Genesis 7:7-24 The Flood.
Before we once again see the division and enmity working itself out in Noah’s sons, it is important to bear in mind that they were all rescued because of the covenant which the LORD made with Noah. Noah’s entire family experienced the outward benefits of the covenant (v. 7). It is also important to remember that it was an administration of the same covenant of grace as was entered into with Adam after the fall, in reality the former was a renewal of the latter. Furthermore, Noah not only obeyed the LORD’s command to save two of every unclean animal, but by also saving seven of every clean animal, Noah was expressing the righteousness which comes by faith (vv. 8-9). “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Noah heard the LORD’s word regarding the need for substitutionary atonement, and in faith he made the provision necessary for it.
It is also important to keep in mind that the covenant of grace is meant to restore the whole of creation to its original state and purpose. The great commission given to Noah in his day, was a foretaste of that Great Commission that would later come from the lips of the Lord Jesus (Mt. 28:18-20). We see this in the fact that Noah was to save the animals, even the “unclean” in pairs. This was so that they once again might be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Ch. 1). In obeying this command Noah was fulfilling the dominion mandate given in (1:26-28). This was also another reason for Noah’s children to be included in the commission given to them-they would be the ones to carry forward the human race. It is also critical to note how the author, in this case Moses, is very concerned to root these coming events in history, with specific dates and times involving real historical people (vv. 10-12).
So the flood is no myth. The events and people lived in the flow of history, and the focus here is on redemptive or salvation history. The events speak to a new administration of the one covenant of grace, coupled with covenant lawsuit judgment on men who failed to maintain covenant fidelity. People had plenty of time to repent. It took Noah and the family several years to build the ark and one week to fill it (6:3; 7:4). Forty days and forty nights also carries a salvation history significance. “Forty is a conventional number for a long time and signals the introduction of a new age: by Noah, Moses (Ex. 24:18); Elijah (1Kin. 19:8); Christ (Acts 1:3)” (NGSB p. 20). These events signalled a new phase in redemptive history. So Noah and his family entered the ark with the other creatures, an ark which they built based on the general guidelines which the LORD had given.
We also read that as soon as they all entered the ark “as God had commanded him,” that “the LORD shut him in” (v. 16). This is significant. He shifts from the title of God to that of the covenant making and covenant keeping LORD. Noah does not shut himself up in safety and protection from the judgment deserved, rather it is the LORD who shuts the door. The covenant LORD sovereignly makes a final separation between the ungodly and Noah with his family. “Elsewhere in Scipture doors provide safety for God’s people in times of judgment. Behind closed doors while God rained down judgment on the wicked, Lot (19:10), Israel (Ex. 12:23), and Rahab (Josh. 2:19), found safety. Jesus uses this symbol of separation in describing the safety of the righteous in the day of the Lord’s coming (Matt. 25:10-13)” (NGSB p. 21). So the total number of days, from the time they entered the ark was 150 (v. 24).