Thus far in our study of Genesis we have learned that God created everything “and saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (1:31). A key part of God’s creation is humans uniquely created in His image (1:27). Tragically, the first humans rebelled against God resulting in a broken world filled with evil, sin, and death. With the world in such condition, let us turn our attention to Genesis 6 and learn more about God’s character.
- God’s Love Revealed in Grief (vs. 1-6, 11-12). God is love. By the time we reach Genesis 6, we learn that “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.” We are told that the “sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.” While it is difficult to determine the true identity of the sons of God (angels? Seth’s descendants?) what is clear is that humans are still craving what God has forbidden. Just like Eve trespassing against God’s commands in the garden, humans are seeking to satisfy their lusts more than serving their Lord. We learn in this section that “the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.” The Lord was grieved because of His great love.
- God’s Righteousness Revealed in the Flood (vs. 3, 7, 13, 17). The Lord is loving and He is also righteous and holy. His righteousness is demonstrated in His hatred of sin and His judgment of sinners. The Lord saw that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. He told Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (6:13). God said, “I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die” (6:17). It is important to remember that the reason for the flood is because God hates wickedness and is committed to destroying it.
- God’s Grace Revealed in the Ark (vs. 8-10, 14-16, 18-22). The Lord is righteous and holy and also gracious. We read in verse 8 that “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Noah did not find favor because he was good, Noah found favor by the grace of God. Noah was righteous because he walked with God, not because he was good. God graciously told Noah of the coming judgment and provided Noah a means of escape. God had Noah build a large boat (ark) so that he and an assortment of animals would be kept alive during the coming judgment.
Did you know that God does not change? Therefore He is just as loving, holy, and gracious today as He was in Genesis 6. The story of Noah and the flood is a great picture of the gospel of Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us that we are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ and our faith is demonstrated in obedience. Noah was saved by grace through faith and his faith was demonstrated in obedience to God. God graciously spared Noah and provided the ark as salvation from judgment. Noah believed God and his faith was demonstrated in obediently building the ark. As we remember the story of Noah and the flood, let us praise our loving, holy, and gracious God.