Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for January 7

Here’s the Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson commentary for Jan. 7, written by Douglas K. Wilson, Ph. D., Executive Director of the Center for Christian Calling, University of Mobile.

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for January 7

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Douglas K. Wilson, Ph. D.
Executive Director of the Center for Christian Calling, University of Mobile


Genesis 6:13–22; 7:20–24

God is the measure and author of justice. From the inception of His interaction with humanity, God clearly stated that the just punishment for disobedience is physical death (2:17). The serpent lied when he said “You will not die” (3:4). The liar and accuser in the garden suggested that death is not the just sentence for sin. To deny that God’s justice is fulfilled and His wrath satisfied through a death sentence is to deny a fundamental doctrine of historical Christian faith; namely, that Christ died for sinners according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3).

During the course of the first 10 generations of humanity, the thoughts and actions of Adam’s progeny grew darker and darker. Those who worshipped God intermarried with those who did not acknowledge God, leading to a society characterized by these words: “every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time” (6:5), and “The earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with wickedness” (6:11).

If Adam’s sin broke the idyllic material world of God’s creation, successive generations that followed smashed it to bits. God’s plan was to wipe the slate clean, leaving only Noah, his family and the animals that God chose to save.

Judgment Announced (6:13–17)

God announces to His favored servant that the rest of the world faces His judgment. All humanity and every land and sky creature will experience certain death. “Everything on earth will perish” (6:17).

Noah and his family are going to survive and thrive by trusting God.  Noah’s faith will be demonstrated by building a long wooden box, measuring 45 feet high, 75 feet wide and 450 feet long. It will have three floors, one door and a roof.

Read some of the negative commentary directed
toward Ken Ham and his full-size ark in Kentucky. That might help you to imagine the responses heard while “Noah & Sons” worked on their decades-long building project.

Rescue Promised (6:18–22)

Once the ark is complete and passengers are secured, it will carry pairs of animals delivered by God to board the ark. God will establish His covenant with Noah and his family.  By contrast, all of humanity and the corrupt world will be destroyed.

This is the reality of our world and of the gospel. We live in days of unprecedented wickedness. The apostle Peter likens baptism as the message of crucifixion and resurrection to Noah’s ark, offering rescue for all who trust in Jesus (1 Pet. 3:20–22). The finished work of Jesus Christ saves sinners, but sinners must get on the boat to be saved.

Judgment Executed (7:20–24)

God brought pairs of animals to Noah to save in the ark. Where there were seven (or seven pairs) of a kind, they were understood to be clean animals. After they disembarked, the family would offer clean animals as sacrifice to God, and they would eat some of the others.

While God’s covenant favor was extended to Noah and his family, His righteous judgment was being poured out on the rest of the world: “He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:5).

As we enter this new year, may we herald the message of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord!