Disaster, cataclysm, calamity, catastrophe, and holocaust: these are all good descriptors of the Genesis flood.
The Genesis flood is by far the worst catastrophe this world has ever seen. God was determined to make an end to all flesh because the world was filled with violence and every thought and intention of man was evil. He did it and he wasn’t sorry for it. You can search the Scriptures up and down; God did it and He doesn’t regret doing it.
The wickedness and violence of man had so inflamed God’s holy righteousness that he destroyed every living person and creature except for those that Noah saved on the ark. In the New Testament, Peter describes it this way, “the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” (2 Peter 3:6)
For over 300 days, Noah, his family, and the animals lived in the ark. They experienced the fountains of the great deep bursting forth; they watched the heavens open up with rain for 40 days and nights; then they floated for weeks as the wind dried the land.
I can imagine the elation of Noah and his family when the ark first hit and then came to rest on the mountain. When the dove didn’t return, it was time. God told Noah to let everything and everyone out. Noah and his family were free. God had given them a beautiful gift; a fresh start and a new life on a “brand new” planet all to themselves.
This morning we get to eavesdrop on Noah’s very first day of life after the flood. I think that we will be surprised at how much we learn about God on Noah’s first day. Turn with me to Genesis 8:20.