Long ago, God saw how wicked man had become. He was grieved that He made man and decided to wipe him (along with all living creatures) off the face of the earth. But there was one person with whom He was pleased. This person was Noah.
When Noah was 500 years old, God told him to build an ark. He also told Noah to take two of every creature (male and female) into the ark with him to be kept safe from the flood. Noah was allowed to bring his wife, his sons, and their wives as well.
The flood began when Noah was 600 years old. It rained forty days and forty nights. The waters covered the entire surface of the earth, and every living thing died except for Noah and those with him on the ark.
After 150 days the waters began to recede. The ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, and after 40 days a dove returned to Noah with an olive leaf in its beak. A short time later Noah, his family, and all the animals came out of the ark. (They had been on it for just over a year.)
Noah made an altar and offered sacrifices to God. God was pleased and promised to never again destroy all life with a flood. He set a rainbow in the clouds as the sign of His covenant. Noah lived 350 years after the flood and died at the age of 950. You can read his full story in Genesis 6 – 9.
A Better Noah
Genesis 6:9 says, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” Yet he was not without sin. After the flood, he planted a vineyard and became drunk from its wine! (Genesis 9:20-21)
Jesus is the one who truly “[finds] favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This surely includes Noah. But Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” Peter calls Him “a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19).
So we see that Jesus is a better Noah. Noah was righteous and blameless compared to the people of his time, but Jesus is truly righteous and blameless.
A Better Deliverance
God will once again judge mankind for their sins. The flood was a preview of the final destruction of the universe. Peter says, “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7).
Jesus says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37). People will thoughtlessly indulge their sinful desires, totally unaware of the coming judgment.
Is there hope? Like Noah, is there any way to be saved from impending disaster? Peter says, “In [the ark] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also…it saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21).
So we see that Jesus offers a better deliverance than Noah. God spared all who belonged to Noah from the waters of the flood. In the same way, He will spare all who belong to Jesus – those who pledge their lives to Him by being baptized in the waters of faith.
What other points of comparison (or contrast) are there between Noah and Jesus? Leave your thoughts with a comment below!
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