The Flood, the Father, & Faithfulness (Genesis 6-8)
Preparation for the Flood (6:9-22)
By God’s gracious, Noah was righteous, committed to doing what is pleasing to God. He walked with God in communion and fellowship and his life was blameless, with no noticeable character blot. In the middle of an entire generation of wickedness, evil, corruption, and violence, Noah stood out as a man of God. Because of the corruption of mankind, God determined to destroy (lit. “corrupt”) them together with all the earth (v. 13). But while total destruction is heaped on all the inhabitants of the earth, amazing grace is lavished on Noah, through God’s promise to keep His covenant with him (v. 18). Noah responds obediently to the command to build the ark—which is not so much a ship, as it is a huge chest. Though the task was difficult, and doubtlessly discouraging, Noah did not waver in his faith and obedience to God.
Preservation by the Father (7:1-8:20)
The Lord commanded that Noah take seven of each clean animal, both for reproduction as well as sacrifice (7:2). This command isn’t a contradiction of the two-by-two instruction, but is instead an addition to it in order for Noah to have what he needs later on for the purpose of worship to God through sacrifice. Following seven more days of grace and mercy, the remaining window of time for repentance came to an end (7:4), and God opened the fountains of the great deep as well as the floodgates of the sky (7:11). The separating work at Creation was undone (1:6ff). The Lord shut Noah and his family in the ark, simultaneously shutting all others out (7:16). Nothing survived the flood, except for those in the ark.
God remembered Noah (8:1). Of course, He had remembered Noah all along—Noah was never out of His thoughts—but here is denoted the idea of God acting upon that remembrance. It is the expression of the faithful love from Noah’s heavenly Father. After God sovereignly causes the wind to pass over the earth and the waters to subside, the ark finally comes to rest on a mountain (8:4). After more than a year inside the ark, judgment was over. God gives Noah the re-creation directive to be fruitful and multiply (8:17), similar to the initial creation mandate (Gen 1:28). With a thankful and grateful spirit, Noah offered worship to God through the sacrifice of the clean animals (8:20).
Promise of Faithfulness (8:21-22)
God promises both to never again curse the ground on account of man, and to never destroy every living thing as He did in the flood. While there are still many localized natural disasters today, God has kept His promise to not flood the earth in its entirety as He did in the days of Noah. This is proof of the universal nature of the flood. If the flood was not universal, and it was limited to only a particular location on the earth, then it would mean that God has not kept His word. The flood was universal, not localized, and God has kept His promise to never again do what He did in those days.
- According to Christ, the reason the people were destroyed in the flood was their complete preoccupation with the normal activities of life, to the neglect of God (Luke 17:20ff). Are possessions and preoccupations the primary part of your life, or is your heart given in worship to God alone?
- Noah took refuge in the ark because of His faith in God’s word (Heb 11:7). He believed God, feared God, and obeyed God. What does His example tell us about saving faith? What does it tell us about how we are to live in a sinful world? In what ways is the ark a picture of the salvation we have in Christ?
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