Remember back in Genesis four where I mentioned that God stopped walking with humans? Well, Genesis 6:3 explains why: “Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
God can’t abide the presence of evil. Habakkuk tells us that God’s “eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor.” (Habakkuk 1:13) If God HAD stuck around after the events of Genesis four, it seems likely that He would have destroyed humans much earlier in our timeline.
But, God knew that Noah was coming, and that Noah would worship God fully. More importantly, Noah would be willing to spend over one hundred years building a boat to save his family.
Where did I get “one hundred years”? God told us earlier: “his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3) Some have proposed that this is the maximum age that a human can live to. What it actually means is that God was sending the Flood in 120 years. So, the Flood was announced 1536 years after Creation. On our calendar, that would be around 2469 BC.
God further expands upon His reasons: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.’” (Genesis 6:5-7)
That’s quite a railing judgement. Wickedness: great. Thoughts: only evil continually. God: sorry He made humans. End result: complete and total destruction.
But, there’s one shining light in the midst of this situation: Noah!