20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Isn’t it interesting that the Lord preserved through the flood the life of some of the animals and birds simply so Noah could offer them up to Him in a sacrifice of thanksgiving? These creatures were put on the ark so that they would be killed, not in the waters of God’s wrath, but in the fires of worship. In the context of this aroma of worship God makes His covenant with the creation and gives the sign of the rainbow.
We also are saved from drowning in the waters of God’s wrath only to be called to lay down our lives in worship. Because of Christ we do not die to God in rebellion but submission. It is not a matter of dying or living. Rather, it is simply a question of which kind of death we will choose. We do not want to be those who lose our life cursing the rain. We want to be those who are baptized through the waters and lay down our lives as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to the Lord. As we do this, the earth that was once covered in water will one day be covered in glory.