Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Common Mans Commentary on Genesis, Chapter 7

Chapter 7

“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” ( V1)
  The implications of this, the first invitation in the Bible (the last being Rev 22:17) are both comforting and staggering. God says ‘Come’ because he’s inside the ark with them.  God also commands men to come in places like Ex 3:10 , Ex 24:12, Matt 11:28,  and Acts 16:31.
  Now if the reader will be gracious enough to allow me to ride a hobby horse for a paragraph or three, the term “house” obviously here means “family”, like in John 14:2.  But the Bible also uses the word ‘house’ to refer to a dwelling place on occasion, as the temple is called the “house of God” repeatedly.  There was supposed to be reverence for the building and its contents.  I personally cannot find any clear place in scripture where a structure erected for the purpose of New Testament saints assembly is ever called ‘the house of God’.
   Since there is no temple in the Old Testament sense, and every believer is the temple in the New Testament, New Testament references to ‘the house of God’ seem to always refer to the body of believers and their interactions with each other. For some examples of this, take a look at 1 Tim 3:15 as compared to 1 Peter 4:17.  We don’t get much right in the South, but the old southern tradition of referring to the meeting place as ‘the church house’ seems more spiritually correct than referring to a building as ‘the house of God’ and   taking the stand that you are obligated to behave differently inside the building than you are in other  places of your life. Considering that I carry the Holy Spirit with me, I ought to be concerned about my behavior all of time, not just for a couple of hours a couple of days a week. Other references to the ‘house of God are in John 2:21, 1 Cor 3:16-17, 2 Cor 6:16, and Rev 3:12. I will now dismount from my hobby horse.
  Notice again the emphasis on Noah and his standing in the ‘generation’ in which he lives.  Also notice that, according to 2 Pet 2:5, Noah’s primary job was that of ‘preacher’, not ‘ark-builder’ or ‘animal wrangler’.  Furthermore, not only does Noah make God’s very short list of ‘righteous ‘men (Ezek 14:14-20), Jesus himself vouches for Noah in Matt 24:37-38 and Luke 17:27.
“Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens , the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.  Of fowls also of the air by sevens , the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.” ( V2-3)
  In an amazing occurrence of me getting ahead of myself,  most of the material was discussed in the previous chapter. 7 males, 7 females and every clean animal and  2 males, with 2 females of every unclean animal.
“For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.  And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.  And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.  And Noah went in , and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.  Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,  There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.” ( V4-9)
  Noah’s obedience is pointed out again here. Obedience pleases God more than sacrifice.  The rain starts a week after they enter the ark, with various dating methods placing the flood around 2347 years before Christ. Keep in mind that God gave them no indication as to how long they were going to be in the ark before they came out.
  It’s common enough to refer to this big floating box as ‘Noah’s ark’, but the truth is, it was God’s ark.  As God’s ark, it was Noah’s job to labor to get his family in, and trust God for the remedy (John 10:1-15). Other than his obedience, there was nothing Noah could contribute to the process; no idea of his could make the ark any safer, or any better.  When it was all said and done, Noah gave up the world, and God gave the world back to him ( Mark 8:34-38).
  This also brings to mind the old saying, “The Titanic was built by professionals, the ark was built by amateurs”.
“And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.  In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up , and the windows of heaven were opened .  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” (V10-12)
  Yet another attack against the validity of the Genesis account is often leveled at this section of the text.  Skeptics claim that there is not enough moisture in the atmosphere to drop enough rain to cover the mountains. The skeptics claim that this leaves us with two options regarding this account. Either the flood of Noah’s day was a local flood, or it is entirely fictitious.
  I personally scoff at the scoffers, and insist that by reading the text and comparing scripture with scripture we can arrive at an explanation that fits all the available facts.  First of all, there is no reason to assume that the dry earth was as mountainous in Noah’s day.  Lower land would take less water to cover.  But an even more elegant explanation awaits us in the Bible. You may recall earlier in this work we mentioned that there exists out past the   known reaches of space a large body of water, the surface of which is frozen ( Job 38:30, Ps 104:6). According to the passage, it wasn’t only rainwater, but rather the fountains of the ‘great deep’ that poured out on the earth through the ‘windows of heaven’.  In God’s judgment, water flowed across the   vastness of space and flooded this small planet, covering all the dry land in no time flat, just like it had once before.
