under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 1 (Part 4)
The first children born to Adam and Eve were two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain farmed the land while Abel took care of the sheep. Cain and Abel had been taught the true way in which to worship God. They were to offer a lamb as a sacrifice for their sins.
The lamb was slain; its blood was poured out. The lamb's body was burned as a burnt offering to God. The lamb was a type or picture of Jesus Christ, the Savior, who would one day come to die for the sins of all men. From the very beginning God taught men that without the shedding of blood there could be no forgiveness of sins.
In the course of time, both Cain and Abel brought their offerings to God. Cain was a farmer and he brought the fruit of the ground for his offering. No doubt he brought beautiful vegetables and fruit, but God rejected his offering.
Abel tended sheep and he brought a lamb as his offering. God accepted Abel's offering. The Bible says,
"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…" Hebrews 11:4
The reason God accepted Abel's offering was that he offered a lamb, a type of Christ as the Lamb of God. Abel was confessing that he was a sinner. By faith Abel was looking forward to the coming of God's Son, the Lamb of God, who would die for the sins of the world.
God did not accept Cain's offering because he was coming to God in his own way instead of God's way.
Since the time of Cain and Abel, there have always been these two kinds of worshippers: (1) true worshippers, like Abel, who come to God, trusting in the Lord Jesus and His blood which was shed for them and (2) false worshippers, like Cain, who try to come to God in their own way. But God has never accepted anyone outside of Christ, and He never will.
As men began to multiply on the earth, they became more and more wicked. In the days of Noah, things had reached a state where they could not be remedied. The Bible says that every imagination of man's heart was only evil continually. Man was a grief to God constantly.
Could God go on with a race of people who were a constant grief to His heart? No, He could not. God determined to destroy the human race by a great flood. But there was one man who was upright in his ways—Noah. The Bible says, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6:8)
God told Noah of His plan to destroy the earth by water. He instructed Noah to build an ark, a great ship. It took Noah and his three sons 120 years to build the ark as God had instructed them. For 120 years Noah warned the people that God's judgment was coming on the earth, but they laughed at him.
When the ark was completed, God told Noah to bring pairs of all the animals and birds into the ark. Regarding certain "clean" animals, he was to take seven pairs. Then God told Noah to take his wife, their three sons and their wives into the ark. God did not say, "Go into the ark." He said, "Come, you and all your house into the ark." This meant that God was inside the ark.
There was only one door into the ark. For seven days that door remained open, while Noah pleaded with the people to come inside. Then God shut the door. The Bible says, "The LORD shut him in."
It began to rain and the fountains of the deep were broken up. It rained constantly for 40 days and 40 nights. The waters covered the hills and the highest mountains. Every person and all air-breathing creatures outside the ark died.
The ark is a type or picture of Christ. He is our Ark of safety. This world in which we live is very wicked. It is under the judgment of God. But God has given us an "ark of safety." Christ is our Ark.
The moment we take Christ as our Savior, God puts us in Christ. We are in Christ just as Noah and his family were in the ark. When God's wrath falls on this evil world in which we live, we shall be saved because we are in Christ.
Many of God's people do not have full assurance of their salvation. They are fearful that they might lose their salvation. God wants all believers to know that they are saved forever. Noah and his family were not outside the ark, trying to hold on. They were inside the ark, perfectly safe.
When God saves us, He puts us in Christ. We are not outside of Christ, trying to hold on to Him; we are in Christ. The Bible says, "But of Him [God] are you in Christ Jesus…" (1 Corinthians 1:3)
Now do the questions for this first lesson which was in 4 parts: