The flood of Noah and its immediate aftermath is described in Genesis chapters six through nine. Those familiar with the story know that God determined to destroy every man and beast on the earth with a flood. Noah and his immediate family were the only humans to be saved from destruction. God instructed Noah to build a large boat in which his family and two of every animal kind (That’s not a typo. Two of every animal kind, not two of every kind of animal.) were to be saved. Noah built the ark, the heavens opened, the earth flooded and the earth was buried under the waters. A year later Noah opened the door and everyone ventured out into a very different earth. From the Middle Eastern mountains of Ararat man and animals spread across the world.
This raises many specific questions about how plants and animals could spread to every corner of the globe. How the animals spread from the Middle East across the European, African and Asian continents is easy to understand. Since a land bridge existed between Russia and Alaska it is easy to see how wildlife could reach the American continents. Australia is separated from the rest of the continents and poses a more difficult challenge.
In Genesis 10 the Bible tells a little bit about the dispersal of humanity but says nothing about the spread of plants and animals. The Bible says nothing about the continent of Australia. Does this prove the Bible is unreliable in guiding our understanding of the earth’s history? Of course not. No Christian believes the Bible teaches about every subject. Those who uphold the authority of the Bible believe that when the Bible does speak about a subject everything it says is accurate.
Starting with the premise that the Bible’s description of world events is accurate then an explanation can be formed that provides a reasonable means for kangaroos to hop to Australia. In Genesis 8:17 God commanded Noah to bring all the animals out of the ark, “that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth”. God intended for wildlife to spread and multiply across the entire world. He worked in the world to fill the entire globe with all manner of wildlife.
But what about the kangaroos? How did they get to Australia? Some have suggested that animals floated to Australia on large rafts of plants and trees. The flood waters would not have buried all every piece of refuse torn up during the flood. Possibly large rafts of logs and debris were floating on the oceans of the world. Such rafts would have helped transport animals to more remote places. Others have suggested that man brought animals to Australia with him when he colonized the continent. These are both plausible suggestions, but another one seems most reasonable.
The cataclysm of the flood caused significant changes in the atmosphere and the ocean waters. These changes resulted in the ice age. During the ice age huge quantities of water were trapped in the ice sheets lowering ocean levels and exposing significant land bridges. One such bridge would have extended from southeast Asia to northern Australia and provided a thoroughfare for kangaroos to hop to Australia. While this may not be what happened, it gives a plausible explanation that lines up with what the Bible teaches. The presence of kangaroos down under does not undermine the Bible. God worked through natural mechanisms to spread animals across the globe even the funny animals of Australia.
The return of Jesus will be preceded by a seven year period of time called the Tribulation. The book of Revelation gives significant detail about the events of that time. The tribulation is a time of God’s judgment on the world. Aside from the flood, the tribulation is the single greatest outpouring of God’s judgment on mankind for sin. The tribulation is the last great judgment of the nations of the earth. God promised in Gensis 9:11 that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. Of all the horrible things that happen during the tribulation catastrophic flooding is never mentioned. Is the judgment of the tribulation like the judgment of the flood?
During the flood in Noah’s day, God destroyed every breathing thing on the earth except those in the ark. The flood began with 40 days of violent rains and the breaking up of the earths crust to release the fountains of the deep. The waters continued to rise for about six months until they covered the whole world. A little over a year after the beginning of the flood the earth was sufficiently dried and recovered for those on the ark to come out onto a transformed world.
Unlike the flood, the tribulation will last for seven years and none will be escape the horrors of that day. Unlike the flood, the tribulation will be made up of many different kinds of terrors. Some of the terrors will be natural, some economic and some demonic. Some will involve massive war, some will be men persecuting men, all will be the supernatural judgment of God. Revelation describes the catastrophes of the tribulation in such a way that it appears they will be a series of horrible events, some overlapping the others. The judgments of the tribulation will move the world forward to the final world war that will immediately precede the return of Jesus.
The troubles of the tribulation will be varied. They will include horrible famine, extensive war, earthquakes that overthrow mountains and rearrange geography, hundred pound hailstones that fall and fire that destroys a third of the trees and all grass on earth. One third of the ocean will be turned to blood, killing a third of the sea creatures and destroying a third of the ships on the seas. One third of the fresh water will become poisonous killing a third of humanity and later all the water in the oceans and rivers will be turned to blood. Men will be afflicted with horrible sores, burned by extreme heat from the sun and then terrified by the fall of sudden, painful darkness. The destruction will be celestial. The stars will fall from the sky, the sun will be blotted out, the moon turned red as blood, The horrors of that day will be so great men will hide themselves in caves and mountains to try to escape the destruction. God will release demons from their imprisonment to bring torments upon men and to lead massive armies into battle.
Estimates of the death tolls during the tribulation reach as high as 85% of humanity. Like the flood God’s wrath will wreak havoc on the world. As in the days of Noah God’s judgment on sin will be unleashed on humanity. The tribulation will be very different from the flood in its disasters, but most importantly it will be different in its purpose. The tribulation will not just be the execution of God’s wrath. The tribulation will bring about the restoration and repentance of the nation of Israel. The tribulation will prepare the world for the kingdom of Jesus and the final fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The flood was the second great earthly judgment on mankind, and the tribulation is the last. They share many similarities but have some very important differences that makes the tribulation a unique event in human history.