Read for This Week’s Study: Genesis 6:13-7:10, 2 Peter 2:5-9, Genesis 7:1-24, Romans 6:1-6, Psalm 106:4, Genesis 8:1-22, Genesis 9:1-17.
Memory Text: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37, NKJV).
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5, NKJV). The verb “saw” (Genesis 6:5) brings the reader back to each step of God’s initial Creation. But what God sees now, instead of tov, “good,” is ra‘, “evil” (Genesis 6:5). It is as if God regretted that He had created the world, now full of ra‘ (Genesis 6:6-7).
And yet, God’s regret contains elements of salvation, as well. The Hebrew word for “sorry” (nakham) is echoed in the name of Noah (Noakh), which means “comfort” (Genesis 5:29). Thus, God’s response to this wickedness has two sides. It contains the threat of justice, leading to destruction for some; and yet, His response promises comfort and mercy, leading to salvation as well for others.
This “double voice” was already heard with Cain and Abel/Seth, and it was repeated through the contrast between the two lines of Seth (the “sons of God”) and Cain (the “sons of men”). Now we hear it again as God differentiates between Noah and the rest of humankind.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 23.