Things only continue to get worse for God’s world. The people he put in charge of it rebelled against him and set the world spinning off its intended axis. Evil and sin have continued to affect every aspect of human action and culture until now, finally, God is undoing nearly all of what he has done in the world. He lets loose his judgment on the world, letting the flood waters wash over it, destroying everything that has the breath of life.
In the Ancient Near East, the waters (especially the sea) represented the forces of evil and chaos. When we hear in Genesis 1:2 that the Spirit of the Lord hovered over the face of the waters, we are meant to understand that God is setting order to his creation, that God’s creative work will prevail over chaos and destruction. Yet, because humanity fell and continue to rebel up to this point, the waters of chaos and destruction prevail over the created order. God’s providential hand stayed the forces of chaos; in judgment, he has now lowered his protective care over the earth and letting chaos have its way over the world.
God only preserves Noah and his household and those living creatures that make their way onto the ark. Many times, I’ve heard people argue against the existence of God by saying that a good, all-powerful God would remove evil from the world. In Genesis 7, that is exactly what God did. He removed evil from the world by removing human beings whose hearts were always only evil. He removed all of them, except one family whose head he counted righteous (Gen. 7:1). But removing evil from the world doesn’t ultimately solve the problem, as we will see. It merely points to the need for evil to be, not removed, but conquered. The world didn’t need judgment, but redemption.
Starting creation over again doesn’t redeem it. Letting the cleansing waters of judgment wash over it doesn’t provide redemption. Finding one righteous person among the many isn’t what is needed to redeem the fallen world.
Where do you seek redemption? What situation in your life, what circumstances do you wish could be fixed, changed, redeemed? Where do you seek to have the evil of this world removed from you and your life? Where do you believe that redemption will come from?
Only Christ could do the work of redemption that this fallen world required. The flood couldn’t redeem the world; it could merely put evil at bay for a time. Only Christ could enter into the mess of this fallen world, redeem it, and provide hope that one day it would be fully restored to what it was meant to be. The flood could only turn back the clock. The cross gives hope that the future will be wholly unlike the past. The cross assures us that our Lord is renewing and restoring the mess and chaos of this world to the glory of its Creator.
Don’t seek redemption from within this world. Whether work or family trouble, whether financial or emotional hardship, don’t seek redemption in a change of circumstance. Instead, put your hope in the One who has redeemed you. You have the redemption your heart yearns for. Walk through whatever circumstances you face in confident faith that the Lord who redeemed you will only take you through that which will serve to restore you to the person he is calling you to be.