I find the account of Noah fascinating for one amazing reason and that reason is not that he built a mammoth ark and housed all the animals in it, etc. While those facts are fascinating in their own right, the reason I am fascinated by that story is because I realize that God HAD to save Noah. Yes, you read that right. God had to save Noah becasue God could not wipe out all mankind as He wanted to do. And for many years, I never really understood the purpose behind God saving Noah and his family.
We all know the story about the ark, the animals coming two by two, and the great flood. But how many of us take a moment to realize that when God said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air, -for I am grieved that I have made them,” that God HAD to save Noah. Yes, that is true, and this account of Noah is in the Bible to show us more than just ‘God saw a good man in Noah and saved him and the animals.’
To understand why God had to save Noah, you need to go back to Genesis Chapter 3 verse 15. Here is where God punished the serpent because he had tricked Eve into eating the fruit and disobeying God’s direct command for her and Adam not to eat the fruit. And the punishment ends with these words, “and I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” So what does that mean exactly and what does it have to do with Noah many generations later? To start with, this punishment held within it a promise of God for the future redemption of man. The redemption or “purchasing back” of man had to occur because, when Adam and Eve sinned, God could no longer walk with them in the Garden, as He had been doing, because God is Holy, meaning He is without sin, and Adam and Eve had now brought sin into what was a sinless world, so God couldn’t fellowship with them any longer in the same way that He had been before. So He punished them and the Serpent, but inside that punishment also made a way for man to fellowship with God in the future, and this redemption would come thru Jesus Christ. So the enmity spoken of in the punishment of the Serpent is speaking of the coming of Jesus Christ, the offspring of the woman.
While on the Earth, Satan would attempt to “strike his heal” by organizing and propitiating Christ’s death on the earth. And while Satan was successful in that event, what he was not smart enough to know was that the very death of Jesus Christ would be the very way Jesus would “crush his (Satan’s) head”. Because Jesus’ death was the final perfect offering, for the sin of man, to pay for man’s redemption, so that man would be again able to fellowship with a Holy God for eternity.
So when God wanted to wipe out all mankind, He had to save a man and a woman in order to again propagate the earth in order to fulfill his promise in the Garden of Eden. Noah fit the bill because he was a righteous man on the earth during a time when there was so much sin that “every inclination of man’s heart was mostly evil all the time.” And so, by saving Noah and his family, God fulfilled a promise (because a holy God cannot lie), and thru the line of Noah, Jesus Christ would eventually be born in order to die to save the creation that God loved.