6 The Ten Commandments And The Days Of The Creation Week
In 1971, two students had the courage to politely challenge one of their professors (me) to defend his position on the origin of all things. That seemed to be a fairly easy job since I was convinced that huge volumes of factual scientific evidence proved evolution (over billions of years) to be true. By 1972, this professor’s stomach was churning with frustration! The evidence for an old universe promoted as proven fact by evolutionists was nowhere to be found. This is not to say that there is lack of writing on the subject of evolution, but that there is no true scientific evidence that is not based on assumptions (refer back to the beginning of Chapter 2, Seven Basic Assumptions).
It was obvious to me back in the early 1970’s that evolution needed long periods of time. Couldn’t those days of Genesis 1 be a billion years each? If we could somehow impose long periods of time onto the text of Genesis 1, evolution and the Bible quite nicely harmonize with each other. Or so I thought.
24-Hour Days Or Aeons Of Time?
Those days of Genesis are 24-hour days! If we believe the Bible, they cannot be one billion years each. Even the logic in the Ten Commandments demands 24-hour days [It wouldn’t hurt any of us to review the Ten Commandments], so let’s make some observations from Exodus 20:1-20:
And God spake all these words, saying,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
Did you notice that man’s “workweek” is parallel to God’s “workweek” (Exodus 20:9-11)? Thus, if man works six 24-hour days, then the logic of Exodus 20:11 requires that God worked six 24-hour days and rested during the seventh day as man is to rest one day a week. The idea here is that God worked the same kind of days that man works. I realize that workdays sometimes feel like they are one billion years long, but we all know that they are not.
An interesting fact of history that might be appropriate to insert here is this: The French, during the French Revolution, attempted to become an atheistic society. They tried to get everything that had to do with the Bible out of French culture, so they went to a ten-day week. Are the French still practicing a ten-day week? Absolutely not! It does not work. There are astronomical events that differentiate days from months and months from years (sunrise and sunset, full moons, spring, summer, fall and winter), but only God’s Word and His Creation-week-example point us to the seven-day week.
Hebrew scholars universally agree that the days (the Hebrew word “yom”) of Genesis 1 are 24-hour days. These scholars may not necessarily believe that God has the ability to create everything in six normal days, or they may not even believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, but they do believe the Hebrew word, yom, means 24-hour day.
Liberal scholars have tried to claim that some primitive writer, who had no knowledge of science and geology, wrote down a brief account of the origin of man in overly simplistic terms. Many scholars say that it does not matter what the words say, but simply that it is the meaning or the message behind these “word-symbols” that is important. However, if that is true, then we might as well throw out the Hebrew and Greek lexicons (dictionaries). Every word in Genesis 1 is in the Hebrew lexicon. Every word has a definite meaning and we can look up what that meaning is. It is not some nebulous “word-symbol” that is limited in meaning only by the extent of the imagination of the reader. Today, on the university campuses, this method of madness is called Postmodern Deconstructionism. Naturally, if the true meaning of words is up to you or your professor, then the meaning of the Bible is nonsense.
More than ninety-eight percent of the time that yom (day) is used in the Old Testament (over 2,500 times), it means 24hour day or the daylight part of a standard day. The rest of the time it refers to such things as the “Day of the Lord,” which scholars argue could be anywhere from a 24-hour day to 1,000 plus years to eternity. The fact is that Genesis 1 uses yom with clarifiers such as day one, day two, etc. Everywhere else in the Bible that yom is used with clarifiers (numbers one, two, three, etc.) it unquestionably indicates a 24-hour day.
Each Day Is Half Light And Half Dark
God used every word He possibly could to show us He is referring to one rotation of the earth in front of its source of light (or one revolution of the light source around planet earth which is called Geocentricity). These are 24-hour “yoms” in Genesis 1. He literally says, “...There was evening and there was morning, day one; ...there was evening and there was morning, day two,” etc. Each day had an evening and each day had a morning. In Genesis l:5, God says, “And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Notice that each day was part light and part darkness. This eliminates theistic evolution and day-age theories, since each day (one billion years?) would be half light and half dark! You cannot evolve anything in 500 million years of darkness or, for that matter, in 500 million-year stretches of unrelenting sunlight.
We might ask, “How old was Adam when he died?” Genesis 5:5 reads: “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” If one single Genesis 1 day equals one billion years, as theistic evolution demands, and Adam lived through at least half of day six, all of day seven and 930 more years, then how old was Adam when he died? Was he, let’s say, 1 billion 500 million 930 years old? Or did he die at the age of 930? You can’t have both! You can’t have long periods of time (day-age, theistic evolution, progressive creation) and the Bible. Either Adam was 930 years old when he died, or you can throw out Genesis 1:1 through 5:5!!
