Genesis 030 – Final Call

Genesis 030 – Final Call
Genesis 7:1-12 • Dr. Andy Woods • March 28, 2021 • Genesis


Genesis #030 – The  Final Call

Dr. Andrew Woods

Genesis 7:1-12


So, if we would open our Bibles to the Book of Genesis 7.  The title of our message this morning is The Final Call.  Happy Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday, of course, is when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and proclaimed his Messianic credentials to the nation; a very big event in biblical history. And we’re here today starting to study another major event, the Flood.  We’re continuing on with our verse-by-verse teaching through the Book of Genesis. The first part of the book, as we have studied, is the beginning of the human race. That particular section, Chapters 1-11 has four events:

  1. Creation, God’s perfect design for the world, Genesis 1-2.
  2. The Fall. What went wrong? Well, the Fall went wrong.  And yet through the Fall, we have hope because there’s coming One, a Messiah, to fix the problem; Genesis 3:15 tells us that.

So, we’ve covered Creation, we’ve covered the Fall, and we have been teaching recently on the Flood; having completed events before the Flood, Genesis 6.   Now we actually move into the Flood itself, Genesis 7. So, notice this outline that we can use as we start to move through Genesis chapter 7.

  1. We have God’s instructions to enter the ark; Genesis 7:1-4
  2. The actual entrance into the ark; Genesis 7:5-12.
  • Then God seals the door [of the ark] shut Genesis 7:13-16.
  1. And then finally at the very end of Genesis 7:17-24, the description of the Flood itself.

But notice, if you will, God’s instructions to enter the Ark Genesis 7:1-4.  Notice, if you will, 7:1. Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.”  We have the instructions now to enter the Ark; it’s time, in other words.  We see that Noah is to enter the Ark with his household—eight total on the ark, including his wife, his three sons and their wives. We have made a reference to the fact that it’s interesting how God’s blessing upon Noah translated into a blessing on his whole family. There’s an interesting verse in Acts 16:31, where the Philippian jailer asks, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ‘And your household’ is the interesting part of that. The salvation of this Philippian jailer opened the door to family members being saved because when the leader of the family is walking with the Lord, there’s a spillover effect onto the whole family.

Now, don’t get me wrong, God has no grandchildren.  Every person must exercise their own faith in Jesus Christ to become a member of God’s family.  But at the same time, it is interesting how God works many times, how when the husband gets saved, the wife will soon thereafter get saved, and there’s a blessing to the children as they now become aware of, and and in some cases, open to the gospel. That’s the kind of thing you see happening here in 7:1, as Noah was under the blessing of God, and that had a positive spillover effect onto his whole family.

See, it’s not just about you and me. There are others who God wants to bless through us, many times, members of our own family. And you’ll also notice that only Noah, as it says here, was righteous before the Lord.  How many people were on the earth at this time? Well, we know from Genesis 6:1, the prior chapter, that men began to multiply on the face of the earth.  According to scientist Henry Morris, in his commentary: The Genesis Record, he postulates that there could have been at least seven billion people on the earth.  And if he’s right about that, isn’t that a tragic thing that of all of these seven billion people, only Noah was right with the Lord?  Only Noah was righteous, which raises another question: What makes someone right before God?  I mean, how did Noah achieve this righteousness before God?  Was it because he obeyed?  No.  His obedience didn’t make him righteous.  Rather, he obeyed because he was already righteous. We know from the book of Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith, it is impossible to please Him,…”

And then Hebrews 11:7 says, “…By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an Ark for the salvation of his household,…” Noah believed the promises of God. Faith alone in the promises of God, is what makes someone right before God.  That’s what gave Noah standing.  It’s according to Hebrews 11:4 what made Abel right with God.  It’s what made Adam and Eve right with God after their sin when they, by faith, received the provision of God, those garments of skin in Genesis 3:21.

And eventually we’re going to be getting to Genesis 15:6–not today. Don’t panic. But it says there, and it gives really the seminal or key verse on how human beings become right with God.  It will say in Genesis 15:6, “Then he [Abram] believed in the Lord; and He [that’s God] reckoned [credited] it to him as righteousness.”  There’s going to come a point in Abram’s life where God will take him outside and show him the stars in Genesis 15:5–And He said, Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And what an absurd promise that looked to be, given his advanced age and the advanced age of his wife, who at that time was named Sarai, who later became Sarah.

Paul the apostle, in Galatians 3:16, says that God’s promise was not just for seed in general, but it was also for seed individually, or an individual:  That’s what we call in language a collective singular.  It’s a word that can be used in the plural and also in the singular.  It’s the same noun.  It’s like a lot of people have come up to me and said, ‘Hey, Andy, did you get your hair cut?’  And by the way, I don’t get my hair cut anymore for purposes of fashion. I gave up on that a long time ago. I do it for expediency and convenience, so I don’t have to hassle with it when it grows back in two weeks. This gives me an additional two weeks.  So, as I told my wife, who really doesn’t like my haircut, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be over it in two weeks.’  And that’s just way too much information, isn’t it?  But the reason I bring up hair is when someone says, ‘Hey, Andy, you got your hair cut?’ I don’t say, ‘Oh, which hair are you speaking of?’  Because hair can be used as a singular, but it can also be used collectively. And that’s how the word ‘seed’ works. God promised Abram seed descendants, but he also promised him a seed. And through that individual seed, Jesus Christ would become the Redemption of planet Earth.

