Living with Eternal Purpose in the Midst of Societal Degeneration.

Anyone who’s ever felt like they’re trying to do right all alone needs to look no further than Noah for a faithful example. This one man and his family were the only ones among 3 billion people on Earth at the time who God could call righteous.

Reasons for the Flood (verses 1-7)

The simple reason for the Flood was a sinful and decadent society. The righteous family descended from Seth had compromised, and light gave way to darkness. The culture was at a point now where common grace had disappeared. No person was capable of any good thought or deed. God saw the state of humankind and was grieved and saddened because they were failing in His purpose for them to steward and enjoy the world He created.

The word for the Lord in these verses is YHWH, used here first in the Bible. This is God’s covenant name, highlighting that He is a God who keeps His promises. As He offers the sinful society a warning and a chance to repent, He is ever-patient and merciful to a people who have completely rejected Him.

Verse 8 is a transition as the narrative focuses our attention on a single righteous man.

The Reality of the Faithful (verses 9-22)

God always provides grace for the faithful minority to joyfully thrive. Noah was able to do right because he had been made righteous through his faith in God’s promise (Heb. 11:7). Not even his pagan neighbors could point a finger at him in blame.

The name for God in these verses is the same used in Genesis 1-2. As Creator, God had the right and obligation to destroy what He had made when it became so corrupt. God’s mercy and grace abound in this chapter, but He also must be true to Himself in justice and holiness.

Yet God still offered grace. In verse 18, God offers the first covenant, an unconditional offer to all people that if they would believe Him, they would be saved; and if they refused, they would be lost. He instructed Noah to build a huge ark, the vehicle of salvation for a remnant of animals and those who would believe. Noah responded by doing just what faithful and righteous people do: he obeyed what God said.

Application Points

  • Do you ever feel like Noah, alone in your desire to do right? Let his example encourage you. He really was the only righteous one on the face of the planet, and God sustained him. We have many resources around us – fellow Christians, a local church, the written Word – and our society is not nearly as fallen as the one in which Noah persevered.

    The key for us, just as it was for Noah, is a daily relationship with our Creator. This is how faithful people survive in dark cultures. Do you spend time daily in the Word and in prayer?

  • If you don’t know Christ, let this passage urge you to accept God’s mercy. He is patient and desires everyone to believe and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). If you were to die not knowing Christ and spend eternity in eternal fire, it would never be God’s fault. Don’t presume on His patience. Trust Christ today!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Lamentations 3:22 (NKJV) – God’s mercy keeps us from being consumed.

  • Job 1:6, Jude 5 – References used to interpret demonic activity in Genesis 6:1.

  • Romans 8:19-22 – Even the inanimate world cries out for release from the effects of sin.

A Hymn to Encourage: “Be Strong in the Lord”

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Defender is always the same.
Mount up with wings, as the eagle ascending;
Vict'ry is sure when you call on His name.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice, for the vict'ry is yours.

So put on the armor the Lord has provided;
And place your defense in His unfailing care,
Trust Him for He will be with you in battle,
Lighting your path to avoid ev'ry snare.

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Commander will vanquish the foe.
Fear not the battle, for the vict'ry is always His;
He will protect you where-ever you go.