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Friday Sermon: Noah Flood and Faith

By Babatunde Jose

Surely We sent Nūh to his people, saying: “Warn your people before there come upon them a painful chastisement.”(Quran 71:1)

The raging flood that is causing untold havoc to life and property all over the world is not a recent phenomenon in world historical or geographical experience. From the dawn of time, the world has experienced flooding both on local and world scale. Many reasons have been adduced for this threat to life and civilization. The reasons range from acts of sin and iniquities of man and his disobedience of God’s injunctions. The other reason is more recent as a result of man’s act of wanton disregard for nature and of nature fighting back. Such acts against nature include unbridled damming ofrivers, blockage of drainage channels and the modern use of non-biodegradable complements. Some have even mentioned effects of global warming and other acts of man. However, the bottom line is that flooding occurs when there is too much water such as rainfall and the rise in the water table.

The ‘Great Flood’ of the time of Noah is the most catastrophic geological event that has taken place in human history. The major cause was the iniquities of man and God’s displeasure and His resolve to destroy His creation with a view to bringing about a new dawn in human history. Though men have viewed this event with disdain and scorn, there are facts to suggest that geological archaeological research are beginning to lend credence to the story of the ‘Great Flood’. 

In Genesis 6:13 God said . . . …The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

The flood which ensued was a unique, historical, and global catastrophe that lasted for about one year. Virtually nothing historical, from writings to civilization to long-living organisms like trees, has survived from before about 3000 or 3300 B.C., when the Great Flood occurred. People are coming to accept as truth the Biblical account of the Great Flood, and many cultures record a world-destroying flood in their oral or written histories.

“Among geologists, the concept of a catastrophic flood came to be universally accepted by the late 1950s,” after a discovery in the American Northwest of “giant ripple marks, 50 feet high and 200–500 feet apart.” This evidence of a massive flood in the Northwest suggests that the Great Flood was not merely a local flood in the Middle East. All cultures, not merely Christian ones, have an account of a great flood. Jesus specifically mentioned the Great Flood.

One of the strong pieces of evidence in support of a worldwide flood is the many stories that exist among societies all over the world. These stories describe a world-destroying flood, and it seems unlikely that this similarity is accidental. Dr. John Morris wrote regarding the historicity of the biblical flood: One of the strongest evidences for the global flood which annihilated all people on Earth except for Noah and his family has been the ubiquitous presence of flood legends in the folklore of people groups from around the world. And the stories are all so similar.

The best known of the flood accounts is, firstly, the biblical account in Genesis, and secondly, the one found in the Gilgamesh Epic. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh date back nearly 5,000 years and is thought to be perhaps the oldest written tale on the planet. In it, there is an account of the great sage Utnapishtim, who is warned of an imminent flood to be unleashed by wrathful gods.

Flood myths are far older than Bible accounts. The Iceman, an experienced hiker, was frozen by a massive surprise ice storm in the Italian Alps 5,300 years ago—when the Great Flood likely occurred.

The famous story about the Great Flood is best known from the Bible (Genesis 6-9). It has always been known that there were similar stories from Greece and Rome (like the ones by Apollodorus, Ovid, and Hyginus), but in the nineteenth century, several texts from ancient Iraq were added. The first discovery was Tablet XI of the Babylonian model.

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati comments on the Gilgamesh Epic said: “It is common to make legends out of historical events, but not history from legends. … For instance, in Genesis, God’s judgment is just, he is patient with mankind for 120 years (Genesis 6:3), shows mercy to Noah, and is sovereign.

Why the flood? Many reasons have been advanced from different cultures for the Great Flood: When the cause of the flood is attributed to a god, the reason is frequently said to be for mankind’s wickedness. Genesis adds that “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time”. Genesis 6:5

This flood was the means of God’s judgment on mankind because of the evil in their heart and actions. … The Miao account from China says, in verse, “These did not God’s will nor returned His affection. / But fought with each other defying the Godhead. / Their leaders shook fists in the face of the Mighty.

Are we not doing similar things today? Around 200 people died in flooding caused by heavy seasonal rains across 12 states in Nigeria in September 2018; the same floods have ravaged the country this year too and it is still ongoing. Within weeks dozens have died from cholera outbreaks. The raging water also left hundreds of thousands homeless: The rich in Lekki, Victoria Island and Ajah were not left out; the rich also cry!

Interpreting the way Noah obeyed God (Genesis 6:22): Noah was faithful for 120 long hard disappointing years. You can be sure, however, he was a happy man the day the rains came and he was safe and dry inside the ark that was the product of his faith and obedience to God… Noah submitted himself and worshiped God… His strength to live for God was that he chose to walk daily with the Lord. The same power is available to us to believe in God and let God direct our lives. And Nūh said: “My Lord! Leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers, for surely if Thou leave them they will lead astray Thy servants, and will not beget any but immoral, ungrateful children.  My Lord! Forgive me and my parents and him who enters my house believing, and the believing men and the believing women; and do not increase the unjust in aught but destruction!” (Quran 71:26-28) Consequently, at present we should ask ourselves: What kind of faith do we have? Does my faith guide me always in my daily decision? I hope the answer is not blowing in the wind.

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend

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