This series of blog posts addresses some of the many questions people have asked about the Ark animals before, during, and after the Flood.
Question: Since God knew the dinosaurs would go extinct after the Flood, why would Noah bring them on board the Ark?
Skeptics often raise questions that they think will make God or His Word seem wasteful, overbearing, or foolish. This is one of those questions, although it was asked of us by a believer who sincerely wanted to know why God told Noah to do something that in hindsight sounds futile. Why should Noah have labored to save animals that will go extinct anyway?
Let’s take a look at this from two perspectives: the skeptic and the concerned Christian. For the skeptic who asks this type of question, we could turn it around on them and ask if they support any type of conservation effort, such as the World Wildlife Fund? If there is no God and naturalistic evolution is truly the reason for our existence, then why would it matter if certain animals go extinct? Isn’t that part of the evolutionary process—the fittest animals (or luckiest) survive, while others go extinct? Apparently, the animals on the endangered species list just aren’t fit enough to survive, so why should we interfere?
Think about it, why would anything matter at all if matter is all there is? The naturalistic worldviews have no justification for purpose or morality. This isn’t to say that some philosophical naturalists aren’t moral or that they don’t live with a purpose—they just do not have a rational basis for these things. So it is utterly hypocritical for the skeptic to challenge the Bible on this point.
For the Christian who struggles with this issue, here are three points to consider. First, the fact that animals go extinct reminds us of the terrible consequences of our sin. Before Adam sinned, there was no death, suffering, and extinction. Because Adam sinned and brought these evils into the world, many of the animals that God graciously placed under man’s authority will suffer and die off.
Second, God told Job to consider several animals He had created, including the behemoth and the leviathan. These two magnificent creatures may now be extinct, but the people who saw them, either before or after the Flood, were given marvelous examples of God’s power and glory. Who but God alone could create and rule over such beasts? Since Noah saved the behemoth on the Ark, those in the post-Flood world who saw these creatures had vivid reminders of God’s greatness.
Finally, 2 Peter 3:10 tell us that “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” Given this truth, why do we do many of the things we do? We build houses and cities, and we spend so much time on things that we believe are important. Yet the Bible states that all of these things will be burned up.
Of course, God does not want us to scorn what He has made. While we understand that this world is passing away (1 John 2:17), we still need to be good stewards of His creation and use what He has given us, even material possessions, in ways that will glorify and direct others to Him.
So rather than trying to shift the blame onto God as skeptics do, or questioning His goodness and justice, realize that He has reasons for all that He does. He is not answerable to us, but God has graciously given us His Word from which we can find answers to questions like these.
These types of questions and so many more will be addressed on the full-sized Ark we are constructing, set to open in 2016. To find out how you can partner with us in gospel-proclaiming endeavor, please visit arkencounter.com.