As we open the second door of our imagined Advent Calendar of 25 people we find
It is a big jump from Adam and Eve to Noah and leaves out generations of interesting people and events, recorded for us in Genesis 4 and 5 but the tragic truth is that they, with few exceptions represent a downward spiral.
In brief, no child was born in Eden and the first child born (Cain) was a murderer, killing his own brother and as a result condemned to be a wanderer on the earth, putting in question the great promise that Eve’s Offspring would, one day crush the serpent’s head (a mortal blow). However Adam and Eve were granted another child, Seth and the promise is on course again. Chapter 5 reminds us that what God said would be a consequence of disobedience, namely death, was tragically true, as apart from Enoch (5 v.24) the refrain running though the chapter is ‘then he died’.
Things got worse and worse and
‘The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time’ (6 v.5) causing him to say ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created from the face of the earth…’ (6.7)
But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD
The account of the flood is so well known that we will not focus on the details today except to note that when the waters dried up Noah (one of Eve’s Offspring) and his family stepped out into a presumably pristine world. However with hindsight we understand that this was not so for according to Paul in Romans 8 all of creation was impacted by the fall. (Romans 8.15ff)
However, the description of Noah as a righteous man (Genesis 6.9) might cause us to ask as we open this Advent Calendar door ‘Has the tempter been crushed? Is this what was promised to Adam and Eve before they left the garden?
Does the account not raise our hopes that this might be so?
It seems that the wickedness might have been ‘washed away’ by the flood but not so, for Noah, ‘a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time’ who walked with God (Genesis 6.9), was , with all of Eve’s offspring, including you and me, tainted with the sin of his forbears as the closing part of Genesis 9 tells us.
For Noah and his family hopes may have been raised but subsequent events dashed them. Nonetheless, the God who promised the ‘Satan Crusher’ before Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden makes another promise or ‘Covenant’ with Noah (read the details in chapter 9) that never again would all life on earth be destroyed with the rainbow as the sign.
So hope lives for another day and another calendar door to open.