The Flood: Judgment and Salvation

The Flood.jpg

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
  • 8:209:17 | 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. 

Two Benefits of Telling Someone You’re Praying For Them

The phrases, “Pray for me” and “I’m praying for you” have been used so much they have become Christian small talk akin to “How you doing?… Fine, thank you.” But when it comes to praying for each other we need to be people who inform others that we are praying for them.

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." Rom 1:8

Telling someone that you are praying for them and what your prayers for them consist of does two things for the person on whose behalf you are praying:

First: they see your concern for them. Epaphras was a man who was concerned for the church at Colossae. His concern for them caused him to “labor fervently for them in prayer” (Col 4:12). Can you imagine how the church at Colossae felt when they heard that their friend Epaphras was praying for them and that in his prayers he asked God to make them “stand perfect and complete” in His will. Their hearts must have overflowed with joy.

The second benefit is that it gives them strength to continue on in the faith. Why did Paul know that his first imprisonment would end with his deliverance? It was because of a supply of God’s Spirit and because he knew the church at Philippi was praying that his imprisonment would end with his deliverance (Php 1:19). It was because of God’s help and because Paul knew others were praying for him that he had enough strength to “this will turn out for my deliverance… whether by life or by death.” (Php 1:20) Imagine for a moment what it would have been like for Paul if he thought no one was praying for him? Paul would have only been half the man he was.

Paul understood the power of telling people that he was praying for them and what his prayers consisted of. In nearly every one of his epistles he tells his recipients he his praying for them and what he prayed for on their behalf. Paul encouraged the church at Rome (Rom 1:9-12), Corinth (1 Cor 1:4-8; 2 Cor 13:7), the churches of Galatia (Gal 6:18) Ephesus (Eph 1:16-23), Philippi (Php 1:3-6), and Thessalonica (1 Ths 1:2-3; 2 Ths 11-12) by telling them that he prayed for them and what he prayed for on their behalf.

In addition to his letters of encouragement to the churches, Paul also personally encouraged Philemon (Phl 4-7) and Timothy (1 Tim 5:21, 6:13-16; 2 Tim 1:3-7) with news of his prayers for them.

As we pray for others we need to tell them that we are praying for them and what we are praying for on their behalf. You never know, it just might be your encouragement that gives the strength to keep on another day.

Have you been praying for someone special in your life? Maybe it’s a person who is sick, or recently lost a loved one or a job, or perhaps you’ve been praying for someone who is struggle with overcoming sin. Sent them a note or go see them and tell them you have been praying for them and what your prayers for them consist of. They will benefit greatly from your love and that you remembered them.

I would love to know how it went. Drop me an email at and tell me your story of how prayer has changed your life.