Alfred Place Baptist Church

7:17-23 The coming of the world wide flood

Genesis 7:17-23 “For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”

The mountain of Krakatoa exploded in 1883, in one of the largest eruptions in recent times. Krakatoa is an island volcano along the Indonesian arc, between the much larger islands of Sumatra and Java (each of which has many volcanoes). The explosion from Krakatoa could be heard on Rodriguez Island almost 3,000 miles away across the Indian Ocean. Ash fell on Singapore over 500 miles to the north. Darkness covered the Sunda Straits from 11 a.m. on the day of the explosion until the next day. Giant waves reached heights of 40 metres above sea level, devastating everything in their path and hurling ashore coral blocks weighing as much as 600 tons. At least 36,417 people were killed (incidentally about half the number killed in the Pakistan earthquake of 2005), most of them by the tsunamis, and 165 coastal villages were destroyed. When the eruption ended only a third of Krakatoa remained. Every recording barograph in the world documented the passage of the airwaves as they went round and round the world. Some of them, returning as many as seven times over the following five days. The sun was coloured blue and green in different parts of the world as fine ash and aerosol erupted perhaps 30 miles into the stratosphere. It had circled the equator in thirteen days. Three months after the eruption the volcanic dust had spread to higher latitudes and it had caused such vivid red sunsets that fire engines were sometimes called out in parts of America to quench what seemed to be the fires lighting the sky. The unusual sunsets continued for 3 years. The dust also lowered global temperatures during the year after the eruption. Temperatures did not return to normal for five years.

That was one of the worst natural disasters in modern times, but the worst one in the history of the world was the Flood, and since that time the creation has been groaning. Krakatoa has been one dramatic calamity alongside the innumerable hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, floodings, dust-bowls, deserts, plagues like HIV, wars and maybe global warming which always characterize our fallen world. The greatest crisis faced by the cosmos was back at its infancy when God judged the world with the Flood. Of all the people, birds, and land animals on the earth, none survived except those which were in the Ark. There’s not been a disaster on such a scale, wiping out so many living things as the great Flood at the time of Noah.

1. GOD GAVE A CLEAR WARNING OF THE JUDGMENT TO COME.

The divine warning concerning the event was ample, and that can be seen in two ways.

i] Firstly, the frequency with which God earnestly impressed upon Noah what was going to happen. Genesis 6:7, “So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.’” It was the Lord who said that; the voice of God was heard thundering forth those words, and surely that would be enough, but God’s voice was heard again. We read it in verse thirteen where God speaks twice about the judgment coming, “So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.’” That is enough surely; three times God has warned the world, but it is so incredible a message that God repeats it again in verse seventeen, “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.” “Are you getting the message yet? No? Then I will say it once again and this time I will attach a date to it, in chapter seven and verse four, ‘Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.’” God had said again it by way of warning. Then, long after the Flood, God breathed his Spirit upon Moses – this was thousands of years later – and the old patriarch set the record straight for the whole world, telling mankind exactly what had happened and why. Here is the history that Moses wrote; it is found in chapter seven, and verses twenty-one to twenty-three, “Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.” First had come the warnings that had made the peril spectacularly clear – this was no ‘crying wolf’. Then the promised day came when the floodgates of heaven were opened and the fountains of the deep burst forth. What God said he would do he did, exactly what he had warned mankind about. Finally we have the record of the event in a God-breathed Scripture for all mankind to consider. So it was an ample warning from heaven, often repeated, accomplished once and then explained by the Spirit in Scripture.

