Today’s reading is drawn from Genesis 8:18-22.
The story of Noah and the Flood is probably one of the first Bible stories that we can remember learning. Often, the emphasis is placed upon the size of the ark or what it would be like to live on a “floating zoo” for that length of time.
There were other stories and legends about great floods in the Ancient Near East. There are some very close similarities between these stories and the account of the Flood in Genesis. There are also some differences. We see one of the key differences when we read about the sacrificial offering that Noah made after the flood had receded. Noah’s sacrifice was one of thankfulness because God’s wrath had been satisfied. In other ancient stories, characters had to offer a sacrifice to their gods after a flood had occurred in order to appease the gods, who were angry because they had not been able to have humans serve them during the flood event.
Genesis states, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8), was delivered from God’s wrath, and then responded in an act of thanksgiving to God. In the other stories, the characters endured the flood and still had to try and earn the favor of the gods. The message of Noah’s sacrifice is clear: God’s wrath had been satisfied. There was no need for Noah to do anything else to remove God’s wrath. He simply needed to thank God for His deliverance.
Do you believe that God is a God of justice? The story of Noah tells us that He is. The good news is that once His wrath has been satisfied, no further payment is required. This principle is also seen at the cross. Jesus died to satisfy God’s wrath on the sins of the world. Once Jesus’ sacrifice is applied to you by faith, there is nothing else that needs to be done to take away God’s wrath. This should lead us to be thankful to God.
God, thank you for the truth of the story of the Flood. Thanks that your wrath has been satisfied, and that I am now free to do good works out of gratitude for what you have already done for me. Please give me a thankful heart today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.