October 11, 2020 – Genesis 7:1 – 8:14

Lesson Date: October 11, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:1 – 8:14

AIM: To lead students to discover the extent and sequence of the Flood, and to examine themselves to determine if they are safely in the “ark” of Jesus Christ.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 7:1 – 8:14 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Locate some pictures of destruction caused by natural disasters, such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes. Some of the most devastating images you may find could be from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Get enough copies of the “Flood Timeline” handout (attached) for your anticipated attendance.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the pictures you have brought of destruction caused by natural disasters. Comment on how devastating the forces of nature can be. Ask: “Did these natural disasters affect the whole world or only isolated locations?” (isolated locations).

Tell the class that one of the most far-reaching disasters in recent decades was the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Explain that a giant earthquake deep in the ocean produced killer waves that went out in all directions, flooding coastal regions. The waves killed more than 225,000 people in 12 countries and left millions homeless. The waves traveled more than 5,000 miles, killing people as far away as the coast of Africa. Ask: “Did that terrible tsunami – as bad as it was – affect the whole world or only a part?” (only a part).

Tell the students in today’s lesson we will learn about a flood so massive it covered the entire planet and killed almost all life on earth.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the book of Genesis.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God told Noah to build an ark to save his family and some animals from the coming Flood).
    • Ask: “Why did God plan to destroy the earth?” (because mankind was so sinful – Gen. 6:5-7).
    • Ask: “Why did God choose to save Noah through the ark?” (because Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord – Gen. 6:8).
    • Give everyone present a copy of the “Flood Timeline” handout sheet.
  2. Noah Enters the Ark.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 7:1-3.
    • Tell the class that we usually picture Noah with two of every animal, but these verses reveal that he took many more of the clean animals than of the unclean animals.
      • Even though the Lord had not yet given the dietary Laws through Moses, He had somehow revealed to man which animals were clean and which were unclean.
      • The extra animals God told Noah to bring would be used for food and sacrifices after the Flood.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 7:4-9.
    • Direct the students’ attention to their “Flood Timeline” handout sheet.
    • Note that on the 10th day of the 2nd month of the 600th year of Noah’s life, God told Noah the flood would begin in 7 days.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 7:10-12.
    • Referring to the “Flood Timeline” handout, note that the rain began right on schedule and continued 40 days.
    • Explain that the water came from two sources: the “fountains of the great deep” and rain from the “windows of heaven.
    • Read Genesis 7:13-16.
    • Tell the class Noah, his family, and all the animals went into the ark.
    • Ask: “According to verse 16, who shut the door of the ark?” (the Lord).
    • Explain the two reasons for this:
      • First, the ark is a picture of salvation. Just as salvation is God’s work in behalf of man and not man’s work toward God (Eph. 2:8-9), the Lord shut the door of the ark and not Noah.
      • Second, if Noah had shut the door he might have been inclined to open it to try to save some of his dying friends, whose hopeless screams he certainly heard.
    • Summarize: God told Noah, his family, and the animals to enter the ark, after which the rain began. God safely shut them all in the ark.
  3. The Flood.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 7:17-20.
    • Tell the class the rain came down continuously for forty days.
    • Ask: “Where was the ark?” (floating safely upon the surface of the water).
    • Ask: “According to verses 19-20, how much of the earth was covered by the Flood?” (ALL of it).
    • Stress the fact that the Flood was a worldwide event; all the mountains were covered by the waters.
    • Read Genesis 7:21-23.
    • Ask: “What happened to every person and every animal that was NOT on the ark?” (they ALL died).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 7:24.
    • Ask: “How long did the floodwaters remain on the earth?” (150 days – five months).
    • Note this item on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Tell the students we usually think of the Flood lasting 40 days, but the waters actually remained for five months!
    • Explain that being covered by water drastically changed the topography of the planet, and allowed time for the decay and consumption of all the dead bodies.
    • Summarize: God sent a devastating Flood to destroy all life on earth, preserving only Noah and those with him in the ark.
  4. The Waters Recede.
    • Read Genesis 8:1-4.
    • Tell the class God remembered Noah and caused the floodwaters to begin receding.
    • Ask: “Where and when did the ark come to rest?” (on the mountains of Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th month – five months after the Flood began).
    • Explain that Mount Ararat is in the extreme eastern part of the modern country of Turkey.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 8:5-12.
    • Ask: “What happened on the 1st day of the 10th month?” (the tops of the mountains became visible).
    • Note this on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Ask: “What did Noah do 40 days later (10th day of the 11th month)?” (opened the window and sent out a raven and a dove).
    • Note this on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Explain that the scavenger raven found sustenance outside the ark, but the dove could not find food or a good place to land, so it came back.
    • Ask: “According to verses 10-11, what did Noah do 7 days later?” (sent the dove out again, which returned with an olive leaf in its beak).
    • Note this on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Ask: “What happened 7 days later?” (Noah sent out the dove again but it never returned).
    • Note this on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Read Genesis 8:13-14.
    • Ask: “What happened on Noah’s 601st birthday?” (Noah removed the covering of the ark, looked out, and saw dry land).
    • Note this on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Tell the class near the end of the next month the earth was finally dry.
    • Note this on the “Flood Timeline” handout.
    • Tell the students that Noah, his family, and the animals were in the ark for a year and 17 days!
    • Summarize: God graciously caused the Flood waters to subside and dried the earth. He protected Noah and his family in the ark for over a year.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask the following review questions:

“Why did God destroy the earth?” (man’s sin).

“Why did God spare Noah?” (God’s grace).

“How was Noah spared the death of the Flood?” (by being sealed in the safety of the ark).

“What was outside the ark – life or death?” (death).

“What was inside the ark – life or death?” (life).

Tell the students that the ark represents Jesus Christ. Outside of Christ the world is corrupt, wicked, and will face judgment for its sin. Everyone on earth deserves to go to hell. Just as the ark was the only way for Noah to escape the death of the Flood, Jesus Christ is the only way anyone can escape the fires of hell. Outside of Jesus Christ – our ark of safety – is death; but inside there is eternal life. Just as Noah was spared because of God’s grace, the only way anyone can be saved is by God’s grace.

Ask: “Are you outside the ark, facing certain death and hell, or are you inside the ark of God’s grace provided by Jesus Christ? There are no other options – you are either outside or inside. Which are you?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask any who do not know Jesus Christ to repent of their sins and place their trust for eternity in Him right now. Encourage those who are already saved to thank God for their salvation and to pray for those who don’t know Jesus. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Tell the students we hear about natural disasters almost every week. Urge them to use any natural disasters they hear about this week as reminders of the greatest “supernatural disaster” the earth ever faced and of God’s grace upon Noah and his family.

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