ii] The warning God gave was also utterly sufficient for this reason, for the length of time the world was given to stop, think and weigh the words that came from heaven. Noah was given more than a century to build the Ark and to explain to mankind what he was doing and the reason for it. The population of the world was tiny in those days compared to today. It had not spread out very far from Eden – Noah was the tenth generation from Adam – but after the Flood, especially after the Tower of Babel, there was a kind of centrifugal force that sent mankind out into the whole world. Note the careful chronology of the book of Genesis, that God first spoke to Noah 120 years before the Flood came (Genesis 6:7). This was before Noah’s three sons were born. Noah was over five hundred years old when he became the father of Shem, and later Ham and then again Japheth (5:32). When the Flood came he was six hundred years old (Genesis 7:6); he had walked with God for a hundred years. So we can regard chapter six and the first part of chapter seven as a summary of the kind of exhortations which God often gave to Noah during those one hundred and twenty years, motivating and inspiring Noah to keep going. “Keep on Noah! Keep on!” It wasn’t that God spoke to him once and then said nothing for over a century until the flood was upon them. It is never like that in the Christian life, that we are converted and then God doesn’t speak to us again until we die. No. It is never like that. There is a growing relationship of affection and understanding, correction and encouragement throughout our lives. I wish I could say that God deals with us on every single Sunday in some memorable way. Would to God he did! However there are times when God brings his word to every one of us in a very striking way.

There was a baptismal service recently and the daughter of one of my nieces who is a student was baptized, and this was part of her testimony; these are Mari Thomas’s words “As I once listened to a minister referring to the second coming of the Lord it created a fear within me because deep down I knew that if Jesus would return that night I wouldn’t be accepted by him because Christ wasn’t my Saviour. For the first time the reality and darkness of hell petrified me, yet I knew that this was what I deserved. I prayed that God would forgive my sins, accept me as his child and give me the assurance of eternal life.” Do you see how God deals with us personally Sunday by Sunday, bringing his truth to bear on our lives, warning, arousing, convicting and comforting us? Here is a woman being dealt with and spoken to by God. It was in her case a word of coming judgment, powerfully brought by the Spirit of God to her, so that she was constrained to tremble and to cry to God to make her ready for the judgment. I am saying that that is how we are to consider God’s dealings with Noah over the following hundred years. Noah walked with God. The Lord met with him, confirming his word, strengthening Noah’s faith and keeping him and his family working away in the forest and on the Ark in this extraordinary project.

What else was Noah doing during that century? The apostle Peter tells us that he was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5). In other words Noah was called upon to give some explanation for what he was doing. The city fathers, his neighbours, the families into which his sons married, the curious who wandered by, they all wanted to talk to Noah about this building project, and he seized every opportunity to explain to them what was going on;

“You know about our father Adam. He died just over a hundred years before I was born. My great-grandfather Enoch knew him well, but he died 60 years before I was born. My grandfather spoke to me much about them. You know what happened, how the righteous God made man upright but our first parents fell, and we have eagerly followed them . We have chosen many evil devices. Look at the state of the world today. Look into your own hearts and you will find such defilement there, won’t you? Every imagination of the thoughts of our hearts is only evil continually. Now God has determined to bring his judgment upon us. A great Flood is going to come and cover the world. The Lord has made his mind up. He is going to destroy this whole sick and degenerate generation, and then he is going to make a new start, but, don’t despair, in his mercy he has provided a place of refuge – and it can be for you too. There will be salvation for all who enter this Ark. God has told me to build this great boat, and I am making it exactly according to his specifications. Don’t you dare mock, you guilty sinners who’ve incurred the judgment of God! Won’t you join us? Come with us and work with us and enter the Ark and be safe? Won’t you turn from your unrighteous ways and put your faith in him and do what he says, before it is too late? Please come with us! Leave all your unrighteousness. Escape from the wrath to come!”

That would be how Noah would speak to his generation full of the Spirit of God. He was a preacher of righteousness for over a hundred years. So the Flood did not appear without warning or without explanation. The tsunami of almost two years ago came out of the blue, a distant wave growing immense and hurtling towards the shore sparing nothing and no one. How different the generation of Noah; they were well prepared for what was to come. Yet they would not heed the message of Noah, not a single person outside his family for a hundred years. I appreciate what Graham Harrison comments on this;