  God is operating off of a lunar calendar, with 12 months of 30 days each as opposed to the Gentile hodgepodge of days and months. Compare verse 24 of this chapter to Gen 8:3-4. Regardless, forty days and forty nights water poured out on the earth like a firehose. Nothing survived except the inhabitants of the ark.
 Another point against the scoffers is the prevalence of flood legends scattered among the various cultures around the world. 
For example, in southwest Tanzania they say that once upon a time the rivers began to flood. The god told two people to get into a ship. He told them to take lots of seed and to take lots of animals. The water of the flood eventually covered the mountains. Finally the flood stopped. Then one of the men, wanting to know if the water had dried up let a dove loose. The dove returned. Later he let loose a hawk which did not return. Then the men left the boat and took the animals and the seeds with them.
The Chinese classic called the Hihking tells about "the family of Fuhi," that was saved from a great flood. This ancient story tells that the entire land was flooded; however one family survived in a boat. The Chinese consider this man the father of their civilization. This record indicates that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters were the only people that escaped the great flood. It is claimed, that he and his family were the only people alive on earth, and repopulated the world.
 In Chaldean legends, the god Chronos warned a man named Xisuthrus of a coming flood and told him to build a boat. The boat was to be 5 stadia by 2 stadia. In this boat Xisuthrus was to put his family, friends and two of each animal (male and female) into the boat.. The flood came. When the waters started to recede he let some birds loose. They came back and he noticed they had mud on their feet. He tried again with the same results. When he tried the third time the birds did not return. Assuming the water had dried up the people got out of the boat and offered sacrifices to the gods.
The Toltec natives have a legend telling that the original creation lasted for 1716 years, and was destroyed by a flood and only one family survived. The Assyrians date the flood at 2316 BC, the Greek legends place it at 2300 BC, and the Egyptian flood story dates it at 2600 BC, and the Phoenicians place it at 2700 BC.
A man unhindered by a hatred of the Bible might conclude that, after the tower of Babel, the various peoples of the world took the story of the flood with them, and the differences among the stories reflect the passage of time and the fading of memories. Thankfully we have the original story preserved by the Holy Spirit.
” In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;  They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.” (V13-15)
  Animals and people got on the ark on the same day.
“And they that went in , went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” (V16)
  God himself closed the door and in doing so, sealed the fate of everybody on the outside.  Once God closes a door, nobody else can open it, and once God opens a door, nobody else can shut it (Rev 3:8, Matt 25:10, Prov. 1:22-30). Had Noah been inclined to heed to the   panicky screams and drowning cries of his neighbors, he would have still been powerless to open the door and stay God’s hand.
 I have friends and relatives who have not received Christ, and dwell under the wrath of God. I have tried to be a good witness, and I have tried to live for God in front of them. But unless they repent, there will come a day in which the door of salvation is closed to them, and not even my tears will be able to reopen it. Teaching that God will tolerate foolishness forever, or that he will forgive anything forever is insanity.  His righteousness demands he deal with it, his longsuffering delays it until all hope is lost. (1 Pet 3:20)
“And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.” (V17)
   Here’s an interesting thing. The pouring out of such a vast quantity of water on this planet would add to the mass of the planet. Mass affects gravity, and it’s very likely that this flood affected the earth’s orbit around the sun, moving it closer to the sun ( Isa 13;13, 24:18,20, Ps 82:5).  If it happened that way, there would be a couple of immediate and obvious affects. One is that the climate of the earth would be quite different than it was before the flood. Another effect would be an increase in the amount of solar radiation hitting the earth, which would decrease lifespans after the flood.  Moving the earth closer to the sun also throws out the window any attempt to date the age of the earth using radioactive isotopes.  Things from before the flood would appear much older than things after the flood.
“And the waters prevailed , and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.” ( V18)
  The dictionary defines “prevailed” as “to overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage”.  The water won, despite the best efforts of men or angels (Rev 5:5).
  Let’s take a quick break from the text to catch up with the ruminations and postulations of the Monkey Men of modern science falsely so called.  It is my assertion that men reject the flood of Noah’s day not because of the  evidence, but because of the wickedness of the hearts. Richard Dawkins, in his book The Greatest Show on Earth, said “Evolution could be so easily disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colors.” Well, let’s take a look, shall we?
