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Noah's Flood: Salvation and Judgement

October 18, 2020 Speaker: John Bell Series: Genesis

Passage: Genesis 6:9–8:19

Big Picture: This story recounts how Noah and his immediate family are rescued from the flood - a flood which is a divine judgment in response to the evil of the human heart and the resultant corruption and violence. But even as God judges the world, in his grace he continues the line of the seed of the woman.  The whole process is presented as the undoing of creation and then the recreation of the earth as it emerges from the flood. But after the flood not everything returns to a pristine condition. While the land is cleansed of the defilement caused by human wrongdoing and a new start is made possible by God, the people’s nature has not been transformed.

Key words, dominant ideas, parallel sequences of actions, and similar themes clearly link the Noah narrative of Genesis 6–9 to the creation narratives in Genesis 1 and 2.

The Flood Story as a New Creation

  • The flood story is presented in the narrative as a new creation. Just as God ordered the original heavens and earth out of the chaotic deep or ocean, so here God orders the present heavens and earth out of the chaotic floodwaters.
  • Genesis 8:1 records that God caused a wind (Heb. rûaḥ) to pass over the waters of the flood covering the entire earth, which reminds one of the creation narrative, where the Spirit (Heb. rûaḥ) of God hovers over the waters of the original chaotic deep.
  • In the creation narrative, God gathers the waters together and the dry land emerges; then he commands the earth to bring forth vegetation. After the flood, the dry land emerges as the waters subside, and the earth brings forth vegetation, as we see when the dove returns with an olive leaf in her beak.

These parallels indicate that, after the flood, we have a new beginning like the first beginning.

· This sermon in indebted to James M Hamilton’s “What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible's Story, Symbolism, and Patterns”


Dates Given in the Flood Narrative





Year of Noah’s Life








Flood began










Ark came to rest










Tops of mountains visible










Water dried up









Land dry







More in Genesis

November 1, 2020

A Tale of Two Cities

October 25, 2020

God's Covenant with Noah

October 11, 2020

The World Before the Flood