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Genesis 8: 5-22


As we finished last week's lesson, Noah noticed that the motion of the ark had ceased.

After a somewhat turbulent journey lasting 150 days, the ark had finally come to rest on solid ground.

V 4  "And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat."

But it was not yet time to disembark, for the earth was not ready for habitation as yet.

In fact, it would be a total of 371 days before Noah and his family finally stepped into the new world.

V 6-9  "And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
7   And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
8   Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9   But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark."

Even for a man of great faith like Noah, the time must have moved slowly, and as yet he had not received further directions from God.

And the window that had so effectively shielded them from the awful scenes of destruction, now prevented a good view of the world around him, so Noah sent out two birds to spy out the land.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The raven, an unclean bird, sought not the ark again.

A world under judgment was a fit home for him.

No doubt he had found a resting place on some carcass and was satisfied, having no desire to return to the confines of the ark.

The raven then is a picture of the carnal mind that can rest in anything but Christ.

It can feed upon uncleanness, and finds all its needs satisfied in a world under judgment.

The dove, on the other hand, which is a picture of the renewed mind, found "no rest for the sole of her foot," and returned to the ark, a type of Christ.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 10  "And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
11   And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth."

The hardy olive tree was beginning to grow again, and the dove, finding something to her liking, picked off a branch, a sign of life, and a sign that judgment was passed.

And the Christian rejoices in new life also, and the realization that for him, judgment is passed.

So the renewed mind, even in a world that still shows the signs of devastation and judgment, grasps hold of the earnest of better things in Christ.

The Christian is in the world, but not of the world, and so finds his resting place in his Ark of Salvation "until the times of restitution of all things."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 12  "And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more."

Finally the earth was bringing forth new life, and was fit for habitation.

V 13  " And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
14   And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried."

On the day that Noah finally removed the covering of the ark and look around, he found that the new earth bore no resemblance to the lush and temperate world that he had left.

Although he probably didn't realize it, even the continent on which he had previously lived would have disappeared under the waves of a new ocean.

And no doubt the tremendous violence of the flood had washed away great quantities of earth and rock and deposited them into the Antediluvian seas, which, by this time, had become the new continents.

And the landscape around him, which had just begun to recover from the deluge, was comparatively barren.

Also, although Noah would not be aware of it, great changes had also occurred under the earth's surface.

In layers of sediment, a fossil record had been laid down that would someday tell the story of God's judgment to future generations.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I think we should spend a little time here to consider these sedimentary layers, and the fossil record that they contained.

Generally speaking, the fossils are laid out in a certain order, however, with many exceptions.

At the bottom, you will find the simple marine invertebrate organisms that no doubt inhabited the Antediluvian seas.

Further up in these layers, you will find the higher forms of animal life buried in the same areas in which these particular types of animals normally lived.

Above that, you will find other kinds of animals of the type that had more ability to flee from the encroaching floodwaters.

So, generally speaking, creatures were buried in ascending order of their increased size and complexity.

This is just what you would expect to happen naturally as the result of a worldwide, violent flood.

However, the interpretation of the fossil record by Creationist and Evolutionist is completely different.

The Creationist holds the view that fossils were formed during the relatively short time period of the flood, being deposited upon what was to become the new land mass.

The Evolutionist believes that they are the product of a slow and gradual process, covering millions of years.

The reason that the Creationist and the Evolutionist do not agree, even though they are both looking at the same fossil record, is because their form of reference is completely different.

The Creationist believes that the world was created in only one week, as Genesis records it. 

He also believes that the world is only about 6000 years old, and that death was a judgment of God because of Adam and Eve's sin.

So then, on the basis of God's Word, death and destruction have only been with us for about 6000 years.

Because the fossil record is a story of death and destruction, then their stratification must have occurred less than 6000 years ago, not millions of years as the Evolutionist claims.

The Evolutionist holds to the view that the world is millions of years old, because he must support his theory of evolution.

And, as you know, evolution teaches that creation evolved all by itself.

So evolution eliminates the possibility of a Creator, or, at the very best, only recognizes a Creator that needs millions of years to get anything done.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, as you can see, the time element concerning the fossil record is very important.

The Evolutionist maintains it took millions of years.

The Creationist believes that fossils were formed during the relatively short time-period of the flood, and that the stratification that randomly exists around the world was caused by the laying down of sediment in the Antediluvian seas and oceans during the time of the flood.

And, as was discussed in our last lesson, the Creationist also believes that these seas and oceans later became our present-day continents.

And, logically enough, sea life forms the bottom layers, which, by the way, composes by far the largest percentage of all fossils found, while the higher forms of life, that is, man and animals, are found on the top.

It is what you would expect to see in a worldwide flood.

This is, of course, a very brief study on the subject, but let me finish it with a small illustration to show that it is far more logical to believe that fossils were formed quickly.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The fossils of fish are very common, and, in many cases, very accurate, showing every fin and scale.

