God's Covenant Mercy Illustrated in
Gen. 6:18-20 "But with thee will I
establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy
sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living
thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to
keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls
after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping
thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto
thee, to keep them alive."
In the next few chapters we see that God used a listing of
animals to illustrate his covenant mercy. Elements of the covenant of
redemption are illustrated each time the animals are listed. The
covenant of redemption is set forth in Rom. 8:29,30: "For whom he did
foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his
Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom
he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he
also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." This
covenant is set forth in five parts describing what God would do
according to that covenant. These five parts are: foreknew,
predestinated, called, justified, and glorified.
The first of the five parts of the covenant of redemption is
illustrated in the above passage in the sixth chapter of Genesis. In
the covenant of redemption God foreknew (chose) a people before the
foundation of the world to be the recipients of his covenant grace.
Similarly, God chose who would go on the ark and be delivered from the
flood waters that would destroy all living things in whose nostrils was
the breath of life.
While it could be argued that God chose Noah, his wife, his
three sons and their wives because of the faithful obedience of Noah
(this argument is not valid), yet no such argument can be made with
regard to the animals God chose to come on the ark.
First the animals could not have had a free will to choose
to be saved from the flood waters. The animals did not have the ability
to choose at all. The choice was all of God. It was a sovereign choice
of a sovereign God that God sovereignly chose the animals he would have
to go on the ark. This choice was not based on any good works the
animals had done and it was not based on the faith of the animals
chosen. Likewise, God's choice of a people to be predestinated, called,
justified, and glorified was just as much by the sovereign grace of a
sovereign God. The following verses prove this principle:
1. Eph. 1:4-6 "According as he hath chosen us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the
adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good
pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein
he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
2. Rom. 9:10, 11 "And not only this; but when
Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the
children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that
the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but
of him that calleth;)"
3. Rom. 11:5, 6 "Even so then at this present
time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if
by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.
But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no
4. Ps. 14:2, 3 "The LORD looked down from
heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did
understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all
together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
From the above we conclude that God did the choosing before
the world began. Now we are left with the possibilities that God chose
based on some goodness he foresaw in man or he chose based strictly on
his grace. Psalms 14 tells us that God did not chose based on some
goodness he foresaw in man as he saw that there was none that did
understand or seek God. Further, God's choice was not based on works,
either good or bad, as he chose Jacob and not Esau before they had done
either good or evil. Likewise, Romans chapter 11 tells us that election
is strictly by grace and not by works. Grace and works cannot be
mixed. If there is any work involved, then it ceases to be grace.
Furthermore, man had not the ability to choose God because of his
depraved nature: he had not the ability to understand, seek God, or do
In conclusion, God's choice of the animals to go on the ark
illustrates God's covenant grace in choosing his elect family to be
finally glorified in heaven's glory world.
God's wrath towards
sin & God's judgment
The following two passages in Genesis chapter 6 show us God's wrath
toward sin and God's timely judgment of sin:
1. Gen. 6:5-7 "And God saw that the wickedness
of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the
LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his
heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from
the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and
the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
2. Gen. 6:11-13 "The earth also was corrupt
before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon
the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his
way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is
come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and,
behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
As we have noted earlier in our studies of Genesis, Adam's
transgression brought himself and all his posterity under the penalty of
the law of sin and death. Part of the law of sin and death is that our
carnal nature was so corrupted that we became dead in trespasses and
sins. We became incapable of doing good or seeking God in our carnal
nature. Only by the miracle of the new or spiritual birth is a person
capable of seeking after God, of doing good, of understanding the things
of the Spirit of God, of fearing God, etc.
While those who are born of the spirit of God are capable of
walking uprightly, this does not mean that they always will walk
uprightly. They still have a sin nature. The conditions of mankind had
so denigrated that "every imagination of the thoughts of their heart was
only evil continually. The earth was filled with violence.
Because of the pathway of sin and the effects of sin, the
same God who created man and declared him to be good and very good is
now ready to destroy all flesh because of the evil deeds of sin. The
scripture says that God repented that he had made man upon the earth.
The word repent in connection with God is not to imply that God did not
know what was going to happen or to imply that God changed because of
the actions of man. It does teach us that God's action towards man
changed because of the conditions that man brought about. God made man
upright and God declared him to be good and very good. Now man's way is
completely corrupted and God is set to destroy man because of his
corruption. God had every right as the judge of all the earth and
creator of all things to judge all flesh to be worthy of destruction.
The above passages also teach us that "it grieved God at his
heart" to see the great sinfulness of man upon the earth. Grief is a
human quality that is often brought about because of very troubling
conditions in our lives. Thus, God is "troubled" by the sinfulness of
God is not a whimsical God. He does not do things
haphazardly. God cannot change. The timely wrath of God is not poured
out upon us for each sin that we may commit. The condition of mankind
in corruption had became so great that the only remedy was a timely
destruction. There are times in the scriptures where we see the
condition of men's corruption to reach such a point that destruction is
the only remedy. The completely corrupt conditions of Sodom and
Gomorrah is an example of this. Likewise, the completely corrupt
conditions of the nations that God destroyed before Israel in the land
of Canaan are another example. When society denigrates into complete
corruption the remedy is complete destruction. This teaches us that God
will forbear the sinful corruption of a society only to a certain limit
and only for a period of time.
The justice and wisdom of God is borne out in the
destruction of the pre-flood world as God made a new beginning with Noah
and his family. While some societies have denigrated themselves into
complete corruption and ultimate destruction, yet the whole world has
not corrupted itself as the world before the flood corrupted itself into
"every imagination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil
continually," and "violence filled the earth."
Certainly, God never intended that all man would be
destroyed without exception as this would have gone contrary to God's
covenant of redemption. God was gracious even in the midst of the
destruction of the pre-flood world with a flood.