Reading For Wednesday Genesis 6:5-7:24
The story of Noah is a Sunday School classic. It comes home with art and animals. Nurseries are decorated with this as the theme. However, to look at this as only a whimsical children's story is to neglect what the story actually tells us occurred. This is a frightening story that should shake us into a sober awareness of the truth that sin brings the judgment, wrath, and death. This part of the story begins with the pain, regret, and heartache of the generous God that leads to destruction. Some do not believe that the account of Noah is to be taken literally, but Jesus spoke of Noah in Matthew 24:37-38. So think of the story without cartoon giraffes poking their heads out of a cartoon ark and see the disturbing and comforting truth behind the events that took place.
One of the most devastating things found in scripture takes place in this story. The Bible tells us that God was filled with regret and grief over his image bearers. God is not some distant spectator that leaves his creation to struggle and do whatever it wishes without any repercussions. God is personal, imminent, and intimately aware of all that takes place. The hearts and the resulting activities of mankind are an affront and injurious to God. This rebellious and stubborn people that continue in their willful disobedience leads to destruction. The picture presented is bleak and dark. Things were so corrupt that God resolved to destroy mankind which is a terrifying thought. This powerful and magnificent God would pour out his wrath on mankind. If his creative activity is so good, how perfect and complete is his destruction?
But, in all this wickedness that caused God pain and grief, Noah found favor. Now we must not misplace our admiration. The point is not that Noah was good, but that God is gracious. God was just and right to destroy everything with the breath of life in it. Yet, the merciful God grants favor and gives Noah a little project– build an ark. This is no small project and Noah is no spring chicken. There is beauty in the faith that makes its way into action as Noah obeys God and we begin to see salvation unfold.
The story of Noah, like every story in the big story, is a picture of the gospel. Think about mankind. People argue about the condition of mankind. We know the world is broken and we see the effects of sin but what about individuals? Are people inherently good or bad? Is it nature or nurture? Is it something else? The bible tells us the answer. Mankind suffers from the malady and monster called sin. People are not basically good. People are sinful and they rebel against God, creation, and one another.
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” (Romans 3:10–11, ESV)
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, ESV)
This is bad news, but there is good news. God, who is gracious, provides a way of escape from the wrath and judgment of a holy God. For Noah, just like us, it was faith and the picture is the ark. For us, it too is faith and Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to have favor in God's eyes and be rescued. God's rescue plan was specific just like the detailed plans for the ark. God has fixed another day of judgment and salvation will only be in Jesus. Heed the warning, trust God, and find security and rest in Jesus Christ.
Things To Consider:
- Why is sin such a big deal?
- What is the relationship between faith and the word of God?
- What pictures do we see in God closing the door to the ark?
- Judgment is not a popular subject, but why does God have the right to judge?
- Some question the account of the flood. If you would like to research the flood account in more detail visit www.answersingenesis.org