At the end of Genesis 7, God wants us to understand emphatically that nothing on the land survived the flood. Words like perished, died, and wiped out are used to make the point. I mean how could anyone expect anyone or anything on land to survive in water for 150 days, 40 of which were raining?
Sometimes I tell my children the same thing over and over again, and of course I open my mouth and I hear my mom say, “I sound like a broken record.” And of course they have no clue what that means, so I clarify – “like a scratched CD.” Sometimes it is because my children didn’t listen that I repeat myself, but other times, I repeat something for effect, and yet other times for emphasis. Sometimes you hear people repeat things with great emotion when they have suffered a tragic loss, and it’s just heartbreaking.
All those who perished in the flood were God’s creations. He had loved them, and yet they were so very wicked. They chose to stand against their Creator, and He regretted making them.
I wonder if perished, died, and wiped out are used so many times because God even in His righteous anger and discipline was suffering for the loss of these rebellious children. I wonder if it is written for affect – to make sure that no one has a doubt that God can and did destroy everything on the land. He has that kind of might, and yet He chooses to utilize self-restraint because He promised not to destroy the earth again by flood.
Wiped out – nothing of the old cultures remained. None of the people prior to the flood remained. When God opens the door of the ark, it doesn’t say that Noah and his family had to step over the corpses of those who were killed. No. They were wiped out. A clean slate. A new beginning. Beauty in a fresh start.
Sometimes there is something in our lives that needs to perish, die, or be wiped out, and God’s going to do that for you if you are His child. It’s isn’t always pleasant. It’s not easy, but God knows some things must die before some things can grow. Some relationships must end before He cultivates beauty and joy in your life. Sometimes things have to be wiped out before we find freedom. Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” We need our sins to be dead to us, so that we can live in freedom in God (Romans 6:10-12). Sin does not have to rule your life (Romans 6:12-14).
Our pride and ego needs to perish. Our gossiping tongues and foul language needs to die. Our hatred and anger must be wiped out. Allowing God to clean us, purify us, search us means allowing Him to get rid of the things that are not of Him. When we allow Him full access to our lives, our hearts, our minds and allow Him to purge us, then we can truly begin walking in His freedom, in a new life.