Beginnings /:8:/ Flooding and Fruitful Multiplication.
Genesis 7–8 tells the story of the flood. God commands Noah to build and then enter the ark with his family and the animals. Noah does everything that God tells him to do, and then God shuts the door of the ark. The rain falls for 40 days until it covers the mountains, and destroys all living things outside. 1 Then, Genesis 9-11 tells the story of rebuilding the global community of God's people, who again are commanded to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. It's essentially a reboot of humanity! What's going on?!
Scripture Covered: Genesis 7-11
Themes: Flood, Covenant and Curse, Table of Nations, Tower of Babel
The flood story echoes the creation narrative in several different ways. Genesis 7 portrays the deluge as an undoing of creation, i.e. the separation of waters originally gathered into seas (Gen 1:8–9) now reversed as the "windows of heaven" and the "springs of the deep" overwhelm the land with water (Gen 7:11). Likewise, in language that echoes the creation of animals (Gen 1:24–25), God commands Noah to take "all the living creatures according to their kind" (Gen 7:14). When God commands Noah to exit the ark, He repeats the mandate given to Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply on the earth" (Gen 8:17; compare Gen 1:28). Thus, the flood story presents a destruction and re-creation of the earth, with Noah as a new Adam.2 So why the reboot? Is this humanity 2.0? Did God make a mistake the first time? Was Adam and Eve the first time or were there more iterations before that that aren't mentioned in the Bible?!
Let's have some fun exploring this familiar old story together with modern perspectives!
As a help to our continuing study, our ministry partners at The Bible Project have created a two-part video overview of the Book of Genesis. This first video summarizes what we've covered so for, and helps prepare us for what to expect as we continue our study going forward. Enjoy!
Rob Bell is an accomplished pastor and author who experienced some controversy and pushback from the evangelical Christian community in recent years after the publishing of his book, "Love Wins". Prior to much of this controversy, Rob published a video lecture called "Everything is Spiritual" that is worth watching. It's an hour-long lecture, so don't feel compelled to watch it, but it's a wonderfully engaging look at the creation narrative of Genesis and the mystery and marvel of the world in which we live. Enjoy! (but only if you have an hour to spare!)
Was the Flood a literal or figurative event? Was it global or local? Is there archeological evidence to support it? These are some of the questions that underpin the the historical tension between the Biblical and Scientific worldviews.
In this gathering we look at the precision of certain details within the flood narrative. We also review the creation narrative again to see if there's compelling evidence to substantiate a more literal reading of the Genesis story, and how doing so might further inform our theological and spiritual understanding of the text.
1 Douglas Mangum, Miles Custis, and Wendy Widder, Genesis 1–11, Lexham Research Commentaries (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ge 7:1–8:19.