A God of Judgment and Grace

Genesis 7:20-23 – 20 The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.

A study of Scripture tells us that the character of God has never once changed. A faithful understanding of theology reminds us that Jesus, God the Son, shares exactly the character and nature of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus, there is no division in God. He judges perfectly and shows mercy perfectly in keeping with his holiness.

This thought is important as we watch the flood of Genesis 7. Back in chapter 6, the Lord lamented the evil and wickedness of mankind on the earth. In perfect righteousness, God acted. God warned Noah, called him to build an ark, sent him animals to preserve, and then flooded the earth.

As many have pointed out, the story of the ark is not a cute little children’s story of a floating zoo. No, the story of the ark is dark and horrible, literally full of horror. All human life on earth died. All people were put to death by the righteous hand of a holy judge. And the sound and fury of this catastrophe is far greater than we have ever imagined.

One thing I believe is worthy of our note is that God has not changed. The God who judged the world, reining down death on the globe for rebelling against his holiness is the very God we serve today. Jesus judges just like this (cf. Revelation 19). But I wonder if we believe it. Do we really believe that God would judge the world. In his mercy, God promised that he would not flood the world again (Genesis 9). But, in his word, the Lord has made it plain that the wages of sin is death, that death without Christ leads to eternal judgment, and that Christ will both judge and reign supreme forever.

Do you believe that God is willing and righteous to judge? Do you accept that, where God judges, he has every right to do so as the Creator and Lord over all? Do you realize that the earth earned God’s judgment by violating his holy ways and the world is still doing that today?

And God has not changed. The ark provided salvation for those who willingly entered it. God will save a people for himself. God will not lose those he intends to save. His justice and his mercy never change.