In the other Flood story, with seven of each clean animal saved, Noah built an altar as soon as he left the ark. The story said Noah’s act of devotion moved the Lord’s (Heb. Yahweh) heart. Based on that, the Lord “thought to himself” that he would never flood the earth again despite the fact that “the ideas of the human mind are evil from their youth” (verse 21).
- Old Testament Survey by LaSor, Hubbard and Bush wrote of this remarkable passage: “The very same condition which affords the grounds for God’s terrible judgment (“every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually,” 6:5) is also the grounds for his grace (“for the inclination of the human heart is evil from his youth,” 8:21).” What makes you particularly aware of your need for God’s grace? Are you able to trust that God’s grace is really for you?
- Verse 21 used “anthropomorphism” (“ascribing human traits to a being who isn’t human, esp. God”), saying God “smelled the pleasing aroma.” Ephesians 5:2 called Jesus a “fragrant offering.” Clearly, Ephesians did not mean that the crucifixion smelled good in a physical sense. So then what was it about Noah’s and Jesus' sacrifices that pleased God? How can you make your life a pleasing sacrifice?