the main character

 Genesis 6

18 “But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

And now we begin to use the language of covenant.

Noah and his family, on account of his righteousness, get to enter the ark and escape the flood waters.  The destruction will not be absolute, and not just for humanity – each creature in their kinds will also be preserved – ensuring that a male and female will be kept alive.  The line is to be continued.  God is not wiping the slate clean entirely, and he is certainly not starting from scratch.  Instead there is a promise of continuation held in the safety of the ark – and the need for provision with every kind of food.  There’s a thoroughness even within the limitedness of the ark.

The focus is on Noah’s obedience.  We do not learn of his emotions.  Noah did all that God asked of him – he was instrumental in God’s plan.  But we do not get a colourful picture of Noah himself – no, God is the main character, the one who guides and leads, who commands and provides.  God is the one whose emotions are seen, whose grief is noted.

This is a story of God’s pain and of God’s plan, his knowledge – seeing into the heart – and his provision, ensuring that life will indeed continue.

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