Genesis 2011 - Lesson 7B

Chapter 7:10-24

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  • Our study in Chapter 7 of Genesis began last week, as we noted the spiritual parallels

    • Between the account of this worldwide judgement and the future judgment to happen at Christ’s Second Coming

    • We also noted the pictures of Christ seen in the day the flood began

      • And in the way the family of Noah entered the Ark through one door

      • And the way the door was closed by the hand of God ensuring they remained in the safety of the Ark

  • Last week I also mentioned that we needed to examine the events of this chapter a second time considering the physical description of the flood

    • So we could better understand what God is doing here and how He accomplishes it

    • Let’s reread part of last week’s text from the point when the water arrives

      • And then move forward to finish the chapter

Gen. 7:10 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood  came upon the earth. 
Gen. 7:11 In the  six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all  the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the  floodgates of the sky were opened. 
Gen. 7:12 The rain  fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. 
Gen. 7:13 On the very same day  Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, 
Gen. 7:14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after  their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind,  all sorts of birds. 
Gen. 7:15 So they went into the ark to Noah,  by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. 
Gen. 7:16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. 
Gen. 7:17 Then the flood came upon the earth for  forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 
Gen. 7:18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark  floated on the  surface of the water. 
Gen. 7:19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains  everywhere under the heavens were covered. 
Gen. 7:20 The water prevailed fifteen  cubits higher,  and the mountains were covered. 
Gen. 7:21  All flesh that  moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; 
Gen. 7:22 of all that was on the dry land, all  in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. 
Gen. 7:23 Thus He blotted out  every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the  sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only  Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. 
Gen. 7:24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. 
  • We’re going to examine the events portrayed here, in four steps

    • First, let’s review the details of the text so we can be sure we have a full understanding what Scripture tells us concerning the flood

    • Secondly, let’s consult other Scripture to learn the source for the water God used to destroy the earth

    • Third, let’s understand the effects of the Flood on the earth

    • Fourth, we’ll learn where the water went after the flood had ended

  • Beginning in v.11 we hear that the flood began with the fountains of the deep bursting open and the floodgates of the sky being opened

    • The Hebrew words for fountains and floodgates gives us a clear picture of the event

      • Fountains means a spring of water coming from the ground

      • Floodgates is the word arrubbah, which means chimney or window

        • Imagine a hole in the clouds and water literally pouring through the hole or opening

      • So water fills the world from two directions, up and down

    • The water from above falls for forty 24-hour periods

      • And it falls across the entire globe for that time

      • There are no present-day meteorological conditions that could produce such an event

        • Today, rain clouds drop water that was collected through evaporation elsewhere on the planet

        • If the entire planet were experiencing rain simultaneously, it would quickly come to an end

        • Because there would be no new source for the water, since the evaporation of water could not happen while the entire Earth was experiencing rain

      • Clearly, there must have been a source for the water above, which is different than what we experience in the world today

  • Then in v.14, we hear that the animals God has delivered to Noah voluntarily enter the Ark in pairs

    • There is no indication that Noah led, chased, prodded, dragged or coaxed the animals into the Ark

      • The text indicates they went in on their own, on the appointed day

      • God clearly delivered them and brought them into the Ark

    • Every animal we have today was represented on the Ark, for the Bible says that every land animal after its kind entered the Ark

      • You might take time to note how similar the language in v.14 is to the language used in the creation account in Chapter 1

      • Just as God created all land animals, now He is working to preserve them all

    • We also note that the animals were selected by “kind” 

      • This special Hebrew word describes an animal type that was designed to diversify into many subtypes over time

        • For example, from one animal kind we may have received all canines 

        • By bringing kinds to Noah, God ensured all sub-kinds would be preserved as well – without the need for as many animals to enter the Ark

        • Some of those subkinds exist today while others that left the Ark later went extinct

    • Finally, we also understand that the animals that were left on the earth perished in the flood

      • And their bodies were buried by the mud and sediment deposited by the flood waters

      • Thousands of years later, these skeletal remains were discovered by archeologists, deposited in layers piled atop one another 

