Was the flood of Noah's day universal? Did it cover the whole earth? Or is the Genesis flood account a myth based on a local flood? While the scientist denies the possibility of a universal flood and the modernist scoffs at such a preposterous idea, the Christian must choose to either compromise or stand firm. Is there evidence by which Christians may substantiate their claims? If we believe the Bible there is. Here are a few simple thoughts.
1. It was the purpose of God to destroy the entire human race (except Noah's family) from off the face of the earth. Read Genesis 6:12-17. A local flood would not have fulfilled God's purpose of judging the entire population for their sinfulness.
2. If the flood had been local only, the ark would have been unnecessary. God could have simply told told Noah to leave the area before the flood came and return when the flood waters abated.
3. The terminology used throughout the account indicates an event of universal proportions. In Genesis chapters 6 through 8 (if I counted correctly), "the earth" is used 34 times; "every" 14 times; "everything" 11 times; "all flesh" 8 times; "all" 7 times; "filled" and "whole" twice. An expression such as "under the whole heaven" (Gen. 7:19) cannot be reduced to a local area.
4. To cover the Ararat mountains, whose highest peak is almost 17,000 feet, would require a universal flood. Water seeks its own level. The whole earth would have been covered at least to that depth/height.
5. God's promise to Noah after the flood (Gen. 9:11) is a promise of universal rather than local application.
You don't have to believe in a universal flood if you choose not to. But you can't reject a universal flood without denying the words of the Bible. Which will you do?