Bible Inquiries and Explanations
Q: If God knew he was going to destroy the Earth before the flood and start all over with Noah, why did he take the time to create Adam/Eve and all that before Noah? Why didn’t he just start with Noah?
A: Maybe for the same reason God doesn’t just start with the promised new heavens and earth at the end of Revelation. It wasn’t part of His eternal plan. I mean, all injustice, suffering and human cruelty could’ve been bypassed altogether if he had done so but God ordained the course of human history to go exactly as it has gone. Why God chose to permit sin and evil in his universe is one of those questions that brings us to the cliff’s edge of God’s secret knowledge. How a good and sovereign God can allow evil to exist has been debated by scholars, theologians and skeptics for centuries. But that’s not the question you asked, so – moving right along.
Your question appears to suggest that from the time of Adam up until the Flood was just a supreme waste of time and effort, since most of humanity ends up washed away by the Flood. However, the story of Adam and Eve explains mankind’s original honor and dignity in the garden of Eden. They lived in paradise and had communion with God. They had dominion and authority over the earth. They didn’t toil with the soil, feel pain, sorrow or suffer from sickness and death. Life was good. Then the Fall happened. Unbelief and pride entered their hearts and shattered the sweet fellowship with God they had enjoyed.
God judged the man and woman for their transgression. Disharmony, disease and death entered the world. Humanity has been feeling the effects ever since. God ordained that this should happen to our first parents so that he could deal His mercy to the human race as a whole. Adam sinned for us all because he stood as the representative for the whole human race. In this way Jesus Christ came as the second Adam, representing the people of God in redemption. If all sinned because of Adam then all can be saved through Jesus Christ.
After the Fall, humanity waxed worse and worse over the course of several centuries. Scripture, at one point says,
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5 ESV)
In his justice and wrath God pronounced judgment on a corrupt earth. However, Noah and his family found grace in God’s sight and he called Noah to be the means by which He would redeem his people and restore the world. This real historical event paints a vivid picture of god’s plan of redemption and renewal for His creation. God preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness (2 Pet 2:5), and all his family from His punishment of the wicked.
As it was in the days of Noah so shall it also be at the end of the age. People will marry, work and go about their daily lives right up until the moment of God’s final judgment and eternal punishment of the ungodly (Matt 24:37-39). Jesus Christ, the vessel of the Father’s salvation will gather all his people from every corner of the earth and deliver them from the wrath to come (Matt 24:30-31).
These lessons from history are for our benefit and learning. As humans, we love a good story. We can plainly see how God uses the drama of history as the driving narrative to demonstrate the reality of His character and the juxtaposition of His goodness to mankind’s evil. He beautifully depicts justice and grace, love and wrath in the annals of human history. We see it even in our everyday experience. God’s judgment and mercy are all around us, products of God’s providential reign over His creation. God’s story has relevance for each and every human being in history. How will we be written in to His drama? Will we play the role of the wicked who are swept away in judgment or the redeemed who find salvation in God’s Son?
And anyways, If God had started with Noah, then Noah would be the new Adam and Christ would be the second Noah, right?