|Vol. 2, No. 5||Page 4||May 2000|
“And God created great ‘dragons,’ and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:21).
One of the most fascinating of God’s creations was the dinosaur. Which of us has not marveled at the immense size and fierce construction of these mammoths and wondered what it would have been like to live when they did? Their fossils are spread all the way around the globe and the fascination with them continues. But for the creationist, there would seem to be some problems. Did they really exist? Where is the mention of their creation? How could they have lived when man did? Were dinosaurs on the ark? Why have they become extinct? Let’s look at a little of what we do know about the dinosaurs.
First, they are the creation of God; they did exist in living form and not just as created fossils as some would have us believe. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” So, they are the creation of God. In the Book of Genesis, we can see the record of their creation. In verse 21, God creates “tannin”; this word was incorrectly translated “whale” by the King James translators. They could not translate it correctly because they did not know what a dinosaur was. The first bones were dug up less than 200 years ago, and in the translators' frail wisdom decided that what must have been meant by the inspired writer was the greatest animal they did know about, the whale. But, the word “tannin” more correctly means “dragon, sea serpent and monster.” And, this creation God calls “great,” so they must have been very unusual creatures. The dinosaurs then are created on day five of the creation week, and man on day six. So, were they on the earth at the same time? Beyond a shadow of doubt, we must conclude that if the Genesis writer was inspired of God, then certainly they had to be!
Why would this be a problem? “Well, the dinosaurs were meat eaters.” “They would have wiped man off the face of the earth.” “We could not have lived with something like the T-Rex.” Well, these and other answers are given, but is anything impossible with God? No! Read verses 30-31 about what God gave all living things as food! And, even if they did eat meat, could God have stopped a T-Rex from eating Adam? Could God have stopped a den of hungry lions from eating Daniel? Well, as you can see, the answer to both questions is yes! Remember that we have many animals alive today that lived along side the dinosaurs.
Well, if dinosaurs were created on day five, then by the time of the flood, they would still have to have been on earth. So how did Noah get them in the ark? Weren’t they too large to fit on the ark? Remember that if God told Noah to take two of all air breathing animals on the ark ¾ it could be done! Were they all adult animals, as big as they could get? The Bible does not say. How did Noah and the boys keep T-Rex from eating everything on the ark? Remember the den of lions? God can close the mouth of any of his creations. Hibernation? Certainly with God anything is possible.
So, if they were on the ark, why aren’t they still alive today? Well, 2 Peter 3:6 gives us the answer. “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” When the dinosaurs came off the ark, their long-term existence was impossible because of the new ecological conditions found on earth. And so, those that were on the ark became extinct eventually. But, they did live for a while.
Turn to Job chapters 40-41. There you will read about two amazing animals, “behemoth” and “leviathan.” Were they a “water horse” or hippopotamus and an “alligator”? Without a doubt in my mind, the answer is no! What were they exactly? We will never know, but they sound more like a Brachiosaur and marine dinosaur than anything else. Fire-breathing dragon? Why not? A half-inch long beetle from Europe does very much the same thing today! Whatever these animals were, Job was very familiar with them, and since I believe Job to be a post-flood book of the Bible, that makes the dinosaurs in existence with man.
Well, this discussion could go on for a much longer time, but for those interested there are many good books that interpret the fossil record in light of the biblical account. Who says dinosaurs are extinct anyway? The word “dinosaur” means terrible lizard. The next time you are in a zoo or in Florida, look closely at a 12 to 14 foot crocodile and see if the name dinosaur would fit!
“And the waters prevailed upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered” (Genesis 6:19-20).
Many skeptics and some Christians alike have questioned where all of the water came from when God flooded the earth. I suppose that this is a question that is probably reasonable for anyone to ask, because that is a lot of water. It is exceedingly hard to imagine how every inch of the earth could be covered to a height of 15 cubits.
Let’s look at what God says caused the flood upon the earth. “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth . . .” (Genesis 6:17). Just this one statement would be enough of an explanation if it were all we had, because the Almighty can do anything he wants to do. But, the Lord has given further information about where the water came from. “. . . the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). This description of two great bodies of water, one in “the great deep” and the other in the “windows of heaven” tells where all of the water came from. It has also led to the theorizing about an earlier description of the earth in Genesis 1. “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so” (Genesis 1:7).
Here is water above and below the firmament. The water above the firmament was probably water vapor, like our clouds today, but would have been much thicker. This “Vapor Canopy” as it is sometimes called, existed until the flood began and the windows of heaven were opened. This layer of water would have shielded and filtered the inhabitants of earth from many types of radiation from the sun. This filtering may have caused the long lifespans that people before the flood had, for today we know that radiation in the sunlight is a leading contributor to the aging process. With the breaking of the “windows of heaven,” this barrier was gone and indeed it is almost immediately after the flood that the age of mankind began to decrease to near what it is today.
The waters under the firmament or “great fountains of the deep,” were some type of subterranean water supply. This water, when it was released, would cause great destruction to the geological layers of the earth. That destruction combined with the erosion of the water pouring from the heavens, would indeed cause massive changes to the earth’s surface. This would cause Peter to say by inspiration that “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:5).
How high was the highest mountain before the flood? I think it is possible to say that they may not have been as tall as they are today. To assume that the pre-flood world was exactly like today would be wrong. But, it is also possible that they may have been taller. We will never know this side of heaven.
These two sources of water at the bidding of the all-powerful God were enough to bring about the total destruction of the earth and all of its air-breathing inhabitants, save those on the ark. If we do not have faith in the ability of God to create the flood of Genesis, should we not think seriously about whether we believe he can save us for all eternity? Let us strengthen our faith and hold firm to the inspired words of God!