  • Next in vv.17-20, Moses describes the Ark being lifted up by the water and floating on the water

    • The water kept rising until even the tops of mountains were covered

      • In fact they were covered to a depth of 22 ft

      • Moses tells us the depth of the water so we can be sure that the Ark cleared every mountain as it floated on the water

        • Based on the Ark’s dimensions,  even if half of the ark were submerged, it would still have cleared the mountains

        • Later in Chapter 8 we will discover that the mountains before the flood were much lower than the ones we see today

    • Archeologists have been puzzled by the way wooly mammoths, preserved frozen in ice, are often found clustered together on the tops of mountains or hills

      • The logical answer is they fled from the water to the highest point and then drowned when the water finally engulfed the peaks

  • Finally, God confirms that the flood met its intended purpose

    • Every land animal and every person who remained on earth perished under the flood waters

      • Even birds died when they lost a landing place and could not remain aloft any longer

    • To ensure that every creature died, and to allow time for the decomposing remains to settle under the mud, the waters remain on the earth a long time

      • Specifically, the earth remained as a ball of water for 150 days

  • Before we move to our second point, take note of how the world looks at this point

    • It’s all water

      • If viewed from space, the earth would be nothing but blue

    • And remember how the book of Genesis began

      • The earth was formless and consisted of a formless deep

        • And the Spirit of God floated or fluttered over the surface of that deep

      • Now we see God restarting creation in a sense

        • The world is again covered in water and now the Ark (which is a picture of Christ) floats above the surface of the deep

      • The imagery is similar to draw a point for us

        • This is a restart of the world, made necessary by the sin of man

  • Having examined the text, let’s turn to answer the question where did the water come from?

    • First, we need to remember that all the work of Creation was completed on the Sixth Day

Heb. 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, 
although His works were finished  from the foundation of the world. 
Heb. 4:4 For He has said  somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD  RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; 
  • Therefore, no new water was created on the day of the Flood

  • All the water used in this event already existed somewhere in Creation

  • Secondly, we remember that the world has never experienced rain before this moment

    • So the source of water must be something unique and not like what we experience today, as we’ve already noted

      • The normal water cycle of evaporation, clouds and rain isn’t happening yet

  • Looking to Scripture, we find the source

    • First, there is a clue in the creation story itself

Gen. 1:6  Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 
Gen. 1:7 God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 
  • Clearly, as the world was being created, God placed water above the expanse of the air in the world

    • When we studied this chapter, I referred to this suspended water as the atmosphere, which is true

    • But it is also clear that God stored more water above the Earth than we see suspended today

      • The atmosphere must have been especially rich in moisture

      • Or there was a supernatural suspension of large quantities of liquid water stored above for this very moment

  • Scripture seems to support the latter conclusion

    • The Psalms alludes to such a storage:

Psa. 148:4 Praise Him, highest heavens, 
And the waters that are above the heavens! 
Psa. 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, 
For He commanded and they were created. 
Psa. 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, 
And by the breath of His mouth all their host. 
Psa. 33:7 He gathers the waters of the sea together  as a heap; 
He lays up the deeps in storehouses. 
  • We also have Peter’s testimony concerning the waters of creation

2Pet. 3:5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 
2Pet. 3:6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 
  • Peter notes that the world was created “out of water”

    • This is in keeping with Genesis 1

  • But then Peter adds something interesting – “and by water”

    • In v.6 he’s talking about God’s judgment of the Flood

    • Peter is teaching that some of the water of creation was set aside in the heavens and reserved for this day of judgment

      • God knew it was coming and make plans for it by storing water above the heavens

      • And then He released that water on the appointed day

  • So the source of the flood was water stored water in the heavens

    • But remember we’ve already seen that there was a second source

    • The great springs of the earth were opened up

      • In v.11 the word for opened is baqa, which means to cleave open 

      • To split open, like splitting a log of wood

    • This description suggests that God tore open the face of the Earth

      • Looking at the world after the Flood, we can see the result of that ripping open

      • The continents were formed by the splitting of the Earth

        • And buried under the earth were springs of water set loose by the movement of the land masses

    • Imagine the destruction created by this sudden, violent movement of the continents?

