Noah and the Flood

Sin entered the world with Adam and Eve. Violence and murder started with their son Cain. Things did not get better any from there. God gives us His assessment of the society that formed in the ancient earth in Genesis chapter 6.

Genesis 6:3, 6:5-8, 6:11-12

3 Yahweh said, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years."

5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart. 7 Yahweh said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh's eyes.

11 The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

When God first made the world, and filled it with plants and animals, and then with man and woman, God stopped to look at what He had made. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31). Here again, God looks down at the world, but He sees a very different picture. God saw wickedness on the earth. Man's wickedness. Mankind's wickedness had become so great that what he was constantly thinking evil thoughts and imagining evil things to do. The earth had become corrupt. There was sexual perversion which is mentioned earlier in this chapter, and there was violence. God said "My Spirit will not contend with man forever." He was active in the world, convicting men of sin and showing them what they were were doing was not right. But for the most part, they did not listen to Him. They didn't want God in their lives. They wanted to go their own way. It says that God was grieved. His heart was full of pain. (Did you know that you can cause God pain? When we choose to reject Him and go our own way, God's heart aches.) He was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and His patience ran out. It was time for judgment. So God declared, I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth. He would sweep the earth clean, and start over.

But there was one man on the earth that God could look at with favor, and that was Noah.

Genesis 6:9, 6:13-22

9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God.

13 God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make a ship of gopher wood. You shall make rooms in the ship, and shall seal it inside and outside with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it. The length of the ship will be three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a roof in the ship, and you shall finish it to a cubit upward. You shall set the door of the ship in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third levels. 17 I, even I, do bring the flood of waters on this earth, to destroy all flesh having the breath of life from under the sky. Everything that is in the earth will die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you. You shall come into the ship, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19 Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ship, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive. 21 Take with you of all food that is eaten, and gather it to yourself; and it will be for food for you, and for them." 22 Thus Noah did. According to all that God commanded him, so he did.

So God told Noah, I am going to bring judgment on this earth, and destroy it. But he told him how he could be saved. He told him to make a ship. A big ship, a football field and a half long. It had to be big enough to hold two of every kind of bird and land animal, a male and a female, so they also would be preserved to repopulate the earth after the flood. If Noah built this ship (or ark), he would be saved when God send the flood waters to destroy the earth. He and whoever entered the ark with him would be saved. Noah's sons and his wife and his sons' wives would enter with him. I think that Noah invited everyone to enter with him, and be saved. 2 Pet 2:5 calls Noah a preacher of righteousness, so he must have been urging others to repent of their sins, believe what God had said about a coming judgment, and enter the ark with him - but only his family would listen.

Genesis 7:1, 7:7-24

1 Yahweh said to Noah, "Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation."

7 Noah went into the ship with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, because of the waters of the flood. 8 Clean animals, animals that are not clean, birds, and everything that creeps on the ground 9 went by pairs to Noah into the ship, male and female, as God commanded Noah. 10 It happened after the seven days, that the waters of the flood came on the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep were burst open, and the sky's windows were opened. 12 The rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.

13 In the same day Noah, and Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ship; 14 they, and every animal after its kind, all the livestock after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 They went to Noah into the ship, by pairs of all flesh with the breath of life in them. 16 Those who went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him; and Yahweh shut him in. 17 The flood was forty days on the earth. The waters increased, and lifted up the ship, and it was lifted up above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed, and increased greatly on the earth; and the ship floated on the surface of the waters. 19 The waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth. All the high mountains that were under the whole sky were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 21 All flesh died that moved on the earth, including birds, livestock, animals, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died. 23 Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, livestock, creeping things, and birds of the sky. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ship. 24 The waters prevailed on the earth one hundred fifty days.

There are major floods occurring on the earth all the time. The worst one I have seen personally is the one that inundated the St. Louis area back in 1993. That flood on the Mississippi river destroyed 10,000 homes, ruined millions of acres of crops, and killed 32 people. But none of us has seen anything like the flood described here in Genesis. This flood covered the entire earth, and destroyed everything. All life was lost, man and animal. Everything except Noah and those in the ark with him.

Genesis 8:1-2, 8:13-19, 9:1, 9:8-11

1 God remembered Noah, all the animals, and all the livestock that were with him in the ship; and God made a wind to pass over the earth. The waters subsided. 2 The deep's fountains and the sky's windows were also stopped, and the rain from the sky was restrained.

13 It happened in the six hundred first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth. Noah removed the covering of the ship, and looked. He saw that the surface of the ground was dried. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

15 God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 "Go out of the ship, you, and your wife, and your sons, and your sons' wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh, including birds, livestock, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply on the earth."

18 Noah went out, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, whatever moves on the earth, after their families, went out of the ship.

9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

8 God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 9 "As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ship, even every animal of the earth. 11 I will establish my covenant with you: all flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood, neither will there ever again be a flood to destroy the earth."

Forty days and forty nights of rain is a lot, but it did eventually stop. Noah and his family we able to leave the ark, and start life again on a new earth. All of the evil influence of the corrupt were gone. They should have been able to start a new society characterized by love and peace rather than hate and violence. But the heart of man hasn't really changed, has it. There was selfishness and strife even among Noah's family after the flood, and the problem has grown worse and worse as the population has increased. Mankind is still corrupt. There is still violence and immorality on the earth today. Men are still going their own way rather than following God. And another judgment is coming. God promised that there would never again be a flood to destroy the earth, but we read about another judgment in 2 Pet 3.

2 Peter 3:3-10

3 In the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." 5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God; 6 by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. 7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But don't forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

So just as in the days of Noah, people are following after their own lusts rather than following God. And judgment is coming. One day, Christ will return to this earth, and He will judge sin. He knows each one of us. He knows exactly what we have done, because He knows our hearts. He says the heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt (Jer 17:9). We are sinners, and the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23). The consequence for our sin is eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14,15).

But God is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He has provided a way of escape. That way is through His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for our sins. He bore the punishment that we deserve. He tasted death for everyone (Heb 2:9). He went through the waters of judgment, so that we don't have to. He is our ark of safety. We can pass though the waters of judgment in Him.

But we have to be willing to enter the ark. Are we like those in Noah's day, who heard him preaching righteousness but refused to believe God's word, forsake our sin, and enter the ark? Or will we say God be merciful to me a sinner?