For 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. 18 But 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. Genesis 6:17-18
In the centuries following humanity’s fall into sin, the world and all that was in it became corrupt. The evil nature of man had taken over every aspect of life and God’s judgment fell upon the world He once called good. With all that had taken place from Adam and Eve’s banishment from the garden and following Cain’s killing his brother Abel, it became clear that creation had refused to honor God, instead choosing to honor itself. In so many ways, creation chose the deceiver’s lie over God’s truth and decided to worship creature over Creator.
Yet, even as a sinner Noah found favor with God. Scripture tells us that Noah “was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” Genesis 6:9. In Noah we see that even as creation had fallen, there was one who accepted his status as creature and God’s as Creator. Throughout the narrative of the flood there is one refrain that repeats over and over; “And Noah did all that God commanded.” Noah realized God’s commands were promises for life and through Noah we have the first revelation that faithfulness is possible even in this world. Through faith in God’s promises, God brought salvation to Noah and his family through the ark.
In the centuries following Noah, the world is still one that is fallen into sin. In terms of saving ourselves we no better off today than were the generations before the flood. Still, the narrative of Noah teaches us that faithfulness is possible. As we hear the words of prophecy concerning Jesus during Advent, we begin to understand that even as we cannot keep God’s laws, we receive His commands as promises for life. Even as we cannot save ourselves from sin and death, God brings salvation to His people through the one promised to be Savior. God invited Noah and his family into the ark as a means for salvation. Today, God invites the human family into his presence through the blood of Christ who is salvation for all of humankind.
Mighty and everlasting God, Just as you saved Noah and his family from the waters of the flood, so too have you saved your people through the sacrifice of your Son. We give you thanks for your mercy and grace and look forward to the day when you make all things new in the fullness of your kingdom. This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.