The Book of Genesis presents us with the most basic and fundamental principles of human life, of human history, and of salvation. The foundation for the rest of the Bible and for understanding the whole of life is laid in Genesis. This is as true of the story of Noah and the judgment of the flood narrative as it is of everything else we have studied so far.
In these early chapters of Genesis we learn of the corrupting nature of human sin, of its alienating and violent tendencies. We also learn of the sober reality of divine judgment against human beings for their sin. These are themes which will continue to be developed as the rest of the Bible unfolds. Indeed the reality of God’s judgment for sin is one of the primary keys for understanding the story of salvation. Our sin pays a terrible wage and reminds us of our need for redemption from its guilt and delivery from its power. The Bible refers to the flood in various other passages as the supreme illustration of the reality of God’s judgment.
But we have also seen that this history reveals and illustrates the faithfulness of God to his promises. Immediately after the fall God promised a descendant of Eve would crush the head of the serpent. The entire account of Noah and his preservation and that of his family is the first of many demonstrations in Scripture of the lengths that God will go to remain faithful to that promise of salvation. The Exodus is the supreme Old Testament example. But, of course, the ultimate example of God’s faithfulness is found in the cross. God promised salvation through a human deliverer and he kept his word. He kept the line of the promised seed alive in the world until the time for his appearance had fully come.
In the event of the flood we see for the first time God preserving the seed of the woman through the waves of sin and judgment. God’s plan to redeem his people from their sin and to finally crush evil will not be thwarted. These themes of divine judgment and divine faithfulness to the promise of redemption are fundamental to the flood narrative just as they are to all of life.