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 (80)

80 thoughts on "The Flood"

  1. Katrina Dowdy says:

    I often take for granted the mass amount of “Great Tales of God’s Faithfulness” that I get to look to in the Bible. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have the Bible to rest on. And yet, here is Noah who had absolutely nothing but maybe a few stories about his great-great-grandfather… Noah was able to put his faith into action with barely any proof that it’s worth it. I want to be more like Noah

  2. Anna says:

    As Rev 4:11 touches on, as well as Genesis 1&2, all of creation was created for the Lord’s pleasure. God did not need us, but He created man in His own image for His enjoyment and to demonstrate His ever-abundant love by showering it on what He had made. As the beginning of Genesis says, He created man without sin, with the intention that we could walk with Him and rule over all of creation, but God knew all along how things would turn out, that we would sin and creation would become increasingly corrupt. The bible tells us that despite being all-knowing, as God sees His plan for the ages unfold, it affects Him. God is not unfeeling in the face of human sin and rebellion.

  3. Anna says:

    Wow, this was a wonderful message and I loved the highlight of Noah’s unprecedented ability to trust God. That is not something I have ever thought about and it is easy to forget that some of the individuals we read about in the bible, did not have all the resources we had today when they trusted in the Lord. What a good reminder that God doesn’t have to prove himself.

  4. Catherine G says:

    Listened to the podcast yesterday. So true to “walk with god” even when its hard. I want to walk/lean on him more this year

  5. Gogo says:

    Thank you so much for this message. And reminding me all over again about Walking with God and Taking leaps of Faith.
    I have heard this story ever since i was a kid but no matter how many times i read its relatable to every phase of my life and how i need to keep Walking in Faith with God in the middle of all the chaos and temptations around .

  6. Lindsey Bailey says:

    Noah walked with God. He obeyed God. I am reminded in my own life that my faith is wavering and unsure. Definitely not sure enough to build an ark on dry land. But, it even wavers when God nudges my heart to fast or get out of my comfortable bed to pray in the middle of the night. My faith is crawling. Lord, increase my faith so I can be a woman who walks with you. No matter the level of obedience that requires. Increase my faith, Lord.

  7. Ashley Pickens says:

    The biggest thing I got from this was seeing the promise of The resurrection

    I’ll try to explain

    1. Noah’s world was is a cruel terrible place = Our natural inclination is towards sin

    2. The flood = the baptism Washes away the yuck

    3. The waters fading and the ark door opening = coming out of the baptism water washed and clean

    Resulting in a new way of life

  8. Elizabeth Biddy says:

    Ok…I really need help with this part. It says that God regretted making man because of how wicked they are, which is why the flood happened. I have a hard time understanding this. If God is all knowing…couldn’t he have seen this coming? WHY did he make the people if he knew they were going to sicken him so much to the point of wiping them out?

    1. Lauren Schoch says:

      Thanks for stepping out and asking questions that confuse you! I don’t have any answers but I do know that God isn’t afraid of our questions. We can come to Him with them.

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