Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Noah's Example (Genesis 6:9-22)

The next major section of Genesis is introduced in the customary way, “these are the records of the generations…” In the last interlude we saw sin become unbearable. Now we will see how God will wipe it all away and start anew from a remnant. But first we are reintroduced to Noah. In Adam’s genealogical interlude, Noah was born with a hope for relief from the curse of the fall. Here we see that he is a good man. In fact, he is the best of his generation. He “walks with God” as Enoch did.

By comparison, the world has turned bad under the weight of humanity’s sin. God sees creation, much like he did at the end of the creation week, but now it is not good. The word that is repeatedly used in verses 11 and 12 is “ruined.” Creation has spoiled from all the violence committed by men. God determines that He will ruin creation the rest of the way because of man’s violence. It is a perfect case of the punishment fitting the crime.

But God will not have his redemptive plan thwarted. He is still working to bring creation and humanity back into a right relationship with Himself. He tells Noah of his plan and commands him to build a boat. God will spare humanity through Noah’s family, and the rest of life through animals that He will bring into the ark with Noah.

And in one of the most powerful verses in scripture, Noah demonstrates his goodness, what later writers will hold up as an example of faith. Noah stands in contrast to his ancestor Adam. When God commands:

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

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