The account of the flood is one of those biblical stories that changes as we grow older. As children we saw the flood story through the lens of pastel colors and soft edges. A big wooden boat, happy smiling animals, and a color rainbow completed the scene. But as we’ve grown up the story has come into sharper focus. Darker hues of sin, and the hard edges of death and destruction form the picture we see. For our lesson let’s blend the two images together. Let’s see the dark hues of judgment against a sinful world, but let’s retain the rosy picture of salvation. Because one without the other is an incomplete picture of God’s glorious work of judgment and salvation. Let’s begin with an overview of the text.
The Flood Story From Genesis:
- 6:1-8 | A Wicked World Is Judged
- 6:9-22 | God Gives Noah Instructions for His Salvation
- 7:1-24 | The Earth Is Destroyed by Water
- 8:1-19 | The Flood Subsides
- 8:20–9:17 | God’s Covenant Rainbow
In the New Testament, the story of the flood is mentioned once by both Jesus and the Hebrew writer, but three times by Peter.
1. Water Is a Part of Salvation (1 Pet 3:21 | Gen 7:17 | Heb 11:7)
2. God Won’t Spare the Ungodly But Will Preserve the Godly (2 Pet 2:5, 9-10 | Gen 6:5-8)
3. Jesus Will Return a Second Time (2 Pet 3:4-7 | Gen 7:1-10 | Mat 24:37-39)
In the flood story God judged the sinful world but graciously saved Noah and his family. On one level the flood account is a re-creation story; through the waters of the flood God swept away sin to usher in a new beginning. As Peter states in 2 Peter 3:11-13, once again God will re-create, not with water, but with fire. If we want to rise above the judgment to come, if we want to live in God’s new creation, then we must live lives of holiness and godliness and trust in our gracious God to preserve us. That’s what saved Noah, it’s what will save you and me.