The Global Flood
There is much compromise today regarding the Bible and its plain teaching. Some have embraced theistic evolution thinking that it is the best of both worlds. More and more are now found claiming to believe in the Bible, but compromising such issues as the Genesis flood. One particular area of compromise is the scope of the Noachian flood. It seems to be increasingly popular and educated today to maintain the flood was only local in its scope and not universal. Could it be that we have exaggerated the flood as to its scope and coverage?
The Genesis flood. The Bible has considerable to say regarding the great deluge. In fact, four chapters in Genesis are almost completely dedicated to details relative to the flood (Genesis 6-9). Hence, we are not left to wonder about the fact due to lack of biblical information. The level of sin in the antediluvian world occasioned the flood (Gen. 6: 5-7, 13, 14, 7: 4, 17-19). Some mock the idea that rain could cause such a flood in such a short time. However, the Bible reveals that rain was only one source, probably the lesser source of the massive flood waters. " the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened," we are informed (Gen. 7: 11).
The Genesis flood was global in scope. There is an abundance of biblical evidence as to the scope of the flood being global. In fact, the evidence is irrefutable and undeniable.
There are numerous statements resident in Genesis six through nine that describe the deluge as nothing short of being universal. When one carefully considers these chapters, one will encounter about thirty such expressions that are descriptive of a worldwide catastrophe. "And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth," is typical language used to describe the extent of the flood (Gen. 7: 10).
The purpose of the inundation was to destroy man and animal life on the dry land. We are repeatedly told that all men, save for Noah and his immediate family, and dry land animals were to be destroyed by the flood (Gen. 6:7, 17, 7: 22). Thus, a local flood would not have sufficed.
The floodwaters covered all the mountains. One can just casually read such verses as Genesis 7: 19, 20 and have to conclude the waters covered the entire earth. Consider the wording, "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered." In fact, the waters extended over the highest mountains half the height of the ark (Gen. 6: 15).
The flood lasted over a year. If the flood were only local or limited to a small area, why would it have lasted over a year (Gen. 7: 11, 8: 13)? It is obvious local flooding could have been achieved in a much shorter period of time.
The size of the ark. It is apparent from the given dimensions of the ark that the ark was designed to transport all "species" and not just the species from a given area of the earth (Gen. 6: 15). Such described volumetric capacity would have been ridiculous for the preservation of only local species.
Why even have an ark unless the flood were universal? Those who are seeking to harmonize the so called scientific community and alleged Bible believers by accepting the local flood position are in effect presenting the Bible as utterly laughable. If the inundation were only limited to an area, why did not Noah and his family simply change location? Building such a boat and going to such work and preparation would be totally unjustified unless the flood was indeed global.
If the flood were only isolated, God failed to keep his promise. God promised there would never be such a flood as described in Genesis six through nine again (Gen. 8: 21, 9: 11). However, the earth has subsequently known many local floods. Hence, the Noachian flood had to have been universal.
All men have descended from Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The Bible expressly states that all men, after the flood, are descended either from Shem, Ham, or Japheth, Noah's three sons (Gen. 9: 1, 19). Limiting all posterity to these three progenitors would have been nonsensical if the flood were anything short of global.
Later inspired writers present the flood as worldwide. There are many declarations in the Bible as to the coverage of the floodwaters. Peter affirmed only eight souls were saved from the world of Noah's day (I Pet. 3: 20). The Psalmist manifestly describes the floodwaters as being global. Speaking of the flood, he said that God covered the earth with the waters, the waters stood above the mountains, and go down by the valleys (Ps. 104: 6-9). (See also Job 12: 15 and Isa. 54: 9.)
In closing, Jesus himself presented the Genesis flood as a type of the coming destruction of the world associated with his second advent (Matt. 24: 37-39, Lk. 17: 27, 28). Surely we are not ready to believe the final Judgment will only be local. However, in order to be consistent those who accept the local flood doctrine must contend that Jesus' coming and the destruction of the "earth" will be limited to an area and isolated to only a comparatively few people of the earth. As I suggested at the outset of this material: The Bible plainly teaches a universal flood and to deny this is to deny the Bible. The Genesis flood reveals the righteousness of God and serves as a type of the great judgment to come upon all men (Rom. 11: 22; Lk. 17: 27, 28). The global flood has also contributed much to form the world as we know it today.