Genesis 6:11-13 (NIV) 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
On verses 11-13: In Genesis 1, God saw that the earth He made was good. Here, however, in verses 11-13 God saw how corrupt the earth had become due to the sins people would commit and the violence they would inflict on one another. We’re only six chapters into the Bible, but we are now half way through the overarching story of the Bible: “God made us. We blew it. Jesus came. We need Him.” This is the “we blew it” part.
Genesis 6:14-21 (NIV) 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark–you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
On verses 14-21: Even when God decided to wipe out all the earth because of how full of sin and violence it had become, God includes a plan to save and redeem mankind. God tells Noah to build an ark by which Noah and his family could enter and be saved from the floodwaters. Similarly, God has provided us with a vessel by which we can be saved from God’s wrath against sin: it’s the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Genesis 6:22 (NIV) 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
On verse 22: Imagine the kind of ridicule Noah must have experienced at the hands of critics and skeptics, who must have thought Noah was crazy for building a huge boat to save his family from some apparently oncoming flood. Yet “Noah did everything just as God commanded him”.
What can we learn from this?
First, sometimes your obedience to God’s call will not make sense to everyone, but that’s okay. You focus on doing what God has called you to do.
Second, just as Noah’s obedience in building the ark was crucial to the salvation of his family and all the animals who were brought into the ark with them, so Jesus’ perfect obedience in living life was crucial to our salvation. For if Jesus did not meet all of God’s requirements when He lived on this earth, He would not be the spotless, blameless lamb of God without defect whose death could atone for our sins. It’s Jesus’ perfect obedience, combined with his death and resurrection, that makes salvation possible for you and me.
Heavenly Father, thank You that even when You break something down and destroy it, You have this way of redeeming and saving a part to do something even greater with it. We see that here with Noah and the ark. We see that with how You sent Jesus Christ Your Son for this world. Thank You for Jesus’ perfect obedience to Your commands so that I would have a perfect lamb sent from heaven to pay for my sins. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!