Read Genesis 6:5-9, 13-14, 17-22; 7:11-13; 8:15-16, 20-22.
We use water for a great many things: drinking, washing, cleaning, and operating machinery. Water is necessary for human flourishing. But, God chose to use water for His righteous judgement over the sin of mankind. In the beginning of this week’s passage, sin was widespread. The inclination of the mind of man was toward sin all the time. The writer of Genesis, Moses, expressed God’s indignation and righteous anger over man’s sin and disobedience by using human terms. God judgement on human sin would be a flood which would destroy not only humanity, but all the animal life which they had touched. A man named Noah, however, found favor in God’s sight. This was an act of God’s grace. Noah would be the instrument through which God would offer grace to the faithful and repentant so that they might be saved. Noah would build an ark, a large boat with enough room for animals and storage in order that Noah, his extended family, and animals would survive. How long did it take for Noah and his sons to build the ark? The estimated range is between 75 and 120 years. It was an act of faith on Noah’s part, especially in the face of the people around them. Noah is called a “preacher of righteousness” by the apostle Peter (II Peter 2:5). Given a short time span of 75 years to build the ark, there would be plenty of time for Noah to preach God’s impending judgement on humanity. God was not going to surprise sinful people with judgement.
Noah and his family entered into salvation by entering the ark and placing their lives in the hands of God and His provision. After forty days of rain, 150 days for the waters to subside, and another year Noah and his family were able to walk off the ark and start over building the human race. Even though the new humanity continued to carry within them a sinful nature, God promised never to flood the earth again.
The consequences of sin are great, but God also has the desire to save sinners. God gave Noah a way to be saved from the waters of the flood. God gave the same thing to us through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. We enter into salvation by placing our faith and trust in Him.