NOAH'S FLOOD AND GOD'S LOVE FOR ALL MEN
I have been doing some research on Noah in order to begin a series of teachings on how this truth relates to the message of God's loving character, particular the truth that He does not directly engage in destructive behavior. We have pointed out in our materials that much of the destructive behavior ascribed to God in Scripture is PERMISSIVE rather than CAUSATIVE. However, one of the questions often asked by sincere seekers on this truth is about the flood of Noah.
I deal with the Noah issue in some detail in my book, "Does God Send Natural Disasters". But since doing more research in order to work on the teaching series I have discovered even more evidence to support the truth that the flood was the result of God removing His protection from men. Among the wonderful gems I have found was a book titled, "Questions and Disputations Concerning the Holy Scriptures" by Nicholas Gibbons". What excite me about this book is that it is written in 1601 and even back then Gibbons believed in the "canopy" or "dome" theory (Gen. 1:6-10) that is somewhat controversial today. He expounds on this on pages 11 to 13 of his book.
While I will be showing those who listen to the teaching a couple of statements by Gibbons, I thought that some of you who occasionally check out our FB page and/or read our blog might be interested in a little bit of what I have found. On pages 284 to 285 Gibbons is answering his readers as to the meaning of Genesis 7:11-12 where we are told that "....the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." Gibbons writes:
"In nature it is acknowledged of all, that the place of the waters, is to be above the earth: and therefore when the Lord did withdraw them from the earth and couched them together in the sea the same was a supernatural work of his almighty power, Wherefore if God by his almighty power does RESTRAIN the waters in their place and make that natural unto them which is against the nature of their first creation, it is not therefore against their nature (although it be miraculous in the eyes of men) when soever he PERMITTETH them to flow unto their original seat and place."
Note the words "restrain" and "permitteth" (permits). Gibbons did not see God as the direct cause of the flood but understood Genesis 7:11-12 to explain that God was protecting man from the flood by His restraining the waters. He was protecting the earth from the watery chaotic state we find in Genesis 1:2 where the whole earth is covered in water. At some point God PERMITTED (rather than directly caused) the waters to return to that chaotic state.
As I will point out in the upcoming series of teachings, man's sin has an effect on his environment and continued sin causes a weakening of the earth's structures. God actually protects man from his own undoing, but He can only do this but for so long. Continued rejection of God leaves God with no other choice but to depart and allow the consequences of rebellion to take place. Hence, the flood that destroyed the earth in Noah's day.
We hope to be able to have all of this done soon and begin to recording the videos and also have an accompanying book to help those of you who remain interested in these truths.