Focal Passage: Genesis 8:10-22
Two traits of God are revealed during the time of the Flood and the faithfulness of Noah. First, the power of God to unleash the torrents of water to undo the vast Creation that He had made, and second, the personal closeness that God demonstrates to both Creation and humanity as He establishes the covenant first made with Adam, and now, with Noah “to be fruitful and multiply.”
The power of God demonstrated through both Creation, and then the destruction of His Creation, overwhelms the senses.
In Creation on Day Two, God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water . . . and separated the water under the vault from the water above it” (Genesis 1:6-7). God used the vault, holding back the watery abyss to create earth, sky, and all living things. In the Flood, “… on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened” (Genesis 7:11). What God did in Creation, He reversed in the Flood as He released the very floodgates of heaven! The question of why demands an answer.
Why would our powerful God of Creation return the world to the watery abyss? “When the Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that He had made man” (Genesis 6:5-6). His judgment was swift and powerful. Because of the wickedness of humanity, God undid His vast Creation.
However, if all we see is God’s powerful attribute of Creation and Judgment, then we only see part of the attributes of God. Just as in Creation, God’s personal, intimate nature is revealed.
In Creation, God personally “breathes life” into the first human (Genesis 2:7), forms animals out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:19), fashions woman out of the man’s side (Genesis 2:22), walks and talks with humans in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-9), and provides them clothing following their act of disobedience (Genesis 3:21).
After the flood, God “remembers” Noah (Genesis 8:1) his sons, their wives and all the animals. There was a waiting period for the water to recede (vv. 10-14). Noah sent out a raven and three doves to ensure the land was inhabitable.
Then God finally gave His blessing to depart, and all left the ark (vv. 15-19). Noah honored God with a sacrifice of animals prepared for such a moment. The aroma was “pleasing” to God. God then made that promise never again to destroy the earth as He had done.
Both in Creation and in the Flood, God is revealed as the powerful Creator who, with His creative hand, creates that which is beyond description and, with His judgmental hand, brings complete and total destruction.
Nevertheless, God is also revealed to be personal and intimate with His people. The dual themes of judgment and grace, beginning in Creation and then the new Creation after the flood, are carried through Scripture, finding completion in the death and resurrection of our Savior. B&R