Genesis Chapters 6-9 describe for us one of the most catastrophic events (the only recorded event which is more destructive and far-reaching in its consequences is the fall of Adam) – Noah’s Flood. As we have already established, our premise for all study is that the Bible is the Truth, the inspired and inerrant Word of God. It then becomes the foundation for our understanding all other evidences in the natural world.
Among other things, the great Flood is our framework to understand geology. Too often people seek to reconcile the Biblical record with changing trends and discoveries in the ‘scientific’ arena. The very fact that these theories and discoveries are constantly changing and being updated should indicate their nature. Science is in reality the process of discovering how God does things. His history is the true history, and all scientific discoveries will ultimately always point to the veracity of the Biblical record.
We begin then by emphasising that these chapters are genuine and trustworthy accounts of actual historical events, not mere myths or traditions.
Too often Creation has been relegated to a series of Bible Stories in church or the Religious Education class at school, while naturalistic explanations for the Universe are constantly exalted to the high place of ‘fact’ through the Science and history classes. A key to reclaiming our culture is to provide an educated framework through which our people can see the fallacies involved in evolutionary models, and the abundant proof that a creation model is not only viable but also probable!
In the following sessions we will consider the following:
- Noah, the man himself, and his surroundings
- The identity of the ‘sons of God’ in Genesis 6
- The Ark
- The Global Flood
- The Fossil Record – a result of global catastrophe
We do not presume to present expert information, but rather layman’s arguments for the creation model as outlined in Genesis 1-11. The student is directed to ministries such as ‘Answers In Genesis’ and ‘Creation Ministries’ for more detailed analysis of the subject by experts in many scientific disciplines. The aim of these sessions is to provide the student with basic understandings, and to challenge ‘accepted’ models which contradict the Biblical record of events.
Noah, a man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord
We quote from the biographical study, “All the men of the Bible” by Herbert Lockyer:
“NOAH, NOE – REST.
Noah, the son of Lamech, of the posterity of Seth—the tenth from Adam. He died at the age of 950 years (Gen. 5:29, 30, 32; 6:8). The LXX version says that the name is a play on the statement, “This same shall give us rest.”
The Man Who Built the Ark
Nothing is known of the early life of Noah, who first appeared on the scene when he was five hundred years old. Evidently his father, Lamech, was a religious man and gave his son a fitting name, meaning rest. This much we do know about Noah, he lived in a time when men were universally corrupt, so much so that God said He would destroy the human race (Gen. 6:1-7).
In the midst of an age of moral darkness, Noah was perfect in his generation. He walked with God and had a life radiant with righteousness. Intimate with God, he learned of God’s purpose to destroy mankind (Heb. 11:7), and was given the strange and almost impossible task of building a vessel large enough to shelter his family and a pair of all the birds and the beasts of that time.
Noah set about the tremendous work of the Ark’s construction. Daily he had to endure the ridicule of the godless. At last the waters of judgment covered the earth, but all within the Ark were safe and saved. What a striking illustration the Ark affords of Christ, who preserves us from the flood of divine judgment.”
From the same work by Lockyer we note some remarks regarding Noah’s life and ministry:
I. Noah walked with God in spite of surrounding iniquity (Gen. 6:8-12).
II. Noah was obedient when appointed to a difficult task (Gen. 6:14-21; 7:5).
III. Noah was remembered by God and delivered from death (Gen 8:1).
IV. Noah, by faith, worked out his salvation (Heb. 11:7). See Phil 2:12.
V. Noah warned his neighbors of impending judgment. (2 Peter 2:5). See Ezekiel 33:1-20.
VI. Noah built the first recorded altar (Gen. 8:20).
VII. Noah was honored by God with an everlasting covenant (Gen. 9:12-17). See Hebrews 9:15.
The Events that precipitated the judgment
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:1-8 NKJV)
By this tenth generation of earth God looked upon the consequences of sin and grieved in his heart. Every imagination of men’s heart were toward evil and inspired by the enemy. Only Noah found grace in God’s eyes (please notice that from the very beginning, salvation has been by ‘grace’!)
This onslaught of evil was in part inspired by some strange events which the Holy Spirit chose to record for our instruction. These events are recalled in verses 2 and 4 of Genesis 6. Much debate has surrounded the meaning of these verses, and particularly the identity of the “Sons of God”.
We briefly consider the two main views concerning this matter (based on summary of views presented in ‘Willmington’s Guide to the Bible’):
1. The Sons of Seth
The simple interpretation is that the sons of God were those individuals belonging to the line of Seth while the daughters of men were the unsaved girls who belonged to the line of Cain.
Basic arguments for the first view.
1. This is the most natural way to interpret the passage.
2. It is supported by Jesus’ statement in Matthew 22:30
3. Because of the law of biogenesis, life begets similar life. (Note the statement “after its kind” in Gen. 1:11,12,21,24,25)
4. Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 15:38-40 , “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial,” would indicate these two can never co-join.
