Critical Apologetics Issues:
The account of Noah and the flood is foundational. From baptism to the end times, the account of Noah and the flood is necessary to understanding God’s revelation in scripture to mankind. It is no surprise, therefore, that it has received such an array of critical attacks that need to be answered.
Apologetics is quite literally means “to speak in defense of” something; from the Greek “ἀπολογία” (apologia).
- See Philippians 1:7 “Defense and confirmation of the gospel”
- See 1 Peter 3:15 “Always being ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you”
Far from apologizing for the gospel, the defense of those things that are written in God’s word is the front lines in which the gospel is preached and the strongholds of the enemy are torn down.
Included in the correlating handout are articles which deal with critical apologetics issues regarding Noah and the flood.
- How could Noah build something So Large?
- What is known about Noah and the Ark?
- Kinds: How many animals were on the Ark?
- How could the animals fit on the Ark?
- How could Noah care for all the animals?
- How could the animals breathe?
These and many other issues are dealt with in the included printout taken entirely from Answers in Genesis.
Critical Apologetic Questions on Noah from AIG
Genesis 6: The Ark Prepared Whilst Wickedness Abounds
Point 1 (Genesis 6:1-7, 11-13)
As man began to fulfill God’s commandment to
“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish, birds, and every living thing on the earth”, (Genesis 1:28)
The LORD saw that man had subjected all creation to wickedness and filled the earth with violence.
“The LORD saw that every intent of the heart was only evil continually…” (Genesis 6:5)
God had given man a dominion as His stewards over all creation- to fill the earth and subdue it- and man used his stewardship to fill the earth with violence and subject it to wickedness; and God was deeply grieved and began withdrawing His Spirit from man (Genesis 6:3-4)!
God even saw that “all creatures” on earth had become corrupt (Genesis 6:12):
“God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on earth.”
Note From Our Times: ANIMALS have recently been observed NOW committing homosexual acts.
Here, the Sovereign looked down upon man and pronounced his condition; that every intent of his heart is evil. It’s self-seeking and vain glory! The nakedness of mankind’s shame was again exposed by God- only this time there would be no covering’s provided by God, but instead, the LORD would cleanse the face of the earth with His wrath.
Noah stands preaching to us today: “the patience of God DOES come to an end; His wrath WILL come!”
God does not abandon His purpose in creating man, not even when the world is covered in darkness and man’s wickedness saturates every thought and imagination that comes into his heart; God knew “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10)- Remember, it is mortal man that tries to make sense of the past in the darkness of time, but the long journey of the past only makes sense in the Light of the future!
Therefore, with such evil in the world, God’s word focuses on the deliverance of Noah from wrath in the Ark. In other words, God is telling you- O end times Church- to focus on your deliverer, not your calamity!
“Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth! For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God! When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory!” (Colossians 3:2-4)
READ: Romans 8:18-26 “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…”
Point 2 (Genesis 6:8-10)
God tells us of the “generations” (NASB) of Noah; and we are not told first off of his progeny, but rather, of righteousness. Preceding God’s recitation of Noah’s “generations” we find that Noah found grace from the LORD- before anyone can be brought into the line of righteousness as an heir they must first find GRACE!
It is here that we see Jesus foreshadowed again: Christ is “grace upon grace”- Noah found grace.
Let us consider Noah’s generation of righteousness (which is revealed at greater length in the entire chapter 11 of Hebrews):
(PREACH) By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
“Noah condemned the world”, just as we die to the world: the floodwaters, which represent our baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ by the Holy Spirit, were the means by which the whole world was condemned to Noah, and by which Noah died to the whole world- when he emerged from the Ark he emerged into a new world.
Of Noah’s generations it is said:
- He was righteous and blameless in his generation.
- He walked with God.
- His progeny: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Point 3 (Genesis 6:13-22)
“Elohim” spoke to Noah (God’s Genesis 1:1 name), and told him that the Creator of Heaven and Earth is coming to destroy creation. “Elohim” declares the end from the beginning with what will ultimately be fulfilled at the return of Christ:
“And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth.’ ”
- See Isaiah 34:1-4 “Let the earth hear, and all that is in it; for the indignation of the Lord is against the nations…”
- See 2 Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise…”
From this point on God speaks exclusively regarding Noah’s salvation:
- The Ark of God’s covenant by which Noah would be delivered from God’s wrath.
- The floodwaters of God’s wrath by which Noah would be delivered from the wickedness of the world.
Now the details regarding the Ark of God’s covenant begin to be revealed:
- The Ark is God’s covenant with Noah provided by grace and entered through faith.
