It’s time for the big finale we’ve all been anxiously waiting for – the flood. One of the most destructive events in world history. When reading this passage, it’s helpful to pay attention to the numbers to visualize the power of God. Think BIG.
Why just Noah and his family? Once again our questions are answered in Genesis 7:1; Noah was righteous before God in his generation. He obeyed God’s commands and did not doubt.
“And Noah did all the Lord commanded Him.” – Genesis 7:5
In addition to seeking God and building the boat we learned about in chapter 6, the Lord also commanded Noah to bring some animals with him. He was very specific about it, as clean animal sacrifices were a temporary covering of man’s sin, discussed in our Genesis 4 study.
- 7 pairs of every clean animal – male & mate
- 1 pair of every unclean animal – male & mate
- 7 pairs of every bird – male & mate
Now how did Noah accomplish this? With God’s power of course! In Genesis 6:20, God tells Noah the animals will come to him – kind of like a mass migration. At this point I wonder what everyone around Noah was thinking. He either looked like the crazy cat lady who lives on the corner of your block or Dr. Dolitte. Key point here. God does not have any trouble getting the animals to do what he wants. All of them. Yet all those on the Earth besides Noah and his family were fully corrupted.
“The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” – Isaiah 1:3
Now here’s my favorite part. “The Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). I just smile at this. “Hey Lord, this door is really heavy! Can I get a little help down here?” After this, there were no second chances for those outside the ark’s door.
“What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” – Revelation 3:7
After packing up the ark, Noah and his family waited 7 days for rain to come, after building this huge ark for 100 years! Just another test of their faith here. There is no mention of doubt or worry. Something we can learn from. Sometimes we must have faith that God will fulfill His promises to us. It may take a day, years, or our entire lifetime. But this is the true test. What is waiting for us in Heaven is beyond worth the trials we face on this Earth.
When the rain came, the firmament broke. This goes all the way back to Genesis 1 and 5. People lived longer since the gene pool had not mixed around too much yet, and the environment was different since the world was surrounded by water vapors in the upper part of the atmosphere. Waters also came up from the Earth.
“And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:7
“And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” – Genesis 7:11
The 40 days and 40 nights of rain tie into other “40’s” used in the Bible. This number refers to testing and purification. Noah went up on the mount, spies went to Canaan, Israel wandered in the wilderness, Elijah journeyed to Sinai, and Jesus was tested in the desert – all for 40 days and 40 nights. This is not just a coincidence.
(source: Blue Letter Bible)
- If the world was a perfect sphere (without topography making the waters settle into the oceans) the waters would cover the land at a depth of 2.5-3 miles.
- “…all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” – Genesis 7:19
- 200 cultures have their own account of the flood
- 88% describe a favored family
- 70% attribute survival to a boat
- 95% say the sole cause of the catastrophe is a flood
- 66% say that the disaster is due to man’s wickedness
- 67% record that animals are also saved
- 57% describe that the survivors end up on a mountain