Days, Years And Seasons
God had words that He could have used if He had wanted us to understand those days of Genesis, Chapter 1, to be longer than 24 hours. One of these Hebrew words is “olam.” Olam means a long period of time and can even mean everlasting. God put all the necessary words into the Hebrew text to make it unmistakably clear to the reader—these are 24hour days.
Look at Genesis 1:14:
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
God here differentiates between days and seasons and years. How can anyone stretch a Genesis 1 day into a billion years and then make any sense at all of Genesis 1:14? If a day is a billion years, then how long is a season or a year? Is a Biblical year 365 billion years? Even the most radical evolutionists claim the universe is not much older than twenty billion years! God lines up all these time words for us in one verse to prove that He means 24-hour days. You can’t make any sense at all of Genesis 1:14, if you insist on the theistic evolution or day-age or progressive creation views. (Don’t forget—we do not subject the Bible to science, we subject science to the Bible.) If “science” tells us we must have long geologic ages to explain the existence of all things, but the Bible says God did it all in six normal days, then we must believe the Bible by faith and know that evolutionary science has some more research to do in its faith system to catch up with the Bible.
The Ten Commandments in the Bible may be one of the root causes for belief in the evolution model. Scientifically credentialed people closely examine God’s creation. What they see is the handiwork of God (Romans 1 and Psalm 19), but they nevertheless choose to believe the lie of evolution because they do not want to acknowledge their sin, as recorded in the Ten Commandments. To accept belief in God, who wrote those Ten Commandments with His own finger, becomes unthinkable. Belief would place man in a position of submission and obedience to his Creator, which would never be his choice without the penetrating grace of God.
Furthermore, this position of submission and obedience demands responsibility before this holy God and ultimately, the certainty of judgment—realities that people do not like to think about. We know we are sinners. We cannot even live up to our own standards; let alone, God’s righteous standards. It is easier to live in the fantasyland of evolution than in reality when we are separated from our Creator by our own unholiness and pride. Life appears to be less complicated and more comfortable as we believe the lie of evolution. “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
No rational person would argue that God’s Ten Commandments are invalid or inaccurate or harmful to society. If everyone obeyed them, we would have a near-perfect, crime-free and pollution-free world.
Did you notice that the seven-day creation week is mentioned in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:11)? Is this not fascinating? In view of all the many things the Creator could have mentioned to be preserved forever, He chose, in the midst of His Ten Commandments, to call attention to the original seven-day week of creation.
The English translation of the Ten Commandments is accurate. What we read is precisely what God said. He said, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is...” (Exodus 20:11). That means exactly what it says. In a literal six days, the Lord made everything that exists, whether it exists in the heavens or on the earth or in the seas. He made it functionally mature. As some might say, it had the appearance of age. That would include the entirety of the macrouniverse (space, time, stars, planets, sun, moon, comets, asteroids, angels, etc.) and the microuniverse (the molecules, atoms and quarks, of elephants, beetles and sharks). A six-day creation leaves no room at all for theistic evolution and its billions of years, or for a “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. There was no heaven, earth or sea before the first day of the original seven-day creation week. Only the Trinitarian God of the Bible existed before the first day of that week!
Some of the early twentieth century Bible scholars came to believe in a “gap theory” due to the influence of evolutionary “science.” These godly men believed that science had established great geologic ages and “prehistoric” man to be a proven fact. They went to the early chapters of Genesis and attempted to subject the Bible to science by postulating a “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. But the sun, stars, heat, light, atmosphere and universe were not yet created. No life existed nor could it exist in the supposed “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
There was no “pre-Adamic” race of wicked people living in the “gap.” Not only could they have not existed without light, but sin and wickedness, decay and death did not enter the universe until the fall of Adam.
Romans 5:12 teaches:
Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Before the Fall, everything in God’s creation was very good. “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). Could “very good” from our holy God’s perspective include a history of death, suffering and decay in the supposed pre-Adamic fossil record before sin and death entered through Adam’s sin? I do not think so. And furthermore, what could God possibly be talking about in Acts 3:18-21 where He states that Jesus will come back to earth to restore all things for times of refreshing? The idea seems to be in Acts that the curse will be removed and an “Edenic” earth will result. If there has always been death, decay and suffering on earth, even before the Fall of Adam, then how could we possibly gain any kind of understanding of Acts 3? Jesus comes back to restore earth to its original pre-Adamic sin death and decay? Not likely!
