Creation and uncreation – The flood and Genesis 7

Perhaps the best known story in the Bible of God’s judgment is the story of Noah’s Ark. 

At the beginning of the story, Genesis talks of a world that has fallen further and further into sin and that the Lord saves one man (Noah) and his family from the destruction that was to come.

Another significant theme in the story is that it is an undoing of creation. 

Undoing creation

In the Noah story, when the flood itself is brought forth by the Lord, Genesis 7:11-12 records: 

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 

In Genesis 1, we see the second and third day of creation. 

Day 2

Genesis 1:6-8

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 

Day 3

Genesis 1:9-10: 

9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 

In those days, we see God separate the waters and create the expanse between earth and sky. In the flood, the heavens are opened up and the rains come down and flood the earth. The Lord takes away the dry ground as he floods the earth. 

The parallels don’t end there. 

Noah and his family are saved along with sets of every animal. 

Genesis 7:13-15: 

 13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, 14 they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. 15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 

You have man and beast entering the ark. You also have married people going into the ark. It’s noteworthy that in ancient times when polgyammy was commonplace, that we see people in monogamous marriages entering the ark, especially when considering that marriage itself is part of God’s creation. 

Amid the darkness and chaos of the flood, we do see a glimmer of hope as the Lord personally takes care of this family. Genesis 7:16 says: And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in. 

Noah is a symbol for Adam. He and his family and the animals are symbols of creation, preserved to be part of a new creation after the flood. 

Genesis 7:17-19:

17 The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered.

Once again, tis is language which continues to point back to the first days of Genesis and God’s subduing of the waters. At the beginning of Genesis, The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2)but in the flood, the Lord allows the waters to come and overtake the whole earth. 

Days 5 and 6

In creation days 5 and 6, we see God bringing forth life. First animal life and then culminating in the creation of man. 

Aside from those who are on the ark, they die in the flood. 

Genesis 7:21-23:

 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 

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