There are many reasons why they would not. We can imagine how men must have reasoned in Noah’s day. Did they ask this question: ‘Who needs God; or who needs that God of Noah? So precise, so particular, telling you what to do and what not to do! Always making us feel uncomfortable with the things we do and say and think! Who wants that sort of God?’ So they rejected him. Genesis chapter four has shown that this was no primitive civilization but a highly developed one, with the arts, music, and culture. There was also great prosperity and the beginnings of industry. Everything seemed to be going on marvelously – mankind developing, cities being built, riches gathered in. Also there was this fantastic life span – not threescore and ten or fourscore years, but seven or eight or, in some cases, nine hundred years before men died. Death seemed banished to a very distant future. That was how men reasoned. ‘Here we are, rich and prosperous; we have never had it so good! It’s not just that we have money, but we also have these cultural enjoyments and amusements – marvellous music and the rest of it. It is great when we have our carousing and our enjoyment; we are able to experience beautiful things! If there really is a God, if he really means what he says about sin and judgment, why hasn’t he come and judged us? Why hasn’t he struck us down the moment we sinned?’ They reasoned that perhaps he wasn’t there; or if he were, he wasn’t as precise as preachers like Noah claimed. ‘We can ignore him,’ they said ‘In any case we have hundred of years left yet. Perhaps nearer the time we will think of these things.’

What they were doing was presuming upon the grace of God. Isn’t that what some of you are doing? You don’t work in their time scale of seven, eight or nine hundred years, but you reason in the identical way. ‘That preacher! Always on about sin! Always on about death and judgment! I have lived a long time – nothing like that has happened to me yet. This is a fairy story!’ Can you imagine these people? They would probably meet and say, ‘What do you think about Adam and Eve? Do you believe all that they say went on in the Garden of Eden? Do you believe God came down and put cherubim with a flaming sword barring entrance into the Garden? The tree of life, the forbidden fruit and all the rest of it – do you really believe that fairy tale? It was ten generations ago.’ I expect men reasoned in that way then, just as some of you reason in that way now. If you do, you are presuming upon the grace of God. God is giving you space to repent, and you seem to be saying, ‘God, don’t bother! In any case I won’t repent. I’m not interested in that sort of thing. I may be in the house of God now, by constraint, or out of habit or respect for somebody else – but this religion is not for me!’ God warns you, and this is what he says: ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man’ (Gen.6:3) [Graham Harrison, Beginning at the Beginning, Sermons from the Book of Genesis, Bryntirion Press, 1999, pp. 79&80).

Through the preaching of Noah for 120 years God pleaded with men to change, but the Lord warned them that he wouldn’t go on striving with them. He had no obligation to do so. Why should he? Some of you have heard the gospel once and rejected it. Most of you have heard it many times. Why should the Almighty one stretch forth his hands to you any longer and plead with you to change? Millions in this world have never heard of Jesus Christ, let alone had the gospel preached to them. Why should God bother with you when you’ve heard it often? Why resist God? God comes by his Spirit and word, and he contends with you through the preaching. God summons to assist him his great ally which is in your own soul, your conscience. You know it; it is a troubling matter to have a conscience. When I say there’s a judgment coming, your conscience – your own conscience – says “Amen!” God is striving with you, but he will not strive for ever. Men lived a long time in the generations immediately after the Fall. So God strove with them for over a century.

None of us can presume on such a period. One day God will choose to cease contending with you; he’ll leave you on your own. How terrible to be left on your own, God no longer urging you to change. Children can grumble about Mum keeping on saying, “Get ready for school. Come and eat up. Have you tidied your room? Have you done your homework? Put some clean clothes on. Get ready for church.” “Oh Mum! Don’t keep on!” But one day Mum is gone, and you’ll never hear her voice again, and how you’d love to hear her voice fussing over you again, but you won’t. I am saying that it is wonderful grace that brings you here each week to hear the searching exhortations; “Are you ready to stand before the judgment seat of Christ? Are you covered with the righteousness of Christ? Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Are you seeking the face of God each day? Are you telling the truth, and being forgiving, and showing a forgiving spirit?” It will be a black day for your souls when you no longer hear a voice like that. God has let you go and do whatever you please until you fall into hell. No one cares for you now! You are like Bunyan’s man in the iron age but you don’t know it; you are the man whom God has ceased to strive with. Cry to him that he’ll never stop speaking to you. “Rebuke me, and chasten me, and humble me, and say ‘No’ to me, if that’s your will, as long as you don’t ignore me.”