And it seemed ridiculous; impossible. But Genesis 15:6, says, “Then he [Abram] believed in the LORD, and He reckoned [credited] it to him as righteousness.”  Why does it say, at least in the NIV, credited? Because Abram received the righteousness of God on credit.  Now, we all understand credit cards.  We love credit cards because credit cards give us goodies before payday. That’s what Abram received.  He received the benefit before the payment had been made.  The payment wouldn’t be made until 2000 years later when Jesus shed His blood, and then after that, rose from the dead.

That’s how all people are made right with God. They believe the disclosure of God concerning the Messiah. It’s just in the Old Testament that they look forward. They didn’t know His name, Jesus. Today, 2000 years after the fact, we look backward and do know His name, Jesus.  But we’re all saved the exact same way individually by trusting in that promise, which is what we call the Gospel.

This is why Noah could be called righteous before God. He had exercised faith in that promise.  I believe that that promise, it goes back to Genesis 3:15, cycling back here for a minute—but I believe this group here, prior to the Flood, all knew this promise very well.  That’s why they’re all misnaming their children. Because they all thought that their child would be the Messiah. That’s how excited they were about it.

This is why Adam and Eve thought Cain was the Messiah. And boy, what a disappointment that turned out to be.  Not only was Cain not the Messiah, but he was also the world’s first murderer.  This is why Noah’s father, Lamech, as we have made reference to in Genesis 5:28-29, said of Noah’s birth, “this one will redeem us from the curse.” Sensing the role that Noah would play in human history but overstating things, thinking that Noah was the Messiah.  And that’s why we’re going to see in Genesis 9, the drunkenness of Noah.  It’s going to show us that God used him greatly, but he was no Messiah. There must be Someone yet future coming.  And as these Old Testament patriarchs—pre-Flood and post-Flood believe that promised the transferred righteousness of God was transferred to them at the point of faith.

It’s the same thing that happens to you when you become a Christian. You trust in the promise of God, the gospel.  You’re just looking backward whereas they were all looking forward. Go to Genesis 7:2-3, and it says, “You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.”

It’s interesting that you start seeing a smaller category of animals than what is commonly depicted. This idea that Noah put every single animal on the Ark is not what the Bible teaches. We made a little reference to this last time, but on the Ark, there were no sea creatures, no insects, no plants—based on the best descriptions we have in the Bible.  In our verse here, Genesis 7:2, there might not even have been seven pairs, perhaps just seven in some circumstances.  In some circumstances, the animals were just clean animals.  Animals of their kind were brought on the ark.  Just a dog.  You don’t need every kind of dog.  Perhaps animals were on the Ark that were not fully grown and perhaps animals were on the Ark in a state of hibernation.  Given the size of the ark, and if a cubit is the length from one’s elbow to one’s middle finger, then the Ark probably stood about 450 ft long, 75 ft wide, 45 ft high, capable of holding 125,000 animals.

John Woodmoorape, in his book, Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, which I’ll recommend to you because I know a lot of you have engineering and science backgrounds, and he’s of that variety.  He goes through all of this data and explains how fitting the animals into the Ark was no big deal at all.  The Ark was capable of holding 125,000 animals, and on the high side there could have been as many as, and maybe that’s an exaggerated number or a conservative number, I should say, 16,000 animals: 16,000 animals on an Ark capable of holding 125,000 animals.  Now, why even bring up things like this?

Well, there’s an interesting verse in the Gospel of John 3:12 where Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus at night. I call this the Nick at Night Conversation, and it says in John 3:2, Jesus says to Nicodemus, “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”  In other words, if you can’t accept the simple account of Noah’s Ark, and you want to come up with all of these objections, and you want to disbelieve God at that point when you don’t have to, then why would you believe God on things you can’t see?  I mean, if I can’t believe God on simple things like this, measurements and volume, why in the world would I trust God on heaven and hell?  Angels and demons?  Sin and salvation? Things that I can’t see. So that’s why handling of these things is actually a big deal. Because your attitude towards these things will determine your attitude towards the rest of the book. And so, these kinds of depictions here, as I mentioned last time, really don’t help us very much—with all of the animals sticking their heads out— look at the orangutan; he’s about to have his poor arm pulled out of its socket. As evangelicals, we make a bunch of pictures like this in cartoons, and we open the door to secular criticism because that’s what the secularists see when they think of Noah’s Ark. They’re not thinking of John Woodmoorape’s Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study. They think we’re just a bunch of crazy people that believe things like this because there’s no way all of the animals could have fit into the Ark.  Well, the Bible never says that.