In June of 1971 Lin Ottinger, an amateur geologist and archaeologist, made a fascinating discovery in a Moab, Utah copper mine. Ottinger found human remains in a Cretaceous age sandstone (supposedly more than 65 million years old). He carefully uncovered a portion of what later proved to be two fossilized human skeletons. Dr. Marwitt, J. P. Professor of Anthropology at Utah University, pronounced the discovery "highly interesting and unusual" for several reasons. As the bones were uncovered, it soon became obvious that they were in-situ and had not washed in or fallen down from higher strata. The rock and soil that had been above the remains had been continuous before the dozer work, with no caves or major faults or crevices visible. Thus, before the mine exploration work, the human remains had been completely covered by about fifteen (15) feet of material, including five or six feet of solid rock. The bones were still joined together naturally and stained green with copper carbonate. (Burdick, C.L., "Discovery of Human Skeletons in Cretaceous Formation," Creation Research Society Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 2, 1973, pp. 109-110.)
  In the coal collection in the Mining Academy in Freiberg, there is a puzzling human skull composed of brown coal and manganiferous and phosphatie limonite, but its source is not known. Prof. Dr. R. Vulpius, Professor of Coal Geology at the Freiberg Mining Academy, has indicated that wide-ranging scientific studies to elucidate its composition and origin were in progress. (Whitcomb and Morris, The Genesis Flood, 1961, pp. 175-176.)
  This sort of thing happens so often that they even have words for it. “Polystrat fossils” are fossils like petrified trees growing up through layers of sediment supposedly deposited over   millions of years. “Erratic boulders’ are rocks that don’t come from the local area, with no explanation as to how they got there. There are also what they call “ossiferous fissures” which are rock crevices with   multiple different types of animals jammed together as if they were all running away from something. In these fissures you see animals that don’t normally live together, and in these fissures, the fossilized fish have their fins extended, as if they died while in flight, and in fear.

“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered . 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail ; and the mountains were covered .” ( V19-20)
  We don’t know if the modern mountain ranges were present at the time, but assuming they were, 15 cubits above Mt. Everest, which is 29, 028 feet high means the water could have easily been 40,000 feet deep.  That works out to 30 feet of water an hour for forty days.  Imagine how fast you would have to run to escape water rising at 30 feet an hour.
” And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:  All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died .  And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.  And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.”( V21-24)
  The list is fowl, cattle, beast, creeping thing and man.  Now when we take a peek up into the third heaven at the faces of the creatures surrounding the throne of God ( Rev 4:7) we see all of these classes represented save one.  There are no heavenly creatures with the face of a ‘creeping thing’.
 At the end of the day, men reject the Noahic account not because of the evidence but because of an irrational hatred for the word of God. Man’s state is always worse than he thinks. Not only is he corrupt, but he’s the corrupter.
 As we close out this chapter, it’s worth pointing out that the ark of Noah’s day has quite a bit in common with the Lord Jesus Christ.  For example, the ark was prepared before the judgment fell, before it was necessary ( Gen 6:5-22, Gen 7:1, Rev 13:8). Through the preaching of Noah, the way of escape was proclaimed openly. Through the preaching of the cross, the way of salvation is proclaimed openly (2 Cor 4:5-6). Noah cut down living things to make a refuge, and the Lord Jesus Christ was cut down to make my refuge (Is 53:2, Dan 9:26-27). The ark was the only safe place on earth, and ‘in Christ’ is the only safe place on earth (Acts 4:12). No measurement was given for the door of the ark, in theory; anyone could get in (Matt 11:28).  God told Noah to seal the ark within and without. Inside the ark you were safe and sealed (Rom 8:38). There was only one way into the ark (John 10:9, John 9:34). We were sinners, and God saved us. He also justified us, and will deliver us. We are saved from top to bottom (Col 3:3). The ark had a dwelling place for everybody on board (John 14:1).  The ark took every ounce of God’s punishment, every drop of his wrath. It was, for all intents and purposes, indestructible and unsinkable while performing its assigned duties (Ps 42:7-8). Everybody in the ark lived. Everybody that was in the ark was lifted up then returned to the earth after the judgment is done (1 Thess 4).
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