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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 7

Mackintosh's Notes on the PentateuchMackintosh's Notes

Verses 1-24

Genesis 7

Had Noah any anxiety about the billows of divine judgement? None whatever. How could he? He knew that " all " had been poured forth, while he himself was raised, by those very outpoured billows, into a region of cloudless peace. He floated in peace on that very water by which "all flesh" was judged. He was put. beyond the reach of judgement; and put there, too, by God Himself. He might have said, in the triumphant language of Romans 8 , "If God be for us, who can be against us?" He had been invited in by Jehovah Himself, as we read in Genesis 7: 1 , "Come thou and all thy house into the ark;" and when he had taken his place there, we read, " the Lord shut him in" Here assuredly, was full and perfect security for all within. Jehovah kept the door, and no one could go in or out without him. There was both a window and a door to the ark. The Lord secured, with His own omnipotent hand, the door, and left Noah the window from which he might look upward to the place from whence all the judgement had emanated, and see that no judgement remained for him. The saved family could only look upward , because the window was "above" ( Gen. 6: 16 ) They could not see the waters of judgement, nor the death and desolation which those waters had caused. God's salvation - the "gopher wood," stood between them and all these things. They had only to gaze upward into a cloudless heaven, the eternal dwelling-place of the One who had condemned the world, and saved them.

Nothing can more fully express the believer's perfect security in Christ than those words, "the Lord shut him in." Who could open what God had shut? None. The family of Noah were as safe as God could make them. There was no power, angelic, human, or diabolical, which could possibly burst open the door of the ark, and let the waters in. That door was shut by the selfsame hand that had opened the windows of heaven, and broken up the fountains of the great deep. Thus Christ is spoken of as the One" that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth." ( Rev. 3: 7 ) He also holds in His hand" the keys of hell and of death." ( Rev. 1: 18 ) None can enter the portals of the grave, nor go forth there from, without him. He has "all power in heaven and on earth." He is head over all things to the Church," and in Him the believer is perfectly secure. ( Matt. 28: 18 ; Eph. 1: 22 ) Who could touch Noah? What wave could penetrate that ark which was "pitched within and without with pitch?" Just so now, who can touch those who have, by faith, retreated into the shadow of the cross? Every enemy has been met and silenced - yes, silenced for ever. The death of Christ has triumphantly answered every demur; while, at the same time, His resurrection is the satisfactory declaration of God's infinite complacency in that work which is, at once, the basis of His righteousness in receiving us, and of our confidence in drawing nigh unto Him.

Hence, therefore, the door of our ark being secured, by the hand of God Himself, nothing remains for us but to enjoy the window; or, in other words, to walk in happy and holy communion with Him, who has saved us from coming wrath, and made us heirs and expectants of coming glory. Peter speaks of those, who "are blind, and cannot see afar off and have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins." ( 2 Peter 1: 9 .) This is a lamentable condition for any to be in, and it is the sure result of not cultivating diligent, prayerful communion with Him, who has eternally shut us in in Christ.

Let us, now, ere we proceed further with Noah's history, glance, for a little, at the condition of those, to whom he had so long preached righteousness. We have been looking at the saved , let us now look at the lost ; we have been thinking of those within the ark, let us now think of those without . No doubt, many an anxious look would be cast after the vessel of mercy, as it rose with the water; but, alas! "the door was shut" the day of grace was over - the time of testimony closed, and that for ever, so far as they were concerned. The same hand which had shut Noah in, had shut them out, and it was as impossible for those without to get in, as it was for those within to get out. The former were irrecoverably lost; the latter, effectually saved. The long-suffering of God, and the testimony of His servant had both been slighted. Present things had engrossed them. "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Nosh entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." ( Luke 17: 26 , 27 ) There was nothing wrong in any of these things, abstractedly looked at. The wrong was not in the things done, but in the doers of them. Every one of them might be done in the fear of the Lord, and to the glory of His Holy name, were they only done in faith. But, alas! they were not so done. The word of God was rejected. He told of judgement; but they did not believe. He spoke of sin and ruin; but they were not convinced. He spoke of a remedy; but they would not give heed. They went on with their own plans and speculations, and had no room for God. They acted as if the earth belonged to them, by a lease, for ever. They forgot that there was a clause of surrender. They thought not of that solemn " until ." God was shut out. "Every imagination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually;" and hence, they could do nothing right. They thought, spake, and acted for themselves. They did their own pleasure, and forgot God.

And, my reader, remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man." Some would have us to believe, that ere the Son of man appears in the clouds of heaven, this earth shall be covered, from pole to pole, with a fair mantle of righteousness. They would teach us to look for a reign of righteousness and peace, as the result of agencies now in operation; but the brief passage just quoted cuts up by the roots, in a moment, all such vain and delusive expectations. How was it in the days of Noah? Did righteousness cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea? Was God's truth dominant? Was the earth filled with the knowledge of the Lord? Scripture replies, "the earth was filled with violence." "ALL flesh had corrupted his way on the earth." "The earth also was corrupt before God." Well, then, " so shall it be in the days of the Son of man." This is plain enough." "Righteousness" and "violence" are not very like each other. Neither is there any similarity between universal wickedness and universal peace. It only needs a heart subject to the Word, and freed from the influence of preconceived opinions, in order to understand the true character of the days immediately preceding "the coming of the Son of man." Let not my reader be led astray. Let him reverently bow to Scripture. Let him look at the condition of the world, "in the days before the flood;" and let him bear in mind, that " as " it was then, " so " shall it be at the close of this present period. This is most simple - most conclusive. There was nothing like a state of universal righteousness and peace then, neither shall there be anything like it by and by.

