What was Noah's Flood Supposed to Solve?
Did Noah's Flood solve anything? According to Genesis, God seemed to think it did. Otherwise, He would not have promised never again to use the Flood. God must have been satisfied with the result.
Let us assume, for a moment, that if God had the power to create the flood waters and then make them disappear, He also had the power to clean up afterwards. All of the supposed problems with the Flood story are trivial when compared with the power to create a universe. Some view this as a cop-out and I can understand their sentiment. We're all used to the continuity of physical reality. Science is based on it. But when you're talking about the limitless power of God, placing any limits on that power is illogical.
It may well prove to be that the Flood story was merely a metaphor for something we would have a hard time understanding. A water flood may well have been the closest analogy to what really happened.
There are many things in the Bible that should be read symbolically or metaphorically. For this, though, let us assume for the moment that the Flood was a real event and that its scope was worldwide.
So, the burning question is: What was wicked enough to warrant a worldwide flood?
Genesis 6 talks about wickedness, violence and a corruption of flesh. What do these mean?
If violence was the reason for the Flood, then the worldwide inundation was a lousy solution. How much violence has humanity suffered in the last several thousand years? Was it simply a matter of more violence happening before the Flood? That would not make sense as a reason for the Flood. All humanity would need to do is increase the level of violence to pre-Flood values to warrant another worldwide inundation, if that was the real reason.
But remember: God said there would never again be another such flood.
Has there been even one year on planet Earth without one bloody battle or some other form of brutality, some place in this world? Rome — first as a republic, then as an empire — was built on wars of aggression, sometimes euphemistically called "defense." Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Stalin and numerous others perpetrated great quantities of violence on countless others. Apparently none of these warranted a worldwide flood.
A much broader term, this. Wickedness can mean many things. The word carries the connotation of "bad" or "evil." All of those who created great violence fall into this category, but others might qualify for this label, too.
Would bankers fit here? Perhaps if they gouged their customers with usurious rates, or used fraudulent methods, or irresponsibly risked deposits on flimsy prospects, they might prove to be wicked.
How many people have lied since the Flood? Wouldn't that be a form of wickedness? Would the degree of wickedness depend on the quantity of harm done? Perhaps.
What about the so-called "seven deadly sins" (sloth, gluttony, lust, envy, pride, greed and wrath)? There have been at least a few instances of these since the Flood, right?
None of these forms of wickedness would seem to qualify as the reason for Noah's Flood.
Corruption of Flesh
At first glance, this term seems more specific, but what does it really mean? How can flesh (the body) be corrupted? Could this refer to tattoos and body-piercing? Somehow I do not think so. Disease? Certainly, the Flood did not cure disease.
Could this mean mutation? Or genetic experimentation? How could pre-Flood humanity perform genetic manipulation? Even if they had developed such techniques (which we are only now developing with our advanced science), this could not have been the reason for the Flood. Why? Because we are committing such alterations, now. Do we hear the roar from the waters of the deep?
We have several things which prove not to have been the reason for the Flood. Where do we go from here? Is it possible to discover the real reason for God's apparent wrath?
Because of God's promise never again to use the Flood, we have to conclude that the wickedness Man did before the Flood is something Man could never again do after the Flood. That seems simple enough, but there remain a myriad of unknown possibilities. How do we narrow them down?
Don't let the Bible's talk of God's wrath, hatred and vengeance fool you. These are human labels. Everything God has done was done out of love for His children. For those who have suffered or have seen suffering, this may be hard to believe. When a child is born with birth defects, it seems to some that God is cruel and wicked. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In order to discover what God was attempting to solve with the Flood, we need to understand God's purpose. Likely that purpose involved His children.
Sons of God
First, we need to define some terms. What and who are God's children? Genesis 1:26 tells us that Man was created in God's image. And there stands another enigma! What is the image of God? If God exists, He would seem to be non-physical or spiritual in nature. Anything physical would be vulnerable — subject to being destroyed. God is immortal. He is also a source of creation.
If Man (each of us) was created in God's image, then we are inherently non-physical, spiritual and immortal sources of creation. Hmm-m-m. Baby gods? It certainly looks that way. Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34 echo this idea. "Ye are gods." And the teacher from Nazareth told his followers that they could create the same miracles he had created, and even greater ones. For those of whom he had healed, he remarked that it was their own faith which had performed the miracles.
Genesis 2:7, however, talks of Man being created again. Twice? This time, Man was created from the dust of the ground. God's image is certainly not one of dust. "Dust" refers to physical matter or chemicals. This refers to Homo sapiens.
The Hebrews have always been a patriarchal people. Men and women are the "sons of God." These "children of God" are immortal spirit wrapped in Homo sapiens flesh.
But if we are really children of God, why do we feel so mortal — so powerless? Genesis 3 explains this. God told Adam that if he were to eat of the Forbidden Fruit, on that day he would surely die. Yet, did he literally, physically die? Apparently not. Genesis 5 tells us that Adam lived for another 800 years, at least! It seems that Genesis 3 is talking about a non-physical death — a spiritual death.