A sobering result of Adam’s sin was death, but before Adam’s sin there was no death. If there were no death before Adam (the very clear statement of God’s word), then it would be impossible to have “pre-Adamic” people dying.
Actually, the entire creation was affected by Adam’s sin and it still “groans” with thorns, thistles and entropy as it awaits its redemption. Romans 8:22-23 states:
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Fossil Thorns In Old Rock Layers
As a little aside, did you know that thorns are present in some of the oldest sedimentary rock layers? If you hold to a theistic evolution or progressive creation model (old earth) you have a problem here! If thorns are a result of the Fall, and the Fall happened about 6,000 years ago, how can thorns be in rock layers that evolutionists believe are millions of years older than man’s appearance on earth? Resulting from Adam’s sin God said, “...cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee...” (Genesis 3:17b-18a). Thorns came into existence after Adam’s sin! So what worldview glasses do you have on? Did thorns come into existence about 6,000 years ago as the Bible teaches, or millions of years ago as evolution teaches?
Some “Gap” Problems
Holding to the “gap” position (millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2) not only demands death before the Fall, but it also forces changes in the Biblical text. Genesis 1:2 must be changed from “And the earth was without form and void” to “and the earth became without form and void.” God uses the very same word for “was” in Genesis 2:25 and 3:1. Genesis 2:25 says, “And they were both naked….” Adam and Eve were not created with clothes and then “became” naked.
The same can be said for the serpent in 3:1. It is not that he “became” subtle (crafty, NASB) after not being subtle; he was crafty from the beginning. The Gap theory necessitates changes in other Biblical texts also. For a comprehensive study of problems with the Gap theory please read Dr. John Whitcomb’s book, The Early Earth: Revised Edition and Dr. Weston W. Fields’ book, Unformed and Unfilled.
We do not need to accommodate Scripture to what we might believe to be factual science—the geological ages—by imposing a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 or by stretching the 24-hour days of Genesis 1 into long ages of geologic time. Men, who have done this most probably in all innocence, violate a basic rule: The Bible must never be subjected to science, but theoretical “science” must always be subjected to the Bible.
My position, quite frankly, is of one who committed his life to the Lord Jesus Christ later in life than most (age 27) and who endured a gut-wrenching five-year struggle with this issue. When I came to faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I became a theistic evolutionist. I then later saw, as many men and women have seen (when exposed to the true truth of the Bible), the total “rightness” and reality of God’s six-day creation that occurred about 6,000 years ago. The true science I studied showed the incredible complexity of every plant, animal and insect. And yet, there was no satisfactory answer to the “why” and “how” of this complexity and diversity—except to say, “all that ‘is’ results from mindless, purposeless, impersonal, totally random and accidental chance processes plus time.” If any causative factor was mentioned, it was always “Mother Nature” did it, but never the personal Creator/Redeemer God of the Bible.
Our God, the Almighty Creator, does not need time. He is above time. The Creator, the Lord Jesus, displayed His supernatural ability to act without time restraints through His miracles. When we believe Genesis 1 as it is written, we bow in worship and in submissive trust of our awesome, infinite Creator. As Job said:
I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:2,5,6).
Earlier, we mentioned (Scott Huse, The Collapse of Evolution, and Walter Brown, In the Beginning) the documentation showing that the details of evolution and the specifics of Genesis 1 do not match up. For example, evolution says reptiles developed first and then birds evolved out of reptiles, but the Bible says birds came first (Genesis 1:20-23) and then reptiles (Genesis 1:24-26). If we again go back to thinking about the days of Genesis, then certain things are not logical when we hold to long periods of time. For example, God made plants on the third day (Genesis 1:12, 13), but He created insects on the sixth day. Many plants need insects to pollinate them. How could they survive more than two billion years, while waiting for insects to “evolve?”
Evolutionary theory does not have satisfactory answers for how we got here. Evolution forces us to throw out the clearly written and easily understood words of Genesis 1-11, since the two are not compatible. Do we believe the Bible or have we placed our trust in the foolish speculations of men, based on the foundation of the scientifically unprovable assumptions of so-called science (see the beginning of Chapter 2, Seven Basic Assumptions)?
Since origins are scientifically unverifiable for either evolution or creation, then we are dealing with “faith.” No human was there to verify if the “Big Bang” happened. No person was there to witness God creating out of nothing.