Just like when we were in the Garden of Eden, studying it in Genesis 2, and it says there that God brought to Adam the animals that Adam would name.  And people say, ‘Well, you mean to tell me that Adam named all of the animals in a 24-hour period?  Ridiculous.’  Well, that’s not even what the Bible says.  The Bible never says that Adam went around and named every single animal. What it says is that he [Adam] named the ones that God brought to him [see Genesis 2:20].  And so, we need to be careful with how we’re handling God’s Word, and we want to do it accurately, and we don’t do want to do it in a way that’s going to open us up to both secular criticism and secular attack.  I mean, the secularists are already doing that anyway.  Why make it easy on them?  So, it’s interesting.  There’s no problem with the animals on the Ark.

By the way, if the Flood was local versus global, why would you put animals on the Ark at all?  [Let me just get rid of this picture. It’s so bad].  I mean, you could just tell the animals to scatter and move them onto a different range where the Flood wouldn’t come. Why would you put birds on the Ark?  There are birds on the ark. There’s no need to do that if the Flood didn’t cover the whole world.

But as this is happening, something very interesting takes place in Genesis 7:4, and we start seeing a number. And there’s a lot of numbers here in Genesis 7. One number is eight on the Ark.  Another number is that it rained forty days and forty nights. Another number is that the Flood lasted 150 days.  It’s important to keep these numbers distinct. Here you run into your first number: seven days.  Notice what it says in 7:4, “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out…” Now I’ll be showing you later that this phrase ‘blot out’ means to ‘erase.’ Another translation is ‘cancel’ as in ‘cancel culture.’  This society was canceling God per Genesis 6.  So, God says, ‘Okay, I’ll cancel you.’  Don’t think that God doesn’t have some divine sarcasm in how He works here.  The cancel culture movement in the United States today and the world is not getting away with anything because if they’re not right with God, they’re going to be canceled just like they’re trying to cancel us.  For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.”

Now notice it says seven days.  Noah, you’ve got seven days before we get forty days and forty nights of a torrential downpour.  Now the big question is, ‘Well, why did God give Noah this seven-day grace period?’  It doesn’t say, but some guesses are that this was given so that Noah can make some last-minute preparations. However, I did find a very interesting quote from Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s commentary on the book of Genesis, The Book of Genesis Record, which I’ll recommend to you, as it’s a very good commentary.  Fruchtenbaum writes this, “According to rabbinic tradition [Arnold Fruchtenbaum being a Hebrew Christian scholar], the reason for the seven-day delay was to allow for the seven days of mourning for Methuselah, who had just died.  At any rate, the rain was to continue for forty days and forty nights once it began.” Why a delay of seven days?  Perhaps it was to mourn the death of Methuselah because remember that Methuselah’s name means “when he dies, it shall be sent.”  The date of judgment was connected to the death of Methuselah.  Now, that’s very interesting because Methuselah was the oldest living man. He lived to the ripe old age of 969 years, and it shows you the longsuffering of God for God to attach judgment to the date of a man when that man was the oldest man that ever lived.  That shows you that God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  He is reluctant to judge. Now, could you imagine if you were the parents of Methuselah?  Think how nervous you would be with a name like that.  By the way, that name was given to him from Enoch, and remember he was raptured.  Enoch was a prophet, who in Jude, I think it’s verses 14 and then 15, made a prophecy about the Second Coming.  Enoch, in this name, also seems to have made a prophecy concerning the Flood coming by giving Methuselah this name: “when he dies, it shall be sent.”  So, every time that kid scraped his knees or got the sniffles, I guess they all got nervous. But he grew into full stature into 969 years.  He died. And so perhaps, and there’s no way to prove this, it’s just a rabbinic tradition. It doesn’t rise to the same level of scriptural authority. But perhaps the seven days was there not just to give Noah a chance for final preparations, but it was also there to memorialize Methuselah, just like we had a memorial service here at our church yesterday.  Perhaps something like that was going on for Methuselah.

And that’s why I have entitled this message “The Final Call.” Seven days and then judgment is going to come.  ‘This is the last train out,’ in other words.  Noah had been faithfully preaching this message, we believe, for at least 120 years, per Genesis 6:3. All of that is gone, and there is seven days, and it’s over. And sometimes I wonder, when you look at the events of our world and the things that are happening, are we in the final call as well?  I mean, could the end time events of the Rapture and then the Tribulation that follows just be seven days away? Of course, I don’t know that.  But I think about things like this, how close Noah was to everything he knew was about to be blotted out.  And how fast in our world, everything that we know is about to change. I mean, can changes in our world happen that fast?  My goodness.  Just look at last year.  I mean, compare 2019 to 2020, and there’s no comparison. Everything that was normal seems to have been altered. And if that can happen in the natural world, it could happen in God’s dealings with man, And this is why it’s so important to understand that today is the day of salvation: 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Why would you gamble with your eternity given the direction that things are moving?  And no doubt Noah had a message like that for his generation, which was not heeded. But notice that when the Flood comes in Genesis 7:4, the waters coming out of the sky and the ground—that’s your second number: forty days and forty nights.  Don’t confuse that with the length of the Flood; forty days and forty nights was how long it rained. When we look at 7:24 at the end of the chapter, we’ll see that the Flood lasted 150 days.  As time permits, I’ll show you that it lasted exactly five months, 30 days per month, which is sort of how the Hebrew calendar works. Perhaps this is some sort of early rendition by the Lord of the Hebrew calendar.  Notice it’s very clear about everything being destroyed.

