Genesis 6:9-22 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

Note: For more information relevant to this present passage of Genesis six, see the accompanying Appendix (PDF download) that provides the complete Scripture text of Genesis 7:1-8:22 and also deals with the topic: The Universality of the Genesis Flood.

1. What kind of people does Peter describe in 2 Peter 3:3 (printed below?)

You may be sure that in the last days scoffers will come, expressing their scoffing, and living for their own evil desires. (2 Peter 3:3)

Peter describes them as “scoffers who express their scoffing.” As the years have passed by these people have become emboldened to express their unbelief in the promise that our Lord Jesus will return in glory and judgment. Now they are vocally raising the question, Where is the fulfillment of the promise of His coming? They are further described as “living for their own evil desires.” The “delay” in Christ’s return has emboldened them to live for their lusts; they have convinced themselves that there will not be a day of just retribution.

2. Describe the reasoning of these people as Peter relates it to us in 2 Peter 3:4 (printed below).

They will say, “Where is the fulfillment of the promise that he will come? From the time the fathers fell asleep in death everything goes on as it has since the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)

Peter provides for us an outline of their argument. They point out that 30-35 years have passed since Christ’s ascension, and nothing has happened; if He were coming back He would have done so by now. (Their mistake was the fact that they sought to hold God to a humanly conceived timetable.) Indeed, their argument continues, from the day the fathers died, all things have continued as they were; i.e.; since the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, nothing has happened. (But what about the mighty acts of God in the days of Moses and Joshua? What about the mighty acts of God surrounding the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus?) Indeed, they continued, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. That is to say, since the time God created the world there has been a consistent and unbroken uniformity: the earth has continued the same and undergone no change since its inception.

3. According to Peter, what do these men intentionally forget? See 2 Peter 3:5-6 (printed below)

But this they intentionally forget; namely, that long ago there were heavens and an earth formed out of the water and in the midst of the water by the word of God. (6) By those same waters the world of that time was destroyed, being deluged with water. (2 Peter 3:5-6)

Peter refutes their argument by asserting that there is something they intentionally forget, the cataclysmic flood in the days of Noah. Peter asserts that the Flood was of such tremendous and cataclysmic proportions that it must be described as bringing to an end the world that existed at that time (2 Peter 3:5). When God first created the earth, its surface was covered with water (Genesis 1:2). On Day Three of the creation week God caused the lower body of water to gather together to form a vast sea, receding to its appointed location and thereby causing a great landmass of earth to appear (Genesis 1:9-10). Peter goes on to remind us, “by those same waters the world of that time was destroyed, being deluged with water.” Peter is, of course, referring to the cataclysmic flood in the days of Noah.

4. List some of the things Peter tells us about the Lord in 2 Peter 3:8-10 (printed below).

Do not forget this one thing, beloved, namely, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day. (9) The Lord is not negligent with regard to the promise, as some consider negligence; on the contrary, he is exhibiting great patience toward you. He does not desire anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. (10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the elements will be destroyed by being burned up, and the earth together with the works that are in it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:8-10)

Peter informs us that we cannot hold the Lord to a humanly constructed timetable, because “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day.” Furthermore, the Lord is not negligent—He is not careless, forgetful, or unreliable with regard to His promises. The fact that up until now the Lord has refrained from executing the final judgment is due to His mercy and patience: He does not desire for men to perish, therefore He is affording them the opportunity to repent. Finally, the Lord is faithful: in His appointed time both the judgment of the world and the redemption of His people shall be accomplished.

5. According to Peter, how is the Christian to conduct himself? See 2 Peter 3:11-13 (printed below)

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?—You ought to live in holy conduct and godliness, (12) as you watch for and eagerly await the coming of the day of God. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will be dissolved by the intense heat. (13) But, according to his promise, we are watching for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness resides. (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Being assured of the fact that the Lord will, indeed, visit the earth with a final judgment, we, as Christians, should be motivated to lead holy (pure) and godly (God-centered) lives. Furthermore, we should be watching for and eagerly awaiting the great day of God’s coming, for although it means the cataclysmic judgment of this present creation, it will also usher in the new heavens and new earth, the final kingdom of God’s righteous rule.