Genesis 7: All Aboard!

Tonight I write whilst resting my knees from the longest continual run I have ever done in my entire life: 9 miles in 1:46:00. Why would I subject myself to such torture you may ask? Good question. I am training for the St. Louis Half Marathon in 2 weeks. 4 more miles to go! It has been a great experience and you can read all about it on my other blog located right here.

In many ways, I think the training is preparing me for this journey. It is going to be a full marathon to read the entirety of Scripture and reflect on every piece of it. There will be days when I don’t want to do it. There will be times when I am tired. There may be times when each chapter just feels like slogging through waist-high mud. But I want to commit to it. The story of why is too long to tell here but I will make sure and do that at some point soon.

So anyway, on to Genesis 7!

I am pretty sure this is an accurate depiction. That would be a HUGE hippopotamus!

Because One Time Wasn’t Enough

Reading chapter 7 was interesting if for no other reason than it basically told the first part of the story twice. God tells them all to get into the ark with the animals. Then the rain comes. Then we are told again that they got on the ark with all the animals. Then the rain came. But the second time had more details. We heard that the “fountains of the great deep burst forth.” That was my personal favorite line of the whole chapter.

We read about all the different types of animals. There were domestic and wild ones, and “every bird of every kind – every bird, every winged creature.” It is like the author just wanted to make sure we knew they took EVERY bird. Just in case there were any questions about that.

Why tell the same thing twice?

Is that a kind of ancient literary technique? Or was the first one the rough draft and the second one the one where he nailed it?

God Doesn’t Mess Around

He makes good on his threat. Don’t make the mistake of thinking God is bluffing. He said he would destroy all flesh and boy does he ever. He goes so far as to cover the mountains to a depth of 22 feet. He blots out every living thing. Blotting out sound like he was just erasing it.

But Noah seems to know this. When God speaks, Noah pays attention. He seems an interesting contrast to a certain someone who will remain unnamed for now (I’m looking at you, Cain!). In fact, the only thing Noah has done up to this point is do what God has commanded him. He hasn’t even said anything yet. He built an ark and then went into it. That’s it.

Earth is a Four-Letter Word

In the last two chapters, “earth” (and maybe “ground,” as they might be the same word) has been mentioned over 20 times. That is WAY up from chapters 1-5. Yet it is not a particularly good thing. It is filled with violence and doomed to destruction. But it seems like it is worth redeeming if for nothing more than the hope that this one man and his family will bring something good back into it.

I wonder how that will go . . .

3 responses

  1. Hippos can be quite vicious. I bet they had to be kept in massive kennels.

    Interesting repetition of “earth/ground”. That seems like an important observation.

  2. What about all the innocent children or babies that were killed in the flood. My grandson asked when he was read this story what about the other people. If it is okay to drown innocent babies that what is wrong with abortion?

    • Perhaps there hadn’t been any new births for 13 years (is that the bar mitzvah age?) If so, then everyone was of age and responsible for their choices. Of course that’s just speculation – another possibility is that God, of course, is the only one authorized to decide who lives and who dies. Then as now He indiscriminately takes the rich and poor, the good and evil, the old and young, and even the innocents.

      Also, remember from a Christian POV death isn’t supposed to be a terrible thing. It’s supposed to be our goal – generally after a lifetime of well-done and faithful servitude, although many times God chooses to bring some great people home to their reward earlier.

      (While people weren’t expecting a resurrection and everlasting life in this pre-Christian era, a theory goes that they were given three days to accept salvation while Christ was descended into hell. Either that, or “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” might apply.)

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