[Genesis:6:14-22]; [Genesis:7:1-24]; [Genesis:8:1-22].
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith“ (Hebrews 11:7).
I God‘s Plan for Saving Noah and His Family
1. Noah was commanded to build an ark, [Genesis:6:14].
2. The specifications of the ark were given, [Genesis:6:15-16].
3. A flood is promised to destroy all flesh upon the earth and in the sky, [Genesis:6:17].
4. God establishes a covenant with Noah, [Genesis:6:18-21].
5. Noah obeys God‘s command, [Genesis:6:22]; [Hebrews:11:7].
II The Ark Completed -- the Flood upon the Earth
1. A gracious invitation is given -- “Come thou,“ [Genesis:7:1]; [Numbers:10:29].
2. The entry into the ark is made, [Genesis:7:2-3], [Genesis:7:5-9], [Genesis:7:13-15].
3. Grace is ended and the door is shut, [Genesis:7:4], [Genesis:7:16]; [Revelation:3:7]; [Matthew:25:10].
4. All flesh upon the earth is destroyed, [Genesis:7:10-12], [Genesis:7:19-22]; [Job:22:15-17].
5. Noah is safe on the bosom of the waters, [Genesis:7:17-18], [Genesis:7:23-24]; [Isaiah:43:2].
III God Promises Continuation of Life
1. The floodwaters abate, and the ark rests upon the mountains of Ararat, [Genesis:8:1-5].
2. Noah sends forth a raven and a dove, [Genesis:8:6-12].
3. The earth is dry, but Noah waits for God‘s word before leaving the ark, [Genesis:8:13-19]; [Psalms:25:5]; [Psalms:37:34]; [Isaiah:49:23].
4. Noah worships God, and God promises preservation of life, [Genesis:8:20-22].
IV The Days of Noah a Type of the Last Days
1. Wickedness is great in the earth, [Matthew:24:37], [Matthew:24:12].
2. The Flood is a type of the tribulation, [Matthew:24:38-39].
3. The ark is a type of salvation in Christ, [Matthew:24:37-38]; [Hebrews:11:7].
4. Noah and his family are a type of the Bride of Christ, [Genesis:7:1]; [Matthew:24:40-42]; [Isaiah:26:20].
An Escape for the Righteous
In God‘s economy there has always been a way for those who desire to escape the damnation of hell. When the Lord revealed to Abraham that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham said, “That be far from thee . . . to slay the righteous with the wicked: . . . Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?“ [Genesis:18:25]). The Lord is merciful and desires to show mercy to all men, but He is also just, and men cannot with impunity violate God‘s righteousness and wilfully reject His proffers of mercy.
Corruption of Man
How quickly after creation did men defile this earth with sin -- this beautiful earth that the Lord gave man for his home! Men had become so corrupt that the Lord determined to destroy those unrepentant people from the face of the earth. But there was one righteous man found among all the living. The Lord has always had a remnant, a few people who love Him and live clean, holy lives.
Moved with Fear
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith“ [Hebrews:11:7]).
How strange it must have seemed to Noah when the Lord told him there would be a flood! There had never been such a flood. In fact, there is no record that it had even rained upon the earth up to this time. “There went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground“ [Genesis:2:6]).
“Noah was a Just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.“ There is the secret -- Noah walked with God and believed what God told him. Like Enoch of old, he had continuous communion with God. He walked “with“ God as in a voluntary, delightful companionship with a friend.
“Moved with fear,“ Noah prepared the ark to the saving of his house. Some today are moved with fear as they see the prophecies concerning the last days being fulfilled. They are fleeing to Jesus for safety. They want a hiding place when the storms descend. They want to hear the Lord say: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself‘ as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpass“ [Isaiah:26:20]).
Dimensions of the Ark
The Lord gave Noah the exact dimensions by which he was to build the ark. Perhaps He gave instructions for everything in minute detail, but Holy Writ does not tell us all. Skeptics have said that the ark was too small to hold all the animals and provisions that went into it, but mathematicians and scientists have said that there was ample room for the people, the animals, and a year‘s supply of food. It has been stated that it would take a train of freight cars thirteen and a half miles long to provide this amount of cubic space and carry this much freight. For stability, strength, and quietness of movements the ark‘s dimensions were perfect.
The following is quoted from an article taken from a Copenhagen newspaper, dated August 31, 1904. The article was written by Mr. Vogt, a well-known engineer and inventor:
“I have for some years been engaged in experiments in navigation. In the course of these experiments, in which it was most important to attain the best proportions in the dimensions of vessels, my attention was directed to some figures in the Bible, in [Genesis:8:15], where the measurements of Noah‘s Ark are given.
“The remarkable thing about these measurements is that after thousands of years‘ experience in the art of shipbuilding they must be confessed to be still the ideal proportions for the construction of a large ship.
“It is my opinion that the Ark rates as a masterpiece. I can hardy comprehend how anyone in that distant age could be possessed of such great knowledge of the subject and have attained such a brilliant result. I am convinced that if we gave the greatest living engineer in the world such a commission as this, to construct as large and as strong a vessel to lie as still as possible on the sea, and as simply constructed as the Ark, he could not make a better vessel.“
The reason is obvious: God was the Architect, and man cannot improve on God‘s plans.
