Genesis 7:24 |Myth or Reality?

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Worldwide flood… Seriously? And this is relevant… How? All humanity and animals destroyed from the face of the planet? Noah’s ark and the ridiculousness of two of every kind on a wooden boat? Really I am having a hard time accepting the crazy you speak of. I know I know. If you really want to get sarcastic look at the cute little children’s stories painted on the walls of Christian nurseries showing the death and destruction of the entire world. It is a sick parent who wants that on the walls in the baby room. Am I right?

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24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days. Genesis 7:24 ESV

The flood event as documented in the Bible is serious destruction at a level that this planet has never seen before. People, Animals, and the face of everything ever built or created by man washed away. The scope and horror of it all is not a cute fairy tale if it really happened. So that is the question did it happen? Is the event credible at all? I want to take a look at a few pieces of evidence that support the possibility that this really happened and it could have happened exactly as recorded.

The first question would be related to the flood event itself. If the world was flooded by water there would be evidence right? There should be a lot of it and there is. The first evidence is cultural and societal. If only a small group or groups of people survived then a catastrophic event of this size should be baked into the myth and background of most every culture all over the world. And that is exactly what is out there. There are hundreds of flood stories in most every culture all over the world. 95% of those myths speak of a global flood and 70% speak of people being saved in a boat. Several African cultures tell stories of God who told two people to get into a ship with seeds and animals. In Norse and Finnish mythology the flood is the blood of a wounded giant or god and I find it fitting to bring some reality to the literal rivers of death that would have been the result of a worldwide catastrophe.

Additionally if there was a worldwide catastrophe then the evidence of its destruction should be available on every continent. While the idea of a global flood is not popular in the contemporary scientific community (As an aside the current scientific community is almost universally wed to the idea of uniformitarian theory that everything we see today is how present day was formed by the slow drip of change excluding almost any possibility of past catastrophes) the fear of catastrophes and the expectation of past catastrophes is not denied by science but when it comes to the idea of a “biblical flood” there is an emotional reaction to run away. We know catastrophes happened and there is a growing anxiety in the general public that one day an asteroid for example could cause a worldwide destruction. Supporting the theory of a flood event is sedimentary rock (meaning water delivered) all over the earth even on the tops of mountains. Even more interesting is the fossil record inside of the sedimentary rock where animals surprised by the sudden event were captured and buried alive by the violence of the water moving mud and sand. The fossilized death of animals and the volume of oil in various forms all over the world buried under layers of sediment scream back as evidence of something horrible in the past history of this planet.

If history indicates that a global flood event is possible then the second half of the question is to look at the “story” of the boat. Is that even feasible? It is hard to imagine the size and scope of what is provided in detail in the Genesis account, but that will soon be resolved. A group in Kentucky is building a full-size replica of the Ark based on the demotions provided in the Bible.

15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Genesis 6:15 ESV

A cubit is around 18 inches long so the conversion rate is a structure that is in the range of 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

This video of the building of this ark is interesting and contains a noteworthy quote. When this structure is complete is will be the “Largest timber frame structure in the world.”

The reality of this project demonstrates how absurd the fanciful children’s stories are that depicts a ridiculous caricature of this vessel that Noah was instructed to build. This “boat” is also comparable in size and dimensions of the freight ocean vessels that move all our favorite items from China to the United States over the ocean. For example this large cargo ship is measured at 620 feet long by 100 feet wide. The similarity of Noah’s ship 450 x 75 compared to the dimensions of modern engineering 620 x 100 is astonishing. The size of this ship is amazing.

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The final fact I have that supports the reality of God’s judgment on the ancient world is the endorsement of Jesus himself as recorded in the gospels.

37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:37-42 ESV

The unexpected, violent, quickness, and finality of the flood stands as an example to everyone that Jesus will be returning and all the ambitions and selfishness of this earth will be over. The judgment of the flood is a testimony that God’s grace and mercy are not unlimited. Awake now while we live in this moment of grace and mercy that we would turn to Christ for life and freedom.

 

 

 

 

Genesis 6 | Can Satan Thwart God’s Plans?

