Christians can learn a lot from the global flood that took place in Genesis 6. During that time, the wickedness of the human race had become so great that every inclination of their thoughts and hearts were evil (Genesis 6:5). We all know that God hates the wicked and those who love violence (Proverbs 6:16-19). Wickedness and corruption were everywhere during Noah’s time. All they thought about every day was committing sin. Death and disease were rampant because of the level of sin and corruption. For this reason, God exercised His judgment and chose to flood the earth.
Genesis 6:2 also stated that the “sons of God”, which is “Bene Elohim” in Hebrew, created a physical union with the daughters of humans. Bene Elohim is a term that is applied to angels (Job 1:6). The Bible indicates that there was some sort of union between angels and women that led to unnatural offspring, called the “Nephilim”. Some Bible versions translated Nephilim as giants. The root word of Nephilim also implies “fall”. Some Biblical scholars believe that God did not want these kinds of offspring to exist on Earth. Thus, apart from the wickedness and corruption of men, another reason why the global flood happened was that the earth was filled with Nephilim.
The world at that time was so corrupt and perverted that God began to regret making human beings at all (Genesis 6:6). We must understand, though, that the regret of God is different from ours. It is clear that the creation of human beings in the image of God was not a mistake on the part of our God. In Hebrew, the word “regret” can also be translated as grieved or grieving. It is safe to say that the corruption of men “grieved” the Lord in His most gracious and holy heart, so God responded to man’s sin justly.
The God of Justice
When God wiped the face of the earth clean with a flood, He was doing it in a righteous manner. Some critics say that our God is heartless or merciless because He killed countless people, animals, and other creatures that move along the ground, but that is not the truth. God is just and loves justice (Isaiah 61:8). He has compassion, for the Lord is a God of justice. The work of the Lord is perfect, for all His ways are just (Deuteronomy 32:4). Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just? (Genesis 18:25). Corruption and wickedness ruled the land at the time and there is no wickedness in God (Psalm 92:15). These wicked people refused to acknowledge God or repent of their sins, so it is right that the Lord exercised His judgment by flooding the earth.
In God’s perfect justice, we will also find mercy and grace. God could have wiped out all human beings once and for all. However, He did not do that. Instead, He saved some. The Bible said that Noah was righteous and that He was obedient to the Lord (Genesis 6:9). Because of Noah and his family, mankind was able to continue to walk on this planet. This is a perfect example of how gracious and merciful our Lord truly is. And from the line of Noah, came our Savior, Jesus Christ, who saved us through His death and resurrection. God saved Noah and his family so that we may someday receive Jesus Christ. God planned this according to His will and the plan of salvation calls for rejoicing.
God can do whatever He wants or pleases with His creation. Whatever God declares or does is just and righteous. He gave us the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe it or not, the flood that took place during the time of Noah was accompanied by grace. While it is true that God does not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:6-7), He also does not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23). He established a covenant with us and said that “Never again will flood waters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11). Instead of thinking about the gloom and horrors that we read in Genesis 6, let us remind ourselves of the grace and mercy of God. Too often, we see and understand the “flood story” as God’s way of punishing the wicked, but let us also think of how gracious our Lord was during that time. Never forget that He saved Noah for us to have access to Jesus Christ—our redeemer, friend, savior, and king.