Above the Mountains
For forty days the waters increased greatly upon the earth until “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, . . . . Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.“ Shells and skeletons of fish have been discovered on some of the highest mountain peaks. The moose deer, a native of America, has been found buried in Ireland. The elephant, a native of Asia and Africa has been found in England. Crocodiles, natives of the Nile, have been found in Germany. The flood that covered the whole earth accounts for the fossil deposits found in the most unnatural places.
When the waters were abated, the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat, somewhere in Armenia. Two months and thirteen days later the mountaintops were seen.
Noah displayed the ripe Christian fruit of patience, born of a deep and loving trust in God. He waited forty days, then sent forth a raven, no doubt to determine if the earth was yet habitable. The raven, being a scavenger bird, found sustenance upon the carcasses floating in the water, returning from time to time only to rest upon the ark.
Then Noah sent forth a dove. The delicate dove lights only upon a clean, dry place, so finding “no rest for the sole of her foot,“ she returned to the ark and Noah took her in. After seven days he sent forth the dove again. The dove came back in the evening, bearing in her mouth an olive leaf plucked off.
This olive leaf was a symbol of the restoration of peace between God and the earth; and the dove with the olive branch in her mouth is pictured as an emblem of peace to this day.
Again, after another seven days, Noah sent forth the dove. Finding clean, dry places to rest and vegetation to sustain it, the dove did not return to the ark. Yet Noah waited, not running ahead of God, but waiting for and to open the way for him to leave the ark. A month after the dove had left the ark and had not returned, Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw that the ground was dry. Still he waited for orders from God; it was almost two months later that “God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark.“
Noah “walked with God.“ Those who live closest to God are often constrained to wait God‘s bidding; while others, trusting to “human reasoning,“ move ahead and find they are walking alone.
Immediately upon leaving the ark, Noah built an altar unto the Lord. God was pleased with his sacrifice, which acknowledged the guilt of man, his just desert of punishment, and the need for atonement outside himself. The Lord, Jehovah, “smelled a sweet savour.“ It is evident that Noah‘s sacrifice prefigured that of Christ‘s when He offered Himself on the Cross of Calvary for the sins of the world. The offering of Christ is similarly described in [Ephesians:5:2]:
“Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering, and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.“
The prayers and obedience of one man called forth from the heart of God an expression of His great mercy toward all men -- clear-shining mercy against the dark backdrop of man‘s inbred tendency toward evil. The earth would never again be destroyed by a flood, but there is a significant warning in the words, “While the earth remaineth.“
Knowing the perverseness of men‘s hearts, God knew that men as a whole would not take advantage of His mercy. There would come a time when the earth would again be filled with violence, as it was in the days before the flood [Luke:17:26-27]). The earth would needs be destroyed, as we read in II Peter, third chapter -- this time by fire.
The ark is a type of salvation. Jesus is our Ark today. Noah was commanded to build the ark with three stories. They could well be a type of the three experiences we receive in the Gospel -- justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
While Noah worked away on the ark he preached repentance to the people. But they failed to repent. Jesus, looking over Jerusalem one day, said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killeth the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!“ [Matthew:23:37]).
Jesus compared the times just preceding His coming to catch away His Bride to the days of Noah. For over forty years, in this last great outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit has been speaking through the anointed of the Lord and saying, “Jesus is coming soon.“ While the Bridegroom tarries, many are slumbering and sleeping. The world is going on in sin and darkness. One day people will wake up to the fact that they are left behind. Jesus has come and shut away in the ark those who were ready. Only those in the ark were saved from the flood. Only those who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb and have oil in their vessels will be caught away to meet the Bridegroom when He comes.
Noah and His Family a Type of the Bride
Noah was perfect in his generation. The Bride of Christ is to be a pure, spotless bride. In [Psalms:45:13] we are told that the king‘s daughter is all glorious within. And in [Revelation:19:7-8]: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.“
As God called Noah and his family to come into the ark, so one day -- we believe very soon -- the saints are going to hear the trumpet sound and the Lord calling them to come up higher. They will then be borne above the tribulation that will come upon this earth, just as those in the ark were carried above the tempest of the flood. Jesus said: “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be“ [Matthew:24:37-39]).
The Lord said unto Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.“ What a wonderful invitation! “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb“ [Revelation:19:9]). No greater invitation could be given than to be called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The call has gone out into all the world. The invitation is to you. Accept it now. Jesus said, “All things are ready: come.“ The door is still open! Come! Just before the Book of all books closes its final page, it again sends out the invitation: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely“ [Revelation:22:17]) .
1. What was the approximate length, width, and height of the ark, in feet?
2. How does the size compare with modern ships?
3. How many stories were in the ark? and what spiritual application do we make?
4. How many windows and doors were in the ark?
5. How was food provided for Noah and the animals?
6. Why was Noah spared from the flood?
7. How many people remained alive during the flood?
8. How long was the earth covered with water?
9. What did Noah‘s sacrifice prefigure