Jesus as the Ark of Safety in the Book of Genesis

30 Apr

Read Genesis 6-10

One of the earliest Bible stories I recall hearing is the story of Noah and the ark. Unfortunately, by that time, I had already seen images of a small, round bottomed boat, stuffed to the rafters with giant elephants, and two giraffe’s heads sticking out the window, so that was the image in  my mind as I pictured the story.

The actual ship God instructed Noah to build was roughly the size of a modern battleship.  Its  dimensions were 450 by 75 by 45 feet. It was a large, sea-worthy vessel, not a tippy little boat.  It had three decks; a top deck for people, a middle deck for animals and a lower deck for food.  Of course, the animals would have been small. God’s requirement was for a male and female  of each kind of animal. He didn’t specify the age. Younger creatures would eat less and take up less space. Even the largest dinosaurs were hatched from eggs. And yes, there were dinosaurs  on the ark.

The ship had no rudder. They weren’t going anywhere in particular, because there was nowhere to go. God would choose the place where they would settle. The ark had one window and one door.  The ark represented safety, security, separation and provision. They were safe from the judgment going on outside. They were secure because once they were in the ark they didn’t need to fear being thrown off the boat. They were separated from unbelievers once God closed the door. They had everything necessary for survival in the ark of safety.

The ark was spacious. There was room for many more, even though only eight souls among the many alive at that time had faith in God. The ark was welcoming. As Noah was building it for a hundred years (see Gen. 5:32 and Gen. 7:6), he warned his generation about the wrath to come.

“…who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” 1 Pet. 3:20

It might have looked something like this:

“Whatcha doing, Noah?”
“I’m building an ark.”
“What’s an ark?”
“It’s a vessel that will float on the water.”
“But we’re not anywhere near water.”
“No, but God is going to judge the world with a flood.”
“What’s a flood, Noah?”
“It’s a lot of water and rain.”
“What’s rain, Noah?”

“…before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had ground. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground, but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”  Gen. 2:5,6

You get the idea. Judgment was the last thing on their minds. In fact, “the thoughts of their hearts were only evil continually.”  Gen.6:5  They were going about their lives as usual when the flood came.

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming                 of the Son of Man be.”  Matt. 24:37-39
It’s a commentary on the character of Noah that his family believed him. If you compare him to Lot, just a few generations later, his family thinks he’s crazy when he warns them of the coming judgment. (Gen. 19:14).

The ark represented safety for those in the ark when the deluge began. How terrifying it must have been to go into the ark and hear the first ever drops of rain, to hear the thunder, to feel the earthquakes and surges of water from tsunamis. To think that the Indian Ocean tsunami and all the death, destruction and devastation it caused was the result of one earthquake out at sea, it helps you imagine what happened when “the fountains of the deep were opened up.” Gen. 7:11,12 Also, the “windows of heaven”,  the water canopy surrounding the earth, also known as the “waters above the firmament” were emptied  onto the earth. Gen.1:6,7
The ark represented separation. Those in the ark would have heard the cries of the people outside the ark. They didn’t suddenly have faith in God; they just didn’t want to face judgment. Noah and his family didn’t have to agonize over whether to let them in or not. God made the call by shutting Noah and his family in  from the outside. He knew their heart. The day of grace was over. God Himself shut the door; irrevocably separating the saved from the unsaved.

“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.” Heb. 11:7

“So those that entered, male and female of all flesh went in as God commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.” Gen.7:16

Christ is our Ark of Safety. He is our only hope. All others are useless rafts. They will not stand in the deluge of God’s Judgment. Just as there was only one door in the ark, so Jesus is the only way to God.

“Jesus said to him, ’I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”  John 14:6
Once we are “in Christ”, we are secure and will not lose our salvation.

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37

When we are in Christ, we are provided with all we need, in this life and the next. We have no need of a rudder, for Christ is our Pilot and leads us where we need to go.

As Noah preached and pointed to the Ark of Safety, so we also warn others and point to Christ as their only hope.

“Therefore knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” 2 Cor. 5:11

Prayer-“Father, thank you for providing safety from judgment, in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that He is the Only Way, the only door to safety. Your way is best. We are guilty. When we are “in Christ” we are safe and secure. You won’t throw us overboard. You also pilot us and guide us where we need to go. We have everything we need in Christ. Thank You also for the promise You made to never again destroy the earth with a flood. You always keep your promises. The rainbow reminds us of that.”

Questions- The rainbow symbol meant God keeps His promises. He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. Sharon James says, “The Hebrew word, ‘bow’ (the weapon), is the same word for rainbow. God was hanging up His weapon of war and making peace. The flood was God’s war; this was the treaty of peace and preservation. The regularity of the days, months, seasons and years would all signal God’s faithfulness to this covenant. Gen. 8:22, 9:12-17 Now this symbol has been hijacked to mean “anything goes” sexually. We need to reclaim it.

How comfortable are you with your stand on the events of the early chapters of Genesis? Do you feel ready to give an answer to those who ask why you believe what you do? Do you know where to turn for help in this?

Response- Research Answers in Genesis. They’re a great organization that is Bible based and answers  many questions about Creation science from a Biblical perspective. They also have a great book called, The Answers Book. Highly recommended.

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