- The Ark’s design is revealed in advance.
- The Ark had one window.
- The Ark had many rooms.
- The Ark had one door.
- The Ark was God’s deliverance during the outpouring of His wrath
- See Psalm 32:6-7 “For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”
- See Luke 11:13 “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Noah and his sons labor to build the ark for anywhere between 55 to 75 years (high estimates are 100+ years).
(v22) “Thus Noah did”
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear (Heb 11:7)
Genesis 7: The Great Flood
Point 1 (Genesis 7:1-6)
The LORD watched Noah, who was moved with godly fear as he received God’s warning by faith; God saw Noah’s faithfulness all these long years of thankless, sweat-stained, blood-stained, ridiculed labor, and declared;
“Come into the Ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)
By the labor of faith Noah entered the Ark.
“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)
Jesus Christ is the Sabbath-rest of God. Enter His rest at the invitation of His word (Matthew 11:28) whereby every sincere heart of faith is filled with the grace of God. Let us be diligent to set our hope on the firm foundation of Christ’s return; to take up every promise of God whereby we may become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); and to abound in the joy of our salvation through blessing and trial by offering to God our sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).
Hear this: today we must be moved by the same godly fear that moved Noah by faith!
1 Peter 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
See Matthew 24:27-41
Point 2 (Genesis 7:7-24)
This is when everything ceased being faith for Noah and everything he had believed in became reality; for years Noah was moved with God fear by faith to labor for things that seemed so far off. The world continued as it had always been- life, merriment, death, and new life- but Noah and his family forsook the passing pleasures to pursue something that was utterly veiled to their understanding.
- The floodwaters began to rage as the fountains of the deep were broken
- The widows of heaven were opened.
Then God commanded Noah to enter the Ark:
“So those that entered went in as God had commanded Noah; and the LORD shut him in.”
Noah is sealed into the Ark by the LORD:
- See Ephesians 4:30
- See Romans 8:35-39
Genesis 8: Noah Delivered and God’s Covenant with Creation
Point 1 (Genesis 8:1-14)
The floodwaters of God’s wrath that cleansed the face of the earth from the exceedingly great wickedness of man brought deep sorrow to God:
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. (Ezekiel 33:11)
Every creature of God’s “very good” creation was destroyed; the fierceness of God’s wrath- the wrath that can only be fully satisfied by Christ- broke loose upon the face of the earth with great noise, terror, and power. And in this moment God was utterly robbed of any pleasure in His creation. No song of nature. No beauty of the fields. Nothing on earth but the Ark carrying the line by which the greatly anticipated Seed that would crush the Serpent’s head was left on the face of the earth.
Then Elohim remembered Noah in the Ark and brought a wind to dry up the earth.
After the Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat Noah began sending out birds to see if the earth was ready to receive him again;
- First the Raven
- Then a Dove (returned).
- Again a Dove (returned with an Olive Branch).
- And again a Dove (Did not return).
Olive Branch Meaning: Romans 11:17-21. Olive Branch representative of Israel into which the Gentiles are grafted!
Point 2 (Genesis 8:15-22)
Now that the earth is dried up God spoke to Noah again;
“Go out of the Ark, you and your household, bring out with you every living thing that is with you so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 8:17)
Noah is now breathing the hope of new life and builds an altar to the LORD to sacrifice a burnt offering of every clean animal and of every clean bird.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:!4-16
Noah’s sacrifice foreshadowed the complete redemption of all creation that would be made by Jesus Christ in the end; by this sacrifice Noah diffused the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ.
In the past God has cursed man’s dominion at the fall of Adam and Eve; even so again God struck man’s dominion again at the flood. Now God makes a covenant;
“I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:21-22)
Prophetic Signs of Noah’s Time:
- Mankind gave and took in marriage and bore sons and daughters (Ch. 5)
- Mankind multiplied on the face of the earth (6:1).
- Mankind’s wickedness was widespread on the face of the Earth (6:5).
- Every intent of their heart was evil (6:5).
- Noah found Grace from God (6:8)
- Noah’s generation was righteousness (6:9)
- The Earth itself was also corrupt before God (6:11).
- The Earth was filled with violence (6:11).
- Every creature (people and animals) on earth had corrupted its ways (6:12 see v7).
- God judged Noah’s faithfulness during the years of construction (7:1)
- The Ark is God’s covenant with Noah
- The Ark’s design is revealed in advance, as Christ was foretold by the prophets.
- The Ark has one window.
- The Ark has many rooms.
- The Ark had one door.
- The ark was God’s deliverance during His outpouring of wrath.