The story of Noah is an age-old, and popular story. What is the moral meaning behind this widely read story?
The story begins with God looking down on earth and seeing all the wickedness in the hearts, minds, and actions of the people on earth. The Lord was sorry that he had created man, because of all their sin; so he vows to destroy everything off the face of the earth.
Genesis 6:5-7: The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created-and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground-for I regret that I have made them.”
There is only one person that God sees any righteousness in; Noah. God decided to save him and his family from the destruction which he had planned for the rest of the earth.
Genesis 6:8-14c: But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his people at the time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is full of violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood;
Genesis 7:1: The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
So God destroyed all the flesh that breathed on the earth. Every animal and every human; all except Noah who God found favor in.
The story all boils down to ethics and sanctions. Man defied God by using all of the gifts that God had given them to do good, to instead do evil. Men broke the moral and ethical code of their world. The sanction, or penalty of their sin was death. God was sorry that he had created man, but he had to destroy them because of their wickedness.
The story doesn’t end with the destruction of the earth, though. After the flood waters went down, and Noah and his family left the shelter of their ark, God set a sign in the skies that proclaimed His promise never to destroy the earth in a flood again. This special sign was called a rainbow, and it was set in the heavens as a reminder of grace and forgiveness.
The story of Noah is about God’s judgment on an evil society based on ethics and sanctions. It is also a story of grace and forgiveness and the rainbow is a reminder of this. So, whenever you see the rainbow remember the story of Noah and its meaning. 🙂