The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Genesis 6-8 is the story of the flood. The idea of God destroying the earth causes me to wrestle… really wrestle with God’s goodness. I’ve struggled to see how God’s goodness is revealed in destroying every living thing on the earth (except those few on the ark). Seriously, what good is the flood?
I believe God has patiently endured my questioning and given me not just one, but several glimpses of his goodness in this passage of Scripture.
- Firstly, I believe God gave the world the opportunity to repent and be saved. Think about it… It took Noah and his sons a VERY long time to build that ark. Scholars debate on the specifics, but it was somewhere between 75-100 years of building. Don’t you think news would have spread about this crazy guy building this humongous boat? Don’t you think Noah tried to warn people of the coming flood? They had a chance to repent, believe and be saved… But they didn’t. And they perished.
- Secondly, (and this is a hard one for me) every living thing deserved to be destroyed. The bible says “every intention of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God showed his grace by preserving a remnant.
- Thirdly, (and I love this) I see God’s tender, personal care for Noah and his family in verse 7:16, “And the Lord shut him in.” God, himself, shut the door to the arc and protected them from the deadly flood. He, personally, saved them.
- And finally, Noah’s story is both a warning and a joyful proclamation to us. Just as those who were in the ark were saved from the flood… If we are found “in Christ” we will be saved from the judgment that is to come. God, in his mercy, warns repetitively throughout Scripture that there will be judgment for those who do not turn to Jesus for help. None of us are good enough to earn entrance into heaven. Jesus offers us a trade: we get his perfect record, and he gets our tarnished one. As a result, he received the punishment we deserve, and we get the reward that only he deserves. This is good news. This is the gospel.