Sunday, March 05, 2006


Genesis 7


April 3, 2005

Good Morning! Today we return to our study of the Book of Genesis. I’ll remind you that we are studying Genesis from the perspective of it being the literally true Word of God. This is going to become even more important. I’ve been forwarding my sermon notes to friends and relatives and have started in the last month publishing them on the Internet. Coincidentally with that I’ve been emailed by a friend who is a missionary in China and now by another friend who is involved in Christian radio broadcasts to China, asking that we record them so that Chinese students who want to learn English can listen to the radio broadcasts and read along on their computers. We don’t know yet if this is possible or will ever happen, but it’s something I hope everyone will keep in mind and pray about.

Likely no chapter in the Bible has been the subject of more controversy and attempts at revision than Genesis 7. Liberal scholars have done their absolute best to dismantle, belittle, and dismiss it. The whole process started in 1753 with a French Doctor and scientist by the name of Jean Astruc. Besides his skepticism about the flood itself, he noted that God is called by two names in the book of Genesis, Elohim and Jehovah. Dr. Jean concluded that this must mean there were two source documents, one that called God Elohim and one where the author knew him as Jehovah. He believed that Jewish priests must have put them together into one book. This was bad enough, then the German scholars got a hold of this idea and ran with it. Before 1900 they had invented a complicated theory called JEPD to account for the “mythology” of Genesis which they eventually applied to the entire Old Testament. J stands for the Jehovah source, E for the Elohim source, P the priestly documents and code, and D the Deuteronomy school. In one fell swoop they had in a hundred years reduced God’s inspired word to a batch of fairy tales.

What arrogance! I would be shocked if I were not seeing every day judges and legislators doing exactly the same thing to our Constitution which was written only 200 years ago. The very idea that scholars could look at documents written two millennia before in a language totally foreign to them and make those kinds of judgements is ludicrous. The JEPD critics have gone to ridiculous lengths publishing a Bible in which the words of each of the four so-called sources are written in a different color. At least one scholar has written a commentary that explains each verse in light of which source he assumes wrote it. We who take God at his word are not troubled with such complications however, so let’s look at the passage.

Genesis 7:1-24 Read.

You’ll note that in verse 1 God is referred to as Lord. This is Jehovah. Up till now God has been referred to as Elohim. You can almost see Dr. Jean rubbing his hands with glee and saying, “See? I told you this is two different stories about two different gods.” Hardly. Elohim refers to the all powerful creator and judge, master of everything. Jehovah, the word translated Lord here is Father God, the redeemer. God the judge directed the building of the ark. In his attribute of redeemer, he issues an invitation.

Genesis 7:1 Read.

Jehovah had looked at his sinful creation and determined to destroy it, yet in Noah and his family he has seen righteousness.

Genesis 7:2,3 Read.

We read here the interesting facts that God ordered of land animals seven pairs of the clean animals and only two of the unclean. The critics looking at this see it as a contradiction of chapter 6 and another proof of different source documents. Not so, God gave his instructions in a general way to Noah 120 years earlier and now gives him the specifics. But why more of the clean? Lets jump ahead a little in our story till after the flood.

Genesis 8:20 Read.

God would require sacrifice, and he thus prepares the animals that will be needed for it. When Abraham would need a sacrifice as a substitute for his son Isaac, God would provide it. Later, when the sacrifice had to be made for our sins, God would provide his own son Jesus. God ALWAYS provides.

Genesis 7:4 Read.

So God is giving Noah one week, seven days to finish obeying his commandment. This project has been 120 years in the making. Noah and his family certainly endured ridicule, and it’s not a stretch to also assume they may have faced outright opposition, perhaps even violent. But God’s man prevailed. The biggest ship that was to be built for the next 4000 years was finished. The food stocks were in place.

Now we read faithful Noah’s response to loving invitation from God the redeemer in verse 1.

Genesis 7:5 Read.

Now THAT is a legacy! That is what the believer is to strive for. It should be my dream and goal that some day it will be said of me, “And John did according to all that the Lord commanded him.” That is the test of faith, not how often I say that I believe, but how completely I do what he has commanded me. That is why each of us should live our lives looking toward the day we hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Genesis 7:6 Read.

