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The Bible tells us that the antediluvians didn’t see rain before the flood. Genesis 2:5-6 says that the earth was watered by dew: “the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”
And the fact that the people of Noah’s time made fun of the idea that rain from heaven could bring destruction to the earth in the Flood, and that Noah is honored for believing “things not seen as yet” (Heb. 11:7), shows that rain was unknown to the antediluvians. Only Noah’s eyes of faith could picture water falling from heaven and drowning all living beings who would not seek shelter in the ark he built.
Also, the fact that the rainbow was introduced after the Flood (Gen. 9:13–16), and didn’t appear to have occurred earlier, presents additional proof to the thought that rain had been unknown before to that event.
The antediluvians before the Flood thought that for centuries the works of nature had been unchanged. The repeated seasons had come in their order. Heretofore rain had never fallen; and the earth had been watered by a mist or dew. Fixed laws of nature had kept the waters from spilling over their banks. They did not foresee that it was the hand of God that had kept the waters in order, when He commanded, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further” (Job 38:11).
As time went on, with no obvious change in nature, men whose hearts had at first shook with fear, began to be at ease. They figured that nature is beyond the God of nature, and that her laws are unchangeable, that God Himself could not change them.
Had the antediluvians understood Noah’s warning and became regretful of their evil deeds, the Lord would have canceled away His punishment, as He afterward did with the people of Nineveh. But by their stubborn rejection to the reproofs and the warnings of God’s prophet, they filled up the cup of their sin, and became ready for to receive the consequences of their evil deeds.
In His service,