When Noah was around 600 years old, Yahweh Elohim of the universe told Noah to do something crazy. He had looked upon the mankind which had multiplied and he saw that it was evil and perverse and sinful. Noah was the only righteous man on earth, so God would spare only him, his wife, his three sons, and his son’s wives.
Yah hated the depravity that his created humans had become, and he regretted making them. So he was going to bring a great Flood upon the earth, that would wipe all of the evil that existed. In order that Noah and his family would live, Yah told them to build an ark that would contain all that he was to save – seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal, and seven of every kind of bird. (One interesting thing to note about the clean vs. unclean animals is that even though the first definition of clean vs. unclean animals is commonly referred to as being during the giving of the law at Mount Sinai, we know that Noah, at least, knew the definition.)
Before the flood hit the land Noah loaded all of the animals and himself and his family into the ark he’d built. On the seventeenth day of the second month (of the Hebrew calendar), during the 600th year of Noah’s life, water flooded the whole earth, and Yah shut them in. And everyone – EVERYONE – died, all but those who were in the ark.
The waters were mighty upon the earth for 150 days, and eventually the ark rested on Mount Ararat. After over a year of being in the ark, Yah told Noah and his family to come out.
As we have already established, sanctions are the direct results, or consequences of a decision. In this case, many decisions. All of mankind had turned away from Yahweh, and the Bible says that every thought was evil. That’s pretty evil! So in this case, the sanctions for the peoples’ sins was death – immediately.
This was a completely legitimate punishment. Yah had given his people a chance, and they let him down by sinning against him and his law. And it has probably been said millions of times, YHWH hates sin!! So in order that the law be upheld, he needed to dole out punishment. The main idea that Yah needed to show was that they had broken covenant with him, which is a big deal!
After Noah and his family left the ark, Noah offered Yah a lot of sacrifices, one of each clean animal! And Yah was pleased with the aroma (and likely with the heart of thanks that Noah had) and he put a rainbow in the sky to symbolize his covenant with Noah. In Genesis 9:8-17, Yahweh tells Noah about his covenant – that he would never again flood the whole earth, and would remember that promise every time he saw a rainbow. The rainbow has since then come to represent other things, but for me it will always represent Yahweh’s promise to Noah.