Home

Recap:

So far we have looked at the account of creation, Adam and Eve, Adam’s family tree, the reason for the Flood, Noah, and God’s instructions to him to build the Ark.


Read Genesis 7


1 The LORD then said to Noah, Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.


Note the kindness of God – only Noah was found righteous, yet his whole family was saved. This passage is reminiscent of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, where not ten righteous men were found, but the Lord saved Lot, his wife, and his daughters.


2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,

3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.


Here the instructions to Noah are expanded – there are to be seven of every bird, and every ‘clean’ animal. A practical reason as far as birds are concerned, as by their nature, finding mates once they have dispersed from the Ark could be a problem. But what were the clean animals?

Animals suitable and available for sacrifice? There are no recorded instructions in the bible so far concerning what might be acceptable. Or were these the domesticated animals, again to ensure sufficient breeding stock?


4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.


The geological, hydrological, even astronomical processes leading to the flood were in place and had probably started. There was no going back. The Lord had spoken and judgement would be carried out.


5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

Is there any record of anyone else asking to join Noah and his family?


Is it likely that Noah faced opposition and ridicule from those around him during the years it had taken to build the Ark?

Yet Noah had been faithful and obedient.


6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.

Is age a bar to serving God?


7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.

8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground,

9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.


Noah and his family entered the Ark and the animals came to him.

When Noah had done what he could, the Lord did the rest.

Is that a principle that applies to us today?


10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month— on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.

12 And rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.

13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.

14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings.

15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.

16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.

17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.


This passage reinforces what we have just read. An interesting addition is in verse 16 Then the LORD shut him in. I have in my mind a wide gangway like a drawbridge, leading to an opening into the Ark that could well be below water level when the Ark was afloat. Unless it was well sealed from the outside this would potentially lead to leaks. ‘No problem’ says the Lord, ‘I’ll see to that’.


And look at verse 11: In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—


At this point, before the flood changed the world forever, it seemed important to record the exact date. But that related to the old world, in a year’s time that would all be forgotten.  


Now the second part of the verse: on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.


In our second study in Genesis we considered water trapped in the earth. Scientists tell us that there are still vast subterranean reserves. We also looked at the possibility of a massive ‘bubble’ of water surrounding the earth. From the fossil record it is obvious that the climate before the flood was very much that of a greenhouse, with tropical forests covering much of the world. The Bible also tells us that so far, there had been no rainfall (Genesis 2:5-6).


Some plants and animals grew to vast sizes. Today some of these still exist, but much smaller now, some of the plants and animals, especially dinosaurs, were not able to adapt to the changed climate after the flood and many became extinct.


So what actually happened? Obviously a major series of earthquakes releasing subterranean water and the collapse of the water canopy occurred at the same time. Whether this was caused by an astronomical event, or simply by the direct intervention of God we can only speculate. But the result was irreversible, devastating, and final.

17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.

18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.

19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.

20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.

21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished— birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.

22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.

23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.


We have all witnessed the results of sustained heavy rain. Do you remember Boscastle on 16th of August 2004? When 5 inches of rain (125mm) fell during the afternoon causing devastating local flooding. At its peak, nearly an inch (2.4mm) fell in 15 minutes.


Many will also remember the flood at Lynmouth 16 years earlier (to the day) when 9 inches (229mm) of rain fell in 24 hours. Overnight over 100 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged along with 28 of the 31 bridges, and 38 cars were washed out to sea. In total, 35 people died, with a further 420 made homeless. (Wikipedia).


During the monsoon season, some parts of India can receive 3 feet of rain during the June to September season.


But this was no flash flood, this was no monsoon. Unimaginable quantities of rain fell for forty days and nights. But more than that, floodwaters from within the earth’s core added to the devastation:

V17 For forty days the flood kept coming

V18 The waters rose

V19 They rose greatly on the earth

V20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.


It is possible that at this time, the mountains had not been pushed up to their current heights as so much geological movement was taking place, now and after the flood. Many mountains were caused when tectonic forces pushed up the original base rock, sometimes pushing through the overlying sedimentary rock, still wet and fluid after the flood, and sometimes carrying it up. Rocks at the summit of Mount Everest consist of limestone with traces of fossils.


Sedimentary rock , when it is hard doesn’t bend – think of slate.


( http://o.quizlet.com/qVQoLaJPAbcqoLxD3ZtjEg_m.jpg will take you to a photo of folded sedimentary rock.)


Much folding of the soft sedimentary layers also took place at this time and the runoff of so much water, caused deep chasms in the soft rocks – like the Grand Canyon.


Other mountains, like Ararat were caused by volcanic activity – probably at the same time as the flood events.

21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished— birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.

22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.

23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.


God cannot be ignored. Men turn their backs on him and say he doesn’t exist. But there will come a day when at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)


24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.


For those who struggle with the concept of a young earth and prefer a long geological time-scale, a visual aid might be appropriate at this point. Obtain a large glass jar (or clear plastic jar – like they sell old-fashioned sweets in – or even a coke bottle) with a well-fitting lid! Fill this half full with garden soil (not compost) and fill the jar with water. Shake it up, then give the jar a good stir, causing the water to swirl round and round. Put the jar down and wait until all has settled. The end result should be several distinct layers of strata – a miniature version of what was going on during the flood.


Gently tip the jar and empty the water out. Watch how the layers of strata are or could easily be deformed.



Genesis 8Genesis 6








Free small group Bible Study guides, commentary, lessons, questions and other material. For the PDF version click   HERE

Genesis 7:1-24 The Flood