In his day and age, Noah and his family were the only ones, in the entire world, that were faithful to God.
The people God created became Godless and he felt deep sorrow, pain, and regret. Understand, God wasn't second-guessing Himself; He wasn't saying, "Oops, I goofed when I made these people!" Rather, the feelings ascribed to God in these verses show God's sorrow over sin and wickedness.
The Hebrew word used in verse 6a to portray Gods grief describes God's heartrending disappointment in His people. Literally, the Hebrew word refers to taking a deep breath in extreme pain. This is how God feels about our sin.
The story of Noah's ark is not so much about how God destroyed the earth's population as it is about how God rescued one man and his family. What should amaze us is not the fact that God allowed so many people to perish (they deserved it anyway because of their wickedness); the amazing thing here is that God, out of His great mercy, chose to save Noah and his family.
As far as we know, it had never rained prior to the flood. When it began to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, it was very likely the first time these people ever experienced rain.
It took a tremendous amount of faith to build a wood boat larger than any other boat constructed at that time and to do so because the earth was going to flood. It all seems so preposterous and yet Noah faithful did everything God asked, even when God's word went against everything else Noah knew.
Given the proportions of the ark, scholars estimate as many as 45 thousand animals could have been carried on the ark.
Noah was in the ark for approximately 1 year and 10 days.
God promised that he would never curse the earth nor destroy the living animals again with a flood. His judgment on the earth would never be directed toward the whole world again until the end of history.
After the flood and in response to Noah's worship, the Lord did something radically new--He established a covenant with His people. This is the first time in the Scriptures that the explicit concept of a covenant appears. God is a promise-maker and a promise-keeper.
Signs were an important part of covenant-making throughout the Bible. Circumcision, the Passover lamb, the ark of the covenant, the Lord's Supper, and baptism were all visible signs of spiritual truths and divine promises. The rainbow, a natural occurrence, was given a spiritual meaning. It was a sign from God that he would never again flood the earth to destroy humanity.
We understand, Scientifically, that a rainbow is the result of the refraction of sunlight passing through water. It is entirely possible that since the people had never experienced rain before that they may have never seen a rainbow before. Rain and rainbows are common to us, and yet the rainbow contains a special, spiritual meaning.
A student asked me if the Garden of Eden still exists today and would it be possible for us to find it. It is in the story of Noah and the Flood that I believe we can understand the fate of the Garden of Eden. When the flood happened, it destroyed the entire earth, including the Garden of Eden. From the time of the flood, it was as if the earth had started over fresh and new.
Posted by The YM at October 11, 2004 11:25 PM