Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Genesis on Sunday nights, and last night he was in Genesis 7, which is the account of the flood. I appreciate very much the fact that he believes and teaches the Scriptures as literal instead of trying to discover something other than the clear and obvious meaning of a passage. This includes the book of Genesis.
Too many today want to make the Scriptures mean something other than what they say. One truth that is constantly attacked is the global flood of Noah. Why is this important? Why is it a big deal if someone says the flood was local as opposed to global? It is important because we need to believe what God has told us. If He has deceived us about the extent the judgment He brought by the flood, how can we believe Him about anything else, such as the reality of sin, the necessity of salvation, the virgin birth, the sacrifice of Christ, the resurrection, the coming judgment, etc.?
There is no doubt that the flood was God's judgment on the sin and evil of mankind at that time. Many hate the very concept of God judging sin, but the truth of the matter is that God judged the world once, and He will judge it again. This truth is denied because man does not want to face the reality that God will hold the human race accountable for sin.
If one reads Genesis literally, it is really difficult to come up with anything but a global flood. The only way to conclude that the flood was local is to come to the Scriptures with a preconceived idea and interpret the events described according to that bias. Even many Hebrew scholars who do not believe that Genesis is true will admit that a literal reading of the text indicates actual 24-hour days for the creation week and a worldwide flood rather than a local flood. Reading anything else into the text requires some interesting mental gymnastics. It is in no way realistic and objective to read Genesis and come to the conclusion, using the Scripture alone, that the days of creation were millions of years and the flood was only local. Having one’s mind already influenced by someone’s agenda is the only way this can happen.
One of the Major Assumptions of Progressive Creationism: The flood was “universal” (meaning “local”) but not global.
The claim is that Noah built an ark that carried him, his family, and the animals on an inland lake that was big enough to drown all of the humans who lived at that time. This is what is meant by a “universal” flood – it was just as widespread as humanity had migrated by that time, and there was no necessity for it to be any larger, since its purpose was to wipe out the human race other than Noah and his family.
There are several flaws in this thinking. I will address those with a series of questions and brief answers.
If the flood was local, why did Noah need to build an ark? Could he not have just moved elsewhere? God is neither stupid nor is He inefficient. He knows what He is doing. There would have been no reason for God to tell Noah to spend 120 years building an ark when he could have simply taken his family to another area of the earth away from the flood.
Why take animals on the ark when there would have been large numbers of most, if not all, of the same species of animals outside the area of the flood? But God had said He was going to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life. Are we to believe that not only all humans but also all animals lived in the area where this supposed local flood took place?
“And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.” (Genesis 7:21-23, NKJV).
How could a local flood cover the tops of all the mountains? Even though it appears that the mountains were not as high before the flood as they are now (Psalm 104), it would still be impossible for a local flood to cover all of the mountains by 15 cubits (22½ feet, assuming an 18-inch cubit). “And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered” (Genesis 7:19-20, NKJV).
Would not a local flood make God a liar when He said he would never again flood the entire earth as He had done? There have been many local floods since Noah’s time, and each and every one of them would underscore God’s dishonesty if they were like Noah’s flood.
“Then the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease’” (Genesis 8:21-22, NKJV).
"And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth’” (Genesis 9:12-17, NKJV).
“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you” (Isaiah 54:9, NKJV).
If Noah’s flood was only a local flood, every time we see a rainbow, we should consider that to be a sign of God’s dishonesty. Clearly, that is absurd. God gave that sign to humans and to the animals as a token of His promise that He would never again destroy the world in the same way He already did, and that promise is just as valid today as it was in the days of Noah.
The bottom line is that both evolutionists and progressive creationists need a local flood, because a truly global flood explains the many fossil-containing rock layers without any need for millions or billions of years. A global flood would certainly change the topography of the earth. It is interesting to note that some scientists who have observed Mars have concluded that the only possible cause of its topography would be a global flood. Of course, the fact that Mars has little or no water does not seem to be an issue for them. On the other hand, when the topography of the earth is observed, there is immediate rejection of a global flood and the question, “If there was a global flood, where did all the water go?” Why do they ask this? The answer is obvious – a global flood would make the Bible true, and we obviously can’t have that because it would destroy evolution and progressive creationism. So “scientists” who are willing to accept a global flood on a planet with little or no water are not willing to accept the possibility of a global flood on a planet that is covered 70% by water.
“If the waters are still here, why are the highest mountains not still covered with water, as they were in Noah’s day? Psalm 104 suggests an answer. After the waters covered the mountains (verse 6), God rebuked them and they fled (verse 7); the mountains rose, the valleys sank down (verse 8) and God set a boundary so that they will never again cover the Earth (verse 9). They are the same waters!”
“Isaiah gives this same statement that the waters of Noah would never again cover the Earth (Isaiah 54:9). Clearly, what the Bible is telling us is that God acted to alter the Earth's topography. New continental landmasses bearing new mountain chains of folded rock strata were uplifted from below the globe-encircling waters that had eroded and leveled the pre-Flood topography, while large deep ocean basins were formed to receive and accommodate the Flood waters that then drained off the emerging continents.”
“That is why the oceans are so deep, and why there are folded mountain ranges. Indeed, if the entire Earth's surface were leveled by smoothing out the topography of not only the land surface but also the rock surface on the ocean floor, the waters of the ocean would cover the Earth's surface to a depth of 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers). We need to remember that nearly 70 percent of the Earth's surface is still covered by water. Quite clearly, then, the waters of Noah's Flood are in today's ocean basins.”