Although this story contains much destruction, it is, in fact, God promising Noah that life would go on. Two of each species, “of every living thing,” (verse 19) were to be gathered into the protective shelter of the ark. Built of durable cypress wood, the ark was the very image of sustainability as it rode the waves and sheltered its precious cargo. Just as Moses and Jesus would spend the metaphorical 40 days and nights undergoing a time of preparation, so now the inhabitants of the ark were undergoing deep transformation as well. They would emerge again, but with a renewed sense of God’s presence in their lives.
The covenant that God establishes in this story is with both humans and every living species. God’s love for all creation is revealed in this story. All of life is to be sacred!
This story invites us to reflect on our relationship with “every living thing,” which in our 21st century includes the care of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. Do we see all of life as sacred? How, then, might we live differently in our covenant relationship with the divine Creator?
God of life, empower me to live in right relationship with every living thing. May I see all of life as sacred, treasuring all that you have created. Amen. — MW