In 1993 my wife’s childhood home on the family farm in Hull, Illinois was completely destroyed in a horrible flood. When the water receded and we were able to drive out to the farm, the destruction we saw was breathtaking. Everything my wife had known of it was either gone or damaged beyond repair. I’ll never forget her tears.
I can’t help but think of that flood damage when I read this chapter. Listen to the repetition of the relentless, rising floodwaters:
“The waters of the flood came” – v.10
“Rain fell upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights” – v.12
“The flood continued…the waters increased” – v.17
“The waters prevailed and increased greatly” – 18
“The waters prevailed so mightily” – v.19
“The waters prevailed above the mountains” – v.20
“The waters prevailed on the earth” – v.24
What was God’s purpose in sending the horrible flood? Again the repetition makes the point:
“Every living thing that I have made I will blot out” – v.4
“All flesh died” – v.21
“Everything…in whose nostrils was the breath of life died” – v.22
“He blotted out every living thing” – v.23
“They were blotted out” – v.23
The great lesson of this chapter is how God feels about sin (He hates it) and how God deals with sin (He punishes it, blotting it out). Judgment follows sin as surely as night follows day. It’s true in my life and yours. If you are bound to sin, you are bound to suffer.
The bright spot in this chapter is the grace God showed to righteous Noah and his family. The ark was God’s provision for them to escape the judgment (v.7), and God sealed them safely inside the floating house-zoo (v.16).
I see a glimpse of Jesus here, too. On the cross, He suffered the flood of God’s judgment for me. And He became my Ark of Safety, my escape from judgment, as He sealed my salvation. What a Savior!