7 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark with your whole family. I know that you are a godly man among the people of today. 2 Take seven pairs of every kind of ‘clean’ animal with you. Take a male and a female of each kind. Take one pair of every kind of animal that is not ‘clean.’ Take a male and a female of each kind. 3 Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. Take a male and a female of each kind. Then every kind will be kept alive. They can spread out again over the whole earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth. It will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. I will destroy from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” 5 Noah did everything the Lord commanded him to do. 6 Noah was 600 years old when the flood came on the earth. 7 He and his sons entered the ark. His wife and his sons’ wives went with them. They entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Male and female pairs of “clean” animals and pairs of animals that were not “clean” came to Noah. So did male and female pairs of birds and of all the creatures that move along the ground. 9 All of them came to Noah and entered the ark. Everything happened just as God had commanded Noah. 10 After seven days the flood came on the earth.
The story of Noah is one that many people will be familiar with and I can remember growing up in an non-church family and hearing this story as an endearing mythical fable. As I grew up I remember hearing the factual nature of this story being dismissed though scientific presentation of data on fossil records and striated rock formations. I had a level of faith in God at that point in my life, but my faith in Science was stronger then, so I dismissed this story again and mythical fable.
More recently I revisited the notion of whether the story of Noah and the flood was factual and I realised that my faith in the Bible had exceeded my faith in science. I have read a number of apologetics materials that attempt to reconcile the bible with science and I can see the importance of doing this.
I am not fully able to reconcile the scientific and biblical perspective on how the who earth could have been flooded, or how 2 of all the animals in the world could have fitted on the boat, or how fossils are spread amongst a range of rock layers and not concentrated in one band of rock layers that represent the stage in history that the flood would have occurred. What I do know is that my God can do all things, that he can do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can imagine. I now know that God’s big story in the Bible is true while still holding on to the empirical evidence that science can provide.
Lord, help me to hold things in tension. Help me to see how your word fits into your world from a historical perspective, while building my faith in you
Written by Ps. Justin Ware