It seems that the children of God are dead asleep in their Homo sapiens cocoons.
Could the relevant purpose of God be that of reawakening His sleeping children?
How to Awaken Sleeping Gods
How does one awaken sleeping gods? Likely, the trap in which they find themselves is of their own decision and creation.
The only way to free such trapped gods is to get them to free themselves. If those gods think they are their egos or their bodies, then the problem becomes much more difficult.
Sleeping gods, by themselves, would find it impossible to gain freedom. Finding a way out of such a trap takes planning, study, understanding and wisdom.
These are complex undertakings. And these gods are sleeping, remember?
What is the most complex thing you can do in your dreams? Can you balance a checkbook in your dreams? Try performing advanced mathematics in your dreams. No luck? Gaining freedom from the poison of the Forbidden Fruit is many magnitudes more complex, because the trap is complex. We have so many attachments to our bodies, to our identities, to our beliefs, values and desires. Each of these can form a distraction from that goal.
Dreams are haphazard. The landscape is ever-changing. Planning and learning are next to impossible. That is why Homo sapiens bodies are so important. With these, we can develop writing, literature, philosophy and attempt to understand the nature of things. With civilization, we can have the luxury of time to investigate these mysteries. With the continuity of physical reality (outside of dreams), such planning and development is permanent enough to establish real progress.
So, the purpose of God would seem to include the creation of Homo sapiens toward the reawakening of His children. It would seem to include humanity's development of intelligent speech and civilization.
Threats to God's Purpose
What could threaten God's purpose to reawaken His children? All-out nuclear war? Yes, that might do it. In fact, any extinction level event, like a fifty-kilometer-wide asteroid crashing into Earth might qualify. A deadly disease might also qualify.
In fact, anything that would permanently destroy civilization would qualify as wicked in terms of God's purpose to reawaken His children.
In Genesis 6, we learn of a group of people called the "daughters of men." Were these the threat to God's purpose?
We've already learned that the "sons of God" were His immortal children wrapped in Homo sapiens flesh. If the "sons" were Homo sapiens, then the "daughters" must have been a different species!
Who were the "daughters of men?"
Secrets of Noah's Flood Finally Revealed
Knowing when the Flood happened might help pinpoint the culprit. We cannot very well go by Archbishop Ussher's timeline, published in 1650. Science has trashed that idea.
The universe and humanity are far, far older than 6,000 years. According to Ussher's timeline, the Flood occurred 2348 BC. Fat chance, that. Three years after this date, Egypt's sixth dynasty started. Thirteen years after this date, Sargon the Great conquered Sumer. If Noah and his family were the only ones on Earth after the Flood, from where did all these other people come? No, the Flood did not happen when Ussher said it did.
Science tells us that Man is at least 200,000 years old. Science also tells us that the cosmos is 13.7 billion years old. Is there a way to interpret Genesis that gives us a timeline compatible with those of science? Yes, there is, and a new book, in development, details the research behind this new Genesis timeline — a new book entitled, The Bible's Hidden Wisdom, God's Reason for Noah's Flood.
According to this new timeline, humanity (Adam) started 10,434,130 BC. Anthropologists have a lot of work ahead of them, to dig up the bones that prove this new human age.
The timeline also reveals that Noah's Flood occurred 27,970 BC. And there stands our biggest clue. The culprit behind the Flood died thirty thousand years ago.
By the consensus of science (and there are a controversial few who disagree), Homo neanderthalensis ceased to exist 28,000 BC.
Bingo! Neanderthal man looked enough like humans to be called "man." Scientists have, for several years, debated the possibility that Homo sapiens and Neanderthals mated and produced viable offspring. Scientists have also debated whether or not Neanderthals could speak. The current idea seems to be that Neanderthals could form speech, but not with the clarity of their cousins — us.
If Neanderthal, and their hybrid (half-human) offspring, were incapable of forming intelligent speech and civilization, this could be the threat to the reawakening of God's children. If Neanderthals were more bent on selfishness and violence, then the future freedom of God's children would seem to have been at risk.
And the sons of God found the daughters of men to be fair and took them as their wives.
These mortal bodies are only of secondary importance. They are a means to an end. Only the immortal spirit within has everlasting value. When a human dies or suffers, it remains a tragedy, but not for the reasons most humans associate with the word. Yet, we still need to exercise generosity and compassion.
God's love is unconditional and springs from a limitless source. How can this be claimed? The answer to this is not easy, but greater insight can be found in two other articles, "Reincarnation, Karma and Biblical Interpretation," and "Anatomy of a Miracle."
Noah's Flood allowed God's children the opportunity to reawaken. It made possible a Miracle on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles in 1977.
As immortals, we have been working on our escape for millions of years. Now is the time to make our "prison break" and thus honor the purpose of that Flood so long ago.
Genesis Bible Commentary: Overview
For a broader look at this subject and the research behind it, please see my article, "Genesis Bible Commentary: Overview." This details the discoveries which led a new Genesis timeline and what may well be the real date of Noah's Flood.
© 2010 Rod Martin Jr