Why God Had To Save Noah
The flood was not a punishment. It was not a warning against disobedience.
Hear me out.
Manifestations of power do not convert human hearts.
Everyone who died in the flood died the “first death,” what the Bible refers to as “sleep.” Each one of them will awaken in one of two resurrections: the resurrection of the righteous when Jesus returns to planet earth, or the resurrection of the wicked, which happens at the end of the millennium when all the righteous have returned to earth with God in the New Jerusalem.
The flood could not have been a punishment for sin because the judgment had not yet happened. There can be no punishment without judgment.
So, if the flood was not a punishment, then what was it?
Remember in Genesis, when God promised to save humanity by sending a Redeemer? Do you remember how He ultimately did that?
There was a human couple, Mary and Joseph. They had to be agreeable to God’s plan of bringing someone to planet earth to help resolve the great controversy about God’s character–whether or not He could be trusted to rule over the universe. This human couple would have to trust Him and be willing to go along with this mission, even to the point of allowing Him to facilitate the birth of a human being who would be the promised Messiah.
To bring the promised Messiah to earth required a female human being willing to be the vessel–the birthing mother–of the Messiah. In order to be willing to do that, one would have to have a close relationship with God, a relationship born of love, not fear or coercion.
Notice what God said about humanity when Noah was alive:
“The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil” (Genesis 6:5, NLT).
“Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt” (Genesis 6:11, 12, NLT).
Everyone on earth was corrupt!
Every thought of every person was evil all the time.
Everyone! Except one…
“Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (vs. 8).
“Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God” (vs. 9).
Noah was the last person on earth in a loving relationship with God. No other human being on planet earth was open to having a relationship with God. They had all turned from Him and rejected His friendship and lordship.
Noah was the only one left that God could use for good on planet earth. If Noah were to die or be corrupted himself, there would be nobody left on earth through which the Messiah might be born. That would spell doom for the human species.
So, God told Noah to build an ark. God revealed His plans to destroy all life on planet earth, both humans and animals, saving only those who would be on the ark.
God was going to save Noah and his wife, and Noah’s sons and their wives. He would save a few pairs of every animal kind. He would also extend the invitation to every other human on planet earth.
“So Noah did everything as the LORD commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).
Once the ark was full of all who would be saved, God closed the ark doors. Seven days later, it began to rain.
“When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11, 12).
This flood was worldwide, and it destroyed all land-dwelling creatures, including human beings.
So, why? What was the purpose of this flood? Was it to destroy the wicked?
Instead of being a harsh punishment, we can see that this was a necessary intervention to preserve the line of human beings that would culminate with the birth of the Messiah.
So, the flood wasn’t meant to punish the disobedient or unrighteous.
What did God hope to accomplish with it?
It goes back to the promise made in Eden: He wanted to save humankind by bringing a Redeemer. In order to bring a Redeemer, He had to work with a group of people to keep open the avenue of Messiah.
If Noah had died–being the only righteous man left on earth–humanity would have died with him, for there would be nobody left with whom God could work to bring about the Messiah to planet earth.
Without the birth of the Messiah, humanity would be lost.
The wage of our sinful condition is death (Romans 6:23). We don’t have the power or ability to heal ourselves. We need help. God offers free help through the Messiah, Jesus. Without a line of people allegiant to God, it would not be possible for the Messiah to come.
The flood was a therapeutic intervention necessary to save humankind.
If God had not interceded and saved Noah, the Messiah could not have come, and humanity would have been lost.
We chop off the limbs of human beings to save their lives. We carve out the organs of human beings to save their lives. These things, while brutal, are sometimes necessary to save a life.
Was the flood necessary?
Yes. For many reasons, the flood was necessary.
It not only wiped out all the wicked human beings, it also wiped out all the evidence of their wickedness. It also destroyed the Edenic paradise that still existed on earth. The flood completely reformed the earth’s surface. It was now going to be a difficult task to entice food from the ground. The animals would no longer trust human beings, making it more difficult to control them. Humankind would have to continually work hard to preserve themselves, thus having little to no idle time during which they could practice evil.
Remember, “every thought of every person was only evil continually.”
You might think it is bad today, but the horrors of today do not even come close to how terrible it was back then. The Bible even says that it will get that bad again in the last days. If that happens and you are still alive, I pray that you have the peace and joy of a relationship with God. That is the only way you will survive with your sanity intact.