Today’s passage (Genesis 4:17 – 9:17) continues to lay the foundation for two of the Bible’s biggest themes: the corrupt nature of mankind and the grace of God revealed against the backdrop of his righteousness. Once again the language is packed full of theological significance as God’s patience with rebellious humanity reaches it’s limit and he sends a flood on the world – to start again… almost.
These chapters tell the story of a “de-creation” followed by a “re-creation”. Notice the way the separation of the waters from 1:6&7 is undone in the flood and the breath of God/life is taken away from every creature on the earth. As the flood subsides, God sends a wind over the waters to dry them out – “wind” being the same word as “Spirit” in 1:2 – God is beginning a new act of creation (see also the first 7 verses of chapter 9 which mimic much of the language of chapter 1).
But for me, the most striking think in this passage is the way that God commits himself to Noah and his offspring (indeed to the whole creation), EVEN THOUGH he knows what we are like (8:21).
Praise God for his grace and the strength of his commitment to us.