A retelling of Noah and the Flood
In days of old, people had taken the gift of the world that God had given them and they had completely laid it to waste, filling the world with violence of unimaginable proportion. In the midst of all this darkness, light was still trying to shine through and one man, the man called Noah, was still trying to walk with God despite mankind’s ever encroaching evil on him and his family. God saw fit to wipe away all of creation with a flood and start over because people had so utterly corrupted everything from as far as the east is from the west. Through Noah’s walk with God, God moved the world from creation to new creation, from life to new life, making a promise with Noah to never send flooding of this proportion again to wipe away evil from the face of the earth. God’s only command, be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth with life.
–Based on Genesis 6:5-22; 8:6-12; 9:8-17
A Great Flood
Did God really flood the entire world in Noah’s day? Was it really a global flood of epic proportions?
What if the most important question about the story of Noah and the great flood isn’t whether God flooded the entire world or not. What if we’ve spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to answer this question and we’ve actually missed the more important question we should have been asking all along?
What if we should have been asking the question, “What does this story actually tell us about who God is?”
Imagine this, everyone around you is against you. No one wants to see you succeed in life. As far as anyone else is concerned, the only real use you have is the one that allows others to get what they want out of life at your expense. Imagine being surrounded by people who could care less whether you live or die. Imagine being surrounded by others who would rather walk all over you while you lay face down in the mud than offer a helping hand to lift you up. Some of us don’t have to imagine this world. It is our world. This was Noah’s world too. But multiply the intensity of it by thousands.
If you’re Noah and everyone around you is wicked, and evil is rampant, and every corner of the earth is filled with violence, you have to pause and consider what must have been going through Noah’s mind.
Will there ever be relief from this?
God will this evil ever stop?
Will I ever be able to go a day without worry about someone doing me and my family harm?
God Makes a Promise
God gave people the gift of the earth and instead of honoring it, they had all but destroyed this gift. They had filled the earth with so much violence that God decided to send a flood to wipe away all of this violence. People had become so violent that they were completely destroying each other and all of creation.
So God tells Noah to build an ark. God would fill the ark with 2 of every animal around. And then the waters would come.
It begins to storm and water the likes that no one has ever seen begins flooding Noah’s world as far as the east is from west. People forget their own evil for just a moment, and are running for the mountains trying to escape what will be unescapable. Everyone and everything is killed except Noah and his family. They weather the flood for over a hundred days and eventually hit dry ground.
After all is said and done, God makes a promise with Noah to never send a flood to wipe out all people again, despite how evil they may become. God would intercede again one day, but it would be his life to save theirs. A rainbow in the Heavens would be a sign of this promise and our responsibility would be to be fruitful and multiply among the earth.
God had taken Noah and his family from creation to new creation, life to new life. No longer were the days that Noah would lay awake every night wondering if someone was coming to do him and his family harm. God had made the world new again. Life could prosper. People could rest. Work would be fruitful. Creation could thrive if people would allow it.
So what does this story tell us about who God is?
Well first off, it tells us that there’s so much more to this story than trying to figure whether it was a global flood or not. That pulls us away from the story.
What we learn about God is that God wants to see the world fruitful, filled, and teeming with life, not overrun by violence and evil. The love and peace of God is what’s supposed to fil
l this world, not human evil and violence.
We learn that this is a…
Creation to new creation story. A life to new life story. A resurrection story.
God took what was dead at the hands of humanity and through death brought life again because God is a resurrection God. This is a theme that will recur over and over again from Genesis to Revelation. God wants life for the world. Not death. And this is why God was so saddened by what had to occur.
God didn’t want to destroy humanity for punishment’s sake. God was making a future for future generation’s sake. So that we could ultimately and fully enjoy new creation one day.
Then he showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the city’s main street. The tree of life was on each side of the river, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him.
–Revelation 22:1-3 CSB
So what does this story tell us about God? God want’s life for the world. This wasn’t a punishment. It wasn’t revenge. It was God saving the world for one family who still wanted to walk with God despite what anyone else was saying or doing around them.
Reflections on Genesis 6:5-22; 8:6-12; 9:8-17
How does this story help me love God better? It gives me insight into who God really is. God isn’t out to destroy us. God desires life for us. Not death.
How does this story help me love others better? For starters, God did put others here on earth for us to take advantage of or walk all over. People are here to be fruitful and multiply with us for the life of the world.
Why has this story endured? It’s a story of our origins and origins are important. We’re here today because God is merciful and loving and wants to see us thrive.
What is true for them then that is true for us today? Our world is filled with violence. It’s filled with evil. There’s no denying that. But it’s not God’s fault. We’re at fault. All that is wrong with the world is because of us.