It is good to remember that the account of the flood and the ark is not a stand-alone story. The flood was a terrifying expression of God’s holy anger in response to man’s blatant rebellion and wickedness.
The ark was an expression of God’s amazing grace. He could have annihilated everyone and everything (and been justified in doing so). He could have obliterated all life on earth and started over on Mars. Instead, God chose to save a family, even though He knew they were going to be bent toward sin (v.21). And He chose to love them, to receive their worship, and to make covenants with them. What a great, gracious God!
When Noah tore the roof off of the boat and saw that the earth was dry, the entire human population and the entire animal kingdom exited the ark. Verses 1-3 tell us that God remembered, the rain was restrained, and the waters retreated. The wrath of God had been satisfied and the judgment of God had passed.
The first thing Noah did was build an altar to offer burnt offerings to God. He was following the example of Abel (Genesis 4:4) whose burnt offering was accepted and approved by God. Noah’s offering, which acknowledged God as Savior and expressed his praise for God’s salvation, was well received, like a “pleasing aroma” (v.21).
As we come together for worship today, bring your gratitude for God’s grace with you. Bring your thanksgiving for salvation with you, and don’t hold back when you have a chance to sing it out. And bring some holy awe with you, too. Let your worship for the holy-but-gracious God of floods and arks ascend to heaven as a pleasing aroma.
I leave you with this observation…the birds and animals Noah killed and offered to God were all endangered species! Right? But the sacrifice of his worship was totally worth it.