The Genesis reading tonight is all of the seventh chapter of Genesis. But I want to begin by reading four verses from the sixth chapter that tell us why God did what he did. The translation is by Professor Robert Alter, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley:
And the Lord saw that the evil of the human creature was great on the earth and that every scheme of his heart’s devising was only perpetually evil. And the Lord regretted having made the human on earth and was grieved to the heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe out the human race I created from the face of the earth, from human to cattle to crawling thing to the fowl of the heavens, for I regret that I made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.