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Genesis: God’s Book of Beginnings (8)

SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 8

This is vital information about Noah’s worship by sacrifice and his survival because of God’s covenant of mercy. God stated that He would never again destroy “everything living” by water while the earth remained.

Key verse: “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake…” Genesis 8:21. This is vital information about Noah’s worship by sacrifice and his survival because of God’s covenant of mercy. God stated that He would never again destroy “everything living” by water while the earth remained.

Observations

1. When the Genesis record states that “God remembered Noah, and every living thing”, it means that God acted to support Noah by re-establishing life outside the ark (Genesis 8:1).

Several statements show that God actively operated on the elements of the earth to make it habitable:
“God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters were assuaged” (Genesis 8:1).“The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained” (Genesis 8:2).

The result was, “After the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated” (Genesis 8:3). The “Ark rested” (Genesis 8:4), and “The waters decreased continually until the tenth month” (Genesis 8:5). In Psalm 104, the psalmist wrote of God’s work of creation as laying the foundations of the earth. He also wrote about the great flood, that the “Waters stood above the mountains,” and of God’s covenant with Noah to never flood the whole earth again. “Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth” (Psalm 104:9). This history of God’s creation of the world and His setting boundaries for the seas after the flood was rehearsed before God by the Old Testament saints as part of their worship. We can do so too.

2. The world that Noah experienced after he exited the ark was vastly different.

Dr. Henry Morris wrote on the physical changes in the “new world”:
(1)“The oceans were much more extensive, since they now contained all the waters which once were above the firmament” and in the subterranean reservoirs of the “great deep.”
(2)The land areas were much less extensive than before the Flood, with a much greater portion of its surface uninhabitable for this reason.
(3)The thermal vapor blanket had been dissipated, so that strong temperature differentials were inaugurated, leading to a gradual buildup of snow and ice in the polar latitudes, rendering much of the extreme northern and southern land surfaces also essentially uninhabitable. (4) Mountain ranges uplifted after the Flood emphasized the more rugged topography of the postdiluvian continents, with many of these regions also becoming unfit for human habitation.
(5)Winds and storms, rains and snows, were possible now, thus rendering the total environment less congenial to man and animals than had once been the case.
(6)The environment was also more hostile because of harmful radiation from space, no longer filtered out by the vapor canopy, resulting (along with other contributing environmental factors) in gradual reduction in human longevity after the Flood.
(7)Tremendous glaciers, rivers, and lakes existed for a time, with the world only gradually approaching its present state of semi-aridity.
(8)Because of the tremendous physiographic and isostatic [earth’s crust] movements generated by the collapse of the subterranean caverns and the post-Flood uplifts, the crust of the earth was in a state of general instability, reflected in recurrent volcanic and seismic activity all over the world for many centuries and continuing in some degree even to the present.
(9)The lands were barren of vegetation, until such time as plant life could be re-established through the sprouting of seeds and cuttings buried beneath the surface.
(10) There is even a possibility that the earth’s rotation speeded up by about 1.5 percent if the year was really 360 days long.”
[The Genesis Record, Henry M. Morris, Baker Book House: pp 211-212].

3. The flood impacted the whole earth leaving sedimentary rocks containing multiplied fossils in apparent order of simple organisms nearer the bottom to complex land creatures nearer the top.

Sedimentary rocks are formed from sediment with cementing agents present in the water. In the solidifying process, dead creatures and vegetation got trapped and preserved. These formations by the flood-model, by their very nature, generally bury the smallest creatures lower down and tend to bury larger creatures nearer the surface. This pattern, though not consistent, has been hijacked by evolutionists. They interpret them as “geological ages.” They attribute them to natural processes at work over vast periods of time. Dr. Henry Morris stated:

“Evolutionists have arranged these supposed “geological ages” in a supposed chronological order, purportedly extending vertically upward through the “geological column” of sedimentary rocks deposited above the crystalline rocks on the bottom. The fossils found in these rocks, proceeding supposedly from simple to complex, comprise their best evidence for the theory of organic evolution. Thus, if the fossiliferous deposits are mainly records of the Flood year, instead of millions of years of upward evolutionary struggle, the entire evolutionary system is scientifically bankrupt. There is little wonder, therefore, that the concept of the geological ages is defended with such fervor, and that “flood geology” is ridiculed or ignored” [Op. cit. p 213].

4. Every human and every animal in the world today has descended from life in the ark (Genesis 8:15-19).

The new world was re-inhabited from the family of Noah and from the animals that were preserved in the ark. Notice the reference to “kinds” (Genesis 8:19). These are the species of animals which would multiply and diversify. There would be variation among animals as they would adapt to their new climatic conditions. They would develop into varieties within their “families,” but never into new species.

5. Worship by blood sacrifice was immediately re-instituted in the new world order (Genesis 8:20-21).

Worship by blood sacrifice has been the history of the world since the fall of man. God accepted Noah’s offering. The LORD smelled a “sweet savor.” Literally, it was a savor of rest. The term “rest” becomes a theme in this context of life after the flood.

Noah’s name means rest. The ark rested on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4). The dove, at first flight out of the ark, found no rest (Genesis 8:9). God was at rest after the world’s judgment and with Noah’s offering. Noah and his family could be at rest with God’s covenant of rest because God promised He would never again judge the whole world by water. That assurance would have greatly comforted all who, after the time of the flood, may have lived in fear of future worldwide flooding.

Application

This chapter holds vital information on how Noah fared in the ark and how he was re-established in the earth. It fills an important part of world history, so we know a great deal about the survival of mankind in the greatest universal judgment this world has known to date.

This history is the Christian’s answer to racism. Today there are different nationalities, but there is only one human race. The apostle Paul declared that God “…hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).

God demands blood atonement so He may reconcile sinful men to Himself to enjoy peace with Him. In sovereign grace and in perfect fulfilment of the consistent biblical principle of blood atonement, God has provided the perfect atoning sacrifice in the death of His Son, to save His people from the guilt of sin. As Noah and his family were saved by trusting in God’s provision of the ark by their entering into it, sinners are gathered safely into Christ through faith, when they personally and totally trust in His redeeming work on the cross of Calvary.

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Ian Goligher

By Ian Goligher

Rev. Ian Goligher is the pastor of Cloverdale FPC, Vancouver, BC. He was Editor of Current from 2014 to 2019.