Operation Wipe Off
Then the LORD said, “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor in the sight of the LORD (Genesis 6:7,8).
At times the words of God can be so extreme that they make us catch our breath. These are an example.
With an awesome display of his might, the Creator God had brought the universe into being. Singling out the blue planet, he loaded it with all sorts of animals and insects on the ground, and birds winging through the air. Into this mix he had placed humans. Beginning with two, the human race had multiplied and multiplied until the numbers became too great to count.
As the millenniums passed, the distance between humanity and divinity grew greater. The time came when the inclination of human hearts was only evil all the time. Then the Lord regretted that he had given them life. His heart was filled with pain. He initiated “Operation Wipe Off.”
As amazing as was his work of creation, so startling is his plan to clean up his creation. “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind…together with the animals, creatures that crawl and birds of the sky…”
We have seen what hurricanes can do. We have seen pictures of the destruction caused by tsunamis. Military forces have tried to wipe an enemy off of an island. But no one has ever tried to wipe off all life from the face of the earth—no one but the Creator and Lord of life.
Operation Wipe Off: The skies opened up to release torrents of water. The ground opened to free the underground reservoirs. Rooftops soon were covered. Treetops became too short. Finally, not even mountaintops were safe ground. Bloated bodies of all sorts bobbed on the raging waters.
For five months, water covered the planet. After the storm it took another five months before the tops of mountains could be seen. The great flood lasted for more than a year.
Then a fresh, clean earth appeared. Clean except for eight humans and the creatures rescued with them in an ark. The survivors were part of God’s plan. He did not want to wipe out life on the planet, he wanted to renew it.
Operation Wipe Off was a success, but only a partial one. Humans were still infected with sin. The planet was still under the curse of sin. But now there was hope.
Now there was a chance that those who loved and served the almighty God would survive and endure. Now there was a possibility that there would be some people of faith on the planet through whom the Savior of the world might come.
Never again would God destroy all creatures as he did with this flood. We have his promise on that. And just like with his promise of a Savior, this promise stands the test of time.
We stand as proof of the success of his saving plan and the heirs of his gracious promise.
Almighty Father, strong to save, not even our imaginations can capture what Operation Wipe Off was like. We are glad that we were not on earth at that time. But we also know that one day you will wipe out our entire universe and cleanse it from every trace of sin. We thank you that, like Noah, we have found favor in your eyes. We thank you for sending Jesus to our planet that we might be wiped clean of all of our sins. Because of Jesus, we need fear nothing that comes from your hands. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military