The Evolutionist would say that these thousands of well preserved fossils were created over a long period of time.

However, let's just think about what happens today when a fish dies.

After floating to the surface, it is attacked by scavengers, and the remaining pieces sink to the bottom.

Here, rather than laying quietly for thousands of years, being gradually covered up by slowly settling sediment, it would instead be attacked by fish, crabs, and other creatures.

Bacteria would also devastate what was left, leaving very little to show for the beautiful creature that had existed.

That is why, when snorkelling near the seafloor, one does not see thousands of dead fish resting quietly on the ocean bottom in part-way stages of fossilization.

No, to accurately preserve the features of a fish, it is obvious that the creature needs to be buried quickly, and the enclosing sediment also needs to harden quite quickly.

So, these billions of well preserved fossil fish found around the world give mute testimony to rapid fossilization during a universal flood.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another very important item in the Evolutionist’s arsenal is what they call the geological column.

This column is supposed to be layered deposits in the earth’s crust that go from the very basic life forms at its base up to very recent life forms.

The problem is, although parts of this column do exist in various locations around the world, the whole geologic column, if it existed anywhere on earth in its entirety, and with the thickness of strata required, would be at least 100 miles or even 200 miles deep.

The fact of the matter is that the deepest spot anywhere on the earth is a mere 16 miles deep, and the average of all locations is about 1 mile deep.

In short, the only place where the geological column exists in its entirety is in the textbooks.

And even then, any so-called "age" may be on the bottom, any on the top, and any in between at the various locations around the world.

Just what you might expect in a turbulent flood, but not what would happen in the case of gradual evolution over millions of years.

However, the geological column is the best evidence they have for organic evolution, so it is not surprising that they defend it so fervently, and deride "flood geology" so vigorously, for without it, their theories would collapse.

So the fossil record does not indicate a gradual evolution of life, but rather speak eloquently of death.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 15-16  "And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16   Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee."

As God had said "Come thou and all thy house into the ark"--He now says "Go forth of the ark."

So God had been with them in the ark during all those tumultuous days upon the flood.

And as Noah had obeyed the first command, he now readily obeys the second.

Even though he had sent out his scouts to spy out the land, he had not moved until he received God's command.

V 16-19  "Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
17   Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
18   And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
19   Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark."

The Bible is insistent upon the fact that all land animals and man that now dwell upon the earth radiated out from the ark, and so from the area of Mount Ararat.

This would not be possible today.  At least it would not be possible as a land journey.

Therefore we must consider the necessity of a land route to all parts of the earth.

Today, they could move east into Asia, and west into Europe, and south into Africa , but what about the other continents? 

Well, it is known geologically that land bridges existed during the Ice Age.

During that time, when great quantities of water were locked into ice sheets, the sea level would have been low enough for these bridges to appear.

One such bridge was across what is now known as the Bering Strait, leading to the Americas .

Another was down the Malaysian Straits into New Guinea , and perhaps into Australia .

So, as various types of animals migrated and multiplied, they would settle in areas where the climate and vegetation were most suited to their needs.

As we know, all animals are locked into their group by God's divine principle of "after his kind," but there would still be ample room in their genetic systems to adapt to their environmental conditions and form the various varieties and species that we have with us today.

However, since the environment was now so drastically different from the universally temperate conditions that prevailed in Antediluvian times, it is not surprising that some animals would not be able to make the adjustment.

First, because of the absence of the vapour canopy, the sharp change in temperature would lead to ice caps in the Polar Regions .

And geologists believe that these ice caps eventually radiated out during the Ice Age to form tremendous ice sheets covering northern Europe and reaching down into the northern third of the United States .

Christian geologists believe that the Ice Age lasted only several hundred, or, at the most, 1000 years (not millions of years, as Evolutionists claim) but undoubtedly it still had a profound effect on the earth's animals.

So some groups who were not as well fitted to adapt to these severe changes would eventually become extinct, and no doubt that was the fate of the dinosaurs and such animals.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 18  "And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
19   Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark."

There is a spiritual lesson here for us.

All those who had entered the ark came out of the ark, no more, and no less.

There were no births and no deaths on the ark.

And such is the case with our Ark of Salvation.  Only those who enter the door by faith are in Christ Jesus.

There are no second-generation Christians.

And no one that has entered the ark by faith will be missing in heaven--"those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 18 "And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him."

As Noah and his family exited the ark, they would be greeted with a land quite barren of vegetation, that is, until such a time as plant life could fully re-establish itself through the sprouting of seeds and cuttings buried beneath the surface.

As a consequence, the new world that Noah and his family stepped into would be much different from the one they had left.

As Peter says, "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished."

The land that had once teemed with animals and people and lush vegetation was now a desolate wilderness by comparison, with plant life only beginning to re-establish itself, and the animal population cut to the bare minimum.

