1) The Flood covered the whole earth
One of the questions that always comes up is if this was a local flood or a global flood. The Bible makes it clear that it is a global flood but because people have a hard time thinking that the earth could be flooded they re- interpret scripture to fit their understanding instead of just allowing scripture to stand on their own.
Genesis 7:18-24 The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits[a] deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
Many believe that flooding was a natural and common occurrences in the region and that Noah built a boat that would float for a local flood. Christians like Dr. Hugh Ross believe that the flooding was only in that region because all of humanity lived in that region and there was no need for God to destroy the whole earth when Gods judgment was against mankind and not the rest of creation .
Dr. Hugh Ross became a Christian through studying science and coming to the conclusion that there is a God. His world view is that the earth is old and so everything he views in science and the Bible is based on that premise. If you believe the earth is millions of years old then it would be an impossible task for a global flood to take place because the fossil record would then not match your belief. People who believe that the earth is millions of years old believe that the fossil record reflects periods of animals that have lived and died over millions of years instead of in a cataclysmic event. People who believe in a young earth see the earths fossil record showing that the layers we see today happened in a global flood.
Windows of Heaven is not a term used for normal events in the Bible
Every time window of Heaven was used it was an act of God.What we can never forget is if you believe in God then you can believe in the Super Natural. God can step in and change the laws that He established anytime He wants. This may sound like a way to get out of answering the tough questions but the proof of what we see on the earth today is the result of a global flood.
Again, if someone believes the world is millions of years old then they will interpret the Bible from that point of view. They will try and make the Bible fit what they have been taught in Science class. Because my world view starts with the Bible to try and explain things, then I can let the word of God speak and then see what evidence shows if that is true. The Bible has not changed although some have interpreted it wrongly. Our understanding of the universe has changed over the years and so have our text books about it. I do not see anything in Science, History, Archeology, Geology and so forth that disproves what the Bible says if you just allow to speak for itself.
Genesis clearly says repeatedly that all the land breathing animals were destroyed. (Genesis 6:13; 7:4, 21-23) For that to happen then it would have to be a global flood.
Questions Local Flood People have to answer
A) Why would God tell Noah to build an Ark when he could have just moved to another region?
B) Why would God tell Noah to bring birds on board when they could have migrated?
C) If it was a local flood then how did the ark land on the mountain of Ararat?
E) If the flood was local then how did the water rise above the mountains (8 Meters) according to Genesis 7:20)
Many local flood people bring up the argument that even though 70% of the earth is covered by water it would be impossible to cover the highest mountains with the amount of water on the earth.
Psalm 104:5-9 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
See also Isaiah 54:9
Some say this verse is poetic language but it is clear that this verse is talking about the global flood. People will bring up arguments about Antarctica and the penguins there, but you must remember there are penguins in other parts of the world as well and Antarctica may not have been there before the flood. Some believe that the earth was a constant temperature world wide and it was after the flood that the ice age happened.
2) The Earth’s Landscape was changed forever
Genesis 8:1-5 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, 4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
Some believe that the shifting of the tectonic plates took place bringing water or volcanic activity changing the original design of God’s creation. When Noah and his family stepped off the boat they were shocked to now see a whole different world than the one they had experienced before the flood.
Because Scientist can observe the tectonic plates moving gradually they assume they always moved slowly. The flood was a very violent event and 13 times in Hebrew the word is used where we get the word cataclysm. The Bible describes a violent action that took place during the flood which matches what we see today.
2 Peter 3:5-6 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
One of the dangers of trying to make the Bible fit your view instead of making your view fit the Bible is the changing of wording so that your idea fits.
“All the High Mountains were covered”
The word all does not always mean all and can mean some or many. The danger in us choosing when we use the word all or some is then we can say all have not sinned (Romans 6:23), which is not true.
Again, because people are looking at things from two different points of view they both look at the same evidence and claim that this matches what they believe.
The Rock formations show a cataclysmic flood that not only changed the landscape of the earth but also show fossil records that match a flood scenario. Scientist believe the mountain ranges were formed when land masses shifted and ran into each other ( http://platetectonics.com/book/page_11.asp) but they believe this took millions of years. I believe the same thing but I believe the flood event was so violent that the earth changed rapidly. This is why I am not puzzled that they have found sea creatures high up in the Himalayas.
Marine fossils are found high up in the mountains in the Alp’s, often deposited with great violence (as suggested by the Jurassic marine fossils at the lower altitude on the north East Cost of Yorkshire near Whitby). The burial of large dinosaurs, by their thousands in Alberta and Montana, South Dakotas, Kansas and Colorado with the vast continental sedimentation (in some places thousands of feet thick) would not be possible without causing gigantic upheaval in other parts of the earth. It seems inconceivable that post-flood disasters could deposit such thick strata without causing violent effects all round the world. The scale, depth and the sheer number of fossils argues strongly that these must be part of the flood. (Flood Models, A.C. McIntosh and T. Edmondson and S. Taylor)
The Grand Canyon in the United States, the Uluru or Ayers Rock in Australia both point to a flood event. The Colorado River is said to have formed the Grand Canyon over a long period of time but evidence points to something different. The river rises at the end of the river which is backwards from the thought that a river slowly carved out the canyon, but makes total sense if it happened rapidly from a flood.
Another thing that is debated is whether or not the land could have recovered quick enough after a flood event for Noah and his family to survive. When Mt Saint Helens erupted in 1980 some thought the area would never grow vegetation again but within three years 90% of the plant species were already growing in the blast area that covered 200 square miles.
As you study this story and the possibilities of what happened there will be points and counterpoints to each side. The main focus I have is to allow the Bible to speak for itself but also knowing that the evidence that is found does not disprove the Bible.
3) The Promise God gave Noah
Genesis 9:11-17 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Gods promise to Noah is that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood. God did not want Noah living in fear when he saw a local flood or even a heavy storm. To reassure Noah God gave him a sign to remember the promise. The rainbow was either new to Noah or it was something that already existed and God used it as a reminder to him. Either way it was Gods special sign to Noah.
4) What does this mean for us?
A) God takes sin seriously
Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
If we do not take sin serious then we will miss out on the importance of why Jesus Christ came to die for our sins. God cannot have anyone in heaven that is not pure and the only way to be pure is through the blood of Christ. People have a hard time with this because like Cain they want to do it their own way. They have a hard time that a loving God would destroy so much of His creation. Many do not want to believe in a God that shows wrath but even in our own lives we want those who do wrong to be brought to justice.
We need to look at our own sin and know that God does take it seriously and serious enough to die for it. Paul asked the question should we go on sinning so grace can abound (Romans 6) NO. We need to never forget the price that God paid for us to not be destroyed by our sins.
B) God provides a way to escape the judgment that is coming.
The God who pours out wrath also provides a way of escape. The people of Noah’s day had a chance to get on the Ark and not die in their sins.
Gods Wrath will come to those who are in sin.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
God provided one way to escape the wrath. All roads do not lead to God only one. God not only provided the way back to Himself, He also let us know the way in which we can come.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There is only one door you can enter to escape that wrath
John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
C) God promises salvation from the upcoming wrath
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
We are saved not by what we do or have done but what Christ has done for us. If we believe in Jesus Christ than we can trust Gods promise to save us. The promise God gave Noah was that He would not destroy the earth by flood again. The promise God gives us is that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
We do not have to worry when we die if we are going to make it into heaven because we have the promises of God that reassure us that everyone who places their life in Christ will be saved.