Scripture: Genesis 6: 9-22 “I am now bringing the floodwaters over the earth to destroy everything under the sky that breathes. Everything on earth is about to take its last breath. But I will set up my covenant with you. You will go into the ark together with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.” (Gen. 6: 17-18)
The most familiar parts of the Bible are often the parts we have the hardest time reading through ancient eyes. And everyone is familiar with the story of the flood. At least, they think they are! This isn’t merely a beloved children’s story with cute animals. For ancient Israel, as for other ancient cultures, a cataclysmic and tragic flood had to be explained somehow. And Israel’s explanation was no more a ”“historically accurate”” account than the others. This is the reason given for the flood, Israel’s theological explanation for a massive tragedy: it was God’s response to human failure, the failure to reflect God in the world as image-bearers. God wipes the slate clean and starts over by choosing Noah, the righteous one, as the new beginning.