9 and this is the story about him. Noah was the only person who lived right and obeyed God. 10He had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11-12God knew that everyone was terribly cruel and violent. 13So he told Noah:
Cruelty and violence have spread everywhere. Now I'm going to destroy the whole earth and all its people. 14Get some good lumber and build a boat. Put rooms in it and cover it with tar inside and out. 15Make it 133 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 13 meters high. 16Build a roof on the boat and leave a space of about 44 centimeters between the roof and the sides. Make the boat three stories high and put a door on one side.
17I'm going to send a flood that will destroy everything that breathes! Nothing will be left alive. 18But I solemnly promise that you, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law will be kept safe in the boat.
19-20Take into the boat with you a male and a female of every kind of animal and bird, as well as a male and a female of every reptile. I don't want them to be destroyed. 21Store up enough food both for yourself and for them.
22 Noah did everything God told him to do.
1The Lord told Noah:
Take your whole family with you into the boat, because you are the only one on this earth who pleases me. 2Take seven pairs of every kind of animal that can be used for sacrifice and one pair of all others. 3Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird with you. Do this so there will always be animals and birds on the earth. 4Seven days from now I will send rain that will last for 40 days and nights, and I will destroy all other living creatures I have made.
5-7 Noah was 600 years old when he went into the boat to escape the flood, and he did everything the Lord had told him to do. His wife, his sons, and his daughters-in-law all went inside with him. 8-9He obeyed God and took a male and a female of each kind of animal and bird into the boat with him. 10Seven days later a flood began to cover the earth.
11-12 The water under the earth started gushing out everywhere, the sky opened like windows, and rain poured down for 40 days and nights. All this began on the seventeenth day of the second month of the year. 13On that day Noah and his wife went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. 14They took along every kind of animal, tame and wild, including the birds. 15Noah took a male and a female of every living creature with him, 16just as God had told him to do. And when they were all in the boat, the Lord closed the door.
17-18For 40 days the rain poured down without stopping. And the water became deeper and deeper, until the boat started floating high above the ground. 19-20Finally, the mighty flood was so deep that even the highest mountain peaks were about seven meters below the surface of the water. 21Not a bird, animal, reptile, or human was left alive anywhere on earth. 22-23 The Lord destroyed everything that breathed. Nothing was left alive except Noah and the others in the boat. 24A hundred fifty days later, the water started going down.
The story of Noah starts with God’s grief and heartache at how sinful people had become. He observed that “…every inclination of the thoughts of his (people’s) heart was only evil all the time” (6:5). So God decides to wipe out all living flesh in a cataclysmic flood and start over.
Noah however had found favour in God’s eyes. “He was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God” (6:9). Pretty intimate terms to describe Noah when you consider God’s consternation with the rest of humanity. God gives Noah specific instructions about what he must do to survive and have life on earth continue. He is to build an ark, gather up a selection of all the animals and birds, enter the ark with his family and wait out the deluge till God lets them out and they can start over again.
Notice three things.
Noah’s obedience: he doesn’t ask questions, delay or vary from the plan even though it was a scenario far outside any previous experience. He could have said “no”, but he obeys.
God gave people 120 years to repent, the time it took to build the ark, and Noah was among them the whole time as “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). 1 Peter 3:20 says that God waited patiently for them to repent. They were not punished in their ignorance.
The flood is drawn as a parallel to Jesus’ second coming.
2 Peter 3:3-7 says in the last days there will be scoffers who follow their own evil desires and question Christ’s return and judgment. It’s important to see this reading as part of the larger narrative pointing to Jesus’ return, and a warning to be ready. Are you?
Lord God, you are holy and require judgment of sin. Though you hate sin, thank you for loving us. Forgive me today; pardon my sin so that I may serve you with clean hands and love you with a clean heart. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen