Read Genesis 6
Wickedness in the World
1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah and the Flood
9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 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. 18 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. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 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.21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
In today’s reading, we see how quickly the state of the world has fallen. So much so, that verse 5 of today’s reading says this: “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” We’re not talking about just a little bit of sin, or a few generations of sinful people, but pervasive evil and wickedness across every human alive. Every inclination and thought the people had was only evil, all the time. And it grieved the heart of God. The world that He made so beautiful in the first two chapters of Genesis has quickly been destroyed. The people that He so intricately breathed His spirit into, have quickly been given fully into sin.
All, that is, except for one man–Noah. This chapter tells us that Noah found favor in the eyes of God, that He was righteous, blameless even, and that he walked faithfully with God. He stands in stark contrast to the people of his time. Where every inclination they had was evil, he was pure. Where every person alive had fully given in to every form of perversion and evil, Noah walked faithfully with God. Where God was grieved and regretted humanity because of them, Noah found favor in God’s eyes. And because of the way that Noah stood out from those around him, God used him in a mighty way–to build an ark, to rescue the animals, and to be the “reset” button for the entire human race.
Just open a newspaper or scroll through Twitter; our world today could almost be described in the same way that Noah’s world was–pervasive evil and wickedness and corruption, all the time. The question is, would we be described the same way as Noah was? Do we stand out against the backdrop of evil in our world today? Does our righteousness and faithfulness to follow God contrast those around us? If we want to be used by God in big ways, we must be willing to stand out amongst the sin and brokenness in our culture and obey God no matter what, just like Noah did.
Building an ark when the world hadn’t even seen rain before was a pretty wild ask. What’s the craziest thing God’s told you to do?
It says that Noah did everything God commanded him. Could the same be said about you? Is there an area of your life in which you are disobeying God?
How can you as a Christ follower stand out amongst the corruption and evil so pervasive in today’s society?
Did You Know?
In Matthew 24:36-41, Jesus talks about how the end times will come like the flood came in the time of Noah. What He means is that, up until the flood happened, people had no clue it was about to happen. They were caught off guard. Jesus says, in that same way, the end of times will come when no one is expecting it. Because of that, we need to stay on our guard.