Henry Morris in his commentary on the Book of Genesis, The Genesis Record, which I’ll also recommend to you, says “The words translated ‘every living substance’ [there’s the Hebrew phrase] mean literally ‘all existence’ or ‘all that grows up.‘ And that’s why everything after its kind had to be placed in the Ark so that the world could be repopulated following this global deluge.

And I’m here to tell you that the coming Tribulation period is going to be just like that.  It’s going to be so severe that if it was allowed to extend beyond its 7-year time period, the nation of Israel and the human race would be on the verge of elimination.  In fact, two-thirds, per Zechariah 13:8-9, of the nation of Israel is going to be wiped out.  And one-half, per Revelation 6 and 9, of the world’s population is going to be destroyed. It’s going to be a time period unparalleled in terms of distress.

Jesus said this concerning that coming time period. “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had not been cut short, no life would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”

Don’t think that Noah is the only one with a severe message.  We have a very severe message also for the unsaved.  And we tell people, just as those in Noah’s Day could seek refuge in an Ark made of wood, that they can seek refuge in the Cross of Jesus Christ also made of wood. Why is that?  Because as severe as the Flood was and as severe as the coming Tribulation is going to be, the Cross, as we get ready this week on Holy Week to celebrate or memorialize the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is at the Cross, the sins of the world were paid for.  Flood: bad; Tribulation period: bad.  The good news is that the sins of the world have already been dealt with.  By seeking refuge in Christ by way of faith, we can be spared from the wrath to come.

We now move into the entrance into the Ark, per Genesis 7:5-12.  Notice, if you will,  7:5.  Noah did, according to some—Oops, it doesn’t say that does it?  “Noah did according to all (emphasis mine) that the LORD had commanded him.” Noah’s obedience: this construction of the Ark probably went on for over 100 years.  He did exactly what God told him to do.  Right down to the seven-day delay.  If it had been me, I probably would have rushed into the Ark too early.  Noah doesn’t do that. Nor does he procrastinate and try to rush in after it’s too late.  He obeyed God over and over again for over 100 years; this is why Noah was blessed of God because He did exactly what God told him to do. He didn’t sit there and try to outvote God.  He didn’t second guess God.  He didn’t say, ‘why are You doing this or why are You doing that?’  He didn’t even trust his own five senses and his own reasoning process. God spoke and he did. He was no doubt laughed at and ridiculed by this antediluvian world who didn’t even understand what the concept of rain was like, building this massive structure called the Ark.  He just got up every day and went to work, and he did exactly what God told him to do.

I am of the opinion that Noah was probably very wealthy.  The reason I think that is because he financed the Ark.  Noah was willing to set aside human wealth and the allurements and entrapments of the world to obey God.  Everything that Noah had was about to be destroyed other than the Ark, which he created, and the animals in the Ark and his family in the Ark.  In other words, Noah is an example of a disciple of Christ.

It’s not just a man that trusts in Christ and has his fire insurance paid up and lives how he wants. He is a man that walks in complete and total obedience and dependence upon God.  And may we be more like that.  May our lives be like that rather than the way I’m always asserting my own free will against God.  Why don’t I just do what God told me to do?  He’s told me to do a lot of things, hasn’t He?  It’s in this book, particularly the epistles.  All of us know a lot more than we’re actually putting into practice. That’s why many times our lives are not blessed the way Noah’s life was blessed.  Jesus said this in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Noah put personal wealth on the back burner, and he placed obedience to the things of God on the front burner. And how different things would have been if Noah’s obedience was only partial—if he got maybe a C+ or a B- in obedience. I mean, human history could have been altered if he hadn’t done exactly what God told him to do. It’s the same in your life if you don’t do exactly what God told you to do because there are other people that suffer.  It’s not just about you.  It’s not just about me. It’s about how God seeks to use us to bless other people. If we don’t do what He’s told us to do, then it could have negative ramifications on other people as well.

