The verb ‘asah, “make,” which refers to Noah’s actions, is also a keyword in the Genesis Creation account (Genesis 1:7, Genesis 1:16, Genesis 1:25-26, Genesis 1:31; Genesis 2:2). Noah’s acts of obedience to God are like God’s acts of creation. What we can take from this link is that the Flood is not just about God punishing humanity, but about God saving us, as well.
Read Genesis 7:1-24. Why does the description of the Flood remind us of the Creation account? What lessons can we learn from the parallels between the two events?
An attentive reading of the text covering the Flood reveals the use of many common words and expressions with the Creation story: “seven” (Genesis 7:2-3, , Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:10; compare with Genesis 2:1-3); “male and female” (Genesis 7:2-3, , Genesis 7:9, Genesis 7:16; compare with Genesis 1:27); “after its kind” (Genesis 7:14, NKJV; compare with Genesis 1:11-12, , Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24-25); “beasts,” “birds,” “creeping things” (see Genesis 7:8, Genesis 7:14, Genesis 7:21, Genesis 7:23; compare with Genesis 1:24-25); and “breath of life” (Genesis 7:15, Genesis 7:22; compare with Genesis 2:7).
The Flood story reads, then, somewhat like the Creation story. These echoes of the Creation accounts help reveal that the God who creates is the same as the God who destroys (Deuteronomy 32:39). But these echoes also convey a message of hope: the Flood is designed to be a new creation, out of the waters, which leads to a new existence.
The movement of waters shows that this event of creation is, in fact, reversing the act of Creation in Genesis Chapter 1. In contrast to Genesis Chapter 1, which describes a separation of the waters above from the waters below (Genesis 1:7), the Flood involves their reunification as they explode beyond their borders (Genesis 7:11).
This process conveys a paradoxical message: God has to destroy what is before in order to allow for a new creation afterward. The creation of the new earth requires the destruction of the old one. The event of the Flood prefigures the future salvation of the world at the end of time: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1, NKJV; compare with Isaiah 65:17).
|What in us needs to be destroyed in order to be created anew? (See Romans 6:1-6.)|