Genesis 7: A Big Boat & A Bad Storm

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Devotionals

Oops….I skipped Genesis 7. Just consider this a flashback….enjoy…

Ahhh…..Noah and the Ark. A story that sounds too fanciful (imaginary) to be true. It’s easier for us to see this as a cute little tale that we read to kids. A tale about a little man with a white beard and a gown (who looks like a character from The Simpson’s) who builds a big boat and puts a bunch of cute, happy animals in it. Truth be told, that’s the picture that a lot of us have. We can’t seem to shake the children’s stories. But we have to. We have to keep in mind that these are real events. Events with real people, real animals, a really big boat (that was also real), and real judgment.

At the end of Genesis 6, we are told that “Noah was a righteous man” who “walked with God”. And at he time when the LORD determines to bring judgment on the earth, He makes a covenant with Noah (Genesis 6:18). He agrees to spare Noah and his family from the judgment that will come because of the sinfulness of the world. The LORD chooses to save Noah and his peeps, through a means that seems a bit strange….He commands Noah to make a giant boat (Genesis 6:14).

Here’s the picture….God says to Noah…”I’m gonna destroy the earth with a massive flood, so I want you to build a humongous boat for you and your fam and a bunch of animals.” It sounds ridiculous. Imagine the faith it took for Noah to obediently do what he was told. Imagine what the people around him thought when he started to build the ark. I’m sure there were lot’s of people who thought he was nuts! They point and laugh as he builds and tries to convince them that God will soon send a terrible flood as judgment for sin. Does Noah slack up?….nope. He did what God told him.

“Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.”

Genesis 6:22

Fast forward to chapter 7, and we read of how the LORD tells Noah… “Go into the ark, you and all you household….” (7:1) And once again, we see Noah’s obedience. He “did all that the LORD had commanded him”. (7:5). After Noah did all that the LORD commanded him, the text says that “the LORD shut him in” (7:16)

And then came the rain….

Just like God promised, the floodwaters came. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

“The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters.”

Genesis 7:18

Noah responded to the LORD with faith and obedience and the LORD spared him from judgment. Sure he was in a giant boat with tons (literally) of stinky animals (and not to mention all the stuff they tend to leave behind), but he was saved from God’s judgment. This is an incredible picture of how the LORD works. He saves people who put their faith in him. Who trust him to do what they could never do. The LORD determined to kill every living thing on the earth….do you think that apart from the LORD’s grace, Noah could have escaped that? No way! Just look at how everyone else in this account made out.

“And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. He [the LORD] blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark…”

Genesis 7:21-23

Again….it’s helpful to realize that this is real. And it’s not pretty. Erase the pictures of the little cartoon Noah floating along on the ark with a giraffe’s head sticking out of the window. Instead picture this: dead bodies everywhere. Imagine the sun blotted out because of the dark rain clouds….and the dead bodies of every kind of animal imaginable, not to mention the dead bodies of people floating around. Men, women…and children. This was God’s judgment against sin. Sin is serious. And the LORD does not take it lightly. God’s judgment is real and it’s scary…but there’s more to the LORD than His judgment.

Noah and the ark remind us of both the LORD’s Judgment and His grace. The flood and the death that comes with it is a picture of God’s judgment, and Noah and his family passing safely through the flood is a picture of grace. Judgment and grace….Two themes that we’ve seen before. I think the LORD is trying to tell us something through his word. He will judge sin. That judgment will be severe. But there’s a way out. There’s a way of escape. A way that God himself provides….

Grace and peace,



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