Aug 14, 2016
Genesis 7:17-8:14

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Genesis 7:17-24, “Now the flood was on the earth 40 days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 

And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.”

You can’t escape that daunting phrase used four times in these verses… “And the waters prevailed!” Aside from those in the Ark nothing survived the judgment of God. His Word presented a reality of what man’s future held and in the end it came true just as He said! Additionally, this phrase “the waters prevailed” is in the active tense meaning it would be better translated as “the waters were prevailing.” While the rains only lasted 40 days and 40 nights, the waters continued to rise for a total of 150 days until even “the mountains were covered” at a minimum of “fifteen cubits upward.” This flood was clearly global in nature.

While I want to be careful to avoid taking a detour into all of the science related to the effects of a global flood (which you should study on your own), I do want to make one general observation. It is universally accepted in the scientific community that the general topography of the Earth (mountains, valleys, canyons, etc.) are produced in only one of two ways… It is either the product of uniformitarian processes (meaning the processes inherent to all systems observed today have always operated in a constant manner) or they are produced through a single or series of catastrophic events (i.e. floods, earthquakes, volcanos, etc.). 

For example: The uniformitarian view sees the Grand Canyon as being the byproduct of a slow cycle of natural erosion caused by the Colorado River. Because the rate of erosion is mostly seen as being constant, this position lends itself to being used as a dating mechanism… Case in point, for the Grand Canyon to look the way it does today the process of erosion would have had to begin approximately 6 million years ago. 

That said… Uniformitarianism is opposed by the idea that these topographical characteristics seen in the earth can instead be created instantly through catastrophic events. It’s fascinating to study in greater detail, but when Mt. Saint Helens erupted in May of 1980 the incredible force of the blast coupled with the hot gaseous cloud and lava flow that rushed down the mountain instantaneously created the same type of canyons and fossil formations uniformitarian processes require millions of years to create. 

Understand, it is completely logical and even scientific to conclude the Grand Canyon could have developed over 6 million years of the Colorado River eroding layers of rock sediment or as St. Helens proves something cataclysmic could have done it all at once.

Here’s my point… You can reject the notion that a global flood occurred 5000 years ago, but you cannot reject the scientific reality that such a global event as described in the Bible would have been able to create the type of geological archive we see today. 

Personally, I believe the geological evidence more substantiates a global event such as the Bible describes than it does the uniformitarian viewpoint. For example… How do we have such an extensive fossil record (which requires an animal be instantly buried with incredible temperatures and pressures soon after it dies)? Today, we have zero evidence of things slowing being fossilized and instead only see this occur through catastrophic events.

Genesis 8:1-3, “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the 150 days the waters decreased.” 

“Then God remembered Noah…” Please understand what we have here is an anthropormic Hebrewism and not an indication that God had forgotten about Noah. The word used here “remembered” serves to communicate that it was at this point (150 days into the flood, once everything had died) that God decided it was now time to act on Noah’s behalf. And how did God act? Now that the waters had reached their peak levels, we’re told “the waters” began to “decrease” as a result of three things:

1. “God made a wind to pass over the earth…” Unlike the pre-flood world this is the first reference to weather patterns. A great wind began the process of the waters subsiding.

2. “The fountains of the deep were stopped…” Some have speculated that with these underwater aqueducts emptying the soil above them may have collapsed causing deep caverns on the earth which would have created the framework for our oceans. Water began flowing into these basins causing the waters to decrease.

3. “The windows of heaven were also stopped…” While most of the water within the canopy that existed in the pre-diluvian world emptied, not all the water was expelled.

Genesis 8:4-5, “Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.”

We’re told soon after the waters began to decrease “the ark rested” or literally ran aground “on the mountains of Ararat.” Because we’re then told soon after “the ark rested… the tops of the mountains were seen” it’s likely the ark settled on the highest peak of this particular range. Note: Mount Ararat is located in the north-central area of modern day Turkey.

Two other points should be noted concerning this detail… First, historically Mount Ararat has always been Mount Ararat, which is important because some have tried to make the case looking for Noah’s Ark in Turkey is frivolous because the Ararat of the ancient world was an entirely different mountain range than what we know today. This is nonsense. 

