Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Flood (Genesis 7:1-24)

In chapter seven of Genesis we have two extremes: Noah’s faith seen in obedience leading to salvation and fallen creation’s utter destruction.

In the initial scenes of this section, we saw God decide to ruin the ruined earth, and His plan to save a remnant through Noah. There the story disobeyed the story-telling convention “show don’t tell.” God told Noah his plan and what to do, but we do not see Noah do any of it. We are simply told that he did exactly as commanded. That is bad story-telling, but great theology.

Here in the next scenes, we see God again command. “Enter the ark.” And then we get increasing detail of the fulfillment of that command. In fact, we are told everything twice:

“And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.”

We are told Noah’s age at the coming of the flood. That he and his family got in the ark. That the animals entered with them. Two by two, just as commanded (i.e. with the extras whose purpose will come clear after the flood.) And then we are told all of that once more, with greater detail.

Then God shuts them in the ark. And then creation reverts back to the disorder before the creation week.

There we saw that God’s Spirit hovered over a dead sea of waters. In the flood, creation goes back to that state. Everything dies. It is a powerful scene. The waters triumph over the earth in complete devastation. And in all that apocalyptic destruction, we are reminded once again of the tiny boat with all the hopes of life tossed about on all that chaos and disorder. It is surely the most terrifying scene in human history.

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