Day 4

The Flood

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 6:1-22, Genesis 7:1-24, Genesis 8:1-22, 1 Peter 3:18-22

BY Sharon Hodde Miller

A couple years ago, God called my husband and me to something scary. Ike quit his secure church job with a regular salary and generous benefits to strike out and start a new church. We had no idea how it would turn out, whether we were adequately equipped, or whether it would succeed or fail. But we trusted God, so we obeyed and went.

During that season, we relied on a number of stories in the Bible to buttress our faith. Whenever we needed a reminder about God’s gracious willingness to confirm a hard call, we read about Gideon. Whenever we needed to stand on God’s ability instead of our own, we read about Moses. And whenever we wrestled with the loneliness and fear of stepping into a seemingly illogical call, we read about Noah.

Noah’s story is remarkable for two reasons, one which is obvious and one which is not. The obvious reason is Noah’s faithfulness in an unfaithful generation. Genesis 6:1–5 describes an era in human history that was so dark, so depraved, that it prompted God to declare “I regret that I made them” (v.7). The human race was unraveling, and yet there was Noah, “a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries” (v.9), who managed to resist the moral current of his day.

This fact about Noah, on its own, makes him an exceptional person. But here is the less obvious, but equally remarkable truth about him: Noah was the first person recorded in Scripture to be asked to take a big leap of faith. To put it another way, Noah didn’t have the heroic stories of God to turn to that we do. No histories of God using the unlikely, or confirming a hard call, or rescuing a desperate people, or most importantly, sending a Savior.

So when God called Noah to something strange and nonsensical—building a boat, in the middle of the land, with no flood in sight—Noah had little to no record of God’s faithfulness in history. All he had was his own knowledge of God.

But how did he acquire it?

Genesis 6:9 tells us that Noah “walked with God,” which is an intentionally active verb. He didn’t simply know God; he did life with God. He drew near to God, he followed God, he honored God, and he served God, and this was how he learned about God. He didn’t have a long historical record of the deeds of God, but he wrote one with his own life.

Millenia later, as a people of God who possess generations of stories of God’s faithfulness to ordinary people, the witness of Noah reminds us of something important. As much as these stories are a gift and a help when faith is hard, one of the most important ways we know God’s character and get to know Him more intimately, is not simply by reading about Him. It’s through walking with Him. It’s through obedience.

Post Comments (77)

77 thoughts on "The Flood"

  1. Ashley Collins says:

    My fiancé and I just started this book Genesis. My cousin bought it for us because we had been looking to strengthen our walk with God together. We love the way it allows us to think outside of the box just by presenting scripture. I love this set up, but I also love what this app offers with application and sharing reflection with our other brothers and sisters in Christ.

    -What stood out to me is the fact that God had actually regretted creating mankind. Then at the end states He will never flood the earth again. He regretted it but didn’t allow the earth to be completely destroyed since he instructed Noah and his family to build an ark for them and animals so that reproduction would still occur. My fiancé said that God realized He had made a mistake because corruption would still occur. But I don’t believe He made a mistake. I believe this was all in His plan and this flood needed to happen for demonstration purposes to mankind and His children. Just interesting thoughts.

  2. Katie Ford says:

    I absolutely love the reading plans. I plan to do them all. I am doing the Genesis one now.
    the verses that talked about the human mind has an inclination to do evil continually. and the one that talked about the Human heart has an inclination to do evil since thy youth onward. Those spoke to me but in a different way. growing up my father taught me if I made a mistake I needed to ask the Lord as my savior each time. these verses showed me that the Human nature has an inclination to do evil continually. I was being human and operating in my flesh as opposed to the Spirit. all I needed to do was to read more and the word and talk to God and the more I do that my Spirit will take over and I won’t be operating in the Flesh as much. if I do I just ask God’s forgiveness and then pick myself back up. I don’t have to keep asking him to be my savior I already accepted him. this was a false thing my father taught me that God freed me from.

  3. Jennifer Jasso says:

    Genesis 6:9 Noah walked with God. Walk with Him is what I hear when I read that verse. It clearly stood out meaning to walk with Him even if we are not not sure we should keep our faith and take that step forward because we know that He is with us every step of the way.

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