VIrgin Birth And Resurrection
Many of us easily profess to believe in Jesus Christ as the virgin-born Son of the one true God and in His resurrection from the dead. We Christians believe in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus, don’t we? If we do not believe in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus we are not going to go to Heaven because there would not be a holy and sinless Savior! Where do we learn of virgin birth? We learn of it in God’s written Word.
...the virgin’s name was Mary.... And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:27b, 30-31).
Does modern science tell us that we can lock up a virgin and she will emerge pregnant nine months later and ready to give birth to a baby? Absolutely not! Science says that virgin birth does not happen in humans. We Christians believe in virgin birth by faith because the Bible says so, even though this idea is totally contrary to scientific data.
We Christians also believe in the resurrection of the dead. Do any science textbooks teach that humans can be graveyard dead, and then resurrected back to life? Do you know any evolutionary scientists who would permit you to kill them tombstone dead because they knew that they could recruit their fellow Ph.D.’s three days from now to resurrect them back from the dead? Of course not! Well then, where do we get this idea of resurrection? We get it from the written Word of God, the Bible. The Bible states categorically, that without resurrection and our belief in it, we will not go to Heaven.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9).
...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve, after that, he was seen of about five hundred brethren at once; ... (I Corinthians 15:3b-6a).
Hell and the Lake of Fire await us if we do not believe in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus, and in His, and ultimately our, resurrection. The primary evidence we have for resurrection and virgin birth is the Holy Bible, the written Word of God, with no supporting evidence at all from science. As a matter of fact, modern science speaks out loudly against the ideas of virgin birth and resurrection from the dead in humans. In spite of “evolutionary science,” we believe what the Bible says. We believe by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
But then we get to the early chapters of Genesis, they are also the written Word of God, and we believe the old earth, local flood evolutionists instead of the clear teaching of the Bible. Not that we really need it, but there is plenty of experimentally verifiable science to support a global flood and a young earth (see Chapter 9). Why do we Christians accept the Biblical ideas of virgin birth and resurrection, which go against known “science,” but we do not accept the biblical teaching on the age of the earth (around six thousand years, not 16 billion years) or the flood of the days of Noah (global, not local), when much true science is in support of the Bible? Perhaps we love the approval of men more than the approval of God.
For they love the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:43).
How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only (John 5:44)?
...I will not give my glory unto another (Isaiah 48:11b).
We accept the Truth regarding virgin birth and resurrection without flinching, but we limit God to a “Trial and Error” entity not capable of “speaking the Creation into existence,” but rather relying on billions of years and an evolutionary process to finally “get it right.”
It is my contention that the main reason for rejecting a creationist view (especially in light of the statements by evolutionists which give the creationist position credence) is mankind’s basic pride and rebellion. Evolution allows us to be independent of God so that we do not feel any accountability to God. Evolution takes some pressure off our conscience! Our existence is explained without the need for God.
The current, pervasive New Age teaching that, “we each have within ourselves the god consciousness and can achieve godhood by our own strength as we learn to look within ourselves and develop our full potential,” further fans the flames of self-sufficiency, selfishness and independence from any power greater than ourselves. This New Age teaching promotes evolution and is deadly deception. It is the way of death. It leads people to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. New Age evolutionary thinking also convinces people that they cannot believe the first eleven chapters of Genesis to be the literal Word of God. Truly, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov.14:12).
Flood Waters Covered The Earth
Included early in Genesis is the account of Noah and the Flood. If evolution were true, then a global flood taking place about 4,500 years ago would be impossible! Evolution demands millions of years, not just a few thousand, for creatures and ecosystems to evolve. We sometimes hear this historical event referred to as the Flood of Noah. It was not Noah’s flood. It was God’s flood! The Flood was God’s judgment on the sin that had spread to cover the earth. Genesis 6:5-14a describes God’s heartbreak at the sinfulness of mankind and His recognition of Noah as the only righteous man on the face of the earth.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.
And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Make thee an ark of gopher wood....
The Destruction Of All Land-Based Flesh
What has God told us was His purpose in sending a global flood? Genesis 6:5 records that God saw the great wickedness and evil in mankind. Genesis 6:17 states the actual purpose of the Flood: “... to destroy all flesh.” The types of life to be destroyed are more specifically listed in Genesis 7:21-23:
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.
The purpose of this great judgment by water was to destroy all dry-land life. Dry-land life extended well beyond the Tigris and Euphrates valley! The Flood was not designed to destroy marine life, although many water creatures were destroyed by the Flood as is seen in the fossil record.
