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—FEBRUARY 2.—GENESIS 6:9-22; 7:11-24.—
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."—Romans 6:23 .
SCIENTIFIC BIBLE students are rapidly reaching the conclusion that we are fully justified in laughing at the so-called scientists who have denied the Bible story of the Deluge. The Bible is corroborated by Geology, Astronomy and History. The oldest records of Babylonia tell the story of the Deluge—of Noah and his ark.
To discredit the Bible, these archaeologists declare that the Genesis account was merely copied from the Babylonian records. How foolish! Who does not know that there were no records of ancient times that will at all compare with our Genesis account! None other even professes to give a connected history of the human family, a chronological line of 1656 years from Adam to the Flood, or a definite record, as the Bible does, of just how long it rained, just how high the floods rose and just how long was the period required for the waters to drain off.
But, says one, the theory of a deluge, whose waters would cover the hills and the mountains, might be thinkable if the earth were flat; but how could it possibly be true since we know that the earth is a sphere?
Geology comes to the rescue of the Bible student and points out distinctly that there have been several great deluges. It shows us great beds of sandstone, clay, shale, etc., all of which Science declares must have been placed where they are as the settlings of great floods. Some of these deposits are hundreds of feet below the surface.
When we ask where such floods could come from, Astronomy answers us, pointing us to Saturn and Jupiter, with their "rings." Scientists declare that these rings consist of minerals and water thrown far off in a gaseous state when the planets were at white heat. They subsequently cooled and formed into various strata or rings. Because of their great distance from the planets their motions are different, and they are held in suspense by the same laws which hold the planets themselves in space. Nevertheless, the superior weight of the planets draws them nearer and nearer.
The ring nearest the planet, and approaching it, is still held off by the "firmament" of circumambient air. The rotation of the planets on their axis gives least resistance at the poles; and these rings, after spreading out as great envelopes, gradually thin at the center, or equator, and thicken at the poles, until the weight at the poles becomes so great as to overcome the power or the strength of the firmament, and then breaking through from both poles, causes deluges.
The astonishing statement that, prior to the Deluge, there had been no rain on the earth (Genesis 2:5), is in full agreement with what we have seen from the foregoing. The earth once had similar "belts" or "rings." These were precipitated, as we have described, one after the other, at long intervals during the Six Creative Days mentioned in the first lesson of the year. By means of these deluges, our minerals were deposited and our coal beds buried.
God, foreknowing all things, foreknew the necessity of the Noachian Deluge, and hence so timed the features of His Plan that the last of earth's "rings" was still unbroken when man was created. But it was no longer in the form of a ring. The waters above had approached the earth and formed a great watery canopy or veil, merely held off by the "firmament."
There could be neither rain nor storm under such conditions. The temperature of the whole earth was equable, the sun's rays acting upon the watery canopy as they do upon the white glass of a hot-house. The temperature was the same at the poles as at the equator. This accounts for the remains of tropical animals and of plant life found imbedded under hundreds of feet of ice in the polar regions.
Geology testifies to a Glacial Period, when great icebergs, carried by floods of water, rushed from the poles toward the equator. Geologists have traced great valleys cut by these icebergs. On their findings they base the theory that the earth was once ice-covered. Instead of attributing the ice to the period of the Deluge, 4,400 years ago, they add a handful of naughts; and the more they add, the prouder they feel of their achievements, because they think that they are getting away from the Bible and discrediting it.
But scientific Bible students are having their faith in God's Word established more and more. Without affecting the torrid zone, the warmer temperature is now extending itself into the frigid zone quite rapidly. "Greenland's Icy Mountains" will soon be things of the past. The poles are warming up. The ice caps are dissolving. Last winter was called the "straw hat season" of Alaska, because of the higher temperature than ever before known.
The fitting of these facts to the Bible narrative is not only intensely interesting, but conducive to faith in God, in His providences, and in the Bible, and very conducive to a disregard of the wild guesses of "professors," who have no faith in the Bible and are seeking to discredit it.
The sudden break of the canopy of water would not only cause a deluge to come down at both poles, and the flow of great tidal waves toward the equator, as geologists show was the case, but it would also produce a sudden and intense cold at the poles. The water froze so rapidly that out of the solid ice animals have in recent years been dug, which have grass between their teeth.
We have only to put two and two together to have a chain of evidence linking us to the Bible. For instance, is it asked why it was colder at the poles then than now? The reply is: The more direct rays of the sun then, as now, fell on the equator; but the torrid zone was hotter than now, until the trade winds sprung up, which carried [R5159 : page 12] the heat and distributed it all over the earth. And the waters of the equator must have been hotter then, as the poles were colder, until the ocean currents set in—which, like the Gulf Stream, carry the water from the equator and distribute it along the shores of America and Europe—and the Japan and other currents, which in the Pacific carry their water warmed at the equator to the poles.
