God’s love for human beings is amazing. One of the most puzzling questions of our faith is why God chooses to look upon us with concern and delight (Psalm 18:19). We’ve done nothing to deserve this attention – our best efforts can never match up to the glorious perfection of our Lord. Yet, throughout the Old and New Testaments, God can be seen seeking relationships with imperfect people.
Just before the great flood, mankind had reached an all-time low in its morality. The times were worse than they ever had been and it grieved the heart of God. The text tells us:
“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. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)
The world was doing its best to rebel against the God who formed it in love. If ever there was a time to cut off the human race entirely, this was it. However, God’s plan had more to do with salvation than with punishment. He chose Noah’s family to begin a new relationship with humans. To seal this plan, God made a promise to Noah and all of the living creatures aboard the ark:
“I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
What a God we serve! There was no need for the Lord to make a special promise to Noah and his descendants. It was a gesture of love from a God whose heart reaches out with promises.
Our hope as Christians comes from the faith we have that God has made promises to us… and that He intends to keep them. Romans 5 tells us clearly that we were enemies of God when Christ died for us. Our state was no less dire than those who perished in Noah’s time. But God sent His son out of love and promises to deliver those who call upon His name. This is the wonderful promise that gives us an eternal hope!