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JUSTICE AND MERCY

Daily Devotional Genesis 6:9–7:24


Many people have a skewed perception of God. Some view Him as an angry tyrant waiting for people to step out of line so He can bring judgment. Others view God as a benevolent grandfather who would never hurt anyone. Neither of these images captures the biblical view of God.


By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.

HEBREWS 11:7


In Genesis 6, human evil had reached a critical point. The earth was “full of violence” and “all the people on earth had corrupted their ways” (vv. 11–12). God responded neither through unhinged anger nor through turning a blind eye to sin. Instead, God graciously saved people and animals from His just judgment. God determined to put an end to the cycle of violence wreaking havoc on the planet. But He also provided a way for Noah, his family, and a representative of every animal to be saved. This was an act of grace. As one theologian put it, “In the flood narrative it is God who saves Noah from God.”


The description of Noah as righteous and blameless is not the reason for God to save him (7:9). Instead, we are told that Noah “found favor in the eyes of the LORD” not because he was perfect or deserving (6:8) but because he trusted in God’s word. When God commanded him to build an ark, Noah obeyed (6:22).


By this point in our study, we have learned that God is angered by sin. In one sense this should be encouraging because God cares about righting injustices. God’s grace to Noah is good news because it means God cares for sinners. The flood reminds us that there is a final judgment coming at the return of Christ (2 Peter 3:5–7). All people will stand under God’s judgment. But in Christ, we can be forgiven and delivered.


Go Deeper


What does the story of Noah and the ark teach us about God? What is God’s view of sin? What do you need to correct about your own understanding of God’s character?


Pray with Us


Lord God, You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Give us thirst for Your truth, strength to follow You every step of the way, and desire to honor You with our lives.

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