< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Noah's Ark Part 2

Monday, January 28, 2008

Noah's Ark Part 2

(Genesis 6:11-17)

Now – you all know there was no rain on the earth before the flood, right? Genesis 2:5-6 tells us that “the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth…but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”

So here’s Noah, building this huge ocean liner (!) in the middle of land for 120 years! And it was huge! The ark was about one and a half times as long as a football field and it had 3 levels. Talk about faith! And 120 years is longer then humans live now – so we’re talking a lifetime of faith and obedience.

Anyone who’s read the Bible and seen the world and the universe knows that God is a planner and incredibly detailed. God gave Noah detailed directions to follow in his building. Remember, everything in the Old Testament points to Christ: The Hebrew word for pitch is the same as for atonement. God used the pitch to seal the Ark – just like we are sealed in Christ. The Ark was God’s means of Salvation during His judgment. God judged the world back then because He is a God of judgment and it was time, but He sent a way out for the believer because He is also a God of mercy and grace.

Jesus is our Ark. Sent to save us from God’s judgment. He invites us into the Ark and to a new life. Inside the Ark, or in Christ, we are safe. Outside – destruction. Belief always involves an act of faith. We have to get in the Ark. We have to accept Christ.

(Genesis 6:18-22)

Every type of animal! The Bible doesn’t say that Noah took time off to scour the world hunting down those animals. I heard a good explanation of what probably happened: You know how birds migrate at different seasons? As do Monarch butterflies? How some animals instinctively know when it’s going to storm? Or how cockroaches sense seismic disturbances and are being used to predict earthquakes? Probably God gave them an instinct to migrate toward the Ark.

Because the Bible says that pairs of animals came to Noah and entered the Ark. Can you imagine his neighbors then? They probably pulled up chairs and sold concessions!

According to the dimensions given, when Noah had all the animals assembled on the Ark, only 60% of the available space would have been occupied. And someone figured out this would have been 75,000 animals! But, remember, not all animals were big elephants, there were birds, snails, ladybugs, and bunnies too.

So there was 40% of the space leftover for food storage and living quarters for Noah’s family.

It all worked. Sometimes we think something God’s asking us to do is impossible, but if He’s asked us – it’s not impossible – as the story of the Ark shows. But, He does require the cooperation of our obedience.

What if Noah had said, “That sounds too hard.” Or even just procrastinated? What if he liked to start things, but never finished them? What if Noah told God, “Just as soon as I’m better trained, more financially stable, my kids are older, or all those other excuses we use all the time:

“I’ll go on a mission trip when my kids are grown – some time before I die.”

“I’ll tithe when I’m making lots of money – then the tithe will be really big” – of course then it will be so big it will seem like too much to give!

“I’ll teach Sunday school when I’ve studied the Bible more.”

“I’ll volunteer at church when I retire because you know I’m working now, I have responsibilities.”

Lucky for the human race, Noah didn’t make excuses. Four times in the story the Bible states, “Noah did everything God commanded him.”

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