The Flood:Beware of Scoffers

Fossils speak of death, and death speaks of sin and judgment, not of creation and development. When correctly interpreted, whether theologically or scientifically, this world- wide witness in the very earth itself testifies of a sovereign Creator who controls and judges His creation. Rather than evolutionary progress over many ages, these stones cry out concerning a judicial termination of one age.

The Biblical record is complete with a first hand account of that great hydrodynamic convulsion with which God judged the wickedness of the antediluvian world. Whatever geological problems may be suggested, there can no longer be any question that, if the word of God be true, the Genesis Flood was a world covering, cataclysmic judgment imposed by the strong hand of God.

SEEK THE SAVIOR (2 Peter 3:8-9)

  • It will be a moment of sheer terror when unbelievers face a holy God and realize with absolute certainty that they are eternally lost. That must have been the feeling of the people of Noah's day when they saw the flood waters rise above their heads and knew the door to the ark was unalterably shut.
  • The ark symbolized many of God's future dealings with men. The Hebrew word for pitch, for example, has the same root (kaphar) as that used for atonement. The pitch kept the waters of judgment from entering the ark just as Christ's atoning blood keeps judgment from the sinner.
  • The exact length of the cubit during Noah's time is not certain, but using the lowest, most conservative figure it would be about seventeen and a half inches. On this basis, the ark was 438 feet long, 73 feet wide, and 44 feet high. In other words it was nearly one and a half times the length of a football field and more than four stories high. Since it had three decks, the total deck area was almost 96,000 square feet, and the total volume within the decks was about 1.3 million cubic feet. Naval engineers have discovered that the dimensions and shape of the ark form the most stable ship design known. The ark was not designed for maneuverability but for stability, in order to best protect those within it.
  • The ark is a beautiful picture of the salvation offered in Jesus Christ. The ark was easily large enough to hold all the animals needed to assure each species' survival. It had plenty of room for every person who wanted to come to God for safety. The fact that only eight persons came into the ark means that only eight wanted to be saved on God's terms. God does not wish "for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9). God's nature does not change. His will in Peter's time was the same in Noah's time. Only those perished in the Flood who rejected God's way of salvation. Had more come to Him for safety, we can be sure the ark would have accommodated them. Just so, Jesus' blood is more than sufficient to atone for all the sins ever committed since the Fall. That no more people are saved than are simply means that these are the only ones who want to be saved. Jesus declared absolutely that no one who comes to Him will be cast out (John 6:37).

"The Flood" Genesis 5-8

These chapters deal with the flood and the faith of Noah. It is impossible for us to mine all of the spiritual treasures here; we will limit ourselves to a fourfold study of this important event in Bible history.

THE FLOOD CONSIDERED HISTORICALLY

The Genesis record proves the fact of the flood.

  • Christ taught a literal Flood Matthew 24:37-39 "But as the days of Noah [were,] so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (NKJV), Luke 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: (NKJV).
  • The prophet Isaiah in 54:9 "For this [is] like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. "(NKJV).
  • The apostle Peter 1 Peter 3:20 "Who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while [the] ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water." 2 Peter 2:5 "and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, [one of] eight [people,] a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 2 Peter 3:6 "by which the world [that] then existed perished, being flooded with water." Archaeologists tell us that every ancient civilization had a flood tradition with details paralleling the Genesis account. It is likely that these stories (involving their fanciful gods and goddesses) were corruptions of the original history of the flood that was handed down from generation to generation.

The Purpose of the Flood

The purpose of the flood is stated in Genesis 6:5-13. Man had become corrupt, the earth was filled with violence, and God had to destroy mankind. There must always be judgment and death before there can be a new beginning. We will study the details in a later lesson.

The Method of the Flood

The ark was not a boat, but was rather a "floating box" made of cypress wood and pitched with bitumen. If we use a 24 inch cubit, its size would be 600' long, wide, and 60' high. With an 18-inch cubit the size becomes 450 x 75 x 45. In either case, the ark was large enough to hold the collection of animals, the food, and Noah's family. We do not know how many species of animals there were in that day. There-were three levels to the ark, with a window either in the roof of the top level or running all around the top level (6:16); and there was one door.

The flood itself was caused by the falling rain and the erupting of water from under the earth (7:11). One can well imagine the tremendous effects these would have on the surface of the earth, as well as on the climate. Gigantic tidal waves followed these eruptions. Gen. 2:5-6 suggests that the falling of rain was a new thing on the earth, which makes the faith of Noah even more wonderful.

The Schedule of the Flood

The schedule of the flood is clearly given in the record. If we count the year of Adam's creation as 1 then Noah was born in the year 1056. Gen. 6:3 indicates that God gave Noah 120 years to preach and build the ark (I Pt. 3:20), which means he was 480 Years old when he started (7:11). This would be the year 1536. The flood came in Noah's 600th year, which would be 1656; and on the 27th day of the second month in the year 1657, Noah and his family were back on dry ground (8:13ff). The daily schedule would look like this:

Month 2 (November) 1656

Day 10

They enter the ark (7:1-9)

Month 2 (November)

Day 17

The floods come (7:10-11)

Month 3 (December)

Day 26

The rains end (7:12)

Month 7 (April) 1657

Day 17

The ark rests (8:1-4)

Month 10 (July)

Day 1

Mountain-tops seen (8:5)

Month 11 (August)

Day 11

Sends out raven and dove (8:6-9)

Month 11 (August)

Day 18

Dove brings branch (8:10-11)

Month 11 (August)

Day 25

Dove fails to return (8:12)

Month 1 (October) 1657

Day 1

Noah opens ark (8:13)

Month 2 (November)

Day 27

They leave the ark (8:14ff)

We shall see later that the year 1656, and the date that the ark rested on Ararat, are very important.

THE Message of the FLOOD

CONSIDERED TYPICALLY the ark is a wonderful picture of our salvation in Christ.

  • It was planned by God, not invented by man.
  • There was only one way of salvation; there was only one door in the ark.
  • The ark was made of wood, speaking of the humanity of Christ: He had to be born as man in order to save us.
  • The word for "pitch" in 6:14 is the same as the word "atonement" used later in the OT.
  • God invited Noah and his family into the ark (7:2); and once they were in, God shut them in so that they were secure (7:16).
  • The ark not only saved mankind, but also the creatures within it; just as Christ's death will one day deliver creation from the bondage of sin.
  • The ark saved them from judgment; Christ saves us from the wrath to come. First Peter 3:18-22 connects the ark with the resurrection of Christ; the waters buried the old world but raised Noah to a new life.

If you will check the Flood schedule, you will see that the ark rested on Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month. The first month in the Hebrew calendar is October, so the 7th month would be April; and April 17th (three days after Passover, Exodus 12:1-3) is the day our Lord arose from the dead! April was made the first month of the religious year at the Passover, but October remains the first month of the civil year. 

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