Why does God tell us this? He’s a God of detail. He knows the number of the hairs on my head, though that job is getting easier for him. He knows the grains of sand left in the glass of my life. He knows every drop of rain that falls and every blade of grass that grows. He knows every secret thought and action. And yet he loves us. But this tells us something else. Noah was faithful. Not just for a week or a year or a decade but for 600 years. I may have a 10th of that. How faithful have I been?

Genesis 7:7-9 Read.

The critics who ridicule this account picture Noah and his family rushing around trying to desperately round up all these animals and herd them kicking and screaming into the ark. But as always when we take God at his word we see the answer. Verse 7 tells us the operation in order. 1st, Noah went in, then his sons, then his wife, then his son’s wives went in to join him. Then the animals started coming, but verse 9 reminds us that they came UNTO Noah. God placed them under his submission. Notice that it was God in his attribute as redeemer who invited Noah into the ship, but God in his attribute as creator of these creatures who sent them unto him by his commandment. This verse was NOT cut and pasted together from different documents, it is the inspired word of what actually happened.

Genesis 7:10 Read.

Did it take all 7 days for this, perhaps, but that is not important. What matters is that God said you have a week before the flood starts and a week is just what they had.

Genesis 7:11 Read.

So now we arrive at May 17th, approximately 5000 years ago. Let’s remember our setting. The early earth is one large continent in a vast, but possibly shallow ocean. There are mountains, but we don’t know how tall they are. Since creation there has been no rain. The air is moist and warm and tropical. Each night mist comes up as a heavy dew and waters the earth. A vast amount of water vapor is trapped in a canopy over the earth keeping it insulated and warm. There have been no storms, no earthquakes, but God is now shaking his creation like a large rug. The huge reservoirs of water in caves under the sea tremble, then burst forth, in moments billions of gallons push out and upwards perhaps pushed by volcanic lava. Monstrous spouts of steam gush forth. The heat rises and winds howl in the upper atmosphere. The vapor canopy, the windows of heaven, condenses and the windows are opened and the rain falls in a rage. Perhaps giant hailstones fall as the steam laden upward winds blow the torrents back upward and form them. It’s very possible that many of the deaths on earth occur under the pounding of ice, which had never been seen on earth, and rain.

Genesis 7:12 Read.

How long did it take the moisture trapped in the vapor canopy to condense and fall? 40 days and nights, non-stop. I’ve been in a monsoon where it rained part of the time for a few weeks. Trust me, it was enough.

Now, as scripture frequently does even at the far end of the Bible as you’ll remember from our study of Revelation, it gives us the detail of the dramatic overview of verses 7-11.

Genesis 7: 13-15 Read.

God answers the skeptics millennia before they are born. Every possible human attempt to “de-mythologize” this account is stopped in its tracks. This can NOT be a local flood or a limited flood where a symbolic leader took a few head of livestock on his raft. This is actual truth, that which conforms to reality. I am going to say this until you are sick of hearing it, but if you can’t believe this book when it says EVERY creature you can’t believe it when it says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Noah believed and Noah was saved and his house and the names are given here to remove all doubt.

Genesis 7: 16 Read.

This is the verse that confounds the critics. Here both Elohim and Jehovah are used in the same sentence. And they went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as Elohim the creator and judge had commanded: and Jehovah, God portrayed as redeemer and protector shut him in. The very hand of God, I believe, the one that reaches out to us to redeem us if only we will accept the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of his son Jesus Christ, lifted that mighty ramp/door that opened onto all three decks and shut it. And friends, what God shuts, stays shut. Do you see why it is wrong to teach that salvation can be lost? Or that there could some day be a second chance? We are his sheep and no one can take us out of his hand. I have just one more thought here. On which side of that eternal door do you want to be some day when God shuts it?

Genesis 7:17 Read.

