Noah and The World in Front of the Text

This week in our reading we are continuing to look at the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11.  We will be looking at Noah as found in Genesis 6 and 7.

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
9 These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
7 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; 3 and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.

Last week we talked about how Genesis speaks not just the truth of the story in front of us, but to larger truths of who we are as humans, as well as the reality of sin and God’s power of redemption.

The greater issue of Noah’s story is the exponential power of sin.  Noah is not too many generations from the Fall.  Remember creation, all was right, God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening.  Then they fell into sin and one of their sons murdered the other.  But sin seemed localized. That was not the case though. It spread and spread and spread until the point that God grieved He had created humanity.

That is how quickly sin works.  Genesis is imprinting upon the reality of sin and the great harm that sin causes to each of us. We see it in Noah. We’ll also see it over and over again in the stories of the patriarchs that are to come.  These are persons who are all imperfect.  We can be tempted to look the imperfections and turn a blind eye to their faithfulness.  Likewise, we can be tempted to look only at their faithfulness and ignore their imperfections.  In truth, these saints are both.  Imperfect and faithful.

And so are we.  Let’s remember that truth about them. And about ourselves.

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