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Franklin Lakes Baptist Church

Noah and The Flood (Part 1)

I don’t know about you... but my heart demands a response from God because of this text... and to be honest with you... all of the previously discussed responses are wildly insufficient.

Here’s the good news... God knows our hearts.

God could have told Moses, “Psst, skip that whole flood thing... trust me, no one will get it... it’ll be too difficult for them to wrap their minds around.”

Instead, God has Moses pen the second most extensively detailed story in the Bible... second only to the collected writings of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

In the flood narrative we’ve got numbers... lots of numbers, dates and genealogical information, copious instructions, a number of divine speeches.

God went to such great lengths to record, in painstaking detail, the accounts of the flood... and He did it for a reason... so what’s He trying to tell us?  What’s the point?

Can I suggest to you the two primary points, given to us in the Bible, for God’s detailed inclusion of the flood narrative in the Bible... one’s general, covering the entire text... the other’s very, very specific... having to do with the details... and they’re meant to be understood together.

We discussed one a few weeks back... but just for a quick reminder, the general point of Genesis 6-9 is The Necessity of Divine Judgment... 

The specific point... and this the hidden treasure in the text, is The Hope of Divine Covenant... and we desperately need both Divine Judgment and Divine Hope to even begin to grasp at what God’s telling us here.

Now, in order to discover the hidden treasure... we need to learn, briefly, about an amazing literary device that was commonly used by the authors of the Old Testament... it’s called chiastic structure.

Just to briefly illustrate what we’re talking about when we say “Chiastic structure” we’ll use a silly, basic visual aid.

This is an X... if you were to separate the X into two parts vertically through the middle what you now have is two arrows... one pointing down and the other pointing up.

They’re mirror images of one another, essentially pointing to a center.

Chiastic structure is a common literary device... and it’s whole point is to focus the readers attention on one specific detail, one specific point.

So what is God attempting to point us to?  How are we supposed to read and understand and apply this text?

Let me show you... The whole flood narrative, from beginning to end can be sectioned off starting with the transitional introduction in Genesis 6:1-8 and moving through the text until you get to the transitional conclusion Genesis (9:18-19)

Transitional introduction (6:1-8)

A Violence in God’s creation (6:9-10)

B First divine address: resolution to destroy (6:11-12)

C Second divine address: enter the ark (6:13-22)

D Beginning of the flood (7:11-16)

E The rising flood waters (7:17-24)

F (8:1)

E The receding flood water (8:2-5)

D’ The drying of the earth (8:6-14)

C Third divine address: leave the ark (8:15-19)

B God’s resolution to preserve order (8:20-22)

A’ Fourth divine address: covenant blessing and peace (9:1-17)

Transitional conclusion (9:18-19)

 

Now that’s something but check this out... the numbers also do it.

 

Introduction from original creation (7:1)

A 7 days of waiting (7:4)

B 40 days of the flood (7:12)

C 150 days of water (7:24)

D (8:1)

C 150 days of water (8:3)

B 40 days of the flood (8:6)

A 7 days waiting (8:12)

Conclusion till new creation (8:22)

 

The focal point of the whole flood narrative is one verse... in fact, it’s one specific detail, one word in that one verse that helps us grasp God’s purpose for the flood... and it’s in Genesis 8:1

It’s the word, “Remembered”

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