Of Wrath and Mercy

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Genesis 6-9

The tale of Noah and the Ark is a dramatic story of God’s encounter with a wicked world, finding only a remnant of righteous people to save. The lessons learned in faith from this famous story reveal the true nature of God.

  1. God hates violence. The earth had been filled with such violence that God was tired of it. God’s intolerance of violence is mentioned several times throughout the Bible. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things God detests—notice how they are associated with violence.

    -haughty eyes -lying tongue -hands that shed innocent blood
    -a heart that devises wicked schemes -feet that are quick to rush into evil
    -a false witness who pours out lies -a man who stirs up conflict among brothers

    Why does God have such a problem with violence? First, it is the antithesis of God’s loving and life-building nature. God created people in love and sent us His son in love. Violence goes against His wishes. Second, violence is the result of an unforgiving heart. Anger arises from an injustice done to you (real or perceived), and often displays itself in violence. Anger is a failure to let go of our injustices and give them to the Lord.

  2. The wrath of God is severe and thorough. There are numerous stories throughout the Bible demonstrating God’s power and wrath. It is not our place to execute His wrath, and will always come in His own time and place. Because of our human natures, we all deserve the wrath of God.

  3. The mercy of God is bountiful and fulfilling. Just as God provided for Noah and saved him from the flood, God provides for us as Christians to give us the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are each undeserving of salvation, but we receive it through God’s mercy.

  4. The promises of God last forever. After the flood, God established a covenant with all creation, symbolized by a rainbow. The rainbow reminds us we can hold on and depend on the promises God has made. Like the rainbow, which forms a circle, the gospel consists of two integral elements—God’s wrath and God’s grace.