Water as punishment

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By Italian painter Domenico Morelli (1823-1901).

So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.  So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.  This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.  Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.  I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. – Genesis 6:13-17 (NIV)

Much has happened since the last verse, man has fallen into sin and changed his relationship with God forever, he was evicted from the Garden, and his “easy” life in the garden was traded for toil and hard work.  It appears that man slid into great sin and God finally decided that he had enough and decided to rid the world of man, everyone except Noah and his family.

As I read the story of Noah I can’t help but think of a comedy routine by Bill Cosby where he recounts the conversation between Noah and God.  A sceptical Noah is finally convinced that God is not pulling his leg as the rain begins which will bring the promised flood.   God sounds pretty resolute when he says he will use water to destroy all life.  It is a bit ironic and sad that the very water that brought forth all life was the instrument God uses to cleanse his creation of the sinful ways of man.  This is the first time water is described in the bible as a punishment that I recall.

Prayer: Lord as we still struggle with the same sinful ways and desires that were displeasing to you in Noah’s time may we daily recommit ourselves to seeking your wisdom and leadership in our lives.

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