5. Moses did not use the regular Hebrew word for angel (malak) which he later employs at least twenty-eight times in the Pentateuch.
6. “Mighty men” (supposed offspring of angels and women) is the Hebrew word gibbor (Gen. 6:4 ) which is used dozens of times in the Old Testament and always refers to human men (see Jdg. 6:12 ).
2. Demon Spirits
The second and more involved interpretation holds that the sons of God were wicked and fallen angelic beings of some kind who committed immoral and unnatural physical acts with women in general.
Basic arguments for the second view:
1. The Hebrew language seems to favour it.
a. The Hebrew phrase “bne-elohim” (Sons of God) always refers to angels in the OT. (See Job 1:6;2:1;38:7; Dan 3:25)
b. The Hebrew word “nephilim” (translated “giants” in 6:4 ) actually should be rendered “fallen ones.” The normal word for a huge man is rapha. Thus, men like Og and Goliath were described by the word rapha. (See Deut. 3:11 ; 1 Chron. 20:6)
2. There is almost always a basis for commonly held ancient legends, however weird and distorted they might have become. In 6:4 we read concerning the “men of renown,” which some believe is the historical basis for the legends of Hercules and other children of the gods of mythology. This later corresponds to such Babylonian figures as Gilgamesh, the supposed son of a goddess and a mortal. He was called “two-thirds god and one-third man.” The natural coupling of godly men with ungodly women would not produce unusual offspring as is clearly inferred in these scriptures. Something unnatural is suggested in the text. Fossils of giant humans have been found in various parts of the world, confirming certainly that giant humans have at times walked the earth.
3. The common opinion of Jewish scholars: Josephus, the great Jewish historian, brings this out in his writings. The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament and the Bible used by Jews) translates Genesis 6:2 as the “angels of God.”
4. The interpretation of the early church: it was not until the fourth century that another view opposed to the angels of God theory was offered.
5. Various interpretations of some New Testament passages lend support this view.
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”1 Peter 3:18-20
It is thought by some that these spirits here were those sons of God in Genesis 6 . The reason for their iniquity was a satanic attempt to corrupt human flesh and thus prevent the promised Incarnation (Gen.3:15 ) from taking place. But here Peter describes Christ as telling them their foul plan didn’t work! For another suggested passage along this line, see Jude 1:5-7.
6. Two kinds of fallen angels exist: the unchained and those already chained. The unchained now have access to high places and to the bodies of unsaved men. (See Eph. 6:12 ; Lk. 8:27 ; Mk. 1:23 .) The chained are at present already incarcerated. (See 2 Pet. 2:4 ; Jude 1:5-7) The thought is that these are chained because of their involvement in Genesis 6 .
7. Even up to the modern day stories of sexual encounters with spiritual entities are not uncommon.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines two disturbing words:
Incubus: an evil spirit that lies on persons in their sleep; especially one that has sexual intercourse with women while they are sleeping
Succubus: a demon assuming female form to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep
Many activities in witchcraft involve deviant or unrestrained sexual activities in order to invite demonic spirits. The system of Tantra specifically utilises the sexual act to attain ‘oneness with god or gods”. In contrast, Scripture clearly warns the Christian to flee immoral sexual activity, and to honour the sanctity of sexual union within the bounds of strong lifelong spiritual covenant (marriage) with one partner.
Colossians 3:5 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
Romans 13:14 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
Galatians 5:16-17 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,”
2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts”
As in the days of Noah
The Bible also warns us that the spiritual and moral state of the world in the days of Christ’s second coming will resemble the pre-flood world of Noah:
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”Luke 17:26-27 NKJV
These characteristics will include an increase in satanic and occultic activity, violence, wars and rumours of wars, a prevailing disdain for the truth and a widespread acceptance of false doctrines, a pre-occupation with the ‘natural’ things and pleasures of life, an overwhelmingly materialistic world-view, rapid advances in technology and information, deception on a wide and supernatural scale…
All of these are present today in our society. Together with other prophetic timeframes suggested in Scripture, the evidence points to ‘as in the days of Noah’ being very descriptive of the time in which we now live.
The student is strongly encouraged to prayerfully consider the following scriptures in this regard:
Matthew 24,25; Luke 17:20-37; 2 Peter 2-3; Jude; Daniel 12; 2 Timothy 3:3-4
“knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”” (2Pet 3:3-4 NKJV)
Swiftly and decisively however, judgement came.
The diagnosis is extensive and detailed. We live in the last days.
The prescription for you and I is clear and strong:
““But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may becounted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:34-36 NKJV)
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” (1Pet 4:7 NKJV)
The Holy Spirit begs and urges you to take these warnings seriously. It is no longer ‘business as usual’. Our generation is uniquely positioned for the greatest clash of darkness and light the world has ever experienced, and simply calling ourselves ‘Christians’ is not sufficient to save us from the tide of evil and deception presently being unleashed in the earth. Be watchful. Be alert. Be prayerful. Be ready. The student is referred to the book, “As in the Days of Noah” by Johannes Facius