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God knows everything. There is nothing new for Him to learn. That idea is not really comprehensible for me because I spend every day learning something new and the more I learn the more I realize how little I actually know. As Creator of everything God is complete and his plans are complete. Everything God plans will be accomplished. If God failed in His plans then he would not know everything and he would not be rightly called God. With that in mind we find in scripture Satan’s futile but devastating attempts to prevent the prophecy that God made against him at the beginning of Creation. God’s plans will not be undone by man or by angels.

The Lord God said to the serpent… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 ESV

The first devastating attempt to undo this prophetic curse came through the murder of Abel by Cain. Satan knows no bounds when it comes to his depravity and men are just as happy to join in. God however fixed the genetic linage of Eve by giving her a third son, Seth, whose name means “compensation”

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25 ESV

Shortly after that death and evil Satan once again attempts to compromise the offspring of Eve in order to prevent the prophetic curse against himself from coming true. And this time Satan is determined to corrupt all of mankind so that we would never be useful to God in any way.

2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. Genesis 6:2-4 ESV

These three verses contain some difficult to understand words that are not entirely clear about a world of antiquity that does not exist any longer. We can however understand that the result of these three verses leads to a catastrophic judgment from God against Satan, Man, and the Earth.

First among the difficulty is the words “sons of God” and the use of the word Nephilim or Giants. Who are these men as opposed to the “daughters of man” that they took as wives? If one does not believe in a spiritual world and wanted a wholly naturalistic explanation then the only recourse would be to create a dividing line between the descendants of Seth (the sons of God) and the descendants of Cain (the daughters of men) but this explanation does not account for the wickedness or the description of giants or Nephilim. Further the few times the description “sons of God” is used in the Hebrew Bible it is describing an angelic host of some kind. For example the phrase is used to describe the attendance of everyone before the throne of God when Satan seeks an audience in Job 1:6. The Bible tells us plainly throughout that there is a spiritual war and these verses intend to communicate that Satan used fallen angels in physical form or through demonic possession to seed his corruption into the population of men. This idea is further completed with verse 4 when the Nephilim or Giants are referenced. This word is not intended to mean the size of a people group (although they may very well have been large physically) but it translates more accurately as fallen giants of the sky. If one takes a contextual angelic translation of “sons of God” then the resulting word Nephilim only bolsters the view that these mighty Nephilim were fallen angels intermixing with men in these days of antiquity. Satan is attempting to corrupt the very genetics of mankind to prevent God’s promised one from coming to judge him. If these were simply men of different family lines intermarrying it would not be sufficient to describe the resulting wickedness as described in the second difficult passage.

Second is the pronouncement that the days of man shall be 120 years. This verse is sometimes misunderstood to mean that men would be limited to 120 for an age, but the words are really prophecy that God set a time table for when his patience would finally lead to judgment of the wickedness and evil intent of Satan. What Satan is trying to accomplish is to prevent his own judgment. 120 years is the countdown clock for when the judgment of the earth by water would be accomplished and God needed this judgment because of the evil that Satan and men together had done in rebellion against their Creator.

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 ESV

Mankind would deservedly take the bulk of the coming punishment but Satan was not off the hook. God also had plans to put an end to this evil that man also embraced.

6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day Jude 1:6 ESV

Jude the half-brother of Jesus lists angels and people of the past who are judged by Jesus. He tells us that the Angels who “left their proper dwelling” are put in chains until the final judgment. It could be inferred that the consequence of the “sons of God” who left their dwelling in the spiritual realm where restrained and prevented from doing so again in the future thus blocking Satan from attempting this type of attack again.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-13 ESV

Satan’s plan to corrupt the earth with his evil must be stopped and put to an end. This judgment on men who had filled the earth with violence is justified because of their lust for evil and necessary to remove what Satan introduced to the descendants of man. The promise God made to Satan that freedom from sin would come from Eve’s descendants would not be undone and God being in control and full of mercy gave everyone an opportunity to repent of their sin.

