The Flood, Part 3 (The Covenant & the Cross #44)


Today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 8:1-3 which reads: “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.”

Allow me to share with you some further commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul:

The account of post-Flood history mirrors the pre-Flood period: the creation out of dark waters, the depraved condition of the human founders, Adam and Noah; the division of the founder’s sons into elect and reprobate lines; the tyrannical non-elect building a city and making a name for themselves, Cain and Nimrod; the preservation of a godly line and of a faithful agent of blessing in the fallen world. The parallel judgment on the reprobate will come with the fiery judgment and the introduction of the new heavens and the new earth.

The Hebrew expression, “God remembered Noah,” indicates action based on a previous commitment, not merely mental recall.

The Hebrew word used for “wind” is the same one used for “Spirit” in Genesis 1:2, recalling the original creation account and introducing God’s first re-creative act renewing the earth out of the waters. Successive re-creative acts mirroring the original creation follow: the gathering of the waters, the placing of birds in the heavens, the establishment of dry ground, the emergence of animals and humans upon the earth to multiply, and the divine blessing.

Today’s quote about the Bible is from John Quincy Adams. He said: “So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Flood (Part 3)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

If the Flood was indeed a global flood, what are the implications? At a minimum, it would seem to indicate that many of those who are looking for evidence are looking in the wrong places. A global flood would leave its traces in the geological record rather than the archaeological. That is, the deposits would be sweeping landscapes rather than mud layers in cities. Several organizations are beginning to evaluate and organize possible evidence of the Flood, but much work still needs to be done.

The third question relates to the significance of the Flood to the original audience that stood at Mount Sinai. Two areas of significance are noted. First, the Israelites would have understood that the Lord was a God of both judgment and mercy. In the case of Noah, God judged the world but had mercy on a remnant. This element likely brought to mind to the nation of Israel that they too were a remnant. For us, it brings to mind Peter’s warning about a coming judgment. Second, the Flood highlighted for them the pattern of failure that we have been seeing. Because of the failure of humankind, God purified the world. But as we will soon see, even this purification process was inadequate. The problem is the human heart. For this reason, the biblical writer will soon start showing God’s process for heart renewal. But before he does that, there are several loose ends to tie up regarding the structure of the world.

After the Flood, three more failures are cited. First, Noah got drunk. We are given no explanation or excuses — the event is just noted. While he was drunk, his son Ham “saw his father’s nakedness, and told his two brothers outside.” They carefully backed into the tent with a blanket and covered their father. After sobering up, Noah cursed Canaan, the son of Ham. While we do not really understand what was involved or why Canaan was cursed instead of Ham, the significance to the Israelite audience would have been clearer. They were about to go into the land of Canaan. This episode would serve to encourage them regarding the outcome of that invasion.


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