11 Noah was 600 years old. It was the 17th day of the second month of the year. On that day all of the springs at the bottom of the oceans burst open. God opened the windows of the sky. 12 Rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. 13 On that same day Noah entered the ark together with his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. Noah’s wife and the wives of his three sons also entered it. 14 They had every kind of wild animal with them. They had every kind of livestock, creature that moves along the ground, and bird that flies. 15 Pairs of all living creatures that breathe came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing. Everything happened just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. 17 For 40 days the flood kept coming on the earth. As the waters rose higher, they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose higher and higher on the earth. And the ark floated on the water. 19 The waters rose on the earth until all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered. 20 The waters continued to rise until they covered the mountains by more than 20 feet. 21 Every living thing that moved on land died. The birds, the livestock and the wild animals died. All of the creatures that fill the earth also died. And so did every human being. 22 Every breathing thing on dry land died. 23 Every living thing on earth was wiped out. People and animals were destroyed. The creatures that move along the ground and the birds in the sky were wiped out. Everything on earth was destroyed. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left. 24 The waters flooded the earth for 150 days.
In this passage is a picture of both God’s justice, His abhorrence of evil and love of that which is good, and God’s mercy, providing an escape from judgment for those who acknowledge Him as Lord and worship Him. The world was a mess, many had no fear of God and did as they pleased, ignoring righteousness and embracing sin. God the Father watched as people rejected Him and treated what He had made – earth, creatures and other people – with total indifference, using and abusing for their own gain. God the just judge needed to put things to rights, for no one else could, but God’s mercy meant that He saw Noah and his righteousness, and provided an escape route for Noah such that he would survive this judgment. God provided the ark, God closed the door of the ark, and God saved Noah, his family and a host of creatures. In this dramatic story of God saving Noah the stage is set for the coming of Jesus.
Hundreds of years later the world is once again full of people rejecting God and His ways with destructive consequences. This time God pours out His judgment not on those that reject Him, but He pours out the entirety of His holy anger on Jesus, putting things to rights whilst at the same time providing an escape for all those who will put their faith in Jesus and acknowledge their need for a Saviour. How amazing that God is true to Himself, both His justice and His mercy, and is able to straddle both of those aspects of His nature, ensuring that in this universe we can trust that in the end justice shall prevail, and yet because of Jesus we don’t need to fear it because we have already been judged innocent.
Wow! God I am so thankful that you assure me that justice shall prevail and that every wrong I observe in the world and that I suffer will be dealt with fairly. I am so thankful that when you deal with me you do not sentence me to death as my wrongs deserve, but you grant me eternal life through Jesus. What a mind blowing reality, God help me to grasp that truth and to live each day in the freedom and hope of that truth. Amen!
Written by Beth Waugh