In Chapters 4-5 Adam and Eve have their first children. Cain, their firstborn son, continues in the rebellion and sin of his parents. This time he actually kills his own brother, Abel. And things only go from bad to worse in these chapters. One of Cain’s descendants even went around boasting to his wives about how he killed a man, even writing a song about it.

If you’re anything like me and you have questions about the flood I invite you to read this note to dig a little deeper: Three Responses to a Mysterious Clock.

God Will Judge

By the time we meet Noah we find the earth filled with people who live as though there is no God but themselves. A world of corruption and violence is the inevitable end of a people who reject the word of God and claim, “On my own I can live!”

But after the fall and a few generations of wickedness we might begin to wonder, “Is the wicked man right to think that their is no God? Is he right to say in his heart that there is no one to call him to account (Psalm 10:3–4)?”

The flood is a resounding answer. God will not endure wickedness. The flood stands as a lasting reminder that God is a God who will call to account. He will judge.

God Will Save

The flood also stands as a lasting reminder that we live in an age of mercy and forbearance1. God has promised not to again wipe out the earth with a flood. Wickedness appears to prosper in this age. But in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the King will return! The end of the story (as we will see in just a few months) isn’t a flood. The end is new life, a new heavens and new earth.

  1. Forbearance is one of my favorite words and doctrines. Forbearance means that when we sin God does not immediately destroy us for our rebellion. Instead, in His patience, mercy and kindness, He shows us that we may be forgiven through the work of the Gospel. Instead of destroying us He leads us to repentance.