by Kristen C. Strocchia
“I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark–you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of [every kind of] living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and them. Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Genesis 6:17-22
Did you catch that? In God’s conversation with Himself, He determines to wipe out the whole Creation. Then, after finding hope in humanity through the person of Noah, He tells Noah that He is going to destroy the world, but at first He doesn’t tell Noah how He intends to do it. He just tells Noah to build an ark according to very precise specifications.
After Noah listens to all of the details that He needs to carry out, then God tells him why. “I’m going to send a flood.” Did Noah even know what a flood was? His water experience may have been limited to streams watering the earth as in the days of Eden and, surely, the water cycle was functional from this time since there was groundwater, sunlight and darkness to warm and cool the air. But if there were pre-flood rains, it seems likely that they were pretty tame.
Speculation aside, God wanted to establish–to create and set in motion–a covenant with Noah. A covenant is a relational commitment agreement between God and His people. It’s not just an if-then–if you enter the ark, then I will save you. If you follow my instructions, then you and your household will be saved. Though these things clearly resulted.
It was a deeply seeded relationship commitment. If you live by faith–absolute certainty in what you hope for but cannot see–here on this earth, then you will be saved from condemnation with the world, you will find life everlasting.
And Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
He didn’t deviate or debate, deliberate or dissent, doubt or distrust. He just did. That deep-seeded commitment by faith.
What is your relationship commitment to God? Will you face condemnation with the sinful world? Or do you live by faith for the eternal life to come? Are you doing just as God commands you in all things?