20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
“Noah… took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” Noah was not a Jew. There would be no Jews for many thousands of years yet (or 2000 years if you believe in a young earth). But even here there is knowledge of clean and unclean animals fit or unfit for sacrifice to God. This knowledge, predating the Law by so many years, must have come directly from God. Perhaps God spoke it to Adam and it was successfully passed on. But given the moral state of the world it is unlikely that Noah was taught the law of God in any accurate way. We may assume, given 6:8 that even Noah’s parents were not righteous. So it seems that Noah was taught directly by God the difference between clean and unclean animals.
God has always seen to it that He gets worshipped properly. There is no excuse for anyone declaring that they did not know how to approach God. Even the wickedness on the earth that causes the flood is without excuse. God had spoken and the peoples of the earth were expected to obey. Noah preached righteousness, Peter tells us. This is a great testimony of God’s mercy. We need to see the establishing of standards, the declaration of those standards and the provision by God when the standards are not honoured, as mercies from God.
And He has spoken to our generation as well. God has given a record of His standards, our problem, and what He has done to fix it. The Bible is God’s record of creation, fall and God’s work of redemption of the fallen human race through the work of Jesus Christ in His life, death, resurrection, ascension and intercession at the right hand of the Father. He gave the Scriptures and entrusts the propagation of them to His people in every generation. And if the people of Noah’s day were without excuse, how much more so is that of people today?
What a warning this is to us. We were taught the truth. We have believed the truth . And we should make sure that the truth does not stop with us. The church is always one generation from extinction, at least in the sense that God has entrusted us with passing on the truth. We can approach God only through Jesus Christ and the world needs to hear it, for it is for them.