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I'm Just Like You - Genesis 8:15-16

Audio Sermon

Sermon 1/25/09 – Genesis 8:15-16 – I’m Just Like You

I’m Just Like You

Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you” (Genesis 8:15-16)

My wife is mostly Irish and we have come to share and enjoy the music of an Irish group called “Celtic Woman.” We find the music haunting and beautiful. The lyrics of one of their songs are as follows: “We're all a part of one world, we all can share the same dream, and if you just reach out to me, Then you will find, deep down inside, I'm just like you...”

The fears we have, the hopes, the dreams, the lingering childhood that lives in us all, the need for love and safety… we have differences, but we are all more the same than we realize or acknowledge. If you are from Africa or China, Europe, the U.S. or wherever, we may seem different, but inside, we are far more alike than not. As I share with you, and as you listen, “you will find, deep down inside, I'm just like you.

When I was a very little boy, before I contracted rheumatic fever and spent five years in bed and in wheelchairs, I loved to play with toys in my room. Especially it seemed wonderful to shoot my little dart gun at things. This was one of those “guns” that fired darts with harmless little suction cups at the end. I was already becoming a “reader” who especially loved the series called “Better Little Books.” They were fat little books with more pictures than words, which was fine with me at the time. The little books would stand up on end and my imagination they became soldiers or cowboys who would “fire” the little darts at each other. As boys do, I not only read those books, but I also playfully “shot” them, as well.

My wife, when she was little, had a “Barbie” doll, and she had a “Ken” doll also. She enjoyed playing with the Barbie and you might expect that she would have liked the Ken doll. But that wasn’t the way it was. She liked it best when Barbie associated with “G.I. Joe,” a very different kind of doll than “Ken.” The play of children is not that different from other children everywhere. And so much that “grown-ups” do is really – play.

People everywhere need love. We all want to feel safe, to succeed, to be respected, to have enough food, and to be acceptable in appearance. We want income that is sufficient for our needs. We would like it to be warm enough when we want and yet we want that cool breeze on a hot day. Deep down, we need companionship, even if we have been hurt by others in the past and send signals that we don’t want friends. We would like to do something in life that everyone agrees is significant and meaningful. “We're all a part of one world, we all can share the same dream, and if you just reach out to me, Then you will find, deep down inside, I'm just like you....”

In today’s Scripture, we find God “speaking” to Noah, the man who built the ark at the Lord’s command and was now being told to leave the ship that had been their home for the past year. He was told, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you” (Genesis 8:15-16). Were these eight people reluctant to leave that place of safety?

And was there an ark at all? Are you able to believe that a deluge of water at a certain point in history covered the entire planet? Do you believe that Noah ever existed? Is there in you the faith to accept that at least two of every land creature and seven of others, voluntarily migrated to the ark at God’s command? “What happened to the dinosaurs?” and you might add. “If Moses wrote Genesis, how did he know anything about Noah and his family, who lived hundreds of years before Noah did?” These are important questions because the truth of all this, or its lack, is foundational to everything that is. There is a God who loves us enough to judge humanity and cleanse the world of sin. Genesis 6 to 9 presents all of this as truth. But what do YOU believe?

It’s important because Scripture does teach creation by an Almighty, loving God, who, at the same time, gives free choice to those He loves. God’s Word, the Bible, teaches that mankind became so bad, so “evil” (Genesis 6:5), that God eventually, reluctantly covered “all the high hills upon the earth… (with the “waters”)… the mountains of the earth were coveredand all flesh died” (Genesis 7:19-21 & context). And it continues that everyone in future history came from “the sons of Noahand from these the nations were divided…” (Genesis 10:32). Everyone on earth, the stranger on the street, the neighbor you don’t speak to, the relative you either like or don’t, the person who is different; every one on earth is a part of your human family. We are all one people, one human race.

There’s more to this than just who people are and how they relate to each other, for the Bible, the Word of God is essential to our lives: “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The phrase, “all Scripture,” includes the Book of Genesis - our verses for today. Some people decide to pick and choose which Scriptures they like, stating, “I believe this one, but I don’t believe that one.” It’s a kind of Christianity in which they become sort of like a “judge” of what is true and what is not. The Word of God is either truth or it isn’t. There is no middle ground.

The benefits of trusting in the written Word of God are huge. The “Scriptures” were written to give us “hope” (Romans 15:4). “FAITH,” essential to all, but only found by some, is, given through God's Word. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” The Bible is ALIVE with the life of God and that life will spread into your very soul, changing you for the good. “The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged swordand is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

This is true for the so-called “Old” Testament as well as the “New.” Jesus quoted the words of Moses in Mark 7:10, calling them as the “Word of God” in Mark 7:13. Peter said about the Old Testament prophets that, “prophesy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (1 Peter 1:21). Peter also said that “no prophesy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (1 Peter 1:20). To like one part of it and reject others is to have a “private interpretation.” It’s important to prayerfully be open to all of the Bible, including today’s Scripture, for it reveals we are one people, far more alike than we ever thought.  We are all descended from just eight people on that ark.

We're all a part of one world, We all can share the same dream, And if you just reach out to me, Then you will find, deep down inside, I'm just like you...” Jesus’ command is that we “love one another” as He has loved us (John 13:34-35); including that person who resists your attempts at friendship. They are much like you, and God intends that you’ll love them.

Father, we pray that Your Word will come alive in us and that we will trust in what we read. Help us, Lord, to see our kinship with others, and to love them. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
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"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

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