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Apparently, the author of Genesis considered the flood to be important, it occupies 3 1/2 chapters of the 1st 11 chapters of Genesis. In a book which concerns itself with the origin of the universe, the nature of humanity and sin, the writer of Genesis still takes time to tell us about the flood. The first part of this chapter is nothing more than God giving Noah directions to get aboard the boat it's as simple as that (Gen 7:1). A period of 120 years of grace has passed during which time Noah has faithfully given the warning and built the ark. But now the day has come when God tells Noah and his household to get into the Ark. (Gen 7:2-5)
Verse four says load the boat because in 7 days the flood will begin, 40 days and after 40 nights of intense rain are coming and everything outside the arc would be destroyed. (Gen 7: 6-9)
This takes us to the second part of this passage we have is a description of the flood. Verse 10 give us the time of the flood and verse 11 gives us the source of the flood. It says on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth and the floodgates of heaven were opened. This is a very important because it says the water came from below the surface of the earth and from above the surface of the earth. The great deep is a reference to the subterranean water. One author I read says that this view implies volcanic eruptions and underground earthquakes leading to the uprising and outflow of water. The other source of water was from above. It talks about the floodgates of heaven being opened which is clearly talking about a torrential down pour. Furthermore, if there was a great amount of water in the subterranean came overflowing and erupting upon the surface of the earth then there would be enough water to cover it the surface of the earth.
The author then goes on to tell us the extent of the flood, and the effect of the flood. (Gen 7: 17-20) This passage describes the increase of water until it covered the mountains. I believe it clearly teaches a universal flood over the whole earth and not a local flood.
The effect of the flood was that all living things that breathed air outside the ark died. (Gen 7: 21a-24) The description of the flood concludes by noting that water flooded the earth for 150 days which includes the 40 days of the rain. It's offered as further proof that everything perished because no living thing could survive submerged under 15 Cubits (over 20 feet) of water even above the highest point of land.
I know most of you accept this because most people in this church believe the Bible is the word of God. When the Bible says something is true, I know most of you accept it without argument. I have shocking news for you, not everybody's feels that way. There are even many people who identify as Christians who don't accept things that the Bible say, just because the Bible says it. And there is a much larger group of people out there who don't accept anything as true that is written in the bible. For those reasons I’d like to unpack this a little further.
I'm going to give you 5 arguments for the case that the biblical flood was real event and a world-wide event.
Number one, it’s the plain statement of Genesis that this is what happened. “And all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered with water. (verse 19) The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits and the mountains were covered”. (verse 20).
The second is the reason for and the nature of the Ark. Had the flood been local then Noah and his household could have simply migrated to some other place. After all they had 120 years to do so. As a matter fact, animals migrate all the time and that kind of thing is common even today. It’s not unusual for animals to travel 100’s if not 1000’s of miles to escape conditions of drought or flood. Furthermore, the size of the ark was much too massive for a local flood. A commentary I read said “to have built a vessel of such magnitude simply for the purpose of escaping a local flood is inconceivable”. I agree with that statement.
Third reason, after the flood God promised Noah that he would never again destroy the earth by water. He specifically says so later in (Gen 9: 11) If the Genesis flood we're simply a local flood, then this covenant promise would not have been needed and it would have already been broken 100’s of times.
There have been many local and regional floods on the earth since Noah's time. God promised not to destroy the whole earth again by water The worldwide phenomenon of the rainbow reminds us of a worldwide flood and the promise that a worldwide event like that will never ever happen again.
No 4 The New Testament itself says that a worldwide flood occurred. Peter says in (2 Peter 2:5) the world that had previously existed perished by being flooded with water. If there was no universal flood, then the New Testament is in error.
No 5 Jesus Himself said the flood was universal. This is Jesus speaking; “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all”. (Luke 17: 27) This means Jesus himself said this happened, and confirmed that everyone and everything outside of the Ark perished. If there was no worldwide flood, then Jesus spoke in error on this issue.
I think is one more argument a powerful reason for believing that the flood was a world-wide event? Even if I were not a Christian and I didn't believe the Bible was the word of God, the next argument would give me cause to pause to think about what happened. The sixth reason I believe that the flood was universal is because there are traditions all over the world telling of a worldwide flood. Hundreds of flood stories and traditions have been found in every part of the world including both eastern and western hemispheres. One author I read describes and quotes specific traditions from Europe, Asia, Australia, the E Indies, Polynesia, South America, Central America, North America and Africa. Another author went so far as to say that the majority of nations all over the world have a flood tradition in their ancient writings. Stories of a great flood and some form of new creation are so common to so many people in different parts of the world between whom no kind of historic communication seem possible that the notion seems almost to be a universal feature of human imagination. It’s incredible that every primitive society seems to have a story of a universal flood and those stories and traditions are all over the face of the earth. If there was in fact a worldwide flood such as the one described in Genesis, then worldwide stories and traditions would be exactly what one would expect to see springing up all over the place, and indeed that is indeed what has happened. In fact, if there were no such traditions opponents of the Genesis flood would argue that a lack of circumstantial evidence like this would be strong evidence against the occurrence of a universal flood.
The whole reason this passage was placed in our bible was because the author wanted to convince the readers of the authenticity of a universal flood. Many Christians who I know, and respect think otherwise on this issue. However, I just want you to know that there is evidence for a universal flood outside of the Bible and my point is that believing in a universal flood is reasonable thing to do.
Let's suppose we can forget for a moment whether or not there was an actual world-wide flood and I just looked at the passage and asked, what's the message of the passage? What is the passage teaching us spiritually? Although the facts of the story are important, they are only important because the uphold a spiritual truth. The story provides a framework upon which we can hang some vitally important spiritual lessons. So, I want to close by reminding you of what this story actually teaches us, and I'd like to suggest 3 things.
In the 1st place, the flood is a witness to the sovereignty of God. God as creator God can sovereignly choose to work his salvation plan for mankind according to His plans and purposes.
Secondly is also teaches us about the power of God both in the affairs of men and in the course of nature. The stories purpose is to demonstrate that God is powerful, and God is sovereign.
The 3rd point is the story of the flood is that it stands as a warning that a just sovereign God will judge evil. The universal flood is a graphic reminder that there will be a universal judgment. Maybe that's why some want to argue that it was just a local flood because then they don't have to worry about a sovereign just God judging people. The concept of a universal judgment on man’s sin warning as it does of another great judgement yet to come is profoundly offensive to the intellectual and moral pride of modern man. Some want to make this story almost appear like a fairy tale because they don’t wish to face the fact that there was a once a universal judgment because it stands as a warning of another yet to come. Some will say because is was only a local flood for a local situation, they can then argue that there are no moral or ethical repercussions for the lives, we live today
In trust that in the power of the Holy Spirt ad in the name of Christ Jesus, I pray that God will reveal to everyone here this morning that God provided a mean of by which we all might escape the coming flood and find safety in His presence.
Because (John 3:16)