Sunday Notes: The Descent, Part 2 (The Flood)

Continued from Part 1.

hy did God flood the earth?

For the purposes of this question, it is important to know that the group known as the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 is that group of fallen angels to which Peter refers. There is probably the same demonic group the people were trying to contact with the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.

However, we cannot gloss over this: each and every person on earth had become wicked.  This is saying something, because Scripture already teaches that every person is a sinner, so (as I tell the youth when I teach them), this is bad x10!  EVERY thought of man’s heart was ONLY evil continually (Gen 6:5).

As an aside, this is another concern for us and our view of the flood.  Scripture says that we are approaching a time like the days of Noah once again, and the Lord will intervene as dramatically as He did before -- only without water this time.

His use of water last time was a warning, though, giving gives folks the opportunity to repent.  He gave them the warning, and Noah preached repentance.  None accepted the message.  His use of water last time also leaves evidence of God’s hatred for sin.  The ancients would hear stories of the world that “once was.”  It was the world ripped away from them.  And they saw the new geological features we see today.

The great flood was such a catastrophic, year-long, world-wide, mountain-covering, deluge that it would have reshaped the earth’s entire surface.  (HT: John Morris for that statement.)

Catastrophic Plate Tectonics
Plate Tectonics, as you may remember from your high school earth science course, is the suspected artist of the continents.  While there remains questions, using satellites we know and measure the motion of continents.  Even the Himalayan mountains seem to be growing in height as the Indian continent presses against the Eurasian.

The continents are very different than they were in the past.

A good question for us it that of time.  Did this process take millions of years?  That is the current rate of movement we observe today.

Kurt Wise in his book (and I'm sure he wasn't the first) that the geological effects of deluging the world with water, erupting innumerable volcanoes and fountains, etc., could launch the plates of the world soaring at rates of miles per hour, eventually slowing to the current rate of inches per year at some point after the flood.

That would be catastrophic.  That would be the point.
On the day the Flood began, the earth was balanced critically on the edge of catastrophe. More than 70 percent of the earth’s surface was about to be destroyed by being pulled into the heat of the earth’s interior. —Wise, Faith, Form, and Time, 189.
It would be fascinating from a scientific perspective to study what the secondary cause of the flood was.  Of course, God was the primary cause, but we only know about some of what was happening during the flood.  Scripture says, “on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened” (Gen 7:11).  Geysers are examples of water being released to relieve the growing pressure inside the earth's crust.  Whatever it means, there was some form of a subterranean reservoir of unmatched magnitude God prepared during the creation week, and it split open the surface of the earth.

It is important to pause and consider the Scripture, which says, “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew” (Pro 3:19–20). The The flood was violent and was a vivid image of the terror of the Lord, but it was not a rash reaction. That God prepared the earth for the flood according to His wisdom  is key, and you must keep this in mind for the third part of this study.

The resultant release of the earth's magma may have flash-boiled ocean waters, propelling the water vapor into the atmosphere where it, through natural means, distributed, crystallized, and fell back down as precipitation over the entire planet over the course of forty days.
“And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.” – Gen 7:19-20
If the waters cover the mountains, is the flood local anymore? Yet, there are teachers of the Bible who try to convince us that God had Noah devote years of his life to building an ark to survive a local, cyclical flood. Noah could have saved himself some heartache if he had just moved, but no dice.  If you are embarrassed by teaching the flood, something like that is might be appealing, but it is not what the Bible teaches.

Now wait a minute, Shaun!  It is not possible to cover the mountains with the amount of water on earth today.  That is true, leading many to doubt the whole account.  However, any naturalistic science book will admit that the top of Mount Everest (for instance) is covered with the fossils of marine life.  The highest mountains were underwater at one time... the question is when.

In a more poetic crafting, the psalmist writes, “You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them” (Psa 104:6–8).

The mountains rose up, the valleys sank down.  Can water do this?  Just how destructive is water?

My family and I went camping last week, and we had a wonderful time.  The sights are incredible.  However, a couple of "geological formations" caught my soul.  The beach was at low tide (granting ample opportunity to any young marine biologist at the nearby tide pools), and I had never noticed such "destruction" at previous beaches we'd strolled.  Leftover water had left a considerable pool higher on the beach, and the dam had burst.  A river cut a canyon in the soft, moist sand.

It flowed over an area of the beach which had previously eroded, leaving the small stream to spill over the small ledge with enough force to create a scale model of some spectacular waterfall.  The stream then continued, searching for a home, cutting hundreds of tiny tributaries until it had carved a path back home to the ocean.

I marveled at this and made it a point to take the kids over to study it.  Of course, I'm being dramatic with such terms as geologic formations, destruction, canyons, rivers, and the like.  But it was interesting to see what water could form in just a hour or so of flowing through the mailable material of the beach.

I kick myself for not taking pictures.  By the time I had decided to catch a shot of the mini-waterfall, some children had not only stumbled upon my new country, but were destroying it with fresh construction projects such as dams and canals.  I said, "Oh, a dam," when I saw it, and I just hope everyone heard the indefinite article in front of "dam."

The picture on the right is one I found through a Google image search that is similar to what we saw.

We know that only a little moving water, given enough time, can carve the spectacular into stone -- the material need not be soft.  Yet, what was the condition of the earth during the flood?  We talk about the forty days and nights of rain, but that water didn't just evaporate the next day.  Noah and his family were on the ark up to thirteen months.  That is a lot of time for water to do its thing.

We are told that the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon over a course of millions of years.  The little stream that could.  It is about at that rate of erosion right now, so maybe its possible.

However, there is a problem with that. Colorado River enters the canyon 2,800 foot elevation and runs downhill to an elevation of 1,800 ft. The ground slopes up to the top of Grand Canyon at 6,000 foot elevation.  That means the little river that could flowed uphill for 100 million years before carving out enough rock to finally run downhill.

Now that's inspired.

No, the meandering path of the river is indicative of a large torrent of water looking for a home.  At some point in the past, a lake was there, and the dam broke.  The water cut a canyon in the (at that time) softer sediments, leaving behind a comparatively small stream (replenished each year by rains, Grand Lake, etc.) as its only remains.

There's still more, but this is too long for a blog post. To be continued...

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