The flood changed everything.
Have you noticed that life-spans fell off dramatically after the Great Flood?
- Lifespans changed. Until that day, the average lifespan listed was 858 years. It was not many generations after that the lifespan average drops dramatically.
- Somehow the environment changed to allow rainbows to exist. (It is possible that rainbows already had the potential to exist and God merely appropriated the rainbow as a sign that He would never flood the entire earth again, but the way it is written seems to imply that He created the rainbow after the Flood.)
- We know that at one time the earth was completely covered in vegetation and a tropical environment, but things have dramatically changed in that regard–quite possibly because of the Flood.
- Men were allowed to eat meat for food after the Flood, but seem to have been prevented from it before.
- Storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other weather-related events came after the Flood, according to some scientists.
Why A Flood?
Things had gotten so bad that God even regretted creating us. This great Flood served the purpose of cleansing the planet. It had to be done and there were perhaps many methods for it, but God used the Flood for at least one very specific reason. The reason for the Flood was not revealed until approximately 3,000 years later. Peter revealed for us the connection.
In 1 Peter 3 Peter wrote about suffering and the importance of following the example of Jesus during our suffering in life. During the discussion he pointed out that God is long-suffering and reminded us of that patience by recalling the Flood. “The Divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared…” (1 Peter 3:20).
His point seems to be that God has a plan. He has not forgotten us in our suffering and trials. His seeming delay in saving us from ill treatment is similar to what He did with Noah. He is patiently waiting for everything to be ready before He acts. The implied message is (at least in part), “Hang on! It’s not forever. There will come recompense for your ill-treatment!”
But look at what wrote Peter in this section about a connection to the Flood. “There is also an anti-type which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good
conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 3:21).
An anti-type is defined by Dictionary.com as “Something that is foreshadowed by a type or symbol, as a New Testament event prefigured in the Old Testament.”
Which Was The Symbol?
Now to be clear, the “anti-type” in this passage is baptism. The “type” was the Great Flood. Therefore, if we insert these into the definition, we have this: “Baptism is foreshadowed by a type or symbol (The Flood).” Isn’t that interesting?
If I were going to write the Bible, I might make a connection between baptism and the flood. There are a lot of similarities. But I would probably say that The Flood was the anti-type and that baptism is a type of The Flood, or a symbol of it. But God did not state that. He said that The Flood is a TYPE of baptism. the Flood was intended to show what baptism is and what it is for–but it was told to us 3,000 years before God required it. No, baptism is not a symbol of the Flood. The Flood is a kind of baptism. In one THE world changes. In the other, YOUR world changes.
Like the Flood, baptism changes everything.