Father, I thank You for the privilege I have to come boldly to Your throne of grace. I worship You.
Read Genesis 6:1-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Many people hold a view of God as unchanging and indifferent … But Israel’s God is fully a person who hurts and celebrates” (Walter Brueggemann).
The positive thrust of the genealogy is soon shattered. Previously “God saw all … and it was very good” (1:31). Now “the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth,” and “God saw how corrupt the earth had become” (5,12). God had commanded humans to “fill the earth” (1:28), but now “the earth … was full of violence” (11). Corruption was the mark of all flesh (vs. 12,13; TNIV has “all the people,” but from v. 17 on the same Hebrew word includes all creatures). God’s intention for the world has been dashed by a narrow and selfish human vision.
How will God respond? Here we read not of “anger” but of God’s “grief” (6). When “every inclination … of the human heart was only evil” (5), God’s “heart” was “deeply troubled” (the same Hebrew root as the “pain” of 3:17). Human sin causes pain for God as well as for humans; it’s a pain most vividly seen in the cross. God is not here an angry judge, but a grieving parent. Whereas ancient Near Eastern accounts describe the flood as a means of population control, the noise of overpopulation disturbing the gods’ sleep, the biblical reason is moral judgment. “I am surely going to destroy” (13) uses the same word as previously translated “corrupt” (11,12): “What God decided to destroy had been virtually self-destroyed already” (Derek Kidner).
“Wipe out” (7, CEV) may include a blotting out of sin. Divine agony leads to a new start, as God shows “favor” to Noah, whose lifestyle was countercultural in his day (8,9). The ark is to be God’s provision of salvation, enabling the continuation of humankind and “every kind of creature” (19,20; 1 Pet. 3:20,21).
Ponder God’s “pain” over humans “corrupting” what he has made, and, in Christ, join him in doing what is good today.
Righteous God, I am reminded that sin brings death, but You have provided for my salvation. I thank You for Your saving grace through the Lord Jesus.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.