“As in the Days of Noah…” (3)
Reformed Free Publishing Association
By Rev. Daniel Holstege. Preview article in the series: “As in the Days of Noah…” (2)
The third subject I would like to take a look at from the days of Noah is the flood itself. As you know well, the flood was one of the greatest wonders that God has done on earth since the creation of the world. Contrary to modern theories in countless seminaries and universities today, what Moses records in Genesis is not a mere myth of what was originally just a really bad localized flood in Mesopotamia. But as our Lord put it, the wicked people outside the ark who partied and reveled as if the world would never end “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matt. 24:39). As the apostle Peter prophesied, the experts and scholars of the world who scoff at Christianity in these last days are “willingly ignorant” of the fact that “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Pet. 3:6).
We need to articulate the truth about the flood clearly and adamantly today in our battle against the secular worldview of evolutionism that would inundate us and our children. The so-called experts today, including many who profess Christianity, refuse to allow even the suggestion that the Bible is true in its record of the worldwide flood and this explains the existence of many of the mighty mountains and canyons of the earth, as well as the extraordinary phenomena of fossils around the world. Our children and young people can be sorely troubled by the persistent claim of modern man that this world is billions of years old and was fashioned by merely natural processes over long eons of time. We must diligently teach our children and all who ask us a reason of the hope that is in us about the wonder of the flood.
The flood was a wonder work of God Almighty, a worldwide catastrophe that dramatically and fundamentally changed the earth. When God created the world in the beginning, he put a layer of water (probably a canopy of water vapor) above the firmament and around the whole earth. The liquid waters under the firmament God gathered together into one place, so that there was just one great ocean before the flood. God caused dry land to rise up out of that great sea, so that there was originally just one great land mass. The earth stood out of the water and in the water, so there was also water under the earth. We don’t know the proportion of land to water before the flood. But it may be that there was more dry land before the flood (Gen. 1:6-10, Ex. 20:4, II Pet. 3:5).
But when God came in his just judgment to destroy all flesh on earth for the sins of mankind, he performed a wonder that would typify the destruction of the whole universe at the end of time. He caused the “fountains of the great deep” to be broken up. The ocean floor split open in many places causing tremendous displacement of water and massive tsunamis that rushed over the shoreline and inundated the earth. The surface of the earth also cracked open in many places so that the waters under the earth surged upward like colossal geysers. God also opened the “windows of heaven” so that the water vapor above the firmament condensed and fell toward the earth. For forty days and forty nights, the catastrophic rain fell to the earth in a quantity that has never been seen since. God did not fully stop the upsurge of water from the fountains of the deep or the rain from the windows of heaven until 150 days had passed, until the water had risen above the highest mountains and utterly destroyed all living, breathing things on earth (Gen. 7:11-24, 8:1-3).
This, we believe, is the explanation for many of the phenomena in the world that now is, including the separated continents, mountain ranges, grand canyons, coal deposits, fossil layers, and more. Unlike the many theories of unbelieving men today, the history of the flood in the Bible (if we contemplate it at length and with a believing heart) provides the most powerful and reasonable explanation of what we see around us and under us. And what we see then testifies of a world-destroying event long ago which stands as a perpetual warning to flee from the wrath to come.
I was personally helped by several Christian scholars to expand my understanding of the flood. For example, John Whitcomb and Henry Morris wrote a book entitled “The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications,” which contains a compelling explanation of the flood in connection with the observations of science. RFPA authors have also written helpful material on the subject (e.g. Robert Harbach’s Studies in the Book of Genesis, Homer Hoeksema’s Unfolding Covenant History, Vol. 1).
As the world that then was perished under the flood, so also “the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men… Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Pet. 3:7, 13).
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