The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become . . . But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Today’s story takes place many centuries after the time of Cain and Abel. Human nature hasn’t improved! The Canons of Dort expand on humanity’s corruption, saying, “All people are . . . inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin.” These are discouraging and upsetting words!
Lamenting “the wickedness of the human race,” Genesis describes God as regretting that he ever made human beings. Deeply troubled, God said, “I will wipe [them] from the face of the earth.” And yet a ray of hope follows: “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” The word “but” signals a change of direction. We are corrupt, but there is hope for us. We fall into sin, but God lifts us up. We despair, but God brings joy.
The Canons of Dort sound so harsh in their assessment of our corruption, but they also add that it’s possible for us to turn back to God by “the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit.” We cannot reform our corrupted nature or even begin to renew ourselves, but God can.
God can work in us to do good. Somehow Noah “walked faithfully with God,” and when the Lord told Noah to build an ark and prepare for a flood, Noah did “as God commanded him.” Today let us thank God for working in us even more by his Spirit through Christ our Savior!
Lord, thank you for not destroying humanity then and now. May the gift of your Spirit today move us to become more like Jesus daily. In his name, Amen.
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