Introduction: The world theorizes disasters of various kinds
to explain the present contours of the earth and the fossil
records. The Bible account records a world-wide water
disaster. Let’s dive into the details of the water
- WAS IT REAL?
- Many Christians believe that the story of the
flood is simply a fable meant to teach us a
helpful lesson. This arises in part because of
their unwillingness to believe that God could be
the author of such destruction. What general
lesson these individuals might find in the Flood
account, is less than clear.
- Read Genesis 6:5-7. Does this sound like a
- Has God made a mistake?
- What is He thinking about His creation?
- Was God inclined to “reverse” or “take back”
- We have discussed in the past God’s
reason for allowing free choice, allowing
sin and the continuing conflict between
God and Satan. Is Satan winning at this
point? Is God’s plan to kill those who
have rejected Him unfair? Is it contrary
to the rules of the “engagement?”
- We have the “neutron bomb” that simply kills
man without destroying buildings. The idea is
to deal narrowly with the problem. Why is God
proposing to destroy animals along with man?
- What is your reaction to these verses? Do they
make you worried about the fairness of your
God? Or are they cause for hope? (This
clearly reveals that we are not the only ones
looking for Jesus’ Second Coming and the earth
made new. Sin pains God and He wants to bring
it to an end. God told Adam and Eve at the
very beginning that sin resulted in death.
That was the rule of engagement. They were
warned and we are warned. ( Genesis 2:17) God
is not being unfair, He is simply showing us
that the judgment side of His character will
not tolerate evil forever.)
- What about mankind does the Bible say was
particularly bothersome to God? ( Genesis 6:5,
“Every inclination of the thoughts of his
heart was only evil all the time.”)
- How concerned is God about our thoughts,
as opposed to our actions?
- Read Genesis 6:8-9,11-14. When it says in verse 11
that the world was full of violence, does that
suggest a reason for destroying the animals too?
(When you put that verse together with Genesis 9:2
(which speaks of instilling the fear of man in
animals) the inference is that men and animals
were involved in violent conflicts.)
- Do these verses make the account sound more
like a fable or more like a historical
account? (This is clearly a real problem with
a physical solution. God even specifies how
Noah is to be saved and gives detailed
directions down to the type of wood to use in
- What does verse 13 suggest is going to happen
to the earth?
- Since the earth is still here, what do
you think God meant? (We cannot
comprehend how great a place God
originally created for us to live.
Remember, that when sin entered, God
cursed the ground ( Genesis 3:17), thus
indicating that the earth was going to
become a lot less hospitable. Now, God
says He is going to “destroy” the earth.
This reveals that the earth is now going
to get much less pleasant. It is fair to
believe that substantial damage was done
to the earth at this point.)
- Why did God destroy the earth? How does
this have anything to do with sin? (Two
informal observations. Too much leisure
time encourages sin. A very favorable
land and climate gives more leisure time.
Ever notice that more industrialized
nations exist in harsher climates? This
pattern historically existed even in the
- Contrast what these verses say about Noah
versus the rest of mankind?
- What does it mean to “walk with God?”
- Read Genesis 6:17-21. Some commentators say that
the flood was a local event. What does the Bible
say about this?
- If it were a local event, why would God bring
along the animals?
- Does the fact that the Bible says that every
kind of animal got in a boat of limited size
show that this is just a fable or a metaphor?
- How would elephants or dinosaurs fit?
(Who said any of these animals had to be
- DETAILS OF THE DISASTER
- One of the best arguments against the Flood
account being meant as a fable or metaphor are the
details of the disaster found in the story. Let’s
look at a few of these.
- Read Genesis 7:11-12. Is this the kind of rain we
see all the time?
- What do you see that strikes you as unusual
about this deluge? (It looks like it came from
above and below. Notice “the springs of the
deep burst forth.”)
- Read Genesis 2:6. Does this, together with
Genesis 7:11 suggest that God created a
watering system for the earth that is
different than what we have now? ( Genesis 2:5
talks about God sending rain in connection
with the appearance of shrubs and man, thus
suggesting that rain was a method of watering
before the flood. However, the statement in
verse 6 that streams came up from below the
surface of the earth and “watered the whole
surface of the earth” certainly indicates a
fundamentally different way of providing water
to the earth. Note Unger’s Bible Dictionary
asserts that prior to the Flood “atmospheric
rain is not recorded” and cites this text.
Instead, Unger posits “a huge vapor mist
covered the earth instead of clouds.” E.G.
White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 96-97
agrees with Unger.)
- Read Genesis 7:17-20. Is this the story of a local
flood? What detail in these verses sounds like an
actual account and not a metaphor? (It tells us
the water was more than 20 feet over the top of
the highest mountain.)
- What is the significance of 20 feet? (Twenty
feet would do the trick if you were out to
destroy everything. Read Genesis 7:22.)
- Did Jesus believe in a literal Flood? (Yes. Read
- LESSONS FOR US
- Why did God save Noah and his family? (Read
Genesis 6:8-9, 22. The Bible tells us that Noah
walked with God and followed God’s directions.)
- Would God say this about you?
- This chapter makes no comment upon the
character of Noah’s wife, his sons or his
daughters-in-law? Why were they saved from
the flood? (It appears their relationship to
- Is this a fluke, or can you think of any
other examples where a family was spared
disaster because of a righteous father?
(Lot – 2 Peter 2:5-8. I would guess that
Lot strains the definition of “righteous
- Does this provide a motive to be
righteous – that your life can save your
family from hardship here?
- Let’s look at the Matthew 24:36-40 text again.
What lesson does Jesus say we can learn from
- Notice that Matthew 24:39 says that the
wicked knew nothing about what would
happen. What does Jesus mean?
- How do you reconcile this with
Hebrews 11:7 which says that Noah
“condemned the world” and with 2
Peter 2:5 which calls Noah a
“preacher of righteousness?”
(Nelson’s Bible Dictionary tells us
that Noah preached for 120 years,
warning about the Flood, without any
converts. (This 120 year idea is
derived from Genesis 6:3.) Jesus is
telling us that we can close our
ears to His messengers and be
destroyed or open our ears, obey and
- What comfort do you get from Genesis 7:4 and
similar statements in the Flood account? (That
God warned His people step by step what would
- Friends, God loves those who walk with Him. He is
pained by evil thoughts and evil actions and is
determined to destroy them. If we purpose to walk
with Him, He will reveal His judgment to us and He
will save us.
- NEXT WEEK: THE MASTER DESIGNER