5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:5-6; 9-10 ESV

Satan is still at his plan to stop Jesus from destroying him. Know this he can’t stop what God has set in motion. Jesus is going to return for a final judgment and that day will come unknowingly just like it did to the wicked of antiquity. The question for you dear reader is where will you stand? In agreement or indifference with Satan or with the righteous called of Christ by whom men and women from all over the world may be saved. Peter tells us that God is patient toward us not wanting any to perish but that time of repentance that we have right now will not last forever. Will you repent today and fall into the grace and mercy of Jesus our savior? Tomorrow may be too late.

Genesis 5:1 | Our Family Tree

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Some people love genealogies and they will tell stories they have found about great great grand relatives that lived in a certain place or migrated from some other country. They tell stories about family that fought in wars or worked in some trade. Genesis chapter five is the patriarchal family tree from Adam, the first man, to Noah the most direct relative of everyone living today. This genealogy tells more stories than one might think at first glance and it also tells a major story that is relevant to everyone living today.

However before jumping into the big story of this genealogy we need to explore a few fun facts and details. The first thing to tackle and the thing that jumps out right away about this genealogy is the age of each person. Most of these men are stated to have lived into the 900 year range. It seems impossible that anyone could have lived that long and much effort has been spent by theologians and amateur detectives to determine what the ages really mean or what they actually were. The intent of the original author, likely Noah, of this chapter in Genesis is that these were the actual ages of these men and they should be taken as actual ages. Any attempt to adjust the ages to fit what is “normal” for people in this contemporary age will ultimately not be satisfying or accurate. I would encourage everyone to take the original author at his word that these were indeed how old they lived because the author was witness to the fact and the fact that this is what God wanted recorded.

This graphic tells some interesting stories about these pre flood patriarchs…

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These are the men and women who knew where the Garden of Eden was located (Genesis 3:24). These are men and women who could come before God and meet with Him for conversation in what might have been a uniquely direct way (Genesis 4:4 and 5:22). These are men and women who were almost perfect in every way able to live hundreds of years longer than we who continue on in this post flood fallen world. These men and women lived in a pre-flood world that looks very little like the world we see today.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. Genesis 7:11 ESV

The Genesis history tells us that when Noah was 600 years old the catastrophic judgment of the earth by water occurred. That information combined with the genealogy in chapter five tells us that from Adam’s creation to the year of the flood was 1,656 years. In the same year, and within months, of Methuselah’s death, who died in the year 1,656, the judgment of God by water was ushered into place. Methuselah’s name depending on the root translation could mean “When He Is Dead It Shall Be Sent”. This is too much of a coincidence to not be interesting and just as interesting is the idea that his father, Enoch, a known prophet may have had a hand in giving him this unusual name almost a thousand years before the judgment of the earth by water.

While all of those are interesting stories about our history the real story is about God’s promise to return, judge, and fix what man had broken. That story is told through Enoch who never died and left a legacy that reaches out to us even thousands of years after his time on earth. Enoch was still a young man by pre flood standards when he was abducted by God and Enoch had a reputation even before this shocking intervention by God.

First Enoch was known as a faithful man who spent time with God.

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24 ESV

Second Enoch was known as a prophet speaking about repentance and judgment to those who chased after ungodly selfishness.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14 ESV

Those who lived at that time would have heard Enoch’s words from God. They would have heard from Enoch that the “Lord” of all men would be coming with thousands of holy people. They would have known that the “ungodly” way they were living was not God’s plan. While Enoch and those who heard his message would not have had the revelation of Jesus they knew the prophesy given to Eve about her offspring (Genesis 3:15). The promise of eternal life and a presence with God after death had not been articulated, but they knew people could be taken away to be with God as evidenced by Enoch’s life. They knew that God’s anointed one would be coming and he would be bringing judgment with him. Even in the very beginning in the days of Adam God’s future plan for Jesus, salvation, and his return were already being shown to mankind. This genealogy like any family tree contains stories that are relevant to life today. The question is will you be standing today in this moment of grace waiting just like the patriarchs for Jesus and his return or will you be like all those that were destroyed in Noah’s day?

12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. 15 Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. Revelations 22:12-15 NLT