Ethics and Sanctions in the account of Noah and the flood

The world rebelled against God by sinning against Him. God then decided to punish humanity for their sin by inflicting negative sanctions on them. God would do this by sending a global flood that would wipe out all the people and animals in the earth. There was one man, Noah, who still feared God. God spared Noah and his family because he still feared God while everyone else was constantly violating God’s standard for ethics without repenting.

God told Noah to build an ark for himself, his family, and two of every kind of animal (and seven pairs of some). God gave Noah directions for building the ark, and Noah followed God’s directions. Noah showed how much he feared God by obeying his instructions and by preaching to the surrounding people. No one would listen to Noah and get in the ark, even though he spent about a century building the ark. After Noah finished the ark, God sent the animals to Noah and they went into the ark. God sent the rain for forty days and forty nights and the fountains of the deep broke up, and all humanity on the earth died except Noah and his family. The water began drying out from the earth, and eventually Noah sent out a dove and a raven from the ark. The dove came back because it could not set foot anywhere. After seven days, Noah sent the dove out again. This time the dove came back with an olive branch in it’s beak. This symbolized God’s grace toward mankind. After another seven days Noah sent out the dove again, and this time it did not return to him.

Noah, his family, and the animals came out of the ark onto dry ground, and Noah built an altar to the Lord. God accepted Noah’s sacrifice and made a covenant with him. He told Noah that he would never flood the earth again with water, and as a token of his covenant with mankind he put the rainbow in the sky.

After the flood, Noah and his family settled down. Noah grew grapes, made wine with it, and got drunk and became uncovered in his tent. Ham his son saw the nakedness of his father and told his brothers. They walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Noah found out what happened and cursed Canaan, Ham’s son. He did this because Ham was acting in rebellion against authority by defaming his father. His brothers were respectful of authority and did not mock or defame their father, as Ham did. The curse was Noah’s sanction for Ham’s ethical misbehavior.

God hates sin, and He punished it because he is a righteous judge. God extended grace to Noah, and did not completely destroy mankind from the face of the earth; letting mankind live on through him and his family. God swore that he would not flood the whole earth again with water like he did in the flood, and gave the rainbow as a token of his oath. Noah’s curse on Canaan was punishment on Ham for rebelling against his father.

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