Several words stand out to me in this passage. Words that describe humanity include,
- wickedness (6:5)
- evil (6:5)
- violence (6:10)
- corrupt (6:12)
Yet, Noah found grace in the eyes of God. Words associated with Noah include,
- Perfect (not sinless, but upright)
- Walked with God
We could add obedient and faithful to that list as Noah obeys God in building a ship to the specifications God gave him (7:5).
Not all flesh HAD to die, but all sinners did have to face judgment. Noah extended the invitation to repent and join him on the ark for many years, but none responded. We do not see this as ineffectiveness on Noah’s part, but unwillingness on the sinner’s part.
The flood came and all died except those who obeyed God in boarding the Ark.
Then, according to His timing, God removed judgment just as He had sent judgment.
To Noah and his family, God gave the privilege and responsibility to replenish the earth. Not just to multiply numerically, but to repopulate the world with righteous people.
We see in chapter 9 the beginnings of human government as the death penalty for murderers is commanded by God. We instigate the death penalty first of all because murder is an affront to God. When the life of a human is taken, then there is an attack on the One in Whose image humanity is made.
The rainbow is given as a reminder that God once judged the earth with a flood, and although He promised to never judge the earth with a flood again, sinners will always be judged somehow.
Chapter 9 closes with an indiscretion on both Noah and Canaan’s part.
As Solomon would later write, a fly in the apothecaries ointment makes it stink. One indiscretion doesn’t write a person off, but it does tarnish their reputation and character.
Jumping from Noah and the flood it is interesting to read of David’s response to the rebellion of his son, Absalom.
David’s faith preserved and strengthened him. Like Noah, he was not a perfect man. Like Noah, David’s sins as a father brought tragedy in the life of his son. Like Noah, David found grace in the eyes of God and despite his failings, was used by God in a great way.
All the world may say there is no hope or help in God. But believers know that in God alone we find help and hope.
May God keep us from the sins of Noah and David, and enable us to emulate their faith and obedience.