Genesis 7 ends with death and despair—the flood had risen higher than the mountain tops, every living creature outside of the ark had died, and the waters lingered for 150 days, reminding Noah and all those with him of God’s judgment on the world. As they looked out over the waters, they likely experienced their own flood of discouragement and depression.
“But God remembered Noah…” (Genesis 8:1)
At precisely the right moment—because God’s timing is always perfect—God intervened. The winds blew, the rains were restrained, and the waters receded. And just as God had promised to sustain Noah and his family, he now had a new promise: never again would he curse the whole earth because of man.
It wasn’t long before the sinfulness of man reared its ugly head again. As a matter of fact, we don’t even get out of Genesis 9 before Noah is passed out drunk and naked in his tent (a detail conveniently left out of most kid-friendly versions of the story). But this came as no surprise to God—after all, he knew “the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (8:21). Nevertheless, he set a bow in the clouds as a constant reminder that his promise would remain.
And his promise still remains. As The Jesus Storybook Bible reminds us, “God’s strong anger against hate and sadness and death would come down once more—but not on his people, or his world.” It came down on the shoulders of his Son as he hung from the cross. Just as Noah and his family were spared from God’s wrath by hiding in the ark, we, too, can be spared by hiding under the protection and salvation made available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:3).