Living with Eternal Purpose in the Midst of Societal Degeneration.

Some readers of Genesis 7 may ask, “Why a worldwide flood? Was that level of judgment really necessary?” Remember what we learned about the society in that day – it was “exceedingly corrupt,” to the point that “every intent of the thoughts of [anyone’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God’s judgment is always proportionate to the sin He is judging. We will see again this week that He is a fair and just God who continually offers mercy even at the eleventh hour.

The Command to Enter the Ark (verses 1-5)

Chapter 7 starts with “the Lord,” God’s covenant name, another reminder that He will keep His promises. God calls Noah righteous again, but using a different word than before. “Righteous” in Genesis 6:9 meant ethical and moral. The word God uses here is a spiritual righteousness, which shows us that Noah was a believer in the yet-to-come Christ. God saw him as perfect, with His Son’s righteousness.

God also says that only Noah himself was righteous, out of the whole earth’s population. This means that his family was not. God shows His mercy again in withholding judgment from the family of a righteous man! He desires to use one person’s faith to influence those closest to him, and start a new race under Noah’s righteous influence.

God told Noah to bring more clean animals (those acceptable for sacrifice) than unclean on the ark. From this we know that blood sacrifice was already required for a temporary atonement for sin, though it was before the Mosaic Law. The manuscript repeats that Noah did all that the Lord had commanded.

The Approach to the Ark (verses 6-16)

This account is told in beautiful repetition, especially in the Hebrew. There is nobility in simple obedience to God’s command. Though it may be difficult to execute, obedience is usually simple to understand. Noah showed his faith by his good works (James 2:18).

God shows His mercy again by giving 7 more days for anyone to repent. Noah remained the only one who accepted the covenant God offered, and God took care of all the details. He shut the door that Noah could not shut himself (verse 16), enclosing Noah’s family and the animals in their divinely leak-proof “ark of salvation.”

The Coming of the Flood (verses 17-24)

Floods draw our attention to the power of God. Water like humankind had never seen (and has never seen since) “prevailed” over the earth until the tallest mountains were covered. God made sure that there was enough space even over the tallest peak that the ark would not clip the top as it floated. God is interested in every detail of protecting His own.

As the rain fell and waters rose, Noah’s family continued to have repeated opportunities to turn to the Lord for salvation. But every living thing that had rejected His covenant died in the flood. God had a right to take away the breath of life that He had given when His creation rejected Him.

Application Points

  • Do you despair at the darkness of our culture? At least take hope that we are nowhere near the corruption that Noah lived in. The Church is what keeps culture from being like Genesis 6 today. You are salt and light! (Matthew 5:13-16)
  • A righteous person worships well and accurately. Do you offer God worship with your whole heart? Do you worship Him in the way He desires? We all have room to grow. What can you do this week to worship God better?
  • Do you know Christ? Have you thrown yourself on Him as your only chance of salvation? Does God see you through Jesus’ righteousness? Romans 8:1 says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Turn to Him for peace and salvation today! We don’t know what tomorrow may bring.

Tools for Further Study

Quotes to Ponder:

Don’t measure my character until you measure my grave. –Abraham Lincoln.

A Hymn to Encourage: “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly,
while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in thee I find;
raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy name, I am all unrighteousness;
false and full of sin I am; thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
let the healing streams abound, make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of thee;
spring thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.