I can't even begin to imagine what Noah must have felt like when the Lord "shut him in" (Gen. 7:16) that incredible ark. I would have been wondering what in the world was happening to me and how I had managed to get myself into that mess. Thankfully I wasn't Noah because I'm not sure if I would have had the guts to follow through with all that God asked him to do. God's Word is clear, though: Noah did what God commanded. I wish I was as willing to do that as Noah was. Instead, I make up excuses for why I don't really need to do all that I am asked. I love the part where God decides that He will never flood the earth again. His reason? The intention of man's heart is evil from youth. It has to do with the sin-nature we inherited from Adam and Eve. So instead of flooding the earth again and wiping it clean off all unholiness, God determines that He will use other means to redeem humanity that have yet to be introduced (foreshadowing???).
The Tower of Babel is one of my favorite stories in this first part of Genesis. God wiped the earth clean with a flood, but people went back to their sinful ways. They began construction of a tower that would reach up to heaven and proclaim their amazingness; it would exude their glory. Biblical history, however, teaches us a very important lesson: God will share his glory with no man. Once again, man's efforts are thwarted when God confounds their speech and sends them in different directions across the globe. The effort to bring glory to themselves didn't work then, and it won't work now: a hard lesson to learn, but one of great importance.