While my proposal about the flood is difficult to accept, the traditional reading is even more difficult. This post shows why. The alternative perspective helps us understand that when worldwide destruction was coming up on the earth as a result of mankind becoming extremely evil and violent, God stepped in to save and rescue those who would follow Him.
When bad things happen in this world like the flood, God takes the responsibility for them because He created a world where such evil things are possible. When the flood came, it is not something that God sent, but is something that happened under His rule, or “on His watch.”
In 2 Peter 2:5-7, Peter explains what happened in the flood and why the waters came upon the earth. God did not send the flood, but rescued people from it. This explanation is identical to what Jesus said about the flood in Matthew 24. Since sin cannibalizes itself, the sin of the people at the time of the flood brought the waters of destruction upon themselves.
In Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus provides insight into the causes and events of the flood. It shows that God did not kill people in the flood, but sought to rescue people from the flood that was coming upon the earth as a result of their own sinfulness.
One Old Testament passages which sheds light on what happened at the flood is Isaiah 54:7-9. Lots of people believe that God was the one who sent the flood to kill all the people on earth, but Isaiah 54 suggests otherwise.
Genesis 8:21 helps us understand what God was doing in the flood. When we understand Genesis 8:21, it shows us that God was acting like Jesus. Genesis 8:21 reveals something beautiful and loving about God. He ends up looking like Jesus dying on the cross for the sake of sinners.
In seeking to understand what is going on in the account of the flood and why the waters that came upon the earth, we must understand the ANE cosmology. The waters of the flood cause the world to revert the the chaos of a pre-creation state. The flood reveals cosmic warfare between God and Yamm, the god of chaos and storms.
In the flood of Genesis 6-8, did God really send water to kill every living thing on earth? Some clues in the text hint that something else occurred.