Why didn’t antediluvians believe in the flood?

SHARE

By BibleAsk Team


The Antediluvians and the Flood

The biblical narrative of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, chronicled in the Book of Genesis, presents a vivid account of divine judgment and human response. Central to this narrative is the incredulity of the antediluvians, the people who lived before the flood, despite witnessing the extraordinary events surrounding the construction and boarding of the ark.

Just before the flood, two of every kind of animal entered the ark, obeying a mysterious instinct (Genesis 7:8,9). Animals of every description, the vicious as well as the most gentle, were seen coming from mountain and forest and gently making their way toward the ark. The birds were gathering from all directions in impeccable order to enter the ark. Directed by holy angels, they “went in two and two unto Noah into the ark,” and the clean animals by sevens. Nothing less than heavenly power could have achieved such a timely and orderly entrance into the giant vessel.

What a clear warning this must have been for the ungodly (Genesis 7:8,9) who observed it! Here were tamed and wild beasts, creeping and flying animals, all creating their way into the ark, seemingly of their own wish. What a difference—dumb animals obedient to their Maker while intelligent beings refusing to regard His warning call of mercy! If anything could do so, this should have made an impression upon the sinners.

Cultural Context

To comprehend the antediluvians’ disbelief, it is essential to contextualize their worldview within the socio-cultural milieu of ancient Mesopotamia. In the antediluvian society depicted in Genesis, humanity had drifted into moral decay and spiritual oblivion, characterized by rampant wickedness and rebellion against God. This pervasive cultural atmosphere, coupled with the absence of a written revelation like the Torah, contributed to a diminished awareness of divine judgment and providence among the people.

Psychological Factors

The antediluvians’ skepticism towards Noah’s warning and the impending flood can also be attributed to psychological factors such as cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. Cognitive dissonance theory posits that individuals experience discomfort when confronted with conflicting beliefs or information that contradicts their existing worldview. In the case of the antediluvians, Noah’s message of impending judgment challenged their entrenched notions of invincibility and autonomy, thereby eliciting cognitive dissonance.

Moreover, confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms pre-existing beliefs, may have further reinforced the antediluvians’ skepticism. Rather than critically evaluating Noah’s warnings and the extraordinary sight of animals entering the ark, they may have dismissed such evidence as inconsequential or rationalized it within their existing worldview. This cognitive bias prevented them from acknowledging the validity of Noah’s message and the impending catastrophe.

Scriptural References

The biblical text provides several references to the antediluvians’ disbelief despite witnessing the events surrounding the construction and boarding of the ark. Genesis 6:5 describes the state of humanity before the flood, stating, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” This verse underscores the moral depravity and spiritual blindness that characterized the antediluvian era, rendering them resistant to divine warnings. The antediluvians didn’t believer because they had become so hard-edged by their tenacious rejection of light that even this scene created but a temporary impression.

Furthermore, in Matthew 24:38-39, Jesus compares the days of Noah to the time of His second coming, stating, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” This parallel underscores the parallel between the antediluvian disbelief and the spiritual apathy prevalent in the end times.

Theological Considerations

From a theological standpoint, the antediluvians’ unbelief serves as a sobering reminder of the consequences of spiritual blindness and rebellion against God. Despite the tangible evidence of Noah’s righteousness and the impending judgment, they chose to remain obstinate in their wickedness and defiance. Their disbelief not only resulted in their own destruction but also epitomized the tragic consequences of rejecting divine revelation and spurning the offer of salvation.

Moreover, the antediluvians’ skepticism highlights the profound implications of free will and moral responsibility in the divine-human relationship. God, in His mercy, extended ample opportunity for repentance and redemption through Noah’s preaching and the construction of the ark. However, the antediluvians’ refusal to heed these warnings underscores the sobering reality of human choice and the tragic consequences of rejecting divine grace.

For this reason, the Bible warns the believers today to listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit without delay that their hearts don’t get hardened by sin: “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS” (Hebrews 3:7-9).

Conclusion

In unraveling the mystery of the antediluvians’ disbelief, we encounter a complex interplay of cultural, psychological, and theological factors. Their skepticism towards Noah’s warnings and the impending flood reflects the profound consequences of moral depravity, cognitive bias, and spiritual blindness. As we reflect on their fate, we are reminded of the sobering realities of divine judgment, human responsibility, and the enduring relevance of biblical narratives in illuminating the complexities of faith and skepticism.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.