OLD TESTAMENT - LESSON 6
Moses 8:19-30; Genesis 6-9; 11:1-9


Introduction

Scriptural Highlights

A study of this lesson should help us desire to live worthily and avoid the evils of the world.


The People Reject Noah's Call To Repentance - Noah Builds An Ark

WHO IS NOAH?

  1. Enoch was the 4th great-grandson of Adam.
  2. Joseph Smith: "Then to Noah, who is Gabriel: he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in this day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven." (TPJS p157)
  3. Joseph Fielding Smith: "Summarizing the facts - Joseph Smith revealed that Gabriel was Noah; Luke declared that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Zacharias and Mary; and the Lord has declared that Elias appeared to Zacharias and Joseph Smith. Therefore, Elias is Noah." (Answers to Gospel Questions 3:141)

WHAT WAS THE CONDITION OF THE WORLD IN NOAH'S DAY?

  1. Genesis 6:5-6: "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
  2. Moses 8:28: "The earth was corrupt before God, and it was filled with violence."
  3. Neal A. Maxwell: "The picture one gets of the dispensation of Noah is of a people who were increasingly wicked and who felt increasingly self-sufficient. Their attitude was described as follows: 'And every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually' (Moses 8:22)." (Things As They Really Are, p76)

WHAT SIMILARITIES CAN YOU SEE BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF NOAH'S DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF OUR DAY?

HOW COULD THEY HAVE AVOIDED DESTRUCTION?

  1. READ MOSES 8:23-24.
  2. Heed the words of the prophet.
  3. Repent & be baptized.

IS IT ANY DIFFERENT FOR US TODAY? AND WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES IF WE DO NOT REPENT?

  1. Matthew 24:38-39: "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
  2. Neal A. Maxwell: "Long ago it was prophesied that the last days would be rampant with selfishness and the other cardinal sins, just as in the days of Noah (see Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Society in the days of Noah, scriptures advise, was 'corrupt before God' and 'filled with violence' (Genesis 6:11-12; Moses 8:28). Corruption and violence—does that sound familiar? Both of these awful conditions crest today because of surging individual selfishness. When thus engulfed, no wonder mens' hearts in our day will fail them because of fear (see Luke 21:26; D&C 45:26). Even the faithful can expect a few fibrillations." (Men and Women of Christ, p9)
  3. Bruce R. McConkie: "The coming of the flood of Noah, and with it the "end of the world" for the carnal civilization of that day, is a perfect type of the coming of the Lord, and the end of the world for the wicked of the latter-days. In both days all the normal activities of life continue until Deity intervenes to stay the mounting mass of iniquity." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:667)
  4. READ D&C 97:21-26. The indignation of the Lord is kindled.

The Ark - A Type For Our Day

  1. The Lord commanded Noah, "Make thee an ark of gopher wood" (Gen. 6:14).
  2. In his General Conference address, Elder W. Don Ladd said, "We all need to build a personal ark, to fortify ourselves ourselves against this rising tide of evil, to protect ourselves and our families against the floodwaters of iniquity around us. And we shouldn't wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance." (Ensign, Nov. 1994, p29)
  3. WHAT ABOUT TEMPORAL PREPARATION?
  4. Elder Ladd continued: "When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark.... We...need to listen to the Lord's spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will sure come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future." (Ensign, Nov. 1994, p29)
  5. Spencer W. Kimball on Noah's preparations for the flood: "As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. His people mocked and called him a fool. His preaching fell on deaf ears. His warnings were considered irrational. There was no precedent, never had it been known that a deluge could cover the earth. How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. The ark was finished. The floods came. The disobedient and rebellious were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building." (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp5-6)


The Lord Cleanses The Earth With A Flood

READ GENESIS 7:11-13, 17-21. The flood.

The flood - an act of mercy.

HOW COULD THE FLOOD COVER THE ENTIRE EARTH, INCLUDING MOUNTAINS (Gen. 7:19)?  WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS IMMERSION?

  1. John Taylor: "I would like to know by what known law the immersion of the globe could be accomplished. It is explained here in a few words: 'The windows of heaven were opened' that is, the waters that exist throughout the space surrounding the earth from whence come these clouds from which the rain descends. That was one cause. Another cause was 'the fountains of the great deep were broken up' - that is something beyond the oceans, something outside of the seas, some reservoirs of which we have no knowledge, were made to contribute to this event, and the waters were let loose by the hand and by the power of God; for God said He would bring a flood upon the earth and He brought it, but He had to let loose the fountains of the great deep, and pour out the waters from there, and when the flood commenced to subside, we are told 'that the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth.' Where did they go to? From whence they came. Now, I will show you something else on the back of that. Some people talk very philosophically about tidal waves coming along. But the question is - How could you get a tidal wave out of the Pacific ocean, say, to cover the Sierra Nevadas? But the Bible does not tell us it was a tidal wave. It simply tells that -all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.' That is, the earth was immersed. It was a period of baptism." (JD 26:74-75)
  2. The Flood was a baptism for the earth: Orson Pratt declared: "The first ordinance instituted for the cleansing of the earth, was that of immersion in water; it was buried in the liquid element, and all things sinful upon the face of the earth were washed away. As it came forth from the ocean floor, like the new-born child. it was innocent; it rose to newness of life. It was its second birth from the womb of mighty waters-a new world issuing from the ruins of the old, clothed with all the innocence of this first creation." (cited in Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:20)
  3. Brigham Young: "The earth, in its present condition and situation, is not a fit habitation for the sanctified; but it abides the law of its creation, has been baptized with water, will be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost, and by-and-by will be prepared for the faithful to dwell upon." (cited in Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:20)

WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING NOAH DID AFTER LEAVING THE ARK?

  1. "And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar" (Gen. 8:20).
  2. HOW CAN WE SHOW OUR GRATITUDE TO THE LORD WHEN HE HELPS US THROUGH A DIFFICULT SITUATION?

The Lord Covenants With Noah

  1. Genesis 9:11: "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."
  2. WHAT WAS THE TOKEN OF THE LORD'S COVENANT WITH NOAH?
  3. Joseph Smith: "I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, 'In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant'." (TPJS, pp340-341)


The People Build The Tower Of Babel

After the flood, the descendants of Noah and his three sons began to multiply and re-people the earth. According to Genesis 1:1, "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech." Orson Pratt indicates that this language was the language of Adam: "...it is that same language that was spoken for nearly two thousand years after the creation; that was spoken by Adam and by his children, from generation to generation that came down to the flood, and was taught extensively among the children of Noah until the Lord by a direct miracle caused the people to forget their own mother tongue" (JD 3:100).

READ GENESIS 11:4. The people determine to build a tower.

WHY DID THE DESCENDANTS OF NOAH DECIDE TO BUILD A TOWER?

  1. They wanted to be able to climb up to heaven.
  2. They wanted to make a name for themselves.

WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR PURSUING THIS UNRIGHTEOUS COURSE OF REACHING HEAVEN?

  1. Their language was confounded (v7). WHY?
  2. They were scattered abroad (v8).

WHY CAN'T WE REACH HEAVEN ON OUR OWN OR BY HUMAN METHODS?


Summary

The people who built the tower of Babel were punished because they tried to reach heaven by worldly means. Conversely, Noah and his family were saved from the blood because they lived according to God's commandments.

The only way for us to reach heaven--to return to live with our Heavenly Father--is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must live righteously, as Noah did, having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, receiving sacred ordinances and enduring to the end of our lives. If we do these things, we will rise above evil and be able to return to the presence of god.


Next Week



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