When God first created people, He announced that His creation was good. Everything was beautiful. But then the devil came along and tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. She took some, and gave some to Adam. Adam knew better than to eat the fruit, but he ate anyway. Ever since that time, the world has been in chaos and was not the same world that was there at the beginning of creation.
The first murder took place. Many more followed. In Genesis 6, the people became so wicked that the Bible says they were even making new ways of being evil! But there was a man named Noah who feared God and believed that God would do what He said.
God was obviously not happy with the human race at this point. He chose Noah to build an ark and gave Noah specific instructions on how to build the ark. Noah's family was to go on this ark, along with a certain number of animals that they were to care for during the journey on the ark. God was going to destroy anyone who was not on this ark by means of a global flood.
The ark took several years to build, yet, no one wanted to repent of their sin and turn to God for help. I'm sure many laughed at Noah and joked about God's judgment that was about to come. God was patient though, and the time finally did come for Noah and his family to go into the ark, with the animals.
The ark was pretty big, despite the fact that we have toys depicting a very small ark with animals sticking their heads out as if they were bigger than the ark! But the toys are not accurate. Noah and his family lived on this ark for many, many days, while the rain poured down. Day and night it was raining. Noah and his family were not familiar with rain until now. After Noah and his family got onto the ark, God closed the door and no one else was able to get on after that point. They were safely in the ark now, and would be on for many days, until the rain stopped and the water subsided. Sadly, it took the people by surprise and they weren't able to survive this kind of flood.
I can't imagine what a horrible scene that must have been while the rain was coming down relentlessly. People were taken by surprise and there was no place of refuge for them to go to. It was now too late. Their opportunity to repent was over. The could have chosen to turn away from sin, while there was time, but they didn't.
The time did come for Noah and his family to get out of the ark. They were in the ark for at least 150 days and when the waters were subsided enough for them to get out, Noah, his family, and all the animals exited the ark.
God made a promise to Noah. He promised that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood like that one. God gave the sign of a rainbow to Noah of His covenant.
"I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-16 ESV
So when we see a rainbow, it reminds us of the time God judged the earth through a global flood. We also remember God's promise to us that He will never again destroy the earth by means of a flood.
Will the earth ever have a judgment though, again? In Genesis, God says He will not destroy the earth again by creating a flood, but it doesn't say that He won't use something else.
When Noah and his family got off the ark, they were the only ones left on earth. The problem of sin would still continue, because Noah was a descendent of Adam, and all of Adam's offspring were going to be sinners. That included Noah and his family.
It didn't take long for sin to start up again, for sinful activities started occurring not too long after the flood was over. We can see throughout the Old Testament that people continued to sin. God made a promise to the devil, when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, the He would send someone who was going to defeat the devil. Throughout the Old Testament, people sinned, but they offered bloody lamb sacrifices to cover their sin. This was to happen until the true Lamb of God would come and permanently take people's sins away. This happened around 2,000 years ago when God sent His son, Jesus, the Messiah, to live a perfect life without sin, then die in our place to pay for our sins. After Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, but arose from the dead on the third day and later on ascended back to heaven.
People sinned grievously in Noah's day. People still sin grievously today. That's why we need a Savior from sin. We need someone to rescue us from our sins. We need someone qualified to take our sins away, but also to give us new life and a new heart that doesn't want to sin, along with the power to overcome sin.
God will never destroy the world again with a flood. But, God has warned us that He will again destroy the earth, but it will be with fire instead of with water. Everything that is not cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ will be destroyed. "They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:4-7 ESV
There will be 2 major judgments on earth. One was done by water, but the next will be done by fire. Both prejudgment scenes had or will have scoffers and those who want to hold onto their sins, while denying reality.
Are we hopeless? Not at all. We can't hold onto our sins and escape God's judgment, yet, we can let go of our sins and not fall under God's judgment. We can be covered with Christ's blood and will not have to face the horrible judgment that the world will face One Day. The choice is up to us on how we will respond.
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