Was Noah’s flood global or local?

Answer: When one examines the biblical passages, it is clear that the flood was global. Genesis 7:11 states that “all of the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” It is apparent from Genesis 1:6-7 and 2:6 that the pre-flood environment was much different from that which we experience today. Based on these and other biblical descriptions, as well as the fossil record and present geological findings, it is reasonably speculated that at one time the earth was covered by some kind of water canopy. This canopy could have been a vapor canopy or could have consisted of rings, somewhat like Saturn’s ice rings. This, in combination with a major layer of water underground, both being released upon the land (Genesis 2:6) would have resulted in a global flood.

The clearest verses that show the extent of the flood are Genesis 7:19-23: “And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.”

In the above passage we not only find the word “all” being used repeatedly, but we also find phrases such as “and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered,” “the waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered” (enough to allow the ark to pass over them safely), and “all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man,” etc. If these descriptions are not meant to describe a universal flood covering the whole earth, I don’t know how God could have made it clearer. Also, if the flood was only localized, why did God instruct Noah to build an ark instead of merely causing the animals to migrate and telling Noah to do the same? And why did He instruct Noah to build an ark large enough to house all of the different kinds of land animals found on the earth today. One might note that even dinosaurs start out small, and it would not have been necessary for Noah to have brought fully grown animals onto the ark.

God did instruct Noah to put two of every land animal (aquatic wildlife was excluded) onto the ark (Genesis 6:19-22) with the exception of ceremonial clean animals and for all birds, of which he was to have seven of each kind on the ark (Genesis 7:2-3).

Peter also describes the universality of the flood in 2 Peter 3:6-7 in which he states: “by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” In these verses Peter compares the “universal” coming judgment to the flood of Noah’s time and states that the world that then existed was flooded with water. Also, God’s promise (Genesis 8:21; 9:11, 15) never again to send such a flood has been broken repeatedly if it were only a local flood. Further, all men in the world today are said to have descended from Noah’s three sons (Genesis 9:1, 19) and many later Biblical writers accepted the historicity of the worldwide Flood (Isaiah 54:9; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7). Lastly, the Lord Jesus Christ believed in the universal Flood and took it as the type of the coming destruction of the world when He returns (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26, 27).

There are many extra-biblical evidences that point to a worldwide catastrophe such as a global flood. The vast fossil graveyards found on every continent, the large amount of coal deposits that would require the rapid covering of vast quantities of vegetation, the fact that oceanic fossils are found upon mountain tops around the world, the over 270 flood stories from all parts of the world, and the large extent of geological formations showing vast layers of sedimentary deposits (including those found in the Grand Canyon) all lend credence to the occurrence of a global flood.

My Utmost for His Highest

June 3rd

The secret of the Lord

The secret (friendship R.V.) of the Lord is with them that fear Him. Psalm 25:14.

What is the sign of a friend? That he tells you secret sorrows? No, that he tells you secret joys. Many will confide to you their secret sorrows, but the last mark of intimacy is to confide secret joys. Have we ever let God tell us any of His joys, or are we telling God our secrets so continually that we leave no room for Him to talk to us? At the beginning of our Christian life we are full of requests to God, then we find that God wants to get us into relationship with Himself, to get us in touch with His purposes. Are we so wedded to Jesus Christ’s idea of prayer—“Thy will be done”—that we catch the secrets of God? The things that make God dear to us are not so much His great big blessings as the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us; He knows every detail of our individual lives.
“… him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.” At first we want the consciousness of being guided by God, then as we go on we live so much in the consciousness of God that we do not need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing any other will never occur to us. If we are saved and sanctified God guides us by our ordinary choices, and if we are going to choose what He does not want, He will check, and we must heed. Whenever there is doubt, stop at once. Never reason it out and say—‘I wonder why I shouldn’t?’ God instructs us in what we choose, that is, He guides our common sense, and we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually saying—‘Now, Lord, what is Thy will?’

Streams in the Desert

June 3

“Let us pass over unto the other side.” (Mark 4:35)

EVEN when we go forth at Christ’s command, we need not expect to escape storms; for these disciples were going forth at Christ’s command, yet they encountered the fiercest storm and were in great danger of being overwhelmed, so that they cried out in their distress for Christ’s assistance.
Though Christ may delay His coming in our time of distress, it is only that our faith may be tried and strengthened, and that our prayers may be more intense, and that our desires for deliverance may be increased, so that when the deliverance does come we will appreciate it more fully.
Christ gave them a gentle rebuke, saying, “Where is your faith?” Why did you not shout victory in the very face of the storm, and say to the raging winds and rolling waves, “You can do no harm, for Christ, the mighty Savior is on board”?
It is much easier to trust when the sun is shining than when the storm is raging.
We never know how much real faith we have until it is put to the test in some fierce storm; and that is the reason why the Savior is on board.
If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, your strength will be born in some storm.—Selected.

“With Christ in the vessel,
  I smile at the storm.”

Christ said, “Let us go to the other side”—not to the middle of the lake to be drowned.” Dan Crawford.

365 days with Newton

3 JUNE (PREACHED 2 JUNE 1771)

A lover of peace

‘And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.’ Genesis 13:8–9
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Ephesians 2:13–22

Abraham’s conduct:
(i) his desire: Let there be no strife. He was a blessed man, a lover of peace, and to the utmost of his power a peacemaker. Happy are they to whom the Lord gives such a spirit, for peace is that to the mind which health is to the body—there is nothing can be enjoyed without it.
(ii) his argument: twofold, taken from their relation, We are brethren, and their situation, the Canaanite were in the land [verse 7]. They knew that Lot and Abraham were the servants of God, and what would they think of their religion if they observed them living in strife? Besides, it might give their enemies encouragement to fall upon them.
(iii) his proposal: he showed himself a true lover of peace. Though he was probably the person aggrieved, he makes the first offers, and though he was the elder, and superior, he gives up his right of choice to Lot and is determined to be pleased if Lot can but please himself. Too often when people talk of peace and reconciliation they are too selfish to let anything be affected. If you allow everything they have said and done to be right, and give up everything they ask, they will try to be peaceable.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour’ (1 Timothy 2:1–3, NIV).

‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men’ (Romans 12:18).

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 25 [2/4], GENESIS 13:12–13

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