Updated: Apr 2, 2018
This is based on the story of prophet Noah, found in Genesis chapters 6-9. Read the story carefully and listen to what God has to say to you.
Sin has entered the world. What follows is suffering and death. The relationship between God and mankind, and between men is broken.
No matter how hard we try, we reap thorns and pain. Death, injustice and hopelessness fill the world. Mankind is nothing but slaves to sin and its consequence.
This is not the world God created.
The root of the problem is pride at the heart of the human soul. The human heart is unholy, full of sin that God despises. God Himself said no one is sinless (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10-11).
A sinful heart cannot save itself. An unholy people cannot be close to a holy God, because God cannot coexist with sin.
But in God, nothing is impossible. God is merciful and gracious. He always provides a way out. There are two possible pathways. One is that God is absolutely just and fair: He will bring justice and punishment to all those who sin. Another one is that God is merciful: He will bring forgiveness and salvation because God is love. But both punishment and salvation have to come from God.
While God has given numerous opportunities for people to turn around from sin and they continued to refuse, God decided to bring punishment and justice through a flood that would kill all living things on earth.
But at the same time, God provided a way out. He called Noah.
Noah was not perfect. He was also a sinful man. He was surrounded by sin and was affected by sin like everyone else. But he chose to be righteous by obeying God. God's plan (not Noah's) was that through Noah, people and animals could find salvation.
So God asked Noah to build an ark. Noah followed and obeyed. The task seemed impossible, of course! That's why God gave very detailed instructions. There was no way Noah could have worked it out himself. Only God knew what the future held. The project cost Noah his reputation and consumed his life. And after building the ark, the only thing Noah could do was to wait and put his life completely in the hands of God.
While stuck in the ark, Noah's family had no idea how long the flood. They could only trust God. There was no other choice. Punishment and salvation were to be executed by God, not by man. Mankind is only at His mercy.
All people who did not enter God's ark were dead. But those who chose God's plan of salvation were saved.
Noah made a sacrifice of burnt offering to God. God was pleased.
Why was God pleased with the death of an innocent animal? Our sin has a price. God's grace is free, but it's not cheap. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The atonement of sin involves death to pay the price. God provided this sacrifice for Noah, and to us today.
After the atonement, God made a covenant-- an everlasting promise and agreement--between God and us. All covenant relationships are for salvation.
“This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”