11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
When we think about the flood during the days of Noah, it is hard to see this story for as horrifying as it really is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the least sitting in judgment over God and his actions. He was absolutely right to do what he did—he is God, after all. What I mean by using the word horrifying is that the story should cause fear, horror, terror.
Can you imagine if you were Noah? What would you feel? How would you tremble? The god who made the universe speaks to you and tells you that he is about to destroy the entire world because of the sinful corruption of mankind. You know that you are not perfect yourself.
Again, not to belabor the point, I fear we do not think clearly about this. God said he was going to destroy the whole world. People were going to die. Animals were going to die. It was going to be a cataclysm the level of which Hollywood has never come close to depicting. Think of the worst disasters you have ever heard of. The flood trumps them all. Every tornado, every earthquake, every tsunami, every volcanic eruption, every hurricane, every nuclear blast, every destructive thing we have ever dreamed of falls far short of the horror of the flood.
What we must also realize is that the account of the flood is the clearest and most natural outworking of the intersection of God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. God looked at the earth, saw how far man had fallen, and determined to do what was right. God chose to destroy the world because of the corruption of sinful man
This teaches us an invaluable lesson. God’s holiness is far greater, far more amazing, and far more deadly than we realize. God is infinitely above us. Our corruption is offensive to his holiness. His judgment of us is the logical outcome.
And that thought teaches us another valuable lesson. God is so incredibly merciful. We are just as corrupt today as the people of old were. We deserve God’s wrath just as much. And yet, God has chosen to have mercy on us. He has chosen to let us live. He has chosen to let us experience joy and goodness. He has chosen to bring salvation through the person and work of Jesus. This should cause us to love and worship God.
God could have left us hopeless. God could have swept us away in his wrath. But God showed love. AS he provided the ark to rescue Noah and his family, God has provided the sacrifice of Jesus to rescue all who will trust in him. And this is not all. God did not just rescue us from death. In Jesus, God loves us, adopts us into his family, and grants us eternal joy. God is truly great. His mercy is truly amazing. His kindness is truly overwhelming.