The importance of them were very great. The Bible says that people’s thoughts and actions were continually evil. It says that God was ‘sorry’ that he had made mankind. So God sent a flood to destroy mankind from off the earth. The flood would be one massive sanction on all of mankind, to punish them for all the evil they commit. Since God cannot tolerate sin, he incurred a sanction on unethical people, all being part of His plan.
But there was one who found grace in the eyes of God, a man called Noah, who was seen as righteous. Thus, because of Noah’s ethics (and God’s election that caused him to be ethical), he was saved from the flood. God spared Noah and his family from certain doom and told them to build an ark to protect them from the great cataclysm. He also sent animals into the ark that they might multiply again after the flood, two of every unclean beast, and seven of every clean one. So God provided hope and a haven for people being Noah and his family
God opened up the heavens and the ‘fountains of the deep’ and it rained upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Then Noah and his family were safe from death and destruction by means of the ark. After the rain subsided, Noah sent out a dove to scout out if the land had dried. Three times he sent out the dove. The second time the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak. The third time, the dove returned not.
Even after the flood, the importance of sanctions remained, well, important. The Bible says that Noah became an husbandman and grew vineyards. It recounts how one time Noah got drunk, and that Ham, Noah’s second son, walked into his tent and saw him unclothed. Instead of leaving and forgetting about it, he went and told his brothers. Shem, the eldest, and Japheth, the youngest, took a blanket and walked backward into Noah’s tent and covered him.
When Noah sobered and found out what happened, he cursed Ham and his descendants to be servants to his brother’s descendants. A heavy consequence Noah laid on Ham. This is proof that ethic’s and sanction’s importance were still immensely prominent.
Fact is that ethics and sanctions were centralized in the time of Noah and the flood. We can’t deny that the flood was a sanction on the wicked, being part of God’s plan, and the sparing of Noah an election by God.