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


    1. 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.

    2. Read Genesis 6:5-7. Does this sound like a
      hypothetical problem?

      1. Has God made a mistake?

      2. What is He thinking about His creation?

      3. Was God inclined to “reverse” or “take back”
        His creation?

        1. 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?”

      4. 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?

      5. 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.)

      6. 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.”)

        1. How concerned is God about our thoughts,
          as opposed to our actions?

    3. 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.)

      1. 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
        the boat!)

      2. What does verse 13 suggest is going to happen
        to the earth?

        1. 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.)

        2. 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
          United States.)

      3. Contrast what these verses say about Noah
        versus the rest of mankind?

        1. What does it mean to “walk with God?”

    4. Read Genesis 6:17-21. Some commentators say that
      the flood was a local event. What does the Bible
      say about this?

      1. If it were a local event, why would God bring
        along the animals?

      2. 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?

        1. How would elephants or dinosaurs fit?
          (Who said any of these animals had to be


    1. 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.

    2. Read Genesis 7:11-12. Is this the kind of rain we
      see all the time?

      1. 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.”)

      2. 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.)

    3. 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.)

      1. What is the significance of 20 feet? (Twenty
        feet would do the trick if you were out to
        destroy everything. Read Genesis 7:22.)

    4. Did Jesus believe in a literal Flood? (Yes. Read
      Matthew 24:36-40.)


    1. 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.)

      1. Would God say this about you?

      2. 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

        1. 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

        2. Does this provide a motive to be
          righteous – that your life can save your
          family from hardship here?

      3. Let’s look at the Matthew 24:36-40 text again.
        What lesson does Jesus say we can learn from
        the Flood?

        1. Notice that Matthew 24:39 says that the
          wicked knew nothing about what would
          happen. What does Jesus mean?

          1. 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

      4. 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

    2. 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.