What Is the Bible Teaching About Life In the Great Flood?


            People do not believe that a loving God could send anyone to hell. But part of the testimony of the Great Flood is that God is a God of righteous judgement as well as a God of love. But the flood raises questions even as it answers others. For instance people ask how is it that some of the creatures of the sea survived when God said that "the end of all flesh is come before Me?" (Genesis 6:13) The answer to that question as I have come to understand it is a little different than the approach most people have, but it explains a lot that otherwise goes unanswered.

            Focusing on the word flesh used in the passage, I found that the primary meaning of the word (basar) was related to the flesh of men.[1] The clue to this being true is apparent in the Authorized English Text, where in verse 12 it was reported: "And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." Thinking the passage through we can see its focus is on men primarily. Men corrupt their way, animals struggle in a world under the curse of sin.

            God did not destroy all the flesh of men either. He saved Noah and his family. What then is the meaning of the statement the end of all flesh is come before me? After due consideration, I came to realize that man prior to the flood would have succeeded in destroying himself in entirety had not God intervened in cleansing the earth leaving but a selected remnant. In a sense the flood represents not only judgement but also God's preservation of the Creation from the total effect of extreme corruption.

            When God cleansed the earth, there would be of necessity a cleansing of the animal kingdom as well because man in his evil endeavors had also indulged in bestiality,[2] a sin specifically addressed later when the Mosaic Law is given. In that law neither the person who does such a thing nor the animal that is part of it is allowed to live. At the time of the next judgement upon the earth, which will be by fire, we are told that conditions will be as they were in the days of Noah. This is the evidence for what the situation was prior to the time of the flood. The evil you see upon the earth today existed before God judged the earth the last time.

            The more we look at the statements of Genesis chapter six, the more impressed we become that they are quite exact instead of being general as is usually supposed by those who write commentary. For instance, we have to acknowledge that everything that was left in the earth died in the flood. All that was preserved that went about on the face of the earth had to go upon the ark.

            Then we come to the question of what about the creatures in the seas? Clearly they did not go into the ark, and if you are dealing in exactitude the verse in Genesis 6:17 has to include the animals in the sea. "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die." This seems to pose an insurmountable problem when we start out, and no doubt it did for those expositors of an earlier age. This is why when they consider these passages to be general statements we should not be so critical. They did not have the advantage of findings in flood science that is ours today.

            There are evidences of massive marine life kills that took place when the flood occurred. Some of these we actually mine for the resources that the residue of this pre-flood existence can provide for our benefit. Also, the evidence is that the coral reefs around the world all began after the flood, which means that they were begun by creatures who left their skeletons one upon the other after the flood and not before. In short, after the flood there was a beginning, not a continuation of activity by marine life in the things and that tells us something very important. That is, the pattern of marine life was tremendously altered by the Great Flood.

            So how can any marine life have existed under heaven during the Great Flood and the Genesis record be exactly correct concerning it? The answer is that they did not exist under heaven, they were preserved over the earth in the heaven of the earth[3] canopy above the earth. We now know that when the fountains of the deep were broken up and the pressures of waters within the earth and tectonic action took place, columns of water shot up into the sky or heaven above the earth by as much as fifty miles. In this way some sea life caught up in the water columns would be preserved above the earth, to be rained back down after the initial cataclysm.

Don't believe it? Well, this type of event is being repeated on a smaller scale to this very day. We have many recorded instances of all sorts of critters being rained down upon the earth over the years including frogs. What usually happens is that water spouts, and other phenomena like tornadoes and hurricanes pick up water creatures taking them into the upper atmosphere, carry them some distance, then deposit them back to earth. Several such incidences were recorded in the 1990's.

Another evidence for this answer is what happens with lakes and ponds. You can build a completely land locked pond and not stock it at all. But, over the years marine life will appear. Why? Because fish eggs are picked up and carried over distances during the natural processes of evaporation and condensation that take place in the earth cycles. If God can cause such things to be happening today in natural cycles, He can certainly do something great for the preservation of marine life in cataclysmic events.




[1] The actual thought of freshness or leanness contained in the word, points to the fact that defilement takes the freshness of life from those who are corrupted even before they die physically.

[2] Dr. Strong's reference to pedunda in describing the word for flesh serves to illustrate the sexual connection.

[3] In biblical terminology there are several different heavens, not just the one in which God has His throne.

            Jonsquill Ministries

P. O. Box 752

Buchanan, Georgia 30113