9These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
10And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
12And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
13And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.
15This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.
16Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks.
17For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
19And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
20Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.
21Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.”
22Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
While this story takes place a long time after the creation of all things, it is shocking that God should choose to destroy it all with the exception of 8 people and the animals. We are witnessing the broken heart of God. He is going to take drastic measures. The earth and all of its inhabitants are about to be destroyed by a flood. We tend to focus upon the wrath of God being poured out upon the creation when reading this story. It must be noted though that as always God’s mercy if first displayed. He is grieved and will act out of His righteousness. But instead of a lightning strike of anger, God first sets up Noah to build the ark. This boat will spare the lives of anyone or anything that enters. It takes Noah 120 years to build the ark and during that time, anyone who sees him at work and hears his story has time to turn back to God. There is given to man the opportunity for repentance. Anyone who heeds Noah’s cautionary words can be saved.
This story again points to the fact that God gives us so many chances. His bottom line goal is that we are saved. We must keep this in mind as we plod through the days. When God is seen as He truly is – merciful and willing to extend grace to us, we know Him well. But He does not turn a blind eye to sin. His wrath did finally fall down upon the earth and He dealt with the fact that it was “filled with violence.” There will come a point where mercy will end and His righteous anger must be meted out. For us, that anger has already been expressed in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. We need no longer fear God’s punishment. For those who are unaccepting of His grace through the blood of Jesus, His second coming will be like it was for those in the days of Noah. The wrath is coming, we just don’t know when.