So... the infamous story of the flood. This is usually one of the Bible stories that is known by most everyone—even if they've never read a Bible. But I was struck again by the description of how incredibly corrupt all of life on earth had become. Verse 5 of the Message Bible puts it this way: "God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night."
Apparently, God’s creation had run seriously amok, and the evil was affecting everything: "As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core." (vs 11-12)
Yet, in the midst of the evil and madness, God noticed Noah. Verse 8 simply says, "But Noah was different. God liked what He saw in Noah." Noah, who had come down through the genealogical line from Adam, had managed to maintain a connection with God in the midst of his surroundings. When the whole of human society around him was shouting evil, Noah was still able to hear God’s good voice.
I like how Noah is singled out in this chapter. What it reveals to me is that God does not define us by our surroundings. He doesn’t define us by the culture in which we live. We may be in a place that seems dark and evil, but we need not adopt those characteristics. God sees us and relates to us as individuals, no matter our surrounding environment.
It’s unfortunate that so many on earth had lost the ability to hear God’s saving voice. It’s unfortunate that God knew He would only need a small boat. But, since God is able to read the heart, He sees us and knows us intimately, regardless of where we find ourselves. To Him, we are not "a village." We are individuals.