Grandpa, can we go find fossils?

Little children are hard to resist when they make requests. I had hinted of adventure when I was talking to an adult about fossils. One of my friends handles heavy equipment and moves rock around. Because the earth is pretty much covered with sedimentary rock, he moves a lot of it in an Appalachian mountain area. “I find those things all the time,” he said, and brought me 20 or so fossil samples.

I know from experience that rock stores are OK, but the real finds are because you know a local farmer, or equipment operator, or highway maker. They move earth all the time. And, if you know where to look, which is not hard, fossils — especially marine fossils — are everywhere.

Why? The Genesis Flood, the Big One that occurred just as God had recorded in the Bible in Genesis 6-8 about 4500 years ago, but He has it mentioned in dozens of places, including referring to the culture that preceded it, because it will be that way again before Christ comes again (see Matthew 24:38-39 or 2 Peter 3:1-7). So, the watery earth, teaming with sea-things, mixed with limestone and various silicates when the Flood occurred, created unique conditions to distribute layers of sediment that are similar to layers of concrete.

The excited two grandchildren found pounds of fossilized rock with shells and other marine life in less than 20 minutes on the banks of a small river in the Tygart Valley. One day later I said, “Let’s go for a walk and check a small rock outcropping at the edge of the nearby highway.” They could not wait. They already learned to turn over a few rocks here and there to see what they could find. We brought back another 10 pounds of pieces of layers of sedimentary rock with marine fossils.

Tortured sedimentary rock is all over. It is bent, straight up, at angles, and prominent in many places. It is bent because when the earth got shook (wrinkled) during the flood about 4500 hundred years ago. Many of those layers were still pliable, but they froze up fast, just like the concrete footers under our “shoe-box” house that are made of hardened concrete, even though they were covered with water from the first pour.

The history lesson of the Flood was never meant to be forgotten, as the Bible says. Though ignored, the lesson is the point: God does not forget, means what He says, and beckons us to come to Him while there is today. The message has not changed. The evidence is abundant. The Bible is clear. On the other hand, if you think that all took place over millions of years, you have a problem when you hunt fossils and stand back and think about it. So, go fossil hunting, and learn. Find as others have: fossilized closed mollusks, shells, fish eating fish, fish giving birth to fish, trees, branches, leaves, jellyfish, and sometimes (though less common) big creatures (called dinosaurs since then 1800s). Find sediments with little waves like they were frozen in time (not like consisting of loose sand on a beach). And, have fun with the grand kids. Teach them.

God does not forget. He loves, but he does not forget. He means for us to call on Him, to get to know Him, and to walk with Him. The message of the Gospel is not different today than it was in the past. The Flood record is an excellent reminder.

Genesis 7:11  “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth…” and the Flood began.

The full account: Genesis 6-8

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