Read: Genesis 6:5-9:17
So, you may have read this story and thought, “God just, in essence, destroyed everything that he created only a few chapters before.” Why would God do that? Only two weeks ago we established that He is a God that wants to be close to us, and just last week we saw He had a plan in motion right after humanity fell. So, why would God do this? Well, it is because it is kind of what humanity wanted: chaos. God loved humanity and wanted humanity to love in return, so he had to give them the choice to follow or not to follow God’s created order. This is what we would call free will. Humans had chosen to stray so far away from God and had become so wicked to the core of their hearts, and this meant that they were working against the goodness of God’s created order. So God gave them what their hearts desired: chaos. God removed the divide between the waters above and below and the dryness of land that he had put into place in Genesis 1. The flood was the result of God dis-ordering his creation and thus chaos reigning again, but not completely.
There was a man called Noah who found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was righteous which, in Hebrew understanding, would have meant that he had a right and proper relationship with God. Noah was one that believed in and followed the goodness of God’s created order and recognized God’s rule and hand within it. So God saved Noah and his family from the chaos and destruction that happened to creation because God had removed his hand of protection from it. In saving Noah and his family he was re-creating a new “Adam” and re-issued the divine charge to Noah, the same one that had been given to Adam in the Garden. However, this time he added a promise: a bow in the sky made of light as a reminder to humanity and to God himself that never again would God allow the disorder of creation, never again would He remove His protection fully from the powers of chaos. God had His plan in motion to gather a people to Himself and to bring a savior from out of His people.
Heavenly Father, we are grateful for your grace in providing a way for us to come to you. We thank you for the way in which you have ordered creation. Teach us what it means to be stewards of your creation and what it means for us to follow your way of goodness.
- What is one thing that stood out to you in this passage?
- What came to your mind when you read that God regretted making humanity?
- Does it change the way you think about the flood when you consider that happens out of the dis-ordering of creation?
- What does it say about God that he would only allow this destruction to happen once?
- What does it look like for us to be like Noah and to recognize God’s good created order?
- How do we as followers of Jesus steward the goodness of God’s created order?