2. THE FLOOD WAS WORLD WIDE.

Some Christians believe that it was a local flood, that is, that it gave the appearance to Noah and the others of covering the whole world, whereas in reality these Christians believe that it drowned those who lived there in the Middle East. They were the only ones who had died, the people of the Mesopotamian valley. We are certainly in agreement with Christians who hold a view that when the Bible says words like ‘every’ or ‘all’ you have to examine the context of those terms and frequently the words mean ‘all living in that particular vicinity’ or ‘everyone belonging to a particular constituency.’ I believe that that is incontrovertible. Many Christians who hold to a local flood have come to that position because they’ve become overwhelmed with the enormous problems which the concept of a worldwide Flood seems to create. They even say that the difficulties of a universal Flood require a series of miracles to explain them which would be greater than the Flood itself. I think that that is a gross exaggeration. The whole inundation of the world and its subsequent restoration is all one vast miracle akin to creation itself.

A mistake these Christians make is to presuppose that the world before the Flood was identical to the world today, that is, that Mount Everest then stood over 29,000 feet high. If that were the case then the volume of water needed to cover the Himalayas would have to be unimaginably immense. I have said to you that the waters of the Flood came from the same source as the waters of the oceans which God made at the beginning – ex nihilo – and then disappearing as imperceptibly again. Consider the great storm on the Sea of Galilee when the Lord commanded it, “Peace! Be still!” I am suggesting that the earth at the time of Noah was very different, a gentler world, with less extremes of temperature, and of lower mountain ranges and shallower ocean chasms. Everyone acknowledges that if our world were a perfect sphere then the oceans would cover the land to a depth of about three miles. We believe that a year-long flood of such universal savagery and immense disruptive force would have left the world very different from how it was before the time of Noah, just ten generations from the paradise of Eden. Great mountains would have been thrust up and the very continents would have moved and drifted and clashed. So men have discovered fossils from sea creatures high on Mount Everest. Whether or not those fossils came from Noah’s Flood it is clear that the mountain was covered with water at some point in its history. The Bible’s credibility doesn’t depend on science’s ability to find evidence and explanations. The Flood’s waters may have come in ways quite different from anything we know of.

The patterns of creation don’t limit God. They are his patterns and God controls them and can change them if he chooses to. When God rescued Israel from Egypt, he brought them through the Red Sea on dry ground by making water stand in walls on either side of a path through the sea. When Jesus was on earth, he walked on water, and he quietened raging waves simply by speaking. We can’t explain scientifically how water could stand up like a wall or how Christ could walk on water and make it obey him. But it’s clear that whenever the Lord wishes, he can make water behave outside the ordinary boundaries and properties he created for it. He simply needs to give a command, and water does what he says.

At the time of Noah, God commanded water to flood the whole earth, and that’s what the water did. All our efforts to understand or explain the process God might have used won’t change the fact of the worldwide flood. It was the worst disaster in history, and it came as a judgment of God against the evil of humanity and the corruption of the earth. I ask you if you were reading these chapters wouldn’t the natural conclusion which you came to be this, that there was a world flood; it was not a little local difficulty? Let me give you five arguments for a universal flood;

i] There are about thirty expressions in these four chapters of Genesis – chapters 6-9 – which say that the Flood was universal. If Moses intended to say that the whole Mesopotamian valley was drowned then his language is very exaggerated and misleading. That is to break the commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

ii] The Flood lasted such an extraordinary length of time. The rains fell and the fountains of the deep gushed out on the earth for forty days, and we are told that at the end of this time the mountains of the earth were covered to a depth of more than twenty feet. If that were the case with the local mountains of the Middle East then that water would have to have spread all over the world. Remember it was 150 days after the rain had begun, and 110 days after the waters had ceased pouring out before the bottom of the Ark was able to touch land. Ten weeks again passed before the mountains finally broke through the covering water. A further twenty one weeks passed before Noah and the family and the animals disembarked. There would have been weeks more of the waters gradually going down. A flood like that cannot be a localized flood can it? It is impossible for such a flood to cover a limited portion of the earth’s surface. Noah wouldn’t have stayed on the Ark for a year for a local flood.