Now the waters from the fountains of the deep are rushing and swirling around that huge ship, as big as a skyscraper laid on its side. The rain and hail pounded deafeningly on it’s roof and blew in the window and it MOVED and lifted and swayed and rode upward. Waves bigger than any tsunami roared down on it, but it floated safe and because of it’s perfect design turned into them and rode them like a surfboard.

Genesis 7:18 Read.

This was no “local” flood. As the fountains of the deep fed the ever increasing waters the earth became again the “face of the deep” as on Day One.

Genesis 7:19 Read.
Again, scripture says the waters “prevailed”. The language used precludes any idea that this was not planet wide. How deep was this flood?

Genesis 7:20 Read.

The mountains were no doubt not as tall as the ones of the later earth such as now, but however tall they were, the water was at least 20 feet deep over the top of them.

Genesis 7:21,22 Read.

The scoffers died. The violent sinners died. Their families died. Their pets, their cattle. Everything. All died. Every creature that lived on dry land and depended on air to breathe rather than water, died. But something else was happening here, Elohim the creator was creating too.

Genesis 7:23,24 Read.

Hard to believe, isn’t it, that in the midst of all this death and destruction God was creating? But he was. Yesterday Phylliss and I walked along a cove on the edge of Lake Red Rock. We walked on sandstone and scuffed through soft oil shale that is breaking up into powder and kicked chunks of coal along. Over that was more sandstone. Where did those layers come from? Conventional science will tell you that they were put down over hundreds of millions of years as sediment slowly built up under oceans. Silly. Impossible. Coal is plant tissue compressed under massive weight. You’ll find its source at the beginning of verse 23. As the flood waters raged across the earth the plant material was swept away and floated to the top and interwove into vast rafts of tangled plant debris which you can see right now on a smaller scale in the Indian ocean after the tidal waves there. The soil of the early earth was scoured as was the very underlying rock itself. This ocean of gritty soup ebbed and flowed across the surface of the planet and the heavier particles of solid rock settled out and sank first, then the next most dense, etc. THAT is the source of the so-called geological column. Nowhere on earth is it as depicted in museums. As more and more earthquakes rocked the deep, sometimes waves of denser material washed over the less dense and the sediment that would become different types of rock settled, not always in the order that be required for slow evolutionary change to be correct.

Suspended in these different layers of “soup” were the bones of the creatures killed by the flood. Based on their density, the tiniest and heaviest sank first with the dense layers, the lighter and more hollowed later with the less dense and thus the majority, but by now means all the fossils formed in those different layers. In cases where huge rafts of dying vegetation and floating decomposing animal carcasses were overswept by tidal waves of denser material that would become rock and pushed instantly to the bottom of the sea and were there cooked by volcanic heat and squeezed with unthinkable tons of weight from above, oil was formed. Where the rafts of vegetation slowly became waterlogged and sank to the bottom, forming layers on the seabed and then were covered by later waves of silt filled water and squeezed but not cooked with great heat. Coal was formed.
The Grand Canyon and the cliffs beside the lake don’t give evidence of slow, methodical evolution, as the uniformitarians would have us believe. They cry out of a great flood, of massive judgement on his creation by an angry God. Why can’t we see it? Why in our wisdom are we so foolish?

Most every culture in the world has a universal flood tradition. John Morris and Tim LaHaye in their book, The Ark On Ararat list 200 different tribes and nationalities from everywhere in the world that have flood traditions. To quote Dr. Boise:

In 88 % of them there is a favored family. In 70% survival is due to a boat. In 95% the sole cause of the catastrophe is a flood. In 66% the disaster is due to man’s wickedness. In 67% animals are also saved. In 57% the survivors end up on a mountain. In smaller percentages birds are sent out, a rainbow is mentioned, and eight persons specifically are saved

There is no possible way that these stories can not have a common source. The flood happened. And because we know it happened we have to deal with the one who caused it and his expectations of us. We can try to meet his expectations of holiness in our own strength and fail miserably and be on the wrong side of that door when he pushes it shut, or we can accept the free gift of salvation provided by his son, Jesus Christ through his blood which payed the price for our sins. The choice is ours.
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