The Flood, Part 2 (The Covenant & the Cross #43)

Today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 6:11-13 which reads: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

Allow me to share with you some further commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul: The same Hebrew word lies behind “corrupt” and “corrupted”. The punishment matches the crime: as man ruined the good earth, so God will ruin the earth against man.

Today’s quote about the Bible is from William P. White. He said: “The Bible is a harp with a thousand strings. Play on one to the exclusion of its relationship to the others, and you will develop discord. Play on all of them, keeping them in their places in the divine scale, and you will hear heavenly music all the time.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Flood (Part 2)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

This brings us to the second key question: Was the Flood local or global? Both of the suggestions we covered in our last broadcast are based on the premise that the Flood was local, that it covered a limited geographical region of the earth and no more. The biblical text asserts that the Flood was global; it enveloped the entire earth. A number of specific points must be addressed as one evaluates the question.

1. God gave a 120-year warning that the Flood was coming. With this much warning, Noah and his family could have moved to higher ground rather than build an ark if they had known that the Flood was to be local.

2. The ark was huge. What Noah built was not a lifeboat, but a major barge-like vessel. If the description is accurate, it was clearly designed to hold more than local domestic livestock.

3. The outcome was devastating. God declared that one of the victims of the destruction would be birds. In the event of a local flood, birds would be able to fly away from the spreading flood waters.

4. The Flood lasted a year. The period of rain was forty days and nights. More important, the duration of the flood state was a year.

5. The Flood covered mountains. According to the text, the water was fifteen cubits above the highest mountains. Even if the tops of the mountains were lower than today, this information implies more than the notion of a valley being filled. Tied to this point is the final resting place of the ark — “on the mountains of Ararat.” This place is understood to be a region in the northeast portion of what is now Turkey. It is a mountainous plateau several thousand feet above sea level. The specific mountain that is traditionally identified as Ararat is listed as being 16,804 feet above sea level.

6. God promised never to destroy all flesh by flood again. While there have been many local floods throughout history, the promise was that there would never be another flood like this one, which destroyed all flesh. If the Flood had been only local, this declaration of God is negated, for there have subsequently been many floods. In the New Testament, Peter uses the Flood as an analogy of God’s final judgment, which will be a judgment of fire.

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