Six chapters into the Bible, just a few chapters after God created mankind, he says that he is going to wipe humans off the face of the earth. What could have happened to get to this point?
Destroying to Preserve
Wickedness had covered the face of the earth. God’s purpose for the world was for his glory, image, presence, and goodness to cover the earth, but now the opposite had happened. Evil, sin, wickedness, and man’s image had covered it instead.
God would not allow his good creation to self-destruct. Neither would he let all this wickedness continue to run rampant and unpunished. God had a purpose for creation and it would not be thwarted.
So God would carry out his punishment through a flood. God’s justice is always good. Though it is a bleak image, this may be the only time in Genesis that the world was filled with God’s goodness.
But it’s not the kind of goodness God promised. He promised that death and sin would not win, that the curse would not get victory. He promised that one child from Eve’s line would not fall under the curse, but would actually defeat it.
Preserving to Save
We see that this promise is still being worked out when Noah finds favor in God’s eyes. Noah was the only righteous person on the planet. Now, we know that humanity didn’t just happen to luck out that there was one good guy left. God provided the one good guy. He created Noah, he made him good and did so in order to provide someone to keep his promise alive.
God puts Noah into a large boat so that he, his family, and creation may be saved. It is important to notice that God saved Noah’s family because of Noah’s righteousness, not their own. They were saved through the favor God showed to Noah.
Where is Jesus?
The reality is, the world continued to be in this dire situation. Wickedness and sin flood the whole world. The Bible teaches us that no one is righteous. No one could find favor in God’s eyes by their own goodness. Everyone in the world deserves to be covered once again with God’s punishment.
Saving to Preserve
But, as he did with Noah, God provided one man from the line of Eve. And this one man found favor in God’s eyes because he was God himself. This one man was not only righteous but was righteousness itself. This one man is Jesus.
But unlike Noah, God did not judge the earth and save one man. Instead, he judged one man, Jesus, so that he could save the earth. Now, anyone who puts their faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection can enter into his righteousness and be safe from punishment like Noah and his family entered into the ark and were safe from the flood.
This is the way God saves for himself a people out of the world. This is how he makes good on his promise. This is how he crushes sin, death, and defeats the curse. We enter into Christ’s righteousness and are saved from the flood we deserve.
This is also the way God will ultimately save all creation. He will renew the world, and cover the earth with his goodness. And this final covering won’t be with the waters of punishment, but with the waters of his presence. As a prophet in the Bible would later write, “The glory of God will cover the earth as water covers the sea.”
See For Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will show you a God, grieved by sin, who goes to great lengths to save those who hate him. And that you would be given eyes to see Jesus as the one who falls under the flood of God’s judgement for us so that we can be saved.