In Noah’s day, man’s wickedness had spread through the world like a cancer. God looked down from Heaven in Genesis 6:5 and saw that the people He made in His image for a rich life of joyful fellowship with Him instead thought only about evil all the time.

Therefore, God decided to destroy the entire human race except for Noah and his family. He said in Genesis 6:7, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

The Hebrew word translated “destroy” here is colourful. As used here, it means “to wipe out” (Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145). Imagine you are not feeling well one day, and so you bring your supper to your room and eat it in bed. Then, after you finish eating, it somehow gets pushed under your bed and forgotten. A week later, you smell something funny and get down on your knees to peer under your bed. There’s the plate – covered with crusty, moldy, dried-out bits of mashed potato and chicken and gravy. You carry it downstairs, dump dish detergent all over it, let it soak, and then you take a scrubbing pad and you wipe out that food.

That’s how God uses this word in II Kings 21:13: “And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.”

In Genesis 6, God decided to wipe humanity off the earth like mouldy gravy off a plate. Such destruction was completely just, for mankind had failed to fulfill God’s purpose for him and was wholly corrupt and vile.

If you and I got what we deserved, we also would be wiped off the earth for our sins. We are rebels against God’s kingship; we deserve to be swept away in the flood of God’s righteous anger.

But Christian, instead of you being wiped out, your sins have been wiped out! God told His people Israel in Isaiah 43:25, ” I, even I, am he that blotteth out [same Hebrew word] thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” God, for His glory, has wiped away the rotten crud of your sins and made you shining and spotless in Christ.

Praise His name!