God is Creator, Savior and Judge. People might object that He knows nothing about the trials and troubles of humans. That is why God appointed a Judge who does,
‘Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son….’ John 5:22a
Jesus lived on earth as fully God and fully human and experienced all that man can face,
‘…but we have One [Jesus] who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.’ Hebrews 4:15b
Judgment is necessary, as no nation can be peaceful and happy with rebels and discontented people who hang around.
However, it should be clear to everyone what God will judge through Jesus. He has no secret agenda and He has no desire to see people lost forever. He makes it very clear what He likes and does not like. Scripture does not mince words when it comes to eternity.
A careful study of both Testaments reveals what behavior God expects of His people. Cain and Enoch are examples,
- Cain rejected God and moved away from God. Genesis 4:10-16
- Enoch walked with God and was taken by God. Genesis 5:21-24
God makes it possible for us, through Jesus, to follow His ways. Anybody who thinks he or she is going to charge God/Jesus that He is cruel and hateful because there will be a judgment, wastes his/her time. Scripture gives us all the dope we need to be saved from the wrong side of judgment.
Nobody, but nobody, is excluded from being reconciled to God through Jesus. No excuses will be accepted. Scripture suffices to prepare us all.
The narrative of the flood of Noah in the Old Testament takes up roughly 44,7% of Genesis 1-11, which is the general introduction to the Bible. So it shows that God regards the flood and its message as very important.
The flood is controversial. Apparently some famous atheist said, ‘God cannot tell me how to raise my kids when He drowned His.’ Is that a valid accusation? Did the flood generation know about God and His standards of living?
- Yes, they did. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all people after them received this innate knowledge (conscience). They knew what was good and what was evil, but chose to do only evil all the time.1
- Before the flood there were people who walked with God. Enoch and Noah each had a close relationship with Him.2 So what God perceives as good conduct was not a mystery. It was general knowledge.
4 Aspects to consider when God is accused that He drowned His children:
- The people had enough time to mend their ways. It took Noah about 70-120 years to build the ark. During that time he must have been the butt of many jokes. People had plenty of time to think about what he explained to them. That is why Noah is described as a preacher of righteousness.3
- God held people corporately responsible at that time. The Bible does not mention that Noah’s three sons were righteous. Noah was righteous and, as head of the family, his wife, sons and their wives were included in the ark. So if children under the age of accountability were drowned in the flood, the fathers were responsible.
- People who accuse God of murder condone criminals. ‘The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.’ 4 It was no doubt a society filled with cheats, murderers, liars, the immoral, addicted, perverse, et cetera.
- God was grieved that He made man. It fills God’s heart with pain when people are abused, defrauded, mutilated, murdered, et cetera. He wants societies to love Him, their families and their neighbours, because then they will live in peace. Yet God never forces His will on people. He created them with a free will. So God leaves it to them to choose to reject Him or obey Him, but their choices have implications of rewards or punishment.
People who want to judge God for the flood, should speak from experience. If they live in countries with good law enforcement, they should rather not talk.They should go and live in a lawless country where fathers rape their helpless children and women are treated like dirt.Then they can decide if abuse in society should be condoned. Until then, it would help to carefully study God’s revelation in the 66 books to get to know His character.
- Genesis 6:5
- Genesis 5:24 & 6:9
- 2 Peter 2:5
- Genesis 6:5
The story of Noah who built the ark to save his family from the flood1 is a proof that every single family matters to God. The flood was God’s judgement on sinful people, but He saved one family, instead of destroying them with the rest. There was nothing to prevent God from destroying all people and creating humans afresh (it is interesting that God never added any new kinds of life after the six days of creation).
The reason God saved Noah and his family is because Noah, walked with God. ‘Walked’ shows that it was not a static process, but an active one. Today we would describe it as an active relationship with Jesus (the Word) through the Holy Spirit.
The ark that saved Noah and his family was not his idea. God instructed him to build it according to His specifications. Today we read in the Bible that God will again judge sinful humanity, but there is once again a way out. God sent Jesus to die for our sins. He is the New Testament ‘ark’ that will save us from God’s judgement. The details of how that works are found in the Bible. God provides the ‘specifications,’ not we.
It was a process for Noah to build the ark. It was not something that was showered on him. He had to apply himself and spend the time to build. Today we see it as a relationship with the Father and the Son, through Bible reading and prayer, with the help of the Holy Spirit. You need to apply yourself and spend the time to seek the Lord. It is a basic part of believers’ lives.
Noah had to obey God’s instructions to build the ark, to be saved from the water judgement. The key to understand God’s plan to save you and your family is that you need to obey Him. It is not enough to only confess your sins, receive forgiveness and then you are a child of God on your way to ‘heaven.’ In God’s Kingdom, obedience to the perfect Ruler is what will give you success. Adam failed to follow God’s instructions, but through Jesus we can be repeatedly forgiven when we fail. The Holy Spirit was sent to teach, lead and help us to obey.
We see through Noah’s history that salvation is past, present and future. Noah was saved because he was righteous and walked with God (his past life). He built the ark according to specifications and was saved from a watery death (his ‘present’ life). He experienced the ‘new’ earth (his future after the judgement). Today we have the promise: if we accept God’s righteousness through Jesus and walk with God with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be saved from eternal judgement in hell. We will experience the new heavens and earth2 where God will be our God, and we will be His people.’3
- Genesis 6-9
- Revelation 21:1
- Revelation 21:3