The Story #7: The Compassion of the Flood

“The Story” is a 9 month series at the Southwest Church in Jonesboro, AR. We are reading the bible through, from beginning to end, as a church family. My series “The Story” here on this blog is nothing more than my wonderings and wanderings about that journey. Hope you will join the conversation

Popular opinion has it that the God of the Old Testament is a harsh and vengeful God, while the New Testament God is much kinder and gentler. This is not so. We can do ourselves well to take God at his word with regards to his character.

In Exodus 34:5-8 God gives 11 attributes about himself in 4 short verses: YHWH, El, the Merciful One, the Gracious One, the Longsuffering One, the Mighty One, the Kind and Loving One, the True One, the One who Preserves Kindness, the Forgiving One, and the Chastising One.

And even in his more “difficult” or “harsh” characteristics, God is love. For example, he “chastises” out of love. And he floods out of love.

But I don’t find myself a worthy advocate of such Old Testament interpretations. I simply know the God revealed in Jesus Christ, and that this is the same God of the Old Testament. So instead of expounding on this or that theological musing, I would rather ask a worthy question, or two… or three.

Have we considered that the flooding the earth and destroying mankind might have been the most compassionate thing God could have done for humanity? I mean… how bad was it? And do we focus on the disaster rather than the deliverance evident in the story of the flood? And does the story reveal that God is mean, or that he is a “re” creator? And is it plausible that the flood reveals that God is faithful to those who love him? And is it plausible that the destruction of the flood is his final act of love to put “rebellious” mankind out of it’s misery to begin again in faithfulness?

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