One of the easiest Bible stories that we tell children as they are growing up is Noah’s Ark. Think about it, on the surface it is a fun story that involves a family and a literal boat load of animals. But there’s a lot more to this story, especially because this story was intended for grownups.
The story of Noah’s Ark begins with disappointment. Scripture describes God as being “brokenhearted” at what God created. There is so much wickedness and violence that God has decided to just destroy everything and start over, until he remembers Noah. Remembering is an interesting element in the Hebrew faith. It’s a recognition that God has not forgotten someone, that individual means something to God. Also, Noah represents hope for a new beginning for God.
From there, the story continues with what we generally know about the flood. The rains come, Noah and his family are on the Ark for 40 days and 40 nights, and then waters go away. But it’s after the water goes away that we learn the actual point of the story. The whole point of the flood is for God to enter a covenant with Noah and his descendants. Covenants were not uncommon in the Ancient Near East. They were promises made between two individuals for countless reasons but they always involved two individuals. You see at this point in history, the gods were just divine beings who lived to punish humans. It followed a general pattern: humans were bad, their gods were mad, and they were punished. But this is where the God of the Bible, the God we serve, goes in a different direction. God enters a covenant with Noah. God wants to connect with Noah. God wants to be in a relationship with Noah. This is a way of looking at God that these individuals had never been exposed to. And that’s why this story is different.
And here’s the best part, it’s not just Noah that God wants a relationship with. God also wants a relationship with you. So the next time that you feel alone or like you are in the middle of a flood with a bunch of animals; be reminded that God remembers you.