These small group studies take us through almost twenty of the key events in the Old Testament. Our Old Testament Survey contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.
Old Testament Survey Lesson 3 – The Flood – Genesis 6-9
Humankind’s corruption (6:1-4)
God’s plan of justice (6:5-8)
Noah’s testimony in a dark world (6:9-12)
God’s command to Noah (6:13-22)
Noah, his family, and the animals enter the ark (7:1-9)
The flood comes upon the earth (7:10-24)
The receding waters (8:1-12)
Exiting the ark (8:13-19)
Noah offers a sacrifice to the Lord (8:20)
God’s response to the sacrifice (8:21-22)
God’s covenant to Noah (9:1-17)
Humans were reproducing and spreading throughout the earth. Fallen angels (see cross-references and point out the sin of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who wished to have relations with the two visiting angels) twisted God’s natural design for men and women and had relations with human women. They were corrupting the human race. Their offspring were giants, mighty men, powerful. Humans were revolting against God. God decided that instead of striving against them He would wipe them out and declared 120 years until this event. Humans’ wickedness became so great it was a stench in God’s nostrils. How far humans had come from their perfect innocence in the garden of Eden. They made unholy alliances with demons, directly going against their Creator. These people lived close to the time of Creation. Many of them probably knew Adam or his close descendents. They had heard about their Creator. But they willfully chose to reject Him and pursue their own ways.
Humans’ wickedness is very clear. Every intent of his heart was evil continually. This is the state of humans apart from God’s direct intervention. They are totally depraved. Their thoughts are bent on themselves. They have no desire to follow God. God hates sin and it sorrows Him (Ephesians 4:30). The words used “sorry” and “grieved” make it sound like God changed His mind, that He wished He didn’t create humans. But we know this can’t be the case. God never makes mistakes. He and His plans are perfect. His plan is everlasting and doesn’t change (Isaiah 46:9-10). When we put God’s thoughts into human language it cannot always represent perfectly what God was thinking for His thoughts are beyond us. His patience finally ran out and He promised a total destruction. God is just and He may not judge sin immediately, wanting to give humans time to repent, but eventually He will judge sin completely. He hates it and has no mercy on it. Later we will see that even though God is just, even when He exercises judgment He shows mercy at the same time.
This is a great testimony of Noah. The world around him was a corrupt and extremely evil place. The rest of the world was extremely wicked and bent on doing evil. But Noah was “blameless”! Noah was truly a light. Hebrews 11:7. God did not forget him either. He showed the same reluctance to punish the righteous with the wicked as He did when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Noah indeed must have had great faith. There had never been any rain on the earth. He was probably far from any ocean. The boat would take 100 years to build. In the meantime he was probably criticized, mocked, and scoffed constantly by those around him. Yet he persisted for a CENTURY to follow God’s command. Look at the result!
God planned to destroy humans for their gross sin. Even animals would be consumed in the judgment. Even in the midst of God’s justice and intolerance for sin, He had a plan for the preservation and salvation of the human race as well as the animal kingdom. He commanded Noah to build a monstrous boat, about the size of a soccer field. He was to fill it with a food supply and when it was finished take two of every kind of animal onto the ark with him. What a huge task! God also told Noah to put a window in the ark. Everything was planned for. He knew Noah would need the window the release the birds later on. God was the master designer. A boat of this size and shape would be extremely stable and impossible to capsize. It had the capacity of about 522 railroad boxcars. That is enough to hold 125,000 sheep, easily enough room to hold all the species of the world at that time.
God says that Noah and his family could enter the ark because he was righteous. God spares the righteous His wrath. Noah was faithful and obeyed everything God commanded him to do. It is a miracle that all of these thousands of species gathered together and meekly followed Noah into the ark. God showed His power once again in that even the animals obey His commands.
Noah and his family entered the door of the ark and God closed the door. There was only door. There was only one means of salvation for Noah and his family. If he wanted to be saved he had to go by the way that God commanded. Any effort of his own self would surely have failed. What’s more, God decided when it was too late to repent and that time did come. God gives abundant opportunity to repent. Those people knew for over a hundred years what God planned to do, but they didn’t believe it. They had no faith. God is merciful. He first tells people that judgment is coming. He shows them His power and might through Creation. He gives numerous opportunities, but there comes a time when His mercy reaches its limit. One can see from these verses that this was a torrential flood. The language of this chapter certainly supports a universal and not local flood. The “fountains of the great deep burst open”. This seems to support a breaking up of parts of the earth’s crust, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and the like. It must have been a frightening experience for those outside of the ark. Also this could have triggered the break up of the canopy. The “floodgates of the sky were opened”. Rain fell on the “earth” for forty days and nights. The mountains “everywhere under the heavens” were covered. God blotted out “every living thing on the face of the lan
OT Event #1 – Creation
OT Event #2 – Fall of Man
OT Event #3 – The Flood
OT Event #4 – Babel and Abraham
OT Event #5 – Call of Moses
OT Event #6 – Let My People Go
OT Event #7 – 9 Plagues
OT Event #8 – The Passover
OT Event #9 – Ten Commandments
OT Event #10 – The Promised Land
OT Event #11 – Early Kingdom
OT Event #12 – David is Anointed
OT Event #13 – Divided Kingdom
OT Event #14 – The Prophet Elisha
OT Event #15- Kingdom Under Hezekiah
OT Event #16 – The Dispersion, Esther
OT Event #17 – Daniel in Babylon
OT Event #18 – Call of Isaiah
OT Event #19 – OT Period Ends, Malachi