In light of the recent Noah movie that came out, I wanted to give true biblical context as to why God destroyed life on Earth, sparing only Noah, his family, and 2 of every kind of animal.
In a very real sense, Noah was a living representation - a shadow of the second Adam who was to come and represent all of humanity. This theme carries on throughout the bible. God's dealings with man weren't so much on an individual basis, but in dealing with the one, he dealt with all. For example:
Adam's represented all of humanity in his fall and it's effects affected all of humanity. We see this contrasted with Christ and his work of grace repeatedly in Romans 5.
Noah represented all of humanity as the "chosen man" inside the ark - which was a type of Christ. In going through the death of all creation, burial in "baptism" in the waters, and emerging on top of the mount Ararat - we see the death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the throne of the Father of creation inside of the one man - Christ.
Abraham represented all in his promised covenant - he would be a father of MANY nations, not just
The intention was that through blessing Abraham, every single family of the
Earth would be blessed through him.
We see repeatedly that the issue of election comes up, not as a means of exclusivity as many have interpreted it, but as a means of all-encompassing inclusivity. That God chooses one man to be the point in which he deals with all. This is where the conversation could divulge into the issue of election in Romans 9-11 and Ephesians 1,2 - but suffice to say, it is NEVER biblical to say God handpicked one
the other, rather, the one He picked - Christ was the means by which he dealt
Back to Noah:
The lineage from Adam to Noah reveals the entirety of God's gospel plan. Their meaning of their names show God's plan of redemption from the beginning:
Adam - "man"
Cain - "appointed"
Seth - "mortal/frail"
Enosh - "sorrow"
Mahalalel - "the blessed God"
Jared - "descended/came down"
Enoch - "teaching"
Methuselah - "his death shall bring"
Lamech - "powerful"
Noah - "rest"
If you put it all together you have the plan of God from the beginning assuring humanity of God's promise of redemption. The whole thing was sealed up and done from the beginning as far as God was concerned!
Man appointed mortal sorrow - This is the fall of Adam in sin, sorrow fell on all of us because of death
The blessed God came down teaching - Who is that - Jesus!
His death shall bring powerful rest - That's the gospel - Christ's death brought us into the rest of God, all work is finished, we need not add to it, only receive it and let it live through us!
In this very real sense, Noah represented the intention of God to bring humanity's sinful, alienated heart back to rest in Him. Remember, in dealing with Noah, God was going to deal with all - as a type and shadow of Christ who was to come.
Genesis 6 picks up and we see that "sons of God" had come down and married women and began to conceive. We know these were most likely fallen angels because the same hebrew word used to describe them was also used in Job 1:6 and 2:1 - referencing sons of God as angels, Ha-Satan being one of them. The offspring of these mixed angel-people were called nephillim. Lots of speculation and legends surround these beings and I won't engage those right now.
We do know that people had grown incredibly wicked in their hearts. Starting with the fall in the garden, Cain's murder of Abel, and continuing on through, the bible says that the hearts of men grew progressively more perverse. Noah then seems to stand out from everyone else as the only one who found favor in God's eyes.
Why is this?
The bible says that Noah was considered righteous "tzaddik" before the lord and blameless "tamim." The key to understanding the reason for the flood, and Noah's selection resides in that word "tamim." Remember the law hadn't been given in the time of Noah, God's ordinance of what defined his character and nature wasn't defined on anything written until thousands of years later - at the time of Moses. Noah had no way of definitively knowing what was perfectly pleasing to God apart from what was inherent in his nature. So we have to rule out selection on the basis simply of the "tzaddik." Remember, years later it was Noah who had a major drinking problem - Genesis 9 he passes out drunk and has to be covered by his 2 good sons. Not exactly a "righteous" guy by the standard of the law.
The word blameless "tamim" is key here. The word means "complete, unblemished, without defect, without mixture." This was the hebrew word used to describe a sacrifice which was acceptable to God. For example: you bring your lamb as a sin offering to the priest, if it is a pure-bred lamb without defects or mixture, it is considered "tamim." It was then acceptable. The word is used to describe *physical perfection.*
Now, lets put this in context: Angels are coming down, sleeping with women, making half-breed creatures and everything is getting corrupted. God is deeply grieved at all of this. Why in the world would fallen angels want to come down and sleep with women and populate all the world as half-breeds? Why would God choose to destroy the Earth saving only Noah and his family?
Remember back in Genesis 3:15 God's promise to Ha-Satan?
"And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.
The promise from God was that Eve's seed - a man was going to destroy Satan and his seed. Can you see it now? Satan could not allow man to live - knowing that Eve's seed would destroy him and his seed.
**The only reason Noah found favor in God's eyes was because he was "tamim" - the only family left on Earth that had pure "
- that had not been contaminated by the half-breed nephillim. Only a man
from the pure lineage of man could fulfill the promise of God and redeem
The whole Noah's ark story is a picture of the coming Christ. Christ comes to show us both what is "true God"
In Christ's work, he now stands as the mirror of what creation looks like - he is the mirror that reflects humanity's image and likeness and reminds of of how we are seen before the Father. We see Him and we find ourselves. We see how much he is loved, honored, favored, blessed, and we see ourselves as equally loved, honored, favored and blessed, because "as He is, so are we in this world!" (1 John 4:17)
Know this - the rainbow by which God promised to never again condemn or destroy is the same rainbow that hangs over the throne of God - beckoning all to draw near, assuring us of God's promise to be gracious, loving and merciful to us, never to have wrath again! It's a green (new) rainbow to assure that his new covenant of grace stands forever!
"And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance." - Revelation 4:3