The Reason for the Flood (Genesis 6:1-8)

Cainites population swelled–they had many “daughters of men.”

Just as Eve, one of the priests of the Garden/Temple, saw how good was the forbidden fruit and took it, so do professing believers follow the same pattern into apostasy. As Eve fell, so did the Sethites fall away.

God annoucned that the days were numbered for the world as they knew it.

4) Giants on earth then, before and after Sethites apostatized with Cainites (my paraphrase) Giants were mighty men of renown who dominated the world and probably persecuted the Sethites (See Kline, Meredith, Kingdom Prologue). In those days there was no government to restrain evil, so it flourished and the church suffered.

5) “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Man hated God and struck out against God’s image through murder. God was angry with man, because man only ever wanted to sin. Man is so sinful that there is nothing we can do to gain God’s favor. We were unable to save ourselves from our state of sin and misery into which the race of man fell when Adam sinned and God cursed the earth. This state of sin and misery had only been getting worse and worse until the point that God announced his great disfavor for them and his great anger with them.

6) The LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. One thing you have to understand about God is that he reveals himself to us in ways that we can understand. Moses portrays God as experiencing human-like emotion of sorrow and grief, but this does not mean that God does not always know what he is doing and he never makes mistakes. God’s disfavor for the children of Cain and the apostate children of Seth was so great, he no longer wanted to allow them to live on the earth. Gill, “that is, he resolved within himself to destroy him.”

7) So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
God reveals his plan to wipe out the race because he is so angry with them. If God was a man, he’d regret having made them. But God is infinitely wise and is working according to his eternal plan. God is doing things this way because he is revealing to us what it will be like at the end of the world. The events in God’s world history happen to teach us something about what it will be like when Christ returns to judge the world once and for all (see 2 Peter 3:3-7).

8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah was the one exception of all the people in the world who deserve God’s wrath. It was true that Noah was born with the guilt of Adam’s sin imputed to him; it is true that Noah naturally rebelled against God and committed sins for which he, like the Cainites and apostate Sethites, deserved to be blotted out of the face of the land; but for a reason that has nothing to do with Noah’s behavior or spiritual condition and everything to do with God’s faithfulness to his promise to defeat the Serpent’s seed through the Woman’s Seed. Even though God was so angry with Noah’s generation, God still intended to keep his promise to save sinners, so he granted that Noah alone should believe this promise (Hebrews 11:7). When people believe God’s promises about salvation, God chooses to see these people as if they have always obeyed God and never sinned against him or anyone else. By grace (God’s favor) we are saved through faith which has been given to us by God (Eph. 2:8-9), so Noah didn’t earn God’s favor for God’s grace allowed Noah to believe and God alone deserves glory for the salvation of all who believe his good news!

The above outline was the basis for what I taught my 4th-6th graders at Shady Grove Baptist Church in North Richland Hills, Texas yesterday, July 15, 2007. Thoughts? Questions? Critiques?
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2 responses

  1. John,

    On the basis of 6:9, many would take issue with your final point. However, the beginning of vs. 9 says “These are the generations of Noah”. That is the literary device which shapes the whole book of Genesis. Every time those words appear a new major section of the book is introduced.

    What this means with respect to your final point, is that 6:8 is the last verse of its own section started in ch. 5:1. And it assigns grace to Noah without any mention of Noah’s goodness. So grace is unconditionally given.

    Just a few thoughts. Good post.

    Blessings form the Grace Giver,

    Bob Hayton

  2. John D. Chitty | Reply

    So, in other words, you’re saying that those who would disagree with my point would be wrong? Because your few thoughts are in lock step with what’s going on in my head. Not that I figured it out on my own–I got help from some “big brothers” in the “Dead Theologians Society. (If you don’t know what that is, go to http://www.reformationshirts.com.)”

    To tell you the truth, though, I just read Calvin’s commentary on 6:8 this morning, and he was willing to acknowledge that Noah’s behavior was acceptable to God, but that it was so only by God’s “preventing grace.” So it all starts with God’s sovereign, saving, enabling grace however you cut it.

    Thanks for your input.

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