Not only has Mount Ararat always been accepted throughout human history as the same mountain range we know it to be today, but there is an abundance of extra-Biblical, historical evidence to suggest the location of Noah’s Ark has always been the Ararat of central Turkey.

Today, there is a great mystery in the intelligence community surrounding an unnatural object sitting on Mount Ararat at 15,000ft. What’s commonly referred to in the CIA as the “Ararat Anomaly” began when several photos of a US reconnaissance mission in 1949 showed a “dense, linear shaped anomaly protruding from the permanent glacial ice cap at 15,500ft.”

The “Ararat Anomaly” discussion again resurfaced in 1973 when a CIA reconnaissance satellite took high-res photos of a purportedly “boat like object” on Ararat while spying on a Soviet missile installation just across the Turkish boarder. According to sources “a few days later CIA photo interpreters in Washington were startled when they discovered in the high resolution photos what appeared to be the ‘heavily damaged bow of some kind of huge ship protruding out of the glacier during a major glacial meltdown.’”

It should also be noted that subsequent photographs were also taken of the same area in 1956, 1976, 1990, and 1992 in addition to 1949 and 1973. While the vast majority of these photographs are still classified in order to conceal covert operations and technology, in the late 90’s a man by the name Porcher Taylor secured the release of the 1948 photos via a FOA request. Note: Last week I was sent several of the original photographs.

While it’s true most of the images are difficult to decipher, the most convincing evidence as to the legitimacy of Noah’s Ark potentially being this “Ararat Anomaly” came during a Q&A that occurred at the Palm Beach Roundtable following a speech by Dr. George Carver Jr. 

Biographical Information: After graduating from Yale University George Carver received a doctorate from Oxford. Then Beginning in 1953, he spent 26 years in government service, mostly with the CIA. From 1966 to 1973, he served three Directors of Central Intelligence as their special assistant for Vietnamese affairs. After this he was posted in West Germany and was the senior intelligence officer for the CIA with responsibility for Berlin. At the time he was widely considered to be “America’s foremost authority on intelligence and security” and is the only person in the history of the CIA to be twice awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Metal. Following his retirement he then served as the Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Porcher L. Taylor. III: “Dr. Carver, I'm a West Point graduate and while I was a cadet at the Academy in 1973, there was a strong rumor going around, that one of our military spy satellites was flying down the Russian/Turkish corridor taking photographs of a Soviet missile site and apparently accidentally took photographs on the Turkish side, of a large wooden object which appeared to be a ship stuck in a glacier about 14,000 feet on Mount Ararat. Strong rumors going around the Academy at that time was that apparently our intelligence people at the CIA might have classified photographs of Noah's Ark, and I was wondering if you had any comments about that.” *Laughter From Audience*

Dr. Carver: “Well, I don't recall the CIA working on Noah’s Ark, but I do remember that at the time there were some pictures taken, and there were clear indications that there was something up on Mount Ararat, which was rather strange. There was various archaeological expeditions that were mounted. The Turkish government was not to thrilled about supporting them, because it was getting into an area that was politically dicey from the Turks’ point of view. But that is but one of the indications, you know, I haven’t been up there, I don’t think anyone has, but it certainly was eyebrow lifting and it was certainly another indication that despite its splendor as a work of poetry, the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, might not be all that bad as history also.”

After this exchange Porcher Taylor was able to have a follow up conversation with Dr. Carver where he went on the record explaining that during a Director of Central Intelligence morning staff meeting around 1973, which he attended, that then Deputy Director for Science & Technology, Carl Ducken, mentioned some recent photos of the “Ararat Anomaly” and that there had indeed been a good deal of banter around the morning meeting table about “how the Book of Genesis might be literally a work of history.”

While I can’t say with complete certainty that Noah’s Ark is waiting to be discovered on Mt. Ararat a few things I can say for sure… (1) The Biblical location of the Ark has been verified by non-Biblical historians. (2) There is without a doubt some type of abnormality in the same location. (3) There are obvious reasons why not only would the Turkish government refuses to allow expeditions to the location, but that our own government would resist as well.