iii] The third reason in support of a world flood is this, that the construction of an Ark would have been absurd if it were for a local flood. This Ark was big enough for thousands of animals and birds. If it were a local judgment God would have said to Noah what he said to Lot and his family about the city of Sodom, “Get out of the vicinity!” The birds would have flown to dry land elsewhere and many of the animals would have migrated to such areas.

iv] God promised never again to destroy the earth with a Flood. That must refer to another universal flood, for there have been terrible local floods in the past twelve months. In fact, such a problem for the United Kingdom seems to be increasing with photographs of flooded towns and villages constantly being brought before us. God was promising that he would never destroy all creatures throughout the world again; “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Gen. 8:21&22).

v] All peoples of the earth are related to Noah and his sons. They all come from him. Everyone of us today, coming from different parts of the earth, are all descendants of Noah. “The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.” (Gen. 9:18&19). And then we are told in chapter ten and verse 32, “From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.”

How did the incarnate God view the Flood? Jesus, who claimed, “I am the truth”, and who spoke of the unexpected timing of his return, once reminded his disciples of the Flood saying, ‘The flood came and took them all away’ (Matt. 24:39). He was urging us all to be ready, but that exhortation would fall flat if some people had escaped the destruction of the Flood. He spoke of the fire and sulphur that rained down on Sodom; did it destroy them all? Yes, no one escaped except Lot and his daughters. “When the apostle Peter spoke of the Flood, he assumed a worldwide flood, saying, “By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed” (2 Pet. 3:6). He then compared it to the present heavens and earth, which are reserved for fire. He is not saying that only one localized area would be burned in the final judgment . . . he implied that just as the Flood was global, so the final judgment by fire will be global. If only part of the human race were destroyed by the Flood, the major point made in Scripture of all humanity being corrupt, violent, and having hearts inclined toward evil would be lost. Noah and his family being saved because of God’s covenant love wouldn’t be anything unique or special, for many others weren’t affected by the Flood and would have avoided God’s judgment. God preserved Noah and his family to continue his promises to Adam and Eve of a Redeemer for sinners and that he would make a fresh start with the human race through Noah and his descendants.” Bruce A. McDowell, Noah A Righteous Man in a Wicked Age, AMG Publishers, 2004, p.97).

Imagine being one of those people inside the ark. Almost everything and everybody you know is suddenly gone. Your entire world has vanished under water. What a strange and awful feeling! Even if you’ve never been through a worldwide disaster like that, maybe you’ve been overwhelmed by tragedy and problems, and you see no way to move beyond those troubles into the future. Or maybe you think the world around you is such a mess that it is beyond hope. But don’t give up. Don’t give in to despair. Think of Noah. As the waters raged and increased for forty days, as not even a mountain top appeared for many months afterward, as the ark floated aimlessly with nowhere to land, Noah may have been tempted to despair. He had survived the flood, but would life ever again be worth living? Would the world have a future? Yes, Noah could still have hope and a future, even in the world’s worst disaster. If Noah and his family could survive history’s worst disaster with a sense of hope, isn’t it possible that you, too, could find new hope even when your world has been ruined? Noah had hope because he was anchored in the Lord, and that’s the key for you and me to have hope – to be anchored in the Lord.

3. MOST CULTURES HAVE ECHOES OF A FLOOD IN THEIR FOLKLORE.

The account of the Flood in Genesis is given in extraordinary detail; there are the names of individuals, numbers and dates as if a careful record had been kept by those who were involved in the event – perhaps one of the sons or the daughters-in-law of Noah. Someone wrote down these events on tablets and preserved them until Moses by the Holy Spirit enscripturated them in this book of Genesis. There are hundreds of other accounts of a great flood in cultures all round the world. A missionary called Dan Show worked as a linguist with Wycliffe Bible Translators in a tribe in Papua, New Guinea and there they told him about a flood story which they have had in their culture for centuries. Similar stories exist amongst the North America Indian tribes. Africa, Greenland, Hawaii, ancient Egypt, India and China all have narratives of a great flood. Among the ancient Chinese pictographs from as long ago as 2500 BC there is one with a figure of eight people in a boat.

