Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday, June 11th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 7-8; Psalm 116; Acts 27
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 7

Genesis 7

English Standard Version (ESV)
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, 14 they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. 15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.
17 The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.18 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 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.

Accompanying Bob Deffinbaugh sermon: The Flood
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: Judgement on the Horizon,  The Flood of Judgement, The Power of Divine Judgement in the Global Flood

The flood was an actual historical event that covered the entire globe.  The Biblical record mentions the age of Noah and how long it rained and which month it happened and how long water was on the earth, in order to leave no doubt that this was an actual event that happened at an actual time to real people.

It is mind boggling to me that there were only 8 people who believed in God on the entire earth - which may have been populated with up to billions of people.  The faith of Noah and his family is even more inspiring when you realize that they had literally no one else to support them in their faith and in their works done as an expression of this faith, ie building the ark.

I found an article that has a lot of interesting facts about the flood including the following:
* the length to width ratio of the ark was 6 to 1 which is the same ratio that ship builders use today because it is the best ratio for stability during stormy weather
* God told Noah to bring two of each kind of animal (seven of the ones that were later used for sacrifices), not each species or variety.  For example - Noah would have brought only two of the dog family which includes wolves, coyotes, foxes, etc.  He didn't need to bring two of each species, only two of each kind.

MacArthur points out, and I think it's important to note, that in these passages about the flood Noah never speaks.  God speaks, God instructs, God brings the animals, God shuts the door of the ark (if Noah did it, perhaps he would've opened it to allow people inside when the waters started to rise and they started to panic).  God takes full and absolute responsibility for the flood and the judgment it brought upon every single living person and animal on the planet.  He also receives all the glory for His mercy displayed by rescuing the righteous remnant.

The flood would have been a cataclysmic change to the entire earth.  Torrents of rain poured onto the earth, the fountains of the deep opened up, tectonic plates crashed together, mountains and valleys instantly formed, gysers of lava and scalding water churned beneath the ark.  This is very likely when the continents were split apart in the way we see them today.  I can only imagine the shocking difference in the earth before and after the flood - Noah and his family are the only humans who ever witnessed both versions of the earth.

The flood was global, not local.  How do we know this?
The flood covered all mountains (which were not likely very high before the flood) - it covered the highest one by at least 20'. If the highest mountains in the middle east were covered, it must have affected the rest of the world.
The ark was built and it was huge.  If the flood was local, God would not have had Noah build an ark, He would have just told him to move. Instead, God instructed Noah to build a boat (barge shaped, not ship shaped) large enough to rescue 8 humans and all the different kinds of animals.
Humans had multiplied and populated the face of the earth. The population would have been too large to have been contained to the Mesopotamian area.
All humans died in the flood.
All air breathing, land animals died in the flood.
It was a cataclysm, not a mere flood.
Noah had to stay in the ark for more than a year which would have been absurd had it been a local flood.
God promised to never flood the entire earth again.  If He was simply referring to a local flood than He's broken that promise over and over again - and God does not lie.

The entire earth was devastated.  God makes the fact of a world wide flood very clear in the biblical record.

And, as we've already seen in our study on the flood, the flood is indicative of the coming final judgment at the end of human history, as well as God's saving grace in providing us an ark of safety in Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Genesis 8:1-19
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Kings 9-10, Psalm 117, Acts 28

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