Lessons from the flood and God’s covenant with Noah

One could spend a years of study on the subject of the flood and still never fully uncover all the truths that contained in this amazing historical event. In the previous chapter we looked at just a basic overview of the events surrounding the flood and some of the lessons that we can learn. In this chapter we are going to dig a little deeper and discover more amazing truths given to us in God’s Word.
We have mentioned before how that God’s instructions are very adequate and precise. Often times, however, we tend to overlook just how precise God’s Word and adequate God’s Word is. When God gave Noah instructions to build the ark, he took care of every detail. Some have suggested that the ark would have been very crowded with all those animals and food enough for more than a year. But, when you dig deep into the scripture, you will find that there was plenty of room on the ark. The ark was basically a square barge. It was 440 feet long and 73 feet wide and 44 feet high. This equals to 1,396,000 cubic feet. This size is equivalent to 520 railroad box cars. The various ‘kinds’ of animals we see in our world today would only need 120 box cars to have plenty of room. This leaves what is equivalent to 400 railroad box cars for food, storage, and Noah’s family. Amazing! Now, how do we know this? Is there proof that the animals would only need what amounts to 120 railroad box cars? In his book Noah’s Ark: A feasibility study, John Woodmorappe suggests that at most only 16,000 animals were needed on the ark and it could have been only 2,000. Others have suggested that as many as 50,000 animals could have fit on the ark along with supplies and Noah’s family. When the scripture mentions that God created the animals after their ‘kind’ and that God commanded Noah to put each ‘kind’ of land dwelling animal on the ark we need to consider the meaning of the word ‘kind’. The term ‘kind’ comes from the Hebrew word min. It is believed by most all Hebrew scholars that the word min is closely related to the family level in current taxonomy. We understand this to be true based on the categorization of animals recorded in Leviticus chapter 11. Based on the meaning of the word ‘kind’ a very conservative assumption by most all creation scientist is that there were no more than 16,000 animals on the ark. The question is also raised concerning the dinosaurs. How did the dinosaurs fit into the ark? It is believed that there are roughly 50 ‘kinds’ or ‘families’ of dinosaurs. Only 16% of those dinosaur families had an adult weight of over ten tons. However, even the young of the heaviest dinosaur is estimated to weigh only a few hundred kilograms by the time they reach just over a year old. Assuming that only young dinosaurs were on the ark then there was plenty of room. Based on these conservative assumptions we find that only 47% of the ark’s space was needed to house the animals. It is also estimated that only 6% to 7% of the space was needed for food and provisions and only 9% of space needed for water. This leaves us with over 30% of the space reserved for Noah and his family and, might I had, room enough for more people if others would have chose to go into the ark. We also need to understand that through modern day biological research we find that all it takes is one parent ‘kind’ in order to create the thousands of variations in animal life that we see today. In God’s creative power, He placed all the biological information needed in each animal ‘kind’ to created the amazing variety of animals we see today. We also learn that the same can be said of humans. All the biological information needed to provide the various shades of skin we see today was in the first man and first woman.
Another interesting fact concerning the ark is how the ark was able to clear the highest mountains. In Genesis 7:20 it reads that the mountains were covered by the waters. But how did the ark not crash into one of these mountains. The mountains were covered by 22 ½ feet of water. A draft is how far the boat can go into the water. With a 50% draft the ark would have cleared all mountains by 6 inches. What principle do we learn from this? What hidden spiritual nugget do we find here? You see, God takes care of us right down to the inches. He is precise, He is adequate, and He cares for you and for me.
Another thing we learn is God’s care for Noah’s family and the animals. We see God’s care in Genesis 8:1. The bringing of the animals into the ark was done by God (Genesis 7:9). There were no fish on the ark and plenty of food was taken into the ark. Most of the animals would have been in hibernation for much of the time which would have lessened the work load. It also should be understood that a lot of the animals were infant animals allowing ample space. In Genesis 8:17 we learn that there was no breeding on the ark because the exact number came off the ark as went on and then God commanded them to multiply. What can we learn from this? We learn that God is in control. When life seems hard and chaotic, we must trust in Him, because He knows what He is doing. If God took care of every detail for all those on the ark, how much more so does God take care of those who come to the cross?
It is also important to note the extent of the flood. Scientists are discovering more and more evidence that there was indeed a world-wide flood. But, do we really need the scientist to tell us that? The Bible clearly teaches that God sent a world-wide flood. God even knew that there would be those in our day that would question God’s Word and attempt to cast doubt on the Bible. That is why He wrote in His Word in 2 Peter 3:3-7: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Even the New Testament testifies to a world-wide flood. It all comes down to whether or not you will believe God’s Word. Where is your faith? Is your faith in what man tells you or in what God’s Word tells you?
Secular Scientist and Geologist have been scratching their heads trying to make sense of the geological record. If they would just look to the Bible they would find the answer. It has been observed in our time that huge catastrophic events would create massive changes to the appearance of the earth. When you look at locations on our planet such as the Grand Canyon, we find that it did not take millions of years to make that canyon. There is evidence that point to a large catastrophic event involving huge amounts of water that carved the canyon within days. Truly, the flood is the answer for geological history.
Now that we have taken a close look at the great flood itself, we will not turn our attention to the events that took place right after the flood. The post-flood events in Noah’s family can be read in Genesis 8:20-9:29. The first thing we see here is the Noahic Covenant. In Genesis 8:20-22 we find Noah building an altar to the Lord and worshipping Him. God received Noah’s offering and made a covenant with Him in Genesis 9:18-17. God’s covenant with Noah was that He would carry the ‘seed’ through Noah. He would make Noah a great family and through His bloodline God will send a Savior. God also covenanted with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood and from this point on the earth will continue as it is until it is destroyed with fire. There are two basic lessons we can learn from God’s covenant with Noah. The first lesson is that the covenant is unconditional. There was nothing that Noah had to do and there was nothing that would break the covenant. God’s covenant with us at the cross is also unconditional. The scripture teaches us that there is nothing you have to do in order to gain favor with God, just believe by faith. When you place your faith and trust in Him, He will give you the gift of grace and nothing can take it away from you. A second lesson we see here is that the covenant is confirmed by a rainbow. God places a rainbow in the sky to remind Noah and all of us to this day that He is in control and that He will never destroy the earth again with a flood. Today, our covenant with Christ is confirmed in the cross. Those who believe in Him will never face the penalty of sin because the cross confirms the payment for our sin. We have the power to overcome sin in this life because the cross of Christ gives us that power. We will forever be set free from the very presence of sin because the cross gives no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Thank God for the cross! Not only do we see the Noahic Covenant, but also notice that after the flood we have God’s blessing and instruction. This is recorded in Genesis 9:1-7. God blesses Noah and commands him to go and repopulate the earth. He also gives man charge over the animal kingdom and now allows the eating of meat. God also gives Noah instructions on having a simple form of human government that respects all life. As believers, we have the same responsibility today. We are to raise godly children and convert lost souls. We are to have dominion over the animal kingdom though we are also to respect all of life both man and beast.
What is the most interesting thing of all concerning the historical account of the world-wide flood as recorded in scripture is the story of redemption. Through it all, God is leading us to the Savior. It is all about Him receiving glory through giving to us His unconditional gift of love, salvation, and grace.


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