James Boice describes a flood story from India; “In India the Hindus regard Manu as the progenitor of the race. He had been warned of the pending flood by a fish, who told him to build a ship and put into it all kinds of seeds, together with seven Rishis or holy beings. The flood came, and people drowned. But Manu’s ship was drawn to safety by the fish which finally caused it to ground on the highest summits of the Himalayan Mountains. In this story eight people were saved, and Manu is called ‘righteous among his generation.’ Even more remarkable, the Hindus preserve a story in which Manu later became drunk and lay uncovered until cared for by two of his sons, a close retelling of the story found in Genesis 9:2O – 27.” (James Montgomery Boice, Genesis, volume 1, Grand Rapids. Zondervan. 1982, p.284).

When the ancient city of Nineveh was excavated around the year 1845 20,000 of the clay tablets that were discovered were brought back to England. They were sorted and translated by a brilliant twenty-two year old assistant in the Department of Antiquities in the British Museum named George Smith. He was the first man in modern times to read their account of a great flood including these words, “The mountain of Nisir stopped the ship. I sent forth a dove, and it left. The dove went and turned, and a resting place it did not find, and it returned.” In the Babylonian account a raven and a dove and a swallow are sent out, and after the flood a thanksgiving offering is made to God and accepted by him.

In about 250 different languages there are traditional stories of a great flood in ancient times. In Welsh there is the ancient book of the Mabinogion with its story of the lake of Llion bursting and overflowing the land and everyone is drowned except Dwyfan and Dwfach and the pairs of every animal which they have preserved. In most of these ancient accounts there are certain themes that reoccur, a favoured family, survival in a boat, the disaster is due to man’s wickedness, animals are also saved, the survivors end up on a mountain. Then in some the birds are sent out, and a rainbow is also mentioned; eight people specifically are saved. I am saying that this encourages the conviction that the survivors of the Flood took the memory of what happened with them, and told their children, wrote them down, and as they spread further and further from the Middle East so more local colour was added to the story. Paul and Barnabas told the crowd in Lystra that God “has not left himself without testimony” (Acts 14:17).

The great difference between the flood stories of other cultures and the book of Genesis is in the moral and theological content of the stories. The Babylonian story of the flood presents it as caused by a capricious action of the gods. It is not because God has been striving with man to turn to righteousness and live and then, after a hundred years of continued defiance, God sends his judgment upon them. One of the most famous ancient stories of a flood is called the Gilgamesh Epic and that has to do with mighty men and gods, but in the Bible there is one living and true God, the Creator dealing in terms of righteousness with defiant sinners. Genesis is right up to date. It applies in the scientific age in which we live. It warns rebellious man of his folly and tells them of God’s judgment that lies before us all.

God speaks to men in their own languages via their own gods with the story of an ancient flood, and so he prepares them for the arrival of the gospel. This account of the flood can’t be expunged from our culture. Every child has a book or a toy with the story of the Ark, the little family, and the animals being preserved. Why did this flood occur? Ever remember that it was because God is holy and just and true. Our Creator hates sin and judges it. This is what people “deliberately forget” (2 Peter 3:5). They want to put the Flood into the category of Aesop’s Fables and Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Stories. They love their sin too much to turn from it and come into the Ark of Jesus Christ and be safe.

I say that these are not cunningly devised fables, as the apostles said to the world of their day. We were eyewitnesses of the majesty of God and he has given us a message of repenting for our sins and trusting in his Son for life. The God who was patient for a hundred and twenty years at the time of Noah is still patient today, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Will you? You know that we live in a moral universe. You know that we live and move and have our being in the God who sustains us moment by moment. He is the God who will hold us to account. One day he will judge the world by fire in the great Day of the Lord, but he has given you another opportunity again to come to him and confess to him your sins and find his mercy. Come to the great Hiding Place, Jesus Christ. The door of this Ark is yet open before you now and you must move into it as the Holy Spirit is now enabling you. Do not strive with God. Humble yourself under God. Do his will.

8th October 2006 GEOFF THOMAS