These processes, going on for 4,400 years, are gradually thawing out the polar regions, as all scientists agree; and this it is that has recently been causing larger numbers of icebergs from the glaciers of the polar region to break loose and float down, to the distress of mariners.
Still there remains the question, Why was not Noah's ark carried off by this swift current toward the equator? Why did it apparently remain not far from the place where it was built and come to rest on the top of Mount Ararat? Professor George Frederick Wright has dropped the suggestion which fits well with the Bible narrative. As we understand the professor, the geological evidences are that the swift currents of water, laden with icebergs and rolling rocks, visited various parts of Europe and America, and perhaps Asia, but seemingly avoided the vicinity of Mount Ararat. There, alluvial deposits are of extraordinary depth. The geologists say that while there was a commotion round about, there was an eddy and back water in that particular vicinity.
Is it too much for the child of God to believe that the Great Creator, who intended to preserve alive Noah and his family to begin afresh the population of the earth, was fully competent to regulate the currents of that Deluge?
It is pleasing to us, additionally, to note that the time required for the draining off of the waters (Genesis 8:1-14) is reasonable and in harmony with the scientific investigation conducted from the Bible standpoint.
We have already seen that physical causes led up to the Deluge. Next let us inquire, Why did Divine Providence decree the obliteration of man, except Noah and his family? Why did He who knew "the end from the beginning" purposely allow that last canopy to remain to cause the Flood, instead of precipitating it before man was created?
The answer is that God foreknew the rebellion of Satan and his attempt to become the "Prince of this world." God also foreknew that His human son, Adam, would fall before the temptation which would come upon him. He permitted the temptation and the fall solely because He foresaw a way by which, ultimately, good would be accomplished thereby and valuable, instructive lessons be given both to angels and to men. These lessons test the love and loyalty of every creature in Heaven and on earth, and when rightly learned, will serve their purposes to all eternity.
All of God's dealings with His intelligent creatures are along the lines of absolute Justice, guided by Love Divine. But while Love can guide Divine Justice, Justice must rule, as we read: "Justice is the foundation of Thy Throne." (Psalm 89:14.) The Bible record is that at the time of the Flood wickedness had become so great that the conduct of mankind and the thoughts of their hearts were "only evil continually."—Genesis 6:5.
This great increase of wickedness for 1600 years is explained to have come, not merely from human depravity, [R5160 : page 12] but by the connivance of some of the angels. These, although created holy, perfect, became enamored of sin through humanity, until they became disobedient to God, and by their greater intelligence led humanity into depths of iniquity.
The Bible cites many instances in which holy angels have materialized, assuming human bodies and clothing. Thus three spirit beings, naturally invisible, appeared to Abraham as men and did eat and talk with Abraham; and he knew not that they were angels, until afterward. This power appears to have been possessed by all the holy angels before the Flood. It was then that some of them, becoming enamored of the beautiful daughters of men, took to themselves wives, and lived in their materialized bodies, preferring to live as human beings.
The Apostle Jude declares that thus they "left their own habitation," or condition as spirit beings, in violation of the Divine Law. Thus, instead of using their permission to appear as men to help and instruct mankind, they used this power to still more rapidly degrade humanity. Moreover, the children born of those angelic sons of God by human mothers were human beings of a new order—different from Adam's family. We read that they were giants—physical and mental—"men of renown."
The fact that they grew to manhood and became renowned proves that this improper relationship between angels and humanity continued for centuries, because in that primitive time full manhood was not reached in less than a hundred years. Those giant sons of the angels, begotten in lust and in violation of the Divine Law, would not, naturally, be renowned for their virtues or holiness, but the reverse. Therefore, it does not surprise us to read further that those sons of the angels tyrannized over humanity, and that the whole earth was filled with violence.
The time had come when God's displeasure with those conditions should be manifested—not by sending those angels and their giant-renowned sons and the depraved antediluvians of Adam's race to a hell of torture, but by merely overwhelming them in the Deluge. God thus set an example of His opposition to sin and His determination that, eventually, it should be fully stamped out. But neither in this, nor in anything else, did God ever suggest any thought of torturing sinners, or anybody, throughout eternity.
On the contrary, all those antediluvian sinners of Adam's race were as much redeemed by Christ's sacrifice as other sinners of the race at any time. They belonged to the great mass of mankind, with whom Messiah will deal during His Millennial Reign of righteousness. They will all be brought to an accurate knowledge of the Truth, like the remainder of the race. The object in so doing will be that after lessons of chastisement for any wilful disobedience, they may be, if they will, fully recovered from sin and death, and brought back to all that was lost—human perfection and everlasting life in an earthly Paradise restored—world-wide—at Jesus' cost.
As for the sons of the angels by human mothers, there is no hope for them. Their begetting and birth were not authorized of God. They were cut off in death. They were not redeemed. They will never be awakened nor resurrected.
As for the fallen angels themselves: The Bible tells us that for these 4,400 years they have been exiles from God, restrained "in chains of darkness," "until the Judgment of the Great Day."—Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4.