The air which had formerly been warm and gentle because of the protecting vapour canopy, now moved as a stiff and sometimes violent wind, and there would be a chill on the mountain slope where the ark rested.

So no doubt Noah would have had mixed emotions about this new world.

I’m sure he would be very glad that the wicked mocking crowds were gone, but so also was the earth as he had known it.

Clouds that now moved across the sky sometimes became black and menacing, and seemed to threaten more rain, and possibly a reoccurrence of the flood.

Yes, Noah’s first thought was to thank God for his deliverance, but I am sure he also needed some reassurance.

V 20 "And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar."

In the world that had so recently been a place of death and judgment, we now see an altar to God.

The ark had been the means of carrying Noah safely from the old world to the new.

Superstition would have worshipped the ark as the object being responsible for his salvation.

Unfortunately, it is often the tendency of man to displace God with His ordinance.

But Noah only worshipped God, and the ark was counted as nothing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By his example, we have a very simple but a valuable lesson.

An ordinance is only of value as it conveys God in living power to the soul, that is to say, so long as faith can enjoy Christ therein, as in the case of the divine ordinance of baptism.

However, if in the smallest degree the ordinance comes between the heart of the believer and Christ’s precious work and Person, it ceases to be an ordinance of God, and becomes an instrument of the devil.

In the judgment of superstition, the ordinance is everything, and God is shut out.

Such was the case when the children of Israel were saved from death by looking at the brazen serpent.

The brazen serpent was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, and it spoke of cleansing from the poisonous venom of sin.

It was an ordinance ordained by God, but when Israel departed from the Lord, it became an object of superstitious veneration, and had to be destroyed by Hezekiah.

So, if superstition has fastened upon it, there is danger in the ordinance, even if God had originally ordained it.

And there is always great danger in man made ordinances, as they misplace our faith in Christ.

It is not that human tradition boldly denies Christ, but rather adds to the work of Christ.

So we find that the sinner is not saved by Christ alone, but by Christ and the ordinance.

In so doing, Christ is robbed altogether; for Christ and the ordinance will always prove to be the ordinance and not Christ.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So when Noah stepped out of the ark, he never cast one backward glance at this ark that had saved his life, but he built an altar to the Lord, and worshipped Him, and the ark was never heard of again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Upon entering this cold and desolate world, you might think that Noah's first consideration would have been the building of a house for himself and his family, but instead, he built an altar to the Lord.

Should he not have waited until he was more established?

Should he not have delayed this sacrifice to a time when his meagre stock of animals, which he had so carefully cared for, be multiplied.

But, no, he delayed not to sacrifice to his God, and took one-seventh of all the clean beasts and offered them as a burnt sacrifice.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

God was pleased with Noah's sacrifice, and set his mind at rest.  There would be no repetition of this devastating flood.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 21-22 "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; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22   While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

It was a new covenant of mercy, but one that hinted at a less ideal world.

Unlike the previous world that man had lost by his sin, there was no universally temperate climate.

Now, there would be "cold and heat, and summer and winter.”

Because of Adam’s sin, God had cursed the earth.

Genesis 3: 17-18  " --cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
18   Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field."

And now, because of the sin of the Antediluvian race, creation had been cursed for a second time, not only by the destruction of man and beast, but also by a partial destruction of the ecological system.

However, this would be the last time that creation would suffer a judgment of God for man's sin.

Until the end of the age, God would never "again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The basis for God's promise not to destroy the earth again seems quite unusual--" for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.”

Actually, it seems like the same reason that God gave for destroying the Antediluvian race.

Remember what God had said? “--every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

But there is this difference.

The sin of the Antediluvian race cried out continually for God’s judgment.  "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."

So God was completely righteous in His decision to destroy man.

However, because "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth," God's judgment would always be in order, for man's sin is bred in Him from birth.

Man will never change, and God will never change.

So, man's fallen nature and God's righteous nature could only bring a continuous series of judgments until the earth and man were completely destroyed.

So, because "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth," God showed mercy rather than judgment.

However, because of God's righteous nature, it must be mercy at the tremendous cost of His only begotten Son.

So, because God could look down through the ages to Christ’s sacrifice, He could say----"I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."

But this covenant with all creation did have a limitation.

The duration of God's gracious promise was "While the earth remaineth."

And there was a good reason for that limitation.

One day, this old world, flawed by sin, will need to make room for a new world.

So this covenant was only until the events described in 2 Peter 3: 10 come to pass--"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

The very elements will then be cleansed.

They will become a purified liquid, and the scum of sin will rise to the top to be skimmed off by God. 

The fossil record will be gone, and all other evidence of God's judgment on creation for man's sin.

And the scars of man's dominion over the earth will also be erased. 

The witch's brew of chemicals that he has infused into the earth will be gone.

Yes, as God has washed away our sins by the shed blood of His only Son, He will also wash away all the scars of man's sin from the earth.

Revelation 21:1  "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

The earth will be a graveyard no more.


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