Sin was the cause, and the effect was the flood. A terrible threat, with a beautiful promise attached.
This is the story of Noah.
Wickedness. Evil. Corruption. Violence. Genesis 5-10 describes an outright, hostile rebellion of the people of Earth against the creator of the universe. Forced regret of the father for making his own sons and daughters.
"Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 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." Genesis 6:11-13
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." Genesis 6:9
What an adjective. Noah’s favor with God was the ultimate saving grace for the entire human race.
God’s decision to simply start over with humanity created a decade’s long work order for the one family who would outlive the rest.
A calling to build not a boat, but an ark, and one of incredible magnitude and size.
A floating life raft for all kinds of creatures calling the land their home. Needing no instruction manual, Noah followed God’s specifications down to the finest detail.
"This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks." Genesis 6:15-16
Perfectly fitted to accommodate no more and no less than seven pairs of every clean animal, one pair of every unclean animal, and seven pairs of every kind of bird.
"Let's load up!"
Noah, his wife, his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, and their wives entered their ark, and the threat became real.
Water rained down from above and exploded from the earth below. Every living thing on land drowned to death to atone for the sins of the world.
Except for the grace shown to those residing on Noah’s ark.
Forty days and forty nights passed as the waters continued to rise above the Earth. Not even the tallest mountain could overcome the water’s depth.
For one hundred and fifty days, Noah and his family floated, looking out at the ocean unknowing of when they would be able to return to the land.
Though uncertain, their faith remained strong. God’s wind came upon the land and the waters began to decrease. The ark had come ashore, although land was not yet visible.
Noah released two birds through the window of the Ark. When they both returned, he decided to wait another week.
On his second attempt, the dove returned carrying with it a shining glimmer of hope: an olive leaf. A sign that the worst had come and gone. God had delivered them back to the land.
Not forgetting the faithfulness of his savior, Noah gave thanks by building an altar and offering a sacrifice to the Lord. A sacrifice for which the world received this glorious promise:
“I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” Genesis 9:11
And to magnify that promise, God offered the beautiful sign of a rainbow to remind himself and man of the covenant that was made.
In just six verses, God uses the term “covenant” six times. Saying nearly the same thing four times over,
"I will never forget this."
Never before have I seen so many parallels between Noah’s Ark and the coming of Jesus Christ. A threat, and a promise. A cause, and an effect. Sin, and a savior.
Both times the human race deserved to be completely destroyed because of their wickedness, yet God created a way for us to return back to him.
Noah was not saved because he was righteous.
Noah was righteous because he was saved.
We already know that the Earth was filled with wicked, evil, corrupt, and violent people. Imagine what a crazy person Noah must have been viewed as in the world in which he lived.
This only magnifies the kind of person it takes to commit to building a three-deck ark with ancient technology based on a message from God about a flood to come.
Noah’s ministry revolved around listening to God’s undeniable will, obeying his commands intently regardless of rationality and completely trusting in God to deliver him and his family through an unprecedented storm.
God used a common man to perform the uncommon duty to save life on Earth. God had no obligation to use or save Noah just as God has no obligation to use or save us.
God uses ordinary people like us because he wants to, but we first must make ourselves available.
What's in a rainbow, you ask? Scientifically speaking, a lot of light and little bit of water at just the right time.
Each rainbow reminds us of a promise that God made to us all on a day when there was a lot of water and Noah was the only light to be found at the time.
Are you available for the mission God has for you?