Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping Pastors International Genesis
Preparations For The Flood
A. Genesis 6 gives the preparations for the Flood, but its primary emphasis is upon the evils that prompted God to bring judgment upon mankind.
B. This chapter tells of the collapse of man’s first attempt at civilization. The general truths in Genesis 6 can be applied to all civilizations. Arnold Toynbee, a renowned historian, has indicated there have been in the past some twenty-one or more different civilizations, each one in turn collapsing and giving way to another.
II. CIVILIZATIONS DECLINE (6:5-7, 11-13)
A. Introduction. In 6:1-4, it was concluded that the “sons of God” were wicked angels (demons) or demon possessed men and the “daughters of men” were lewd women who had opened themselves up to all kinds of demonic activity. The result of the union between these two was a monstrosity race, half human and half demonic (angelic). POINT: The first sign of decline in a civilization is an increase in demonic activity.
B. Wickedness (6:5). Man’s wickedness in pre-Flood days was very intense. Wickedness is always the absence of the life of God at work in human society. This would include all kinds of evil but with special emphasis upon sexual perversion (Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 1:24-32). The second mark of decline is an unusual manifestation of sexual wickedness, not sporadic but continuous, not localized but everywhere.
C. Perverted Minds (6:5). “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually.” Man’s mind was bent on fulfilling his deceitful lusts. He was always looking for something more exciting, more “kicks,” in order to satisfy his inward desire for evil. NOTE. The creative arts, which are designed to stimulate the imagination, such as literature, art and drama are generally given over today to the salacious, the lewd and the sensual.
D. Corruption (6:12). There was a total pollution of morals. They had lost sight of all God-given absolutes and had become relativists, each man doing that which was right in his own eyes. The result was corruption of morals in the God-given laws of sex, economics, religion and politics.
E. Social Injustice (6:11,13): So corrupt was the world in Noah’s day that it was “filled with violence.” This word “violence” means ruthless social injustice, violating the God-given rights of men.
F. Conclusion. God was angry with men (6:6) and decided to bring judgment upon all flesh, human and animal, in the earth (6:7, 13). NOTE: It is impossible for God to repent; He does not change His mind like man does. But this is a powerful figure (anthropomorphism) to express in a vivid way the anger and determination of God. It appears that He has changed his mind completely even though He is but acting on principles that are entirely consistent with His own being. NOTE: Jesus Christ made a comparison between the pre-Flood days of Noah with the days just preceding His return to earth (Luke 17:26-27; Matt. 24:37-39). Today’s world is filled with corruption, perversion, wickedness and social injustice on a worldwide basis. Perhaps Christ’s Second Advent is not too far distant.
III. CALLING OF NOAH AND HIS FAMILY (6:8-10,18)
A. Noah, A Saved Man (6:8). Noah “found grace” from God. It was sovereign grace that saved Noah. God was under no obligation to save Noah at all but He did it according to the good pleasure of His own will. It was pure grace that permitted Noah and his family to escape the judgment of the Flood. Salvation is directly related to God’s covenant.
B. Noah, A Spiritual Man (6:9). He was just (righteous) in that he had believed God and was given the positional righteousness of God. He was perfect (upright) and had works to prove his salvation. Noah had a life of dependence on God, for the just shall live by faith (Rom. 1:17). He was in continual communication with God, having a walk that pleased God.
C. Noah A Leader (6:10). Noah was the head of his family, and it appears that through the example of Noah his three sons were also saved.
IV. CONSTRUCTION OF THE ARK (6:14-22)
A. Capacity of the Ark (6:14-17; 18-22)
1. It is given in terms of cubits. The Hebrews had a long cubit of 20.4 inches (Ezek. 40:5) and a common cubit of about 17.5 inches. On the basis of even the shorter cubit the site of the ark was 437.5 feet long, 72.92 feet wide and 43.75 feet high. Since it had three decks (6:16) it had a total deck area of approximately 95,770 square feet (equivalent to slightly more than the area of 20 standard college basketball courts, and its total volume was 1,396,000 cubic feet. The gross tonnage was about 13,960 tons, which would place it well within the category of large metal ocean-going vessels today. NOTE. The size is huge when compared to the battleship New Mexico (length: 624; width: 106 1/4 and depth: 29 1/2) or to the U.S.S. Mariposa, which had a tonnage of 14,512. POINT: The ark had the space of 522 stock cars on the railroad.
2. The ark was not streamlined but was boxy, having a barge-like frame. It was built for stability and was almost impossible to capsize. Evidently the center of gravity was very low. NOTE: It was a huge vessel and took 120 years to build it. Surely Noah had others help him build it. NOTE: Noah spent much of his time warning men of the coming judgment (2 Pet. 2:5). But the uniformitarians (ungodly scientists) of his day no doubt ridiculed such preaching. They had never seen a flood, or even rain, and the huge box Noah was building must have been a source of rich amusement to them. Their ‘science so-called” had proved that a flood was impossible, and so they went on with no fear of judgment.
3. Noah was instructed to take two of every kind of animal into the ark with him, one male and one female (6:19-20). Of the “clean” animals (evidently those to be used for domestication and sacrifice), seven were to be taken aboard (7:2-3).
QUESTION: How could Noah’s ark possibly hold two members of all the animal species in the world? ANSWER:
1. Marine creatures were not to be included, for they could survive the flood.
2. Gen 7:22 says, “all that was in the dry land died.” Authorities estimate that there are less than 18,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in the world today. The Biblical “kind” is probably much more elastic than our modern “species” and it is sure that there was not an excessive number of original “kinds.” After all, Adam was able to give names to all of them in less than one day (Gen. 2:20). There is no indication that adult animals were taken on the Ark; they may have been young and required no large amounts of space. As to how Noah and his family could have taken care of so many animals, this may be explained by hibernation and the young of many of the animals. Only land animals were taken into the Ark, and there are comparatively few kinds of land animals, which are large. Henry Morris, assuming that the average size of the animals in the ark was that of a sheep (which is far too large) says,
It is known that about 240 sheep can he transported in one stock car, so that 150 cars would suffice for 36,000 animals of this size. This is less than one-third the Ark’s size. There was ample extra room for the approximately 1,000,000 species of insects, for food, for possible animals now extinct, for living quarters for Noah and his family, and for any other necessary purposes (Science, Scriptures and Salvation, p. 40).
B. Calling of the Animals (6:20). It was God who sent the animals to Noah. Noah did not have to go out and hunt them, for it says, “two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.” This was in itself a miracle of God’s grace. He gave them a migratory directional instinct. Furthermore, the geographical distribution of animals was possibly quite different before the Flood.