Remember, Saul?  He was told in 1 Samuel 15 to eradicate the Amalekites from under heaven; to kill the animals, to kill everything.  And Saul really didn’t do that. He spared some of the animals. They probably looked like cute, cuddly creatures. Maybe Saul thought he could start his own zoo or something.  And why kill the animals?  I mean, that doesn’t make any sense.  So, Saul compensated for his lack of obedience by offering a sacrifice.  God will be happy with that, right?  And do you remember when Saul was confronted by Samuel?  Remember what Samuel said to Saul? “…to obey is better than sacrifice,…” God is not interested in your religious rituals.  If you’re using that as a cloak to hide your disobedience under, it doesn’t matter whether or not you understand the ramifications and the meaning of God’s command to wipe out the Amalekites, including their animals. This is not a vote situation that we’re dealing with here.  We are not running an opinion poll. ‘Just do what I told you to do.’  Saul did not, and he lost his kingdom as a consequence, over the course of time. God would not accept his religiosity as an excuse.

How different Noah was!  He did all that God commanded.  And then, go down to Genesis 7:6 and it says, “Now, Noah was six hundred years old when the flood water came upon the earth.”  Pay attention to that age. It’s repeated again in 7:11. That’s the last time you’re going to see a number like that in the Bible until the Kingdom comes.  You’re not going to have a time period any longer where people are going to live into their six, seven, eight, nine hundreds. Now, when Jesus establishes His Kingdom, there will be people living abnormally long lifespans—see Isaiah 65:20,23.  But until that time period comes, the average age according to Psalm 90:10 that Moses would write about in the Psalms, and it was Moses who actually wrote Psalm 90. Moses says in Psalm 90:10, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years,…”  So, if you make it to age 70 or 80, you’re considered fortunate in normal life today, but that’s not what it was like prior to the Flood.  Noah lived prior to the Flood for six hundred years.  Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years.  Methuselah lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years.

But the Flood changed all of that. [See slides on figure 2 of Flood] That line in the middle is the the Flood.  Notice how the age of people starts to shrink after the Flood [here’s maybe a more colorful picture of it if you’re interested in that. Here’s one more picture].

The Flood, generally by close chronology, would be about 1656 BC.  Following that time period, I guess, 1656 B.C., I’m not sure if that sounds right, but whatever it is, it was, the Flood did occur.  After the Flood, the age of people starts to shrink.  It’s a change in what’s normative in life.  The Flood waters brought that upon us. It terminated the antediluvian age and initiated the postdiluvian age that we’re living in right now. It is interesting that our world has been changed; as I speak today in the year 2021, it’s been changed 3 times radically.

The first change was the Fall, which affected not just our relationship to the Lord but the ground itself became difficult to eke out a living. Paul, in Romans 8, personifies the earth, and the universe is in a state of travail longing for its liberation. Everybody today wants to talk about the environment and ecology.  I’m here to tell you that the greatest environmental disaster ever to hit this planet took place in Genesis 3 because of sin.  Then the world as we’re studying here, is about to be changed a second time, right down to the ages of people through the Flood.  Then it was changed a third time at the Tower of Babel where ethnicities, nations and different languages developed—whereas prior to that, there was no such thing. Think of the poor, so-called scientist who’s trying to make sense of our world, and because he doesn’t consult the Word of God, he can’t make heads or tails of it. It doesn’t matter how many PhDs he has after his name. You can’t make any sense of geology, of rocks, of the age of the earth until you understand that the world that we’re living in has been altered significantly three times. Now, once you start to study rocks and stratification and all of these kinds of things through the right grid, then suddenly you can make sense of it, but you can’t make any sense of it without the light of God’s Word.

This is why prior to Charles Lyell, who desired to liberate the fossil record from Moses, according to his own words.  The leaders in geology were always Christians and believers in the Bible who took these things so, but take away the Bible and it is to take away the right lens through which to understand these things.

So, the world again is about to be changed. Then look at Genesis 7:7 and see eight people on the ark. “Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the Ark because of the water of the flood.”

In both 1 Peter 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:5, both are very clear that there were only eight people on the Ark.  So, all of us owe our lineage in some way, shape, or form to Noah’s three sons and their respective wives: Ham, Shem and Japheth, because following the Flood, human history is about to continue through those three lines. We know from Genesis 9:26 to keep your eyes on Shem because through Shem’s line, the Messiah is going to come.  Interestingly, through the name Shem, we get the word semitic, then we get an understanding that the Messiah is going to come through the semitic people groups of the earth. We don’t know about the Hebrews yet.  The Hebrews don’t exist yet.

It’s interesting how the Bible puts all of this information together for us. Look at Genesis 7:8,9 and it is sort of a review, if you will, of the animals on the Ark and Noah’s obedience. It says, “Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.”

God knows what He’s doing. We’ve got to put Mr. and Mrs. Animal together with each other, because if we don’t pair them up, then how will those kinds be perpetuated in the post-Flood world?  Noah, who didn’t even understand what rain was per Genesis 2:5,6; he didn’t understand that water came up like a mist prior to the Flood and watered the ground, yet he did exactly what God told him to do. He didn’t obey God halfway, partially, seventy-five percent, but he obeyed God completely.  Then I’m sure that he’s glad he obeyed.  Because look at 7:10, “It came about after the seven days [so the seven-day grace period is over, the final call is over], that the water of the flood came upon the earth.”  God said it would happen, and it happened.

