Tuesday: The Flood
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Critics of the Bible make a big deal of the fact that other ancient civilizations had their own flood stories. They argue that the Bible story isn’t unique, original, or even true but is merely a copy of some previous myth or legend.1

On the other hand, those who believe that the Bible is the Word of God see these stories as a confirmation of the reality of the Flood. The Flood happened, and Genesis gives the inspired account of it. This account stands in contrast to the other versions, such as the one that says the Flood was sent because humans in their nightly feasting made too much noise and disturbed the gods’ sleep. The gods, cranky from lack of rest, sent the flood to punish them.

What reason does the biblical account of the Flood give for the judgment that was to come upon the earth? Gen. 6:5 



The idea of humans being so evil that they deserved death and destruction shouldn’t be that hard to fathom, not for us today, living as we do in a world where evil just gets worse and worse. The Christian view of human sinfulness, though often derided, is constantly being verified. That we are capable of good deeds doesn’t make us good. After all, American mobster Al Capone loved children, was generous to a fault, and treated his friends kindly. Who, though, would call him a good man?

Even amid the impending promise of retributive judgment, how is God’s grace revealed in the Flood account? (See Gen. 6:14–222 Pet. 2:5.)  



By building the ark, Noah was giving the world a warning about judgment. What’s implied, too, is that there was a grace period, a chance for the world to turn from its evil ways and accept God’s salvation. Ellen White wrote that had “the antediluvians believed the warning, and repented of their evil deeds, the Lord would have turned aside His wrath.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 97. The building of the ark offered anyone who would heed the warning a refuge of safety from the coming destruction. No question, judgment was coming. But grace was offered to all who would accept it until it was too late, and the door of mercy was shut.

How often has God revealed His grace to you? More times than you can count, probably. How can you learn to better surrender to that grace and have it mold you into the image of Christ?

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Tuesday: The Flood — 12 Comments

  1. For ages now, it has not been the Bible that copies people, but people who copy the Bible. Either way, scoffers are in a catch-22 now, because they can't deny a great flood and there obviously was one, just like the Bible says.

    Man may be able to make up a flood on their own. They may be able to make up a "god" who offers and after life if they are good. But what mankind is totally incapable of dreaming up on its own, is a God who died for and offers bad people an afterlife. Mankind could not dream up this kind of grace on its own. It only comes from God and His Word. Mankind can dream up and invent legalism. Only God could dream up grace, something very foreign to natural mankind.

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    • William, I understand what you are saying but the first paragraph is looking at the scientific evidence from a Christian perspective not from the point of view of a hard core evolutionist. To me the greatest question we can ask is how did life begin for which science has no good answer.

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      • I understand that scientists have discovered a gene which they say could not have evolved. It had to be created. Their explanation? Aliens brought it to us. Well they are partly right. God is from outer space.

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        • William, could you please provide the source for your understanding. I would like to look more into it. Thanks.

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    • It seems to me that the reason historians believe that the biblical record is derived from more ancient records is that the "more ancient records" were apparently recorded in writing before Moses wrote Genesis.

      This is, of course, not provable beyond a doubt, but even if it were, it ignores oral tradition passed down through generations.

      Thus, if we believe the biblical account, the origin of these "more ancient records" would be the original creation and global flood story. Over time, these stories degenerated -- either by faulty story-telling or deliberate accretions.

      When God inspired Moses to write down the history and ancient genealogies, it was to set the record straight, in contrast to Babylonian and other myths.

      And, by the way, the same explanation holds for many heathen systems of worship. Many of them have some kind of blood sacrifice, which is a distortion of the original sacrifice to symbolize the death of Christ. We can be sure that Satan had an interest in misrepresenting the Creator and thus he was most diligent to ensure the distortion of not only the stories but also of the worship practices of mankind to ensure that Satan's misrepresentation would prevail, rather than the Creator's truth.

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      • Yes. Even today many people seem to believe that Jesus came to make God not so angry at us--to appease Him so to speak.

        This is just what many heathen believed about their sacrifices--that God was angry and must be pacified ASAP.

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  2. Retributive judgment! Now there is a term that in my opinion has been misapplied and abused; and even worse judgment in general has been misunderstood. But then that is my view. The question I would like to ask is whether or not judgment in the biblical sense is punitive in nature. I am going to limit this comment to that one question and resist getting sidetracked on other associated issues.

    When we punish a child for misbehavior or imprison someone for breaking the law what are we actually doing? Is it to get revenge or is it to change the attitude of the person? If it is to change a person’s attitude like I believe it should be then all judgment involving punishment should be toward the same goal. But we have a problem in that approach when judgment ends in death because when a person dies he/she doesn’t have the opportunity to change their attitude being in the state of unconsciousness. Therefore in those cases the idea of punishing for the purpose of correction simply doesn’t work.

    For that reason it is my belief that the judgment simply recognizes the decision that each individual has made. Those who choose to side with God and His government are guaranteed everlasting life because God has interfered with His own law of sin and death on their behalf, “The soul who sins shall die” (Eze 18:20 NKJV). But to those that rebel the law stands without God’s interference. To me that judgment is not retributive but involves biblical wrath as defined in Romans 1 which I have quoted below using my own emphasis.

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
    21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
    25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
    27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting (Rom 1:18-28 NKJV).

    Along that same line Jesus said, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Luke 13:34-35 NKJV). He didn’t get mad – it wasn’t a threat; all He did was to let them have what they wanted – separation from God and His government. The problem is that when God leaves, His shielding protection from the devil goes with Him. To me if anyone is punishing, it is sin’s interaction with the laws that God established in the beginning.

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    • I understand where you are coming from. Isn't this called restorative judgment? (i.e. restoring things to their rightful place; revealing the stand each has taken and allowing each person to have what their heart desires).

      In judgment I see a theme of revealing the truth and setting things in their proper order.
      For example, the Bible often refers to justice in the following terms:

      Isaiah 1:17
      "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

      In this case judgment means that we are to do right by oppressed and powerless people. Treat them right. Restore them. Do not deprive them of what is theirs.

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    • Andrew, your comment is intriguing and got me to think as do the rest of your comments.

      While there are aspects of the judgment that seem to be restorative I feel that it is generally not. To me judgment is a separator and really nothing more, what happens because of it is another matter. As in present day court procedures there is usually a investigative phase, a judicial phase, and then a sentencing phase where restoration would come into play. If there is anything that is truly restorative it would be the cross that settled the main questions of the controversy.

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  3. what can the critics say about the oil rich middle east? geologically,oil came from once living organisms that were buried deep in the ground.can we hence ask them what probably buried them?

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