Devotion on Notable Firsts of the Bible (The First Flood), 29 April 2015 Anno Domini
“6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Gen 6:6-8)
May the LORD be thanked that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord for, without that grace, you and I, and all that we know, would have perished in the old world. From the very first man that God made, sin has ruled in his heart. Though made perfect, Adam sinned and became impure before God. The Tempter, also, that beguiled Eve was created a beautiful and perfect being, but he too was lifted up in pride and became the merchant of sin, misery, and death. From the Fiery Gates of Eden until now, evil has ruled in the sin-natured heart of man. The heart of man is growing, in our own time, more vile and wicked than ever before. Infanticide has reached heights it has never before reached in recorded history. The defilement of God’s Holy Institution of Marriage is everywhere extolled as a thing of honor and respectability. How did these evils arise? They have always lain dormant in the heart of man. The bewitching waters of the Archenemy of our souls has nourished those wicked desires and given them root and foliage. The Sanctifying Water of Life that the Holy Spirit would provide have been cut off, and the consciences of man have been “seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Tim 4:2)
There were men alive in Noah’s Day who remembered Adam and Eve as parents or grandparents. “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” (Gen 5:4-5) Adam, for example, was still living when Enoch was born, and he was yet alive when Methuselah was alive, and died when Lamech (the father of Noah) was 56 years of age. The Flood happened about 1656 years after Creation, so Adam died about 726 years before the Flood. Interestingly, Methuselah, grandfather of Noah, died the very year of the Flood – let us hope of natural causes. Incidentally, Enoch was the first man to never see death. (see Gen 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5) Enoch was a type representing those who will still be living at the return of Christ as was Elijah.
Though God is patient and long-suffering toward us in our frail frames and spirits, He nonetheless will not long abide unrestrained sin. This is an important point for our own nation to consider!
There is some debate on the nature of rain before the flood. There are theologians who suggest that there had never been rain upon the earth prior to the Flood (which would have made it an even more dramatic event). They argue the remarks of Genesis 2:5-6 as a basis for their theory: “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” Others say that this passage tells how God made the heavens to rain down water from distilled droplets of moisture rising from the earth. Actually, it makes no difference to us. We know this for certain: the rains that fell at the outset of the Flood were never before, or since, witnessed upon earth.
Not only were the fountains of waters above the firmament released in a devastating deluge, but the Fountains of the great Deep as well. Please consider those depraved souls outside the Ark at the beginning of the Deluge. Terror racked their hearts. They were caught with no hope of escape. They sought the high ground until the last. As they reached the summit of hills and mountains, they found themselves crowded together with vicious beasts and serpents also trying to escape the perils of the deep.
Finding grace in the eyes of the Lord, Noah followed the directions of the Voice of God implicitly. He built the first boat (more like an ocean-going sea vessel). For one hundred years Noah and his sons labored in the building of the Ark amid the jeers and ridicule of all the world of that day. (By the way, Noah had the last laugh) Noah was not only the first ship-builder, but the first sea captain as well. The day would come when the Lord would consummate His promise of destruction of the ‘then’ world. “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” (Gen 7:1) This was the first Ark of Salvation provided by God through His prophet, Noah. It foreshadowed a far greater Ark of Salvation to come in the fullness of time – the Lord Jesus Christ.
The time that God ordered Noah to “Come thou and all thy house into the ark” has been so sorrowfully misrepresented by modern movies to the point of obscuring the beauty of God’s very words. He did not tell Noah to “go into the Ark” but to “COME into the Ark.” Why is this significant? Because God is always the place of safety. Come into the place of safety where God is – THAT is the point! Jesus Christ is also the place of safety, therefore, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) There are two other distortions of truth that the movie makers make concerning Noah. 1) Noah did not round up all of the animals and herd them into the Ark – they came into the Ark at the command of God. “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.” (Gen 7:7-9) and 2) Noah did not struggle with a large rope to close the Ark as depicted in most modern movies – God closed the door. “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” (Gen 7:15-16) Who shut the door? It was GOD! This is a very important point. Man has no authority to close the door of salvation to mankind – only the Lord has that authority!
This was not your typical Mississippi Delta flood. The waters came up from the depths of the earth, and the waters came down from the mantle of heaven, for forty days and nights. “What a mess!” I can hear my wife, Debbie, say! But that was not the end of the flood. The waters continued over the whole face of the earth for more than a year (about one year and seventeen days) before they were abated and the Ark rested on terra firma.
There are far too many ‘firsts’ to describe in this ordeal, but the greater message is that God destroyed that wicked world which existed in ante-deluvian times. He destroyed it with water, but He made a covenant, and sealed it with a rainbow, that He would never again destroy the world with water. The world was baptized into a new age with the Flood. The waters did not destroy the geographic columns of the earth, but it did clean and sanctify the earth of all wicked men and women who had lived before the Flood. Only eight souls out of millions were saved upon the earth. God has promised not to destroy the world again with water: “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Gen 9:11-15)
The greater acts of God are always reserved for LAST. The first man Adam brought Death and Sin; the second Man, Jesus Christ, brings Life Eternal. The first destruction of the world brought newness of life upon this globe; but the second destruction and LAST of all, will melt the earth with fervent heat so that even the elements will be destroyed! “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10) What! Is there no Ark of Safety for that time of trouble? Yes, God has again provided an Ark of safety to all who will hear His Voice – the Lord Jesus Christ! His true ministers have been calling the nation, and the world, to repentance. But their preaching has been met with jeers and ridicule by those outside the Ark. How ridiculous, they say, that the whole world will be destroyed by fire! Like those godless minions of the serpent before the Deluge, these, too, shall be destroyed with fire, and their souls relegated to an eternal torment of fire! Jeer if you must, but the Last Act of God upon this earth will hush your jeers!
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev 22:20-21)