- Religion and Philosophy
Understanding Genesis 7: the Flood
Read the entire chapter 7 of Genesis on your own. You can read a variety of versions, from contemporary English to literal translations. You can download bible apps, websites (blueletterbible.org or biblegateway.com) or buy one from your local bookstore. I will use King James Version because some of the nuances are missing from other translations. When you read the chapter, don’t just read it—study it with questions and try to make sense of it.
Given Time for Repentance
And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. Genesis 7:6
Noah believed God’s warning and built the ark. For about hundred years, he and his sons built a structure unlike anything built before. People from all over came to see the ark and all of them ridiculed him. Maybe the 1st month, they believed his warning and scared for their lives they tried living a Godly life; but without knowing who God is, they have no desire to continue living for Him. Maybe the 1st year, they lived worshipping God and helping Noah build the ark. But by the 20th year, the 50th year, they returned to their old way of life, and they mocked him and mocked God. After 100 years, the only people to walk into the ark were Noah and his family.
Jesus also described these people in his parable of the sower: Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. Luke 8:12-14
When we let the cares of the world overcome our faith, we will lose what little we have. "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience." Luke 8:15 Once we hear the truth, we must live our faith and our lives for God.
By the time the ark is almost completed, Methuselah and Lamech have died. But what happened to his siblings and cousins? Perhaps they also died, or they also fell away from God. They married and raised their family; went to work. Perhaps not living the godless life of the world, but also not believing Noah when he told them about the coming flood. "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark," Matthew 24:38 God calls this a lukewarm life, and he warns that he will also spew them out of His mouth: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16 The danger to this life, is that they think they are righteous, when they are not. And they will only know in the end times. "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:" Luke 13:25
It’s not easy being Christians in the 21st century, and when values and social norms change, it’s difficult to stay faithful to God’s values. Because while time passes and social values change—God is constant. He knows the end from the beginning, He knows what is right and true, and He knows you better than you know yourself. "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:7
While people think they are progressing and becoming more aware and civilized—at the core, they are still the same no matter what century they live in: they value love, esteem and happiness. While seeking happiness, worth and love in the new “progressive society” thinking it's in the money, addictions and wrong relationships, God tells us to be true to Him and live by his Law: love God, love others. Only when we live for Him and others, can we find the worth and happiness that give our life meaning. "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30,31
Baptism by Water
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. Genesis 7:4
After the ark is finished, God tells Noah it’s time, and tells him in seven days, the flood will begin. The animals appear, guided by angels, but unseen to their eyes. People see this phenomenon and still they do not repent. Noah has prepared food for the animals and his family. They also enter the ark, but he makes a last call for others to join them. For a hundred years, he has warned them, and begged them: friends and family, all—but no one joins him.
He enters the ark and an unseen hand closes the door. For seven days, he and his family wait inside. Did he question God? Did his family question God? It’s so hard to wait for an answered prayer, but Noah and his family waited 100 years. "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)" Hebrews 10:23
Sadly, the floods come; not just a spring shower, but a pouring of water from the sky, and geysers from the ground. It rains for 40 days and nights, and the ark is rocked violently. The animals are scared, the Noah's family are scared, and the ark is dim and claustrophobic. But Noah’s faith is re-affirmed: God has done what He says, and Noah’s family is safe. There is also sadness, because his friends and family are dying outside. After a few days, they don’t hear the shouting, the pleading for the ark to open; they don’t hear the animals dying in fear. They only hear the sound of the rain hitting the ark. After more than a month, the rain stops. The only things they see are blue sky and water. For more than five months, water is all they see. They are the last family on earth.
While most would see the cruelty of God in destroying the world, there is salvation for Noah and his family. There is salvation for their future generation. The world had hundred years to repent, but they turned their back to God, to their bitter end. God in His mercy has given our world, centuries to repent; we must not lose faith in our given lifetime.
Jesus talks of the living water, and the baptism that is required of the water and spirit. "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5 While the water is death for the godless, it is living water for those who love God. Apostle Peter talks of Noah and his family being saved by the water. "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." 1 Peter 3:20 These eight, are truly reborn when they begin the populate the new world.
- Understanding Genesis 8: A New Beginning
A Bible study of Genesis 8.