over reacted to the information that Ham had mocked his nakedness in his drunken stupor?
Joyce Poet 23 May 2005
Very thought provoking.


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