So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” –Genesis 6:7
And so begins what is quite possibly the most popular and well-known children’s story in the Bible.
…does anyone else have a problem with this? Whose brainchild was it to consider this for preschool-aged Sunday School curriculum to begin with?! “Hmm…let’s see…talking donkey? Maybe. Jesus telling children to come to him? Nah, that’ll be over their heads. Oh, look! This passage has animals and a rainbow–BINGO!” Since then, the story of Noah and his boat of fuzzy creatures has become not just a popular children’s church topic, but has also been used in the branding of everything from daycare facilities to books to nursery decor to…well…anything and everything kid-friendly.
People! This is a story about God being so disgusted with His creation that he obliterates every living creature on the planet!! And the worst part–the part that seems to get omitted–is that it’s a very slow, very torturous death. People watching the waters continually rising, scrambling to higher ground, leaving behind everything they’ve ever worked for, and still being unable to escape. Watching loved ones as they slipped under the water, never to be seen again. And then, drowning themselves. After the flood waters receded, the sobering scene of millions of rotting bodies and animal carcasses.
“But it’s a story of God’s mercy! God spared Noah!” Spared?! Spare ME! Noah and his family still had their lives, but they too had lost everything material, plus all of their friends. And the wonderful “rainbow promise” was a promise to never destroy the Earth again…with a flood. God kept His options open in case He decides to hurl a meteor at our heads or nuke us.
I’d LOVE to get a good discussion started on this one–mostly because I can’t get my head around it. Feel free to comment below; just remember that everyone’s entitled to their opinions–right or wrong–so play nice.