One more point concerning the location of Noah’s Ark… There have been some who’ve questioned whether or not it would be possible for the Ark to have even survived 5000 years. To this point, keep in mind, not only was the Ark covered inside and out with pitch, which in addition to being a water-proofing agent would have also acted as a preservative, but if the Ark was indeed covered in a glacier ice cap there is no question it could have lasted intact. Consider that today we’re discovering all kinds of things from antiquity much less resilient than wood fully intact as various glaciers are receding from rising temperatures. As Norwegian Archaeologist Lars Pilö writes, “The ice is a time machine.”

That said, even without the ice it would be possible for the Ark to survive 5000 years. In 1954 an Egyptian archaeologist discovered a 4,500 year old solar ship (dating to 2500 BC) made entirely of Lebanese cedar in the Giza pyramid complex. Today, it is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved vessels from antiquity. In 2012 another Egyptian, wooden boat was unearthed dating back 5000 years to the First Dynasty of the Pharaohs.

Genesis 8:6-14, “So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. 

So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.

And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.”

Before we close our time together I want to ask a simple question… What would you do if you knew God’s judgment was coming? Let me ask this another way… What kind of impact should this knowledge have on those who really believe it? 

In 2013 the Barna Group ran a poll where they asked this simple question… “Is the world currently living in the end times as described in the Bible?” Beyond the fact that 54% of Protestants agreed with this statement and more specifically 77% of evangelicals, in totality it presented the amazing reality that 41% of all Americas believe we’re currently living out the end of days! Kind of explains why we have the Presidential candidates we do!

What I find most shocking about this poll is the fact that if 77% of our Christian community really believes we’re currently living in the End Times, meaning judgment is coming and we know how man can be saved, I would expect to find us behaving a bit differently.

This past week I really chewed on the reason why so many people (myself included) often act completely contrary to the beliefs we claim. We’re so quick to say we believe (A), but more often than not our behaviors and actions tell a radically different tale! 

While I genuinely believe I love my wife, so often I act in a way that isn’t loving. While I honestly believe 1.5 hours a week to plug into a church community is a small and reasonable time investment to foster my walk with Jesus, so often it’s easier to sleep in. While I do believe I should give 10% of my income, so often I fail to act accordingly. While I openly believe Jesus could call me home at any moment, how rarely it is that this belief dictates my daily decisions and behaviors. Yes, I believe hell awaits the unbeliever, so why do I shy away from sharing my faith?

After much thought I’ve come to the brutal conclusion that when your actions contradict your beliefs it reveals one of two things about you… (1) You never really held that belief in the first place, or (2) A greater desire superseded that genuine belief! For example… 

When I fail to act in a loving way towards my wife there are only two logical conclusions I can reach: (1) I actually don’t love her, or (2) I love myself or something else more. 

When I fail to attend church regularly there are only two logical conclusions I can reach: (1) I actually don’t believe it’s that important, or (2) Other things have a greater priority.

When I fail to tithe there are only two logical conclusions I can reach: (1) I don’t actually believe giving is asked of me, or (2) I love my money more than I do obeying God. 

When I willingly engage in sinful behavior there are only two logical conclusions I can reach: (1) I don’t actually believe Jesus could call me home at any moment, or (2) My desire to please other things has trumped my desire to please Him.

When I fail to share the truth of Jesus with my lost friends and family there are only two logical conclusions I can reach: (1) I don’t actually believe in a future hell, or (2) I care more about feeling awkward than I do the people I claim to love.

So back to the original question… If I say I believe judgment is coming, but this reality isn’t having an effect on my life the only two logical conclusions is that (1) I really don’t believe judgment is coming, or (2) Greater desires are superseding this genuine belief.

To this point I want to play a video from a blog posted by atheist magician / comedian Penn Jillette I found to be both inspiring and convicting all at the same time.

Let me share that line again… “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Guys… Seriously, what are we doing? If we really believe judgment is neigh - that a day of reckoning similar to what occurred in the days of Noah could come at any moment - and we know the way to be saved, why aren’t we more bold, active, and direct in sharing these things with the lost world around us?