Summary: an exposition of Genesis 8
Islington Baptist Church March 18, 2001
Sermon text: Genesis 8
Scripture reading: Matthew 24:36-51
The Flood: Part II
Last week we began a study of Genesis 6-9. These chapters detail God’s destroying of the earth by means of a world wide flood.
Here’s what we learned last week
1. The geological record overwhelmingly testifies to this truth: there was a world wide flood. In addition to this more than 230 cultures and civilizations have world wide flood stories as part of their heritage and background
2. The godly character of Noah is something that we are to pattern ourselves after
3. The loving obedience of Noah to God’s commands ought to characterize us. One of the things that really defines Noah in our text is how active and energized he was in response to the commands of God. His obedience was not of the foot dragging variety.
4. Blessings come to those who find favor with God
5. The wickedness of mankind was the reason for God’s destroying of the world by the flood
6. The details of our text emphasize that we considering a real, literal event.
7. There are many typological features to our text. i.e the Flood which points to the judgement to come, the Ark which was the vehicle of their physical salvation points to Jesus and how in him one can be spiritually saved and delivered from the judgement to come.
One question on many peoples minds is this: how did all those animals fit in the ark?
To some minds the Ark seems small. Our malls dwarf the ark in size. Yet note this: Until the 1800’s the Ark was the largest boat ever built. The ark had 1.4 million cubic feet of space and 100,000 feet of floor space. If you can picture in your mind a railway box car, imagine 522 of them fitting into the Ark—that’s a lot of box cars.
Creationists have estimated that between 16000 and 35000 animals only have needed been on the Ark. Noah was not required to take aboard the 200 breeds of dog that we have today or the 100 and more breeds of cats, etc. Breeding has produced all these variations—all Noah needed was the basic animals. Note this: we are not talking about evolution when we talk about variety amongst an animal kind. Also note this: scientists have estimated that the average dinosaur was actually the size of a small pony, etc.
It is reasonably thought that out of the 522 rail cars that I asked you to imagine fitting into the Ark, that only about 146, or 28% would be needed to hold the animals. This left 70% of the Ark free to store food, etc
Bottom line: no problem fitting the animals in the Ark
Another question people have asked is this: where did all the water come from that was needed to flood the earth?
First off we need to note this: The world pre flood looked radically different than the post flood world. The Bible tells us that the mountains were not as tall and that the valleys were not as deep. The weight of the flood waters, the underground eruptions of mass amounts of water, and the general overall violent battering of our world, resulted in the look our world has today.
Genesis 7:11-12 tell us that on the day the destruction of the world began that all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
The end result was this: the world was returned to what it was a day 2 of creation: a big ball of water with no divisions between land and sea.
As you all know, in addition to our world being 70% covered by water, there are massive amounts of water under the ground in great aquifers. Wherever you go, you can always dig down and drill a well. Imagine the amount of water under the ground being significantly greater than it even is today.
One of the things we need to note when the Bible speaks of the springs of the great deep bursting forth is that our world in the days of Noah was rocked as its never been rocked before. The destructive flooding of the earth by God was no gentle experience. Imagine gigantic earthquake after earthquake occurring on land and in the sea. Imagine how huge tsunami’s (earthquakes out at sea) with waves 100’s of feet high battered the coastal shores. Imagine how the foundations of our very world were shattered and broken.
In case you are wondering “how did the ark survive that terrible battering?” it is good to note this: In 1956 the U.S did all sorts of studies and determined that a vessel best suited to the most violent of sea conditions had to have a 6:1 length to width ratio. Incidentally, the Ark’s dimensions are at 6:1 ratio (length to width) and as such are the perfect dimensions for weathering the Flood.