This chapter tells a short story of desolation by water. One item in this chapter (verses 2-3) that may have escaped attention during previous readings is the commandment from God to Noah to take seven each of every clean animal, two each of every unclean animal and seven each of birds. Although we cannot be certain, this group of animals could have been meant as food, or to sacrifice after the flood (see Genesis 8:20-22).
Here are some highlights to glean from this chapter:
- Rain will come on the earth for forty days and forty nights
- Noah is obeying God’s every commandment
- All animals went into the ark to Noah by themselves
- The waters covered the mountains
- Everything with breath in its lungs dies except for the lives on the ark
- The waters remained on the earth for ~5 months
Only eight people remained alive: Noah and his wife, and his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives.
This chapter is one of action. It tells the story of the desolation that was visited upon the earth by God because of the wickedness of the people. Did God still love man? Yes, for He saved the righteous. But was God pleased? It is difficult to say whether God was pleased. This flood took the life of a huge and vital chunk of His creation. Even still, God’s decision to end the lives of so many is based on righteousness and obedience. It is one of a seemingly infinite number of examples in the Bible of how God loves obedience and hates sin.