No doubt, man displayed abundant energy in making the world a comfortable and an agreeable place for himself; but that was a very different thing from making it a suitable place for God. So, also, at this present time; man is as busy as he can be, in clearing the stones off the pathway of human life, and making it as smooth as possible; but this is not "making straight in the desert a highway for our God;" nor is it making "the rough places smooth," that all flesh may see the salvation of Jehovah. Civilisation prevails; but civilisation is not righteousness. The sweeping and garnishing are going forward; but it is not in order to fit the house for Christ, but for Antichrist. The wisdom of man is put forth in order to cover, with the folds of his own drapery, the blots and blemishes of humanity; but, though covered, they are not removed! They are and will, ere long, break out in more hideous deformity than ever. The painting of vermilion will soon be obliterated, and the carved cedar wood destroyed. The dams, by which man sedulously seeks to stem the torrent of human wretchedness, must soon give way before the overwhelming force thereof. All the efforts to confine the physical, the mental, and the moral degradation of Adams posterity within those enclosures, which human benevolence, if you please, has devised, must, in the sequel, prove abortive. The testimony has gone forth. "The end of all flesh has come before me." It has not come before man; but it has come before God; and, albeit, the voice of the scoffers may be heard, saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation;" yet the moment is rapidly hastening on, when those scoffers will get their answer. "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up." ( 2 Peter 3: 4-10 ) This, my reader, is the answer to the intellectual scoffs of the children of this world, but not to the spiritual affections and expectations of the children of God. These latter, thank God, have a totally different prospect, even to meet the Bridegroom in the air, before evil shall have reached its culminating point, and, therefore, before the divine judgement shall be poured forth thereon. The Church of God looks not for the burning up of the world, but for the arising of "the bright and morning Star."

Now, in whatever way we look at the future, from whatever point of view we contemplate it, whether the object, which presents itself to the soul's vision be the Church in glory, or the world in flames, the coming of the Bridegroom, or the breaking in of the thief, the morning Star, or the scorching sun, the translation, or the deluge, we must feel the unspeakable importance of attending to God's present testimony in grace, to lost sinners. " Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." ( 2 Cor. 6: 2 ) "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." ( 2 Cor. 5: 19 ) He is reconciling now, He will be judging by and by; it is all grace now; it will be all wrath then; He is pardoning sin now, through the cross; He will punish it then, in hell, and that for ever. He is sending out a message of purest, richest, freest grace. He is telling sinners of an accomplished redemption through the precious sacrifice of Christ. He is declaring that all is done. He is waiting to be gracious. "The long-suffering of our Lord is salvation." "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, that all should come to repentance." ( 2 Peter 3 ) All this makes the present moment one of peculiar solemnity. Unmingled grace declared! - unmingled wrath impending. How solemn! How deeply solemn!

And, then, with what profound interest should we mark the unfolding of the divine purposes! Scripture sheds its light upon these things; and such a light, too, that we need not, as another has said," vacantly stare on passing events, as those, who know not where they are, and whither they are going." We should accurately know our bearings. We should fully understand the direct tendency of all the principles now at work. We should be well aware of the vortex, toward which all the tributary streams are rapidly flowing on. Men dream of a golden age; they promise themselves a millennium of the arts and science; they feed upon the thought, that "tomorrow shall be as this day, and more abundant." But, oh! how utterly vain are all those thoughts, dreams, and promises. Faith can see the clouds gathering thickly around the world's horizon. Judgement is coming. The day of wrath is at hand. The door will soon be shut. The "strong delusion" will soon set in, with terrible intensity. How needful, then, it is, to raise a warning voice - to seek, by faithful testimony, to counteract man's pitiable self-complacency. True, in so doing, we shall be exposed to the charge which Ahab brought against Micaiah, of always prophesying evil: but no matter for that. Let us prophesy what the word of God prophesies, and let us do this simply for the purpose of "persuading men." The Word of God only removes from beneath our feet a hollow foundation, for the purpose of placing instead thereof, a foundation which can never be moved. It only takes away from us a delusive hope, to give us, instead, "a hope which maketh not ashamed." It takes away "a broken reed," to give us "the rock of ages." It sets aside "a broken cistern, which can hold no water," to set in its place "the fountain of living waters." This is true love. It is God's love. He will not cry "peace, peace, when there is no peace;" nor "daub with untempered mortar." He would have the sinner's heart resting; sweetly in His own eternal Ark of safety, enjoying a present communion with Himself, and fondly cherishing; the hope, that, when all the ruin, the desolation, and the judgement, have passed away, it shall rest with him in a restored creation.

Bibliographical Information
Mackintosh, Charles Henry. "Commentary on Genesis 7". Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/nfp/genesis-7.html.
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