Prologue, And God…Deafening Silence—Genesis 8.1-22 Handout

Have you ever stood in place of deafening silence? Y / N What do we do when God Seems Silent? The Flood has destroyed everything and our world was awash in water. Genesis 7:24~The waters flooded earth for a hundred and fifty days. (ESV) What would you do if God was silent for 150 days? I would ______________________ Share a lingering problem you have prayed about, but God seemingly sat silent ___________________ ____________ Deafening Silence: KNOCK, Achtung, _______, Praise.

1) Knock-Knock-Knocking On Heavens Doors (8:1-5) Be Persistent! Persistent means to continue, obstinately on a course of action. Jesus reminds us to __________ knock at the door. Luke 11:8~I tell you, even though he will not get up and give the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. (NIV) Do you need the Lord, then why not Knock-Knock-Knock! Genesis  8:1~But God ___________(זָכַר zakar) Noah…(ESV) Does this mean God temporarily forgot Noah? No, (זָכַר zakar) means to recall or call to mind. Psalm 139:2~You know when I sit when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. (NIV) Knock, be persistent, and continue to _________ obey what was last revealed as God’s will for you—however long ago that may be. After ____ months, the ark rests on the mountains of Ararat. 2 Corinthians 5:7~For we live by _____, not by sight. (NIV)

2) ________Baby (8:6-13) There is a difference between Remember and _________. Noah _________ patiently. In Genesis 8:7 Noah sends our a Raven, is a scavenger bird and will eat carcasses so, it doesn’t return. Genesis 8:8~Then he sent out a _______ to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. Waiting a week Noah sends out a dove, which returns with an________ branch. To this day a dove carrying an olive branch is a sign of ________. That is why we must pay attention to the signs God is sending us. Genesis 8:13~…Noah then removed the ____________ from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. (ESV) 

3) They that Wait (8:14-19) Waiting on God takes an act of _________ on our part. Genesis 8:14~By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. (ESV) That means it has been one year and _____ days since Noah entered the ark. We think from the scripture the last time God spoke to Noah was when He told him to go into the ark in Genesis 7:1. God has been _________ for over a year, and yet Noah has stayed the coarse. God sometimes seems silent in the midst of life’s storms. We pray, ________ as though our words do not go past the ceiling. Isaiah 40:31~but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; (ESV)

4) Praise Ye the Lord (8:20-22) Genesis 8:20~Noah built an _________ to the Lord and…sacrificed burnt offerings. (ESV) Noah’s sacrifice expresses his __________ and praise for what God has done for him. Genesis 8:21~ The Lord smelled the  pleasing  aroma  and  said  in  his heart:  Never again…(ESV)

Take-A-Step: _______________________________________________________________________________

Careless living

Have you ever had a careless heart? (13:5-6, 20-21) Careless by definition means not giving sufficient attention or thought. Listen as Jesus describes the second kind of heart. Matthew 13:5~Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up since they had no depth of soil, (ESV) With no way to put down roots they sprout upwards. Matthew 13:6~but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. (ESV) Ever been forgetful? Jesus explains that this heart hears God’s Word, immediately with joy. Oh, I love God’s word, it’s so good, but have no room for real growth. 

Matthew 13:20~As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, (ESV) Matthew 13:20-21~yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (ESV) Yep, tribulation, trials, persecution. I must tell you life, she be tough some times. You’ve no doubt heard the famous expression attributed to Coach Francis Leahy who said in the 1950s: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Meaning when the situation becomes difficult, the strong and dutiful will work harder to meet the challenge.

The rocky, stony, ground of shallow soil, resists the future development of the plant. Then as the day’s heat builds, removing moisture and finally forces withering heights never achieved. Carless soil shares a heart of impulsive or emotional living for Jesus Christ. While the Word never gets rooted in their lives. As a result, a commitment to Christ is only temporary. It is a perfect illustration of a faith that fizzles before the finish. Flawed this careless heart makes superficial decisions that do not last. Being a  disciple of Jesus Christ is about abiding in the Lord. (John 15:5) 

Don’t be a heart that carelessly follows Christ Jesus only when the circumstances are favorable. As believers and faith practitioners, we must learn how to walk circumspectly. How is that for a good King James word. It means that we are wary and paying attention, that we are not willing to take risks. Before you push back faith is about walking in the unknown and trusting God. The risk here is about not taking risks that will damage our walk of faith or relationship with the Lord. We must always remember that our relationship with the Lord is to be the most important thing in our lives. 

Hearts that can Hear

When we consider hearts, not a game played with cards but the living response we have to live, and we have all been a little guilty of having a calloused heart. (Matthew 13:3-4, 19) Callouses are the body’s natural way of protecting itself. They form in response to repeated pressure in a particular area. Christ Jesus applies pressure in Matthew 13:3~He told them many things in parables, saying: A sower went out to sow. (ESV) In Jesus’ day, a sower would walk through his field with a sack of seed under one arm. Taking handfuls of seed and fling it to the wind. As this sower sows, seeds fall. Matthew 13:4~And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. (ESV) Christ Jesus explains the seed sown on the path represents a heart who hears. Matthew 13:19~When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.  (ESV)

The path in biblical times went directly through the fields. Where soil gets compacted by feet, hooves, and wheels. This calloused landscape was almost as hard as concrete making it nearly impossible for seed to penetrate. Therefore, the seed would just lie on top, and the birds would come along and eat the plated buffet. Jesus says it’s like looking at a calloused heart, hard and rejecting. This is the person who repeatedly tunes God out, though the pressure is applied. Such a person can sit through hundreds of great sermons while brandishing their theme song from a wrong heart. They sing: I shall not be, I shall not be moved. Listen to God’s Word about such a person Hebrews 4:7~again he appoints a certain day, Today, saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. (ESV)

Every time God speaks to us through a song, a Bible study, a sermon, or whatever medium He chooses, and we refuse to respond, our heart gets a little more calloused and a little harder. His pressure isn’t meant to dull our hearing but rather spur a response. Without a response from the hearer, the heart will eventually arrive at a place where the heart can no longer hear Him anymore because it has become so hard. Don’t let that happen to you. Pastor, how can I prevent going spiritually deaf? By responding to our heart’s slightest tug. When we get our hearts right with God and do His will, we learn to cultivate a life of responding to God. Is God still speaking to you through the Holy Spirit, through His Word? Just respond.

Today, how will you respond to the prodding of the Holy Spirit? If you are not sure of how or if He is prodding you, I want you to ask the Lord to help remove any callouses you may have in your life. And remember when a callous comes off the area is very tender and sensitive.