One of my favorite books in my library is a book by the late John F Walvoord.  Note how ambitious the book is based on its title, Every Prophecy of the Bible. I mean, most people spend a book writing about one prophecy.  He writes about all of them.  He illustrates over and over again the pattern of literal fulfillment.  God told Adam and Eve, ‘you’ll die when you eat from that Tree of Knowledge.’ Guess what? They died.  And from that point on, he demonstrates that when God speaks, it happens. And this is how we know that prophecy, based on this pattern, is something you have to take very seriously because there are many prophecies yet to come that haven’t been fulfilled.  Yet they come also from the mouth of God.  In 1994, Dr. Walvoord was asked, ‘What do you predict will be the most significant theological issues over the next ten years?’  He responded, “The hermeneutical problem [now, hermeneutics is interpretation. That’s the great battleground] of not interpreting the Bible literally, especially the prophetic areas.  The church today is engulfed in the idea that one cannot interpret prophecy literally.”

This insanity of non-literal interpretation of prophecy goes back to Augustine in the fourth century.  He wrote his book, The City of God, and said, ‘a thousand doesn’t mean a thousand. The thousand-year kingdom is going on right now. And these prophecies about how they’ll beat their swords into plowshares. I mean, that’s not literal military peace. That’s just talking about Jesus bringing his peace to the human heart.’

And that prophecy about the millennial temple and how there’s going to come from the millennial temple in Jerusalem, a river that is going to flow into the Dead Sea, and the Dead Sea will no longer be dead; it will start to teem with animals, sea animals and life. By the way, you’ll find that in Ezekiel 47. What do you do with that one? ‘Oh, don’t take that literally. That’s just the soul that goes from death to life when you’re saved.’  This is the type of thing that Augustine started to introduce.

This is what John Walvoord is reacting against. If the prophecy of Ezekiel 47 is just about regeneration of the soul, then that would be outside God’s pattern because God’s prophecies are never fulfilled like that.  God means what He says and says what He means.  When He says it’s going to flood for forty days and forty nights after this seven-day grace period, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.  In fact, you can take it to the bank. So, if that’s true for all of God’s prophecies that have already been fulfilled which is what’s demonstrated in Walvoord’s volume, you better take very seriously what he says of the prophecies yet to come. They will come to pass just as literally and as accurately, as reliably as anything else that God has spoken.  They have to because God cannot lie.

The Book of Hebrews 6:18 says, “It’s impossible for God to lie.” Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man that He should lie.” He’s not a double talker.  He doesn’t speak out of both sides of His mouth. He’s not double-forked. He’s not double-tongued. What He says will happen.

And how wise Noah was to build his life around those promises and their veracity even though he looked no doubt foolish until the seven days were over.  The Ark door was shut, as we’ll see. The day of decision is over. The floodwaters began to break upon the earth, like God said they would. And nobody’s laughing anymore. Because God means what He says. And says what He means.  God cannot create a situation where He says something and then it won’t happen or else that would violate His character. And if God is giving people grace today to get in line, they better take advantage of it. Because the day is going to come where that day of grace, these seven days that we see here, will no longer be an option.

Look at Genesis 7:11, there is a reiteration of Noah’s age: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”  Notice the beginning point of the Flood is on day seventeen of month two.  Now look at Genesis 8:4, “In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month [same day, different month], the Ark rested upon the mountains…” Now notice it’s not mountain of Ararat. It’s mountains.  So, we don’t know exactly which mountain it was.  I watch these people on TV, and they’re trying to find Noah’s Ark, and they’re going to Mount Ararat. And I’m like, ‘which one are you going to?  The Bible says mountains.’

But it’s interesting that the Flood starts on the seventeenth day of the second month, and the Ark will rest on the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month—that means the Flood lasted months.  It rained forty days and forty nights, but the earth was under this liquid deluge for five months. Now, Genesis 7:24 says, “The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.”  Since 150 days equals five months, that means we’re dealing with months of 30 days. You didn’t know math was part of all this, did you?  This could be sort of an early Hebrew calendar that God is working with.

I don’t know. It’s very interesting to observe all of this, but the specificity of this is interesting. And then if you look at 7:11, you now see the first rain in human history. It says in 7:11, “…all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” These people didn’t even know what a deluge was. They didn’t know what rain was.  Genesis 2:5-6 says, “Now no shrub of the field was yet on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.” [Well, where did the moisture come from before the Flood]? Genesis 2:6 says, “But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.” So, if I’m understanding my Bible, right, they had no conceptual understanding of a Flood, of rain, of a deluge, which made the whole Ark project look absurd, and Noah’s 120 years of preaching looked absurd.

