The sun beats down with a blinding intensity that makes my shadow look like it’s about to ask for a drink of water. I step off the path to pick up a lava rock and instead kick at the ground – dust swirls around my legs. Layers of volcanic ash have made the area home to some of the richest, most fertile soil in the country. Yet if you stare at the horizon, it will disappear into a shimmery haze before you spot a mountain. This is Eastern, Washington – a land of drastic contrasts.
Lush irrigated fields end abruptly where the scabland takes over to grow sage and cheat grass. Wheat fields sway in the breeze next to ground littered with boulders taller than giant men; and always, the gentle rolling of the hills as far as one can see.
From 1922 – 1929, geologist J. Harlen Bretz studied the topography of this strange parched land with its network of huge, riverless canyons, peculiar outcroppings of rock, and the framework of a falls so enormous that it would outsize Niagara by almost three times.
Bretz was the first to say, “It had to be water.” Only a flood of catastrophic proportions could carry and distribute boulders like pebbles across the terrain, carve out numerous canyons, and deposit mountains of gravel. Alone in his beliefs and despite the disdain of his colleagues, Bretz published his deductions. For much of the rest of his life, he would continue to study and defend his hypothesis to the scorn of other geologists. That is until space pictures revealed something incredible about the consistent rising and falling of the hills. From space, they were not merely mounds of earth but mirrored that of ripple marks left in the sand by a river, but these were on a gigantic scale. The ripple marks were around 35 feet high and 350 feet apart.
He had stood alone in his beliefs for more than 40 years, but with evidence from space, his work was finally recognized. In 1979 and at the age of 96, Bretz was awarded the Penrose Medal of Geological Society of America, the highest geological honor our nation offers.
Of course, the geologists were quick to make explanations that would not acknowledge the Biblical flood, but the evidence remains and is undeniable, the unusual landscape of Eastern Washington was caused by great floodwaters.
“And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.” Genesis 7:19
The Bible says that we must come to God in faith, but He has given us evidence upon which to base that faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” Hebrews 11:6-7