Adam and Noah: two beginnings
Posted on homepage: 31 December 2012 (GMT+10)
There are many parallels between what happened in Creation Week and in the global
Flood of Noah’s time. These similarities underline the worldwide nature of the Flood.
The water and dry land
God created Earth initially covered in water:
“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).1
Here there is no suggestion that the waters were ‘bad’; it was just a stage of the creation process.2
In the Flood, waters once again covered the earth, but this time in judgment:
“And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered.” (Genesis 7:19).
At creation, God gathered the waters together in one place and made the land to appear.
“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.” (Genesis 1:9).
After the Flood, the waters receded off the earth and dry land appeared again:
“… the waters receded from the earth continually” (Genesis 8:3) “… In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out.” (Genesis 8:14)
This illustrates a common biblical principle: a judgment is a reversal of creation. So the Flood reverses the events of Genesis 1 where land and sea were separated. And Jeremiah 4:23 speaks of a judgment so severe that it’s like reversing the creation back to the unformed and unfilled state of Genesis 1:2.
Curse and blessing
Adam’s sin caused the earth to be corrupted. God said, “ … cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:17). The ground would grow weeds and getting enough food would be a struggle.
The world is cursed with universal destruction in the Flood, but God then says that he will never again curse the world with such a flood. “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21).
Sin so thoroughly taints mankind’s nature that if God were to judge all sin, judgment would be ongoing and relentless. So these promises of God “are expressive of the super abounding grace of God over abounding sin.”3 This looks forward to the abundant undeserved grace of God in His provision of forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ, where He overlooks our sin when we are in Christ.
When the Flood recedes, there is a new world and a new humanity—and with the new start, God gives instructions to Noah that parallel those given to Adam.
Be fruitful … fill the earth
Adam: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
Noah: And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1). “And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it.” (Genesis 9:7).
Rule over the creatures
Adam: “ … have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28b).
Noah: “The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.” (Genesis 9:2).
Note that no fear existed in the original “very good” (Genesis 1:31) creation. This only developed after the Fall, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God and brought about struggle for survival, suffering and death (Genesis 3:17–19). Noah now lived in this very different world.
Adam: “I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” (Genesis 1:29). The only plant God did not permit Adam and Eve to eat was the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17).
Noah: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” (Genesis 9:3).
The only restriction on the meat that God allowed Noah and his descendants to eat was that they were not to eat the blood: “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” (Genesis 9:4, see also Leviticus 17:14).
This prohibition would remind Noah and his descendants of the specialness of life, that all death emanated from sin and that the penalty for sin is death (Genesis 3). This prohibition might also remind them that the killing of animals for food was not a part of God’s original ‘very good’ creation.
Adam: And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14).
Noah: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22).
These things ceased during the Flood, but would never cease again “while the earth remains”.4
The Image of God
With the loss of respect for and knowledge of God’s Word in the once-Christian western world, there is a parallel loss of respect for human life: we find abortion, infanticide and euthanasia increasingly accepted. If man is just an evolved animal, as taxpayer-funded education asserts so dogmatically, then rampant disrespect for human life should not surprise us—even massacres in the taxpayer-funded schools.5
Bloodshed because of sin
In Genesis chapter 3, God covers Adam and Eve in clothes made from animal skins (Gen. 3:21)—sin had corrupted their nakedness, which then needed covering, necessitating the shedding of the blood of animals. After the Flood, saved by God’s preserving grace, Noah sacrificed animals on an altar to God, acknowledging his dependence on God for his salvation. Genesis 8:21 speaks of the pleasing aroma, and foreshadows the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus for the sins of mankind in the New Testament—“a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
The many parallels between the beginning of everything and the new beginnings after the Flood reinforce the Bible’s teaching that Noah’s Flood was a global event, a cataclysm that caused the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. The Flood was no local thing, that’s for sure. The parallels are also wrapped up in the salvation message that permeates the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
- Bible quotes from the English Standard Version (ESV). Return to text.
- For refutation of the ‘gap theory’, see the Creation Answers Book, ch. 3. Return to text.
- John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible. Return to text.
- Incidentally, the first passage refutes claims that Earth’s axis was vertical before the Flood, because seasons require a tilted axis. Such claims are often not text-driven but model-driven, in this case that a meteorite impact initiated the Flood and tilted the earth’s axis. However, the science doesn’t work, and it also likely contradicts Scripture—see Sarfati, J., Flood models and biblical realism, J. Creation 24(3):46–53, 2010; When did evil begin, and is retrograde planet motion still a good argument? creation.com/actual-evil, 19 April 2008. Return to text.
- Pastor Gino Geraci came on the scene after two schoolboys wearing ‘Natural Selection’ T-shirts gunned down a number of their classmates at Columbine High School, Lyttleton, Colorado. “When the superintendent came up to Gino later that day, weeping and asking why it had happened, Gino blurted out, ‘You have taught our children that they come from nowhere, and that is where they’re going, and that life is a point of pain in a meaningless existence. And they believed you.’ The superintendent’s response was shocked silence.” See Matthews, M., Tragic truth: Pastor Gino Geraci at Columbine and Ground Zero, Creation 25(3):10–15, 2003; creation.com/tragic-truth. Return to text.