Peter tells us (2 Peter 3:5-13) that there are three heaven-and-earth systems in God’s eternal plan. The first system was totally destroyed by the water of the Flood, which was the judgment of God in Noah’s day. Remember it was the violence (Gen. 6:11) that moved God to judgment! (What is the content of the movies and cartoons that you and your family are watching? Have you noticed the astronomical increases in violence?)
The second heaven-and-earth system (our present system, 2 Peter 3:7) will be destroyed by fire so hot as to destroy even the foundational molecules of the earth and sky (2 Peter 3:10). The root of sin, wickedness and violence will finally be burned out of existence. So, how are you investing your resources (time, treasure, talents)? Only three things will not be burned up—God; God’s Word (the Bible); and people. Are you investing eternally in God’s Word and people?
The third heaven-and-earth system is called the New Heavens and New Earth (2 Peter 3:13). This eternal, righteous heaven-and-earth system is also referred to in Romans 8:21, Revelation 21:1 and perhaps Isaiah 65:17. It will last forever. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will inherit the New Heavens and New Earth. Have you come to the sacrificial Lamb, the Creator Jesus, in faith repenting of (willfully turning away from) your sin and rebellion and believing that He alone has the power and right to save your soul? Have you committed the rest of your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His service? Are you justified?
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
The Days Of Noah And The Second Coming Of Jesus
The Lord Jesus contrasted the days of Noah and the flood judgment to His Second Coming:
And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all (Luke 17:26, 27).
The Flood is treated in the Bible as an actual event. Noah is not some mythical character. The Lord Jesus and writers of the Bible believed and taught about a literal man named Noah and an actual global flood. Nowhere in the Bible is the Flood characterized as a local river overflow as some scholars have hypothesized. The words of Genesis 6-9 have concrete meanings in the Hebrew lexicons. These words are not phenomenonological symbols depicting a mythological event recorded by some primitive scribe whose concept of the world was limited to the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. This flood covered “...all the high hills that were under the whole heaven...” (Genesis 7:19, Emphasis added).
The Ark Of Noah
Would God move Noah to build an ark 437 feet long, 73 feet wide and 44 feet deep for a local river overflow? The ark was big enough to carry, on one deck, all the kinds of dry land animals needed to repopulate the earth. Scientists have estimated that Noah would have to take a maximum of about 35,000 sheep-sized animals on the ark to give us all the kinds of creatures we have today. [A comprehensive study of all aspects surrounding the ark and Flood is: Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study by John Woodmorappe (Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research), 1996.]
The ark was big enough to carry at least 125,000 sheep-sized animals. 35,000 creatures (the largest number I’ve seen to generate the animals we have today) could have been kept on one of the three floors in the ark. Since God brought the animals to Noah, He probably brought young animals, even baby dinosaurs. (Please do not forget that the largest dinosaur eggs yet found are no larger than a football. So the largest dinosaurs started life no bigger than a football.) Young dinosaurs would eat less and take up less space. Noah and his family could have lived on the top deck, and, I would imagine, he maintained the insects on the bottom deck. Of course, Noah may not have needed to take insects on the ark, as they may have been able to survive on floating debris.
Would you need an ark to save birds during a local river overflow? Have you ever heard of a local river overflow that lasted longer than a year? The Genesis flood did.84 Why would God give Noah 120 years to build the ark (Genesis 6:3 seems to imply that God was giving 120 years for people to repent while Noah built the ark), when it would have been much easier to move his family and flocks out of the Mesopotamian Valley? In 120 years, Noah could have moved quite a distance away from a flood if it was just a local river overflow! Dr. John Morris has an excellent video on this very subject called, The Deluge, filmed on location at Mt. Ararat in Turkey. It is produced by I.C.R., P.O. Box 2667 El Cajon, CA 92021, (619) 448-0900.
Could God have taken care of Noah, his family, and that ark-load of creatures for a whole year? Genesis 8:1 begins by saying, “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him….” That word “remembered” (zakar) is a special word. In the text of the Hebrew language, it has the idea of intimate care and watchfulness. The concept of knowing needs and acting on that knowledge is contained in the word. It was not that Noah was stranded in the ark and God had been busy doing other things. Then God suddenly looked down and said, “Oh, my! I just remembered Noah.” This word carries with it the concept of meeting needs.
