The passage of Genesis 7 v 21-23 must be some of the saddest verses in the whole of the bible. The same information is relayed no less than four times in these 3 verses.
“Every living thing perished…. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life died…. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out….Men and the creatures were wiped from the earth.”
A little research into trauma tells me that replaying the scene over and over again is a way of processing the information. Noah is in shock – even as the story is passed on through oral tradition it maintains that sense of dread. He can barely believe it has happened.
And the last sentence of this passage is the saddest of all.
“Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”
Being desolate is hard. Being desolate and on your own is even harder.
Elijah struggled with this in 1 Kings ch 18 v 22, then again in ch 19 and verse 10, and again in v 14.
Jesus struggled with it when his disciples could not stay awake in Gethsemane to pray alongside him (Matthew 26 v 40), and then again in that terrible cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
By way of comfort for anyone in this situation, Noah was not really on his own; Elijah was not really on his own. Jesus did take the lonely way, willingly. But because of his sacrifice on the cross, we have access to our Father. He will never leave us or forsake us. We have his promise,
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28 v20
He is only ever a prayer away.