(Read Part 3)

102616-blog-barrick-photo-arkWe have come to the concluding point in in our study of the Noahic flood.

Many readers of Genesis 1 have made the observation that “God saw . . . that . . . was good” occurs in the record for every one of the six days of creation except the second (1:4, 10, 18, 21, 25). The final occurrence of the statement changes to “very good” and covers all six days (1:31).

Why did God forego that evaluative judgment for the second day alone (cf. Gen. 1:6-8)? Peter provides us with a clue: The same water that God created on the second day became His instrument of judgment in Noah’s time. Could it be that our omniscient God withheld the evaluative phrase for the second day because He knew that He would use the same water to destroy the very earth He was creating? The absence of the statement does not negate the goodness of His creative activity nor does it mean that the second day’s created content was somehow flawed or imperfect. It merely means that the Creator already grieved over the future judgment that He knew would be necessary.

102616-blog-barrick-quote-1This solution to the absence of “God saw . . . that . . . was good” for the second day’s work prevents the unhappy approach taken by H. C. Leupold, who claims that that day’s creation was somehow “relatively incomplete.”[1] John Sailhamer offers a potential answer to the problem of the second day by referring “good” to anything “which is beneficial for man.”[2] That assumes that the “expanse” (Gen. 1:6-8, NASB) created on the second day possesses no benefit for mankind. However, the expanse provides the atmosphere in which mankind can exist by giving them air to breathe as well as a protective covering from ultraviolet radiation and the location of clouds that give rain to water the earth. Therefore, Sailhamer’s solution does violence to the totality of God’s created work that takes each and every need of life and of mankind into account at each and every day of creation.

In conclusion, 2 Peter 3:5–6 holds the key to the absence of the evaluation of “good” in regard to creation on the second day (Gen 1:6–8). Notice what it says:

For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water (NASB).

102616-blog-barrick-quote-2The scoffers ignore the omniscience and sovereignty of the God who both created and judged. He will destroy the ungodly even as He had known from before creation. Unlike the God of open theism, our God was not caught by surprise by the fall nor the pre-flood corruption of mankind. Indeed, the present unbelief of mockers ripe for judgment by fire does not require Him to move to a “Plan B” or “Plan C.” God still operates according to His one and only plan that He had determined even before He began to create. The Creator’s very statements and evaluations in regard to the second day conform to that plan and its implications at all times.

That theological truth contributes to the background for Peter’s exhortations with regard to how we ought to live (2 Pet 3:10–18), because God’s original plan included the coming judgment by fire.

Dr. William D. Barrick served as professor of Old Testament and director of Th.D. studies at The Master’s Seminary from 1997 to 2015. He remains active in ministry as a theologian and a linguistics expert whose service, writings and translations have spanned numerous nations and languages. He is also the Old Testament editor of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary from Logos Bible Software. We are most grateful to include him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.

Copyright © 2016 by Dr. William D. Barrick. Used by permission of the author.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated,
are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995
by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

[1]  H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1942), 1:65. Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis, JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989), p. 8, takes a similar approach to Leupold’s, but speaks of the valueless nature of rain without arable land.

[2] John H. Sailhamer, “Genesis,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 12 vols., ed. by Frank E. Gaebelein, 2:1–284 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), p. 26 (emphasis his).

Photo within the article is by Paul J. Scharf