Some creationists have suggested that the process of hibernation may have begun during the Flood. Perhaps many animals slept through most of the ride. Numerous animals that do not normally hibernate or estivate (hot weather sleeping) can be made to do so in certain laboratory conditions. The ability to hibernate is displayed by such animals as: bats, skunks, woodchucks, prairie dogs, badgers, bears, certain mice, humming birds, garter snakes, turtles, toads, spiders, beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers, garden snails, etc. It is not impossible to believe that some (if not many) animals slept a good part of that year.
Many Bible “scoffers” refer to Noah and the Ark as just a myth or story and not an actual historical event. This could be, in part, because of the seeming impossibility of so few people caring for that large a number of animals. Hibernation and estivation of the animals and insects would definitely have decreased the time demands for feeding (and scooping) by the eight human ark passengers. Also, many Sunday School booklets display pictures of Noah’s ark with giraffes’ heads poking out of the top and other animals looking like they had to be squeezed in. Anti-creationist teachers and professors know these erroneous pictures exist in Christian literature and they use those images which have already been planted in children’s minds to convince our children that there is no way Noah could get all those animals in that little ark!
No one can say exactly what went on in the huge, sealed ark, but God knew, and cared, and saw to it that the remnant of His creatures survived.
The Altar, The Rainbow And The Drunkenness
Remember what happened when Noah came out of the ark? Three major things come to mind: the altar, the rainbow and the drunkenness. After his departure from the ark, the first recorded event in the life of Noah was his worship. He built an altar to the Lord and worshipped His Savior. Genesis 8:20-21:
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.
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.
As a result, God gave Noah the covenantal promise of the rainbow. Was the rainbow God’s Covenantal sign to man that He would never again send a local river overflow? Absolutely not! If it was a local river overflow in the known “world” of the writer’s day, then the rainbow as a covenantal sign means nothing. There have been many local river overflows in the Middle East since Noah’s day. And another thing—if there was no water canopy before the Flood that came down during the Flood, then there must have been rain and floods and rainbows before the Flood. In that case, the rain and the rainbow would have no special significance to Noah. The rainbow was a new experience for Noah. It meant that God would never again destroy life upon the earth with an all-encompassing flood.
The account of Noah’s drunkenness may also be important in the study of creationism. There may be several reasons for the inclusion of this episode in God’s eternal Word. Noah’s drunkenness could very readily serve as a hint that man is no longer living in heaven-and-earth system #1 now that the Flood is over. The pre-Flood environmental and ecological system (#1) was destroyed by the Flood. The present heaven-and-earth system (#2) is different.
Reading certain selections from 2 Peter 3 presents to the reader God’s eternal plan, which includes three heaven-and-earth systems: The heaven and earth of Adam and Noah (system #1); the present heaven and earth (system #2); and the New Heavens and New Earth of eternity (system #3).
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.
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.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter, 3: 3-7,10,13).
It is probable that heaven-and-earth system #1 had a heavier atmosphere than our present system (#2). The increased atmospheric pressure was the result of God taking water off the surface of the earth (see Genesis 1:6-8) and putting it above atmospheric heaven or, more specifically, the expanse or firmament that the birds fly in (see Genesis 1:20). These “waters above” came down in Noah’s day and may have set up the condition that quite possibly caused Noah’s drunkenness.
Because the water came down as rain, the atmospheric pressure was reduced by at least one half. Alcohol fermentation rates are doubled when the pressure is cut in half. Therefore, because alcohol ferments faster and gets into your blood and brain more quickly in system #2 than it did in system #1, Noah likely was caught by surprise. He was God’s righteous man. He had not forgotten to make an altar and sacrifice in worship of his Lord and Savior. Noah probably made the same amount of wine that he made before the flood. But now, in system #2, because the conditions had changed, Noah may have been caught by surprise and gotten drunk. We have no record that Noah ever got drunk before or after this incident. Perhaps one reason our Creator gives us this sad account is to hint at the difference between system #1 and system #2.
Our present heaven and earth are vastly different than the pre-Flood heaven and earth of Noah’s day. That is the reason we do not have dragonflies with a wingspread of 32 inches, or chambered nautilus shells eight feet tall, or 100,000-pound dinosaurs walking the earth today. But we know they once lived. We have their fossils. And yet, people lived in system #1 and are still thriving in system #2. Only God could have designed life to work efficiently in two significantly different systems. There is no one like Him!
Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
The Lord of hosts is his name. (Jeremiah 10:6,12,16)
84 For much more information about the Flood-judgment of God read: The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian & Reformed Pub. Co., 1961).