But the day in history came where the Flood hit and there is the first rain in human history.  Now, look at 7:11 very carefully and see the two sources of that Flood.  First of all, there’s a subterranean source.  Something is coming up from the ground. It’s called the fountains of the deep. And then it also said, “…and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”  That’s source number two.  Look, for example, at Genesis 8:2, and you’ll see those two sources mentioned again when the forty days and forty nights came to an end. It says in Genesis 8:2, “Also, the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;…”  I don’t know if I can make a lot of sense out of these waters from beneath the earth. But I think I can make some sense, and not everyone agrees with me on this, and if you don’t agree with me on this, that’s fine.  You can go your way, and I’ll go His way.  But I do believe as do a lot of the early young creationist movement like Henry Morris, that there was at one time in history prior to the Flood, a canopy which surrounded the earth, and it created a sort of incubated environment allowing people to live abnormally long and animals to grow extraordinarily large because that canopy filtered the sun’s harmful rays. You say, ‘Where are you getting this from?’  It’s in Genesis 1:6-7 which we have already studied.  It says, Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”  God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse; and it was so.  Now, the expanse that’s easy. That’s called the sky.  And the waters below the sky is the oceans.  What is sort of mystifying [pardon the pun], is, waters above the sky.  What is that exactly?  Well, that’s where this idea of a canopy that once surrounded the earth comes from.

By the way, it is mentioned in Psalm 148:4, where it’s talking about the various aspects of God; they’re personified as praising God.  And then it says in Psalm 148:4, “Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!”  That’s where the floodwaters came from.

Now, is this something we’re starting a new church over?  Probably not, but it certainly explains a lot in the Bible, at least to me.  It explains why early man was living so long: Noah 930 years; Methuselah 969 years.  They were living under that protective filter, kind of a greenhouse effect.  By the way, it explains strange beasts that we have no parallel of today found in the fossil record. You get the impression that animals were much larger in this time period. It explains where the floodwaters came from.  Certainly, it didn’t come from the rain. And it explains why following the Flood, there aren’t people living into their six hundreds or their nine hundreds anymore.

Now the life span is cut back to 70 years, 80, if you’re fortunate, says Psalm 90:10. That is because the protective covering was removed via the Flood. It explains a worldwide Flood of forty days and forty nights. Stand up today in a university classroom and start talking about a Flood that covered the whole world and how it rained for forty days and forty nights, and you’ll get nothing but derision and laughter because the uniformitarian—somebody that thinks what’s normal now has always been, will say, ‘oh, there’s not enough moisture in the clouds for that kind of a deluge.’  Oh, so you’re assuming God used the clouds.  How do you know God used the clouds?  Couldn’t God have simply gradually released the canopy?’

Dr. Henry Morris, in his commentary on Genesis, The Genesis Record, says, “A worldwide rain lasting forty days would be quite impossible under present atmospheric conditions; so this phenomenon required an utterly different source of atmospheric waters than now obtains.  This we have already seen to be the ‘waters above the firmament,’ the vast thermal blanket of invisible water vapor that maintained the greenhouse effect in the antediluvian world.  These waters somehow were to condense and fall on the earth.”

I think what I’m seeing here is the fact that when God designed the world via the canopy and the waters from above and the subterranean source of waters from below, He designed the world to be detonated.  All God had to do was to put His finger on the proverbial, metaphorical button, and the detonation process would start, which shows you that God is always sovereign over His creation.  These people living in this time period gave no thought to God.  But they were living in an environment where if God chose to, he could have detonated everything.

By the way, do you believe in global warming? I’m here to tell you that global warming is coming to planet Earth— see 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…” Now a thief, think about that.  A thief breaking into your house at night is not a happy thing.  It’s something that takes you off guard.  The judgment of God that’s coming to this planet is going to take the human race off guard just like the floodwaters coming out of the earth and God releasing the canopy, completely and totally caught these people off guard.  They weren’t ready for it. They weren’t prepared for it. Were they warned?  Yes, they were. But they chose to not live or believe or think on the correct side of God. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

What I’m saying is, just as the Noahic world was set for detonation, so is our world. It’s just a matter of when God is going to detonate this earth.  And why doesn’t God move faster to detonate this earth?  Continue on in 2 Peter 3, and see that He is longsuffering, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.  We’re living on borrowed time.  Just like those in Noah’s day were living on borrowed time.

You know, there are a lot of people that will tell you, ‘I don’t really think the Flood covered the whole world.  I think that’s, and here’s the fancy name they give for it:  phenomenological language.  Oh, that’s just how it seemed from Noah’s point of view.  He was in a boat.  The boat was floating in a regional or a local flood, and when he looked out the window, to him, it looked like the earth was flooded. But we all know hint, hint, hint, wink, wink, wink that the world was never flooded. And boy, I’m glad about that, because my science teacher already taught me that the fossil record was accumulated over billions of years. And if you start talking to me about a cataclysm, then out the window goes my interpretation of the fossil record. Now I’ve got to explain the fossil record in terms of a deluge.’

