Up until 150 years ago, the Genesis Flood was the accepted explanation for the major geologic features on earth. Today little consideration is given to it except by those who read the Bible. It is dismissed as a children’s Sunday School story, even though the memory of a global flood is found in the ancient writings of almost every culture. Here are the high points for your adult consideration:
1. It was global in scope. To underscore its veracity, 3 of the first 8 chapters of Genesis are dedicated to the Flood, giving us an exact timeline and dozens of details. Genesis 7 says the rain continued 40 days until the water covered all the high mountains and remained at that high water mark until the 150th day when it began to recede. Where did all the water come from? Genesis 1:7 says that “God separated the waters that were above the sky from the waters below the sky.” In other words, there was a water canopy (ice rings?) encircling the earth prior to the Flood giving it a tropical climate and protecting humanity from the aging effects of the sun. But at God’s command, “all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and floodgates of the sky were opened.” So there was water from above and great subterranean waters from below. This means there was great volcanic and geologic activity in the Flood. Where did the water go afterwards? It’s still here with us. 70 percent of our planet is still covered with water.
2. The ark was huge. Many wonder how Noah fit so many animals on the ark. In their classic book, The Genesis Flood, Morris and Whitcomb the number of air-breathing animals taken aboard the ark at 35,000, the average size that of a sheep. As the largest ship ever built until the steel ships of the 19th century, the ark easily handled this number. The ark was 450 feet long (1 ½ football fields), 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high with a capacity of 1.5 million cubic feet, equal to 569 railroad stock cars. 30% of the ark held the livestock with 70% remaining for food storage and living space. Remember also that Noah didn’t have to catch the animals. God brought them to him (possibly when the animal instinct of migrating prior to natural disaster began). Most also hibernated during the voyage, minimizing the work of feeding and clean-up that Noah had to do.
3. The impact of the Flood continues. Psalm 104 credits the Flood with the formation of the great mountains and grand canyons throughout the world today—“The mountains rose; the valleys sank down to the place which You established for them.” In fact, it’s likely that there were no great mountains or canyons until the Flood. Plant and animal matter compressed under hundreds of feet of sediment also accounts for the oil fields and coal mines that provide us with fossil fuels. The gradual extinction of beasts like behemoth and leviathan (Job 40-41) also occurred due to rapid climate change. The unshielded effects of the sun soon reduced the lifespan of mankind to less than 200 years. Most tragic of all, an entire generation was destroyed because they would not repent at Noah’s preaching and turn back to the God who loved them and made them.
Why maintain our belief in Noah’s Flood? 2 Peter 3:7 says it is by remembering God’s past judgment that we keep from being caught unaware by the judgment to come. For “by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” Jesus said the same thing, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.” I write this in love for two reasons: So you won’t be caught unprepared and to urge you to remind your friends in love that there is a way to escape the judgment to come. Our ark is the Lord Jesus Christ who promises salvation to everyone who believes in Him.