I recently realized that the story of Noah and the ark isn’t a nice story. In fact, it’s kind of shocking to my modern sensibilities. In case you’ve forgotten what happens, here’s a quick run down.
God looks upon the world and sees that all of mankind is utterly depraved. We’re not just talking about a few cuss words now and then. This the depths of wickedness. Genesis 6:5 says:
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
This doesn’t just describe the people living in Noah’s day. This is a snapshot of humanity today. This is a snapshot of our wicked hearts before Christ takes over. Every intention of every thought is continual evil. Perpetual perversity. That’s sickening.
How does our wickedness affect God? Genesis 6:6
And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Our willful rebellion against God causes Him sorrow and grief. Our rebellion makes us repulsive in God’s eyes. It disgusts him.
So God brings justice to bear upon humanity. In one swift motion, he opens the floodgates of the earth and sends millions of people to a watery grave and an eternity of wrath. And this was the right thing for God to do. God’s holiness makes all punishment of sin just and right. This wasn’t God flipping out on humanity. This was good, beautiful, justice.
Yet in the midst of all this justice, one man received mercy. Noah was spared. I can imagine Noah standing on the deck of the ark, and seeing human bodies floating in the water, and asking the question, Why did I receive mercy?
All of us should be asking Noah’s question. I should have perished beneath the waters. I was a rebel against God, full of wicked thoughts and perverse desires. Justice cried out that I be crushed under the wrath of God, just like everyone who died in the flood, and just like everyone else who has died apart from God. Yet I received mercy. Christ was buried beneath the floodwaters of God’s wrath, and I received mercy and forgiveness.
Why me? I don’t know. But I’m so grateful for the mercy of God. Aren’t you grateful for the mercy?
+photo by cikaga jamie
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