The story of Noah and the Flood isn’t an easy one for us. How could it be, when its starting point is the sinfulness of the world? That’s where the story begins: God’s Creation has gone wrong.
Maybe the first lesson of the story is just to remind us of the seriousness of sin. You and I are used to the world having sin and disorder in it. But in the Biblical perspective, it’s tremendous and shattering beyond description. We think of big sins and little sins, and we tend to think of little sins as being no big deal really. That’s totally unbiblical. If only one venial sin had occurred in the history of mankind, that would be a monstrous, shattering thing. Because it means that God’s Creation is disordered, imperfect, and fallen. When I’ve recorded piano pieces, the moment I hit a wrong note I stop and begin again. There’s no way I’d want a recording to exist where I’m playing a wrong note. Why should we expect God to have lower standards for His Creation? There’s no comparison: I know that my performance is far from perfection no matter what I do, but a glaring mistake I still won’t allow to proceed. I’ll wipe the slate clean and start over. But God is perfect, infinite goodness and beauty and perfection itself. How do you think a wrong note looks to Him? How about slavery, murder, deceit, envy, greed?