      • It would dwarf any earthquake we’ve ever seen

      • It was likely accompanied by great volcanic eruptions

  • Since we’re already talking about the remaking of the Earth’s features, let’s move to point three: the effects of the Flood on the Earth

    • We’ve already noted the movement of the continents

      • And the deposits of fossilized animals around the world under layers of mud

    • Also, the movement of so much water across the Earth – both during its arrival and later when it receded – would have resulted in massive erosion

      • Especially when the continents drained (in Chapter 8), the weight of all that water would have cut huge channels and canyons in the surface of the earth

        • Similar large-scale erosion was witnessed in the days following the Mt. Saint Helens eruption and the melting of snow from the mountain

      • This explains the formation of places like the Grand Canyon and the creation of river valleys and cliffs

    • Next, we mentioned how the atmosphere before the Flood would have been very different due to the huge storage of water above the heavens

      • Now that all that water has dropped, the atmosphere must be very different

        • Drier and with fewer clouds

      • Furthermore, the storehouses of water below the ground have been released

        • So the mist that rose up to water the ground will no longer be available

        • Instead, rain will now be a regular feature on the Earth

    • Furthermore, the movement of some continents to farther reaches north and south will lead to a wider variety of climates

      • Some with harsher weather than before

        • Before, all the land was located in the same place and experienced a consistent and likely similar weather pattern

      • Now the continents have split, water scattering animals and plants everywhere, and the new land experiencing new climates

        • This explains why scientists find fossils of tropical plants in the middle of deserts

        • Or fossils of fish on the tops of mountains

        • Or wooly mammoths flash frozen in ice

  • Finally, let’s answer the question of where did the water go?

    • At first glance, it’s a tough question because it seems an impossible problem to solve

      • How do you eliminate enough water to expose the seven continents, leaving a third of the world’s surface exposed?

    • In Chapter 8 Moses will tell us that the water recedes over a period of months

      • And then in Psalm 104, we get a concise description of where it went

Psa. 104:5 He established the earth upon its foundations, 
So that it will not totter forever and ever. 
Psa. 104:6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; 
The waters were standing above the mountains. 
Psa. 104:7 At Your rebuke they fled, 
At the  sound of Your thunder they hurried away. 
Psa. 104:8 The mountains rose; the valleys sank down 
To the  place which You established for them. 
Psa. 104:9 You set a boundary that they may not pass over, 
So that they will not return to cover the earth. 
  • In v.5 the psalmist credits God with creating the earth

    • Then in vv.6-9 he describes the flood upon the earth

      • First, the psalmist says God covered the earth with the deep (teholm) meaning the waters of the flood

        • It was like throwing a garment over the Earth

      • The waters were covering the mountains, as Genesis 7 tells us

    • He says the waters fled the land at God’s rebuke

      • They hurried away, which communicates a clear image of the water receding quickly in a violent rush creating those canyons

  • Now notice the key part: the mountains rose and the valleys sank

    • This happens as the waters recede

      • God takes parts of the land and makes them taller

      • And other parts of the land and makes them lower

      • No new material is being created – land is simply being displaced

        • The mountains on Earth now are much taller than those in the time before the flood

    • And the valleys God deepened are the trenches in the sea

      • The deepest valleys on Earth are in the sea, including the deepest of all, the Marianas Trench

      • It extends 7 miles down

        • If Mt Everest were placed in the trench, its peak would still be a mile and a half under water

    • As God created these trenches in the basin of the oceans, the water did what water naturally does

      • It seeks the lowest point

      • It ran off the high slopes of the mountains and into the valleys in the oceans

  • Today’s lesson gave us the chance to focus on the “how” of God’s work in the Flood

    • We didn’t take time to make many applications or ask questions about how God wants us to put this knowledge to work

    • But let this lesson draw your mind to the awesome power and wisdom of the God we serve

      • If God has the power to work these wonders on a worldwide scale, is there anything He can’t do in response to our needs or circumstances?

      • And knowing His wisdom, can we ever doubt that whatever may happen in our daily lives, it must be according to His wise and masterful plan?

    • Glory be to God!