Read Genesis 6:1-22.
V. 1-4 show that man does obey the commandment to multiply on face of the earth, but corrupts that command in that they multiply in sin and violence as well.
These verses also talk about the Nephilim, or ancient mighty men of renown. Apparently they were the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of man.” Some scholars think these sons of God were angels, while others think they could have been men from the godly line of Seth. Those who argue they can’t have been angels due to Mark 12:25 forget that one does not have to be married to have sex. Considering Jude 1:5-7 and 2 Pet. 2:4-5 it seems more likely that these were fallen angels, and these angels were condemned to chains while the earth was later condemned to the flood.
The Lord sees the wickedness that was in man, and saw that it was great. That the intentions of man were continually evil. Not much has changed. No one can say that it is due to their environment that they are evil. The earth was evil before the flood, and God made a complete reset with only righteous people surviving it. And yet, we all turned in our hearts again to evil (Romans 3:23).
In verse 6 it says that God regretted that he made man and that it grieved him to his heart. The word regret (Hb. nakham) can be translated as “repent, feel sorrow, be grieved.” So God repented making mankind, he turned away from mankind, felt sorrow and grieved and grieved to the heart.
The contrast of verse 8 is strong in that although God is sorry to have made the entire creation due to mankind Noah still finds favor. In this sense Noah is an archetype of Christ, or an example. All of creation and mankind is doomed due to sin, but one man finds God’s favor and is an instrument of salvation to mankind. The Old Testament was meant for an example and instruction, and God’s sorrow and Noah’s salvation can be explained as an example of this.
Noah is righteous, and does what God asks and builds an ark to his specifications. His faith was a faith in the impossible, and yet a faith of action. There had never yet been a thing as rain, and building this ark was going to be hard work due to its size. But Noah believed in God, and went about doing something that to everyone else would have made no sense.
If we are honest, we probably aren’t any better. The more you get to know God the more you realize that the intentions of your heart are continually evil. How grieved that must make God feel. And yet He loves us. And yet he died for us.
Unfortunately I am not like Noah, and I can wager you are not either. Thankfully though, we don’t have to be. Our salvation is in Christ. He is the one man who found favor in God’s sight when God regretted making man.
This is good news. Even though I am evil, I am still loved. And God wanted to save me.
The flood is also a picture of baptism, in that the entire earth had to be cleansed from sin in order for the “new era” of mankind to come forward. The flesh must be killed, not just held back, but killed dead. In this way, baptism represents the killing of the flesh and the readiness of the heart to receive righteousness. Christ makes that picture fuller in that after baptism the heart looks to Christ for that righteousness, so that way one day we may be saved from the baptism of fire as well (the coming judgment of Christ in the end times by fire).
Also, have a faith like Noah. A faith that believes regardless of the impossible. A faith that acts, regardless of what others will think. A faith in action.