There was the idea that if the whole class was punished then those who did no wrong could put some peer pressure on those who had misbehaved and it wouldn't happen again.
Reference: v. 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (NIV Bible)
Explore: When I was in primary school the greatest punishment a teacher could give was holding you in over recess or lunchtime. As these playtimes were often the best part of school, it was incredibly painful to miss any part of it. I was generally a very well behaved student. I admired many of my teachers and worked hard to seek their approval. And so the only times I was really kept in from recess or lunchtime was when the majority of the class had been naughty or noisy and the teacher would keep us all in. There was the idea that if the whole class was punished then those who did no wrong could put some peer pressure on those who had misbehaved and it wouldn't happen again. The real reason, however, was because the teacher was unable to determine who had been noisy and who had been well-behaved, so everyone was punished. To a well-behaved student this did not really seem fair, but I guess it was better than the days where teachers could administer the cane!
Application: God did not treat humanity like the classroom. While the majority of people were wicked and had turned from him there was one man who had not. And so, instead of keeping everyone in at recess time, God discerned who should be punished and who could live.
God does not lump us all in the same category. No matter what family we come from, what we have done in the past and who we associate with, God sees our heart and knows if we are blameless or not. While the treatment of people on earth may seem unfair and unjust, God loves us and desires the best for us. May we have eyes like God, that see people's hearts and not lump then into stereotypes.
Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to see as you do. Amen.
When have you been treated unfairly? What did it teach you?