There has been much discussion, in recent times, about whether, or how much historical characters & events in the Scriptures were used to represent a greater spiritual reality, in this case, our Heavenly Father Himself! If, for instance, Adam was not representative of all mankind, but was rather a type of the 'last Adam' ( I Corinthians 15:45 ) that the apostle Paul speaks of, much of the vain speculation regarding Adam's being created with the appearance of age could be laid to rest! Concerning Noah, he who would be a comforter to his people concerning the curse of the Land, if he was a picture of the Holy Spirit who brought Comfort to His people during their tribulation, this could explain why he is noted by the apostle Peter as one of 'eight souls.............saved through water' ( I Peter 3:18 ).
We know that, 'in the beginning', 'the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters' & in comparing the ministry of Noah to the Work of the Holy Spirit, we do not say that the Creation Account here was just a reiteration of the Flood Story ( although this could be argued )! Rather, by comparing these two cataclysmic events, we simply note the blatant similarities between the two accounts.
First, note, in the Creation Account; 'The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [ was ]on the face of the deep'. Second, in the beginning of the Flood Story, '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. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.' ( Genesis 6:5-7 ) Reading in context the prophetic narrative set down in the first two chapters of Genesis, we recognize the results of the curse; a complete & utter reversal of the Creation!
Just like the Comforter ( John 8 & 14 ) was sent to succor the early Church in the midst of their Great Tribulation, so Noah was born into the midst of a lawless & wicked generation ( you could insert 'without form, and void' here ) to comfort the sons of God & provide means for their salvation from the coming destruction! As one of eight people saved through his ministry, through the Ark which prepresented the Christ, we can see that this Man of God also prefigured the Eighth Day!
The Study of Protology has only just recently come to the forefront ( coming closely on the heels of Eschatology ) of Covenant Theology! One reason for this is to try to maintain a more consistent view of Covenant History as regards the Story of Israel. Great strides have been made in the past decade or so in coming up with a reasonable view of Covenant Eschatology & now it is high time for the spotlight to be thrown on Covenant Protology!
In the coming days, the Study of ( Covenant ) Beginnings will doubtless continue to become the headliner in the debate over Covenant Theology! As we hash out the arguments, though, let us ever be careful not to embroil ourselves in vain speculations & useless ( even harmful ) debate! From Genesis-Revelation, the Story is about the Son of God, from Israel to the Christ to the New Israel, the New Creation of which the apostle Paul wrote!
Charles Haddon Shank