And by the way, there are things in the fossil record that to me, as a non-scientifically trained person, look like a deluge where an animal is fossilized trying to consume another animal.  The spine is bowed back in an abnormal way. That does not like look like something that accumulated over billions of years to me.  It looks like something that was going about life until judgment hit in a nanosecond.  That’s what it looks like to me. But people would contest that, and they try to shrink the Flood.  That way they can still be scientific and believe in the Bible.  So, this, we’re told, is phenomenological language. The problem is that when Moses was writing, and Noah was an eyewitness to these things, he was talking about things that are outside the purview of his vision, isn’t he?  He’s talking about something subterranean that can’t be seen. He is also talking about things in the heavens that are being released that can’t be seen.  This is not phenomenological language.

Everybody runs over to Joshua 10:12-13 for a similar explanation of phenomenological language where it says that the sun stood still.  Well, we know today that the earth revolves around the sun.  So, the sun didn’t stand still.  The sun looked like it was standing still. It was the earth that stood still.  So, when it says the sun stood still, that’s phenomenological language, right?  So, people take that and run back to Genesis and say, ‘See, it’s just phenomenological language.  It’s just what Noah thought he saw looking outside the window.’  I’m here to tell you that this is not phenomenological language because he’s not describing things that he could see. He’s talking about things outside of the purview of his vision, things deep beneath the earth and things far above the earth. Now, this Flood hit everything on this planet, and it rained for forty days and forty nights and killed everything other than those that were inside the Ark.  The Flood was so severe that it covered this world for five months, the water.  And the Ark didn’t even rest on one of the mountains of Ararat until that five-month, 150-day period had elapsed.

So, what does 2 Peter 3:5 say about these two doctrines of creation and judgment?  Peter, speaking of these things, and I think the King James here is a much better translation than the New American Standard: For this they willingly are ignorant of,…” The New American Standard just says “it escapes their notice.”  But the King James translates that Greek verb ‘thelo,’ which means ‘wish’ or ‘desire.’ “For this they are willingly ignorant of that by the word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.”  And he goes on and describes not just creation, but the Flood.

And those are the two doctrines that the natural man wants to get rid of. He literally wills them, 2 Peter 3:5, King James interpretation thelo; he pushes them out of his mind. Now they use all these sophisticated arguments as to why they don’t believe it.  But the truth of the matter is that they don’t want to believe it.  The reason they don’t want to believe in creation and the Flood is because they don’t want to believe that they are accountable to God as a created being.  They don’t want to believe that God will judge the earth. They rationalize that if God judged the earth in the Flood, maybe He’s going to judge the earth again.  So, they know these doctrines, but they thelo; wish; desire; push them out of their minds. It’s an active process.

It’s Romans 1:18-32, where the natural man sees the handiwork of God in creation, and he actively suppresses the truth.  In other words, you can be an atheist if you want to be.  But you’re going to have to work real hard at it.  In fact, you’re going to wake up in the middle of the night with your heart palpitating. Because at the bottom of your soul, at the core of your being, you know God exists.  It’s obvious that God exists. But you don’t want to talk about God as Creator because it makes you accountable.

And you certainly don’t want to talk about a worldwide deluge because that shows that God intervenes in creation and that He judges, and if He did it once, He’ll do it again.

So, all this debate about Creation and the Flood, it’s an exercise of the will, the natural man not wanting to receive these ideas for fear of accountability.

We’ll conclude here with Genesis 7:12. “The rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” Sometimes I’m in a passage and it’s hard to make a leap from that passage into the gospel. But today it’s pretty easy. Just as judgment was coming, and there was a way out in the days of Noah, we have that same message today. Judgment is coming. But the good news in it, and we call it the gospel good news, is that there’s a way out because the sins of the world were already judged on Christ, in His body, I should say.

If we will seek refuge in that Ark made of wood, a Cross made of wood, then we’re spared from the judgment to come. It’s really that simple. Would you rather seek refuge in a Man, a God that paid the price for you?  Or would you rather be hurled into this coming time of judgment?  Obviously, you’d prefer the former, wouldn’t you?  So, our exhortation to people here at Sugar Land Bible Church is to respond to this message of salvation by accepting the free gift of Jesus’ death as we memorialize it this week that He died on a cross 2000 years ago to give you.  And as we reconvene next Lord’s Day, we celebrate His bodily resurrection from the dead, which validated who He was.

And He leaves the human race with a simple message:  to trust in what He has done for you as a free provision.  And if you won’t, then, as the Book of Hebrews says, “it’s a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Becoming a Christian is not a 12-step program.  It’s one step where you don’t have to walk an aisle, give money, join a church, or pledge to do better.  You just trust.  And that’s what we mean by faith.  Trust in what Jesus did for you and in the safekeeping of your soul.  And the moment a lost person does that, they’re under the grace of God.

If it’s something that you need more help with or an explanation, I’m available after the service to talk. But it’s something you can do even right now as I’m speaking. Shall we pray?

Father, we’re grateful for these first 12 verses of this chapter and how this is not just a history lesson, but it’s also a prophecy lesson.  Because the Flood is a type of the things yet to come, so help us to be wise enough like Noah was to receive grace now while the opportunity remains. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said, AMEN!