If we are trying to be honest about how the Bible interprets itself, then certainly a “high hill” like Mount Olives would conclude a global flood was necessary, if it were indeed covered with water. Moreover, the testimonies of both Jesus and Peter in the New Testament seem to point to the global nature of the flood, since it is being compared with the future prospect of Jesus’ judgment over the whole world. So, ‘honesty’ plays a part in how we view what the Bible says about the events which it describes.
In addition to the above, we need to consider the need for an ark to begin with, if the flood were a local event. For example, why couldn’t Noah simply flee the area with his family? Notice the opinion of one local flood advocate:
“Why did God make the Israelites march around Jericho for seven days prior to the wall falling down? Why did God make the Israelite look upon the bronze serpent to be healed of snake bite in the wilderness? Why did Jesus make the blind man go to the Pool of Siloam to heal his blindness? Were any of these things actually required for God to do His work? No! God could have just wiped out all the evil people in the world, as He did later to the all the Egyptians’ first-born. Maybe God had good reasons for Noah to build the ark? God has a purpose for each person of faith to join Him in preaching His message. God’s plan will be accomplished regardless of our participation in it. However, God gives obedient humans the privilege of participating in God’s plans. Likewise, God had a plan for Noah, part of which was for him and his sons to demonstrate their commitment and perseverance to the Lord.”
While I agree that Noah was a preacher of righteousness and called to warn the rebellious world in which he dwelt, it does not stand to reason that this necessitated an ark. Lot was also a righteous man and the natives were aware of his righteous beliefs (Genesis 19:9). Yet, when Sodom was destroyed, all Lot and his family had to do was leave (Genesis 19:12-16). Noah’s faithfulness to God was demonstrated to the world in that he was a preacher of righteousness, not simply by building an ark. Noah tried to get others to repent, so they could be saved as well, but none paid much attention.
The building of the ark was a great testimony of the coming judgment, since it was preached for 100 years during the building of the ark. The New Testament states this idea directly, since it says that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” …(2Peter 2:4-5).
How could the building of an ark be a “great testimony of the coming judgment”, if the God’s judgment were local? As I mentioned in a previous blog, concerning the testimonies of Jesus and Peter, the context of their statements were of a global nature. Certainly Jesus is the Judge of the entire world, not just a local community. Certainly God’s coming judgment is of a global nature and not simply for a portion of the earth. If the “ark” is a testimony of a local flood, why wouldn’t Christians storing up asbestos suits for the future be a testimony against the coming judgment by fire? The fact that we don’t do such things shows that it was Noah’s preaching that was the testimony, just as ours is today.