[Genesis:6:14-22]; [Genesis:7:1-24]; [Genesis:8:1-22].
"Come thou and all thy house into the ark" (Genesis 7:1).
As God Had Said
The flood came, just as God had warned. The windows of Heaven were opened and rain began to fall. For forty days and forty nights there was rain. The fountains of the deep were broken up and water covered all the land. Never before had there been such a flood.
Could any person or any animal live through such a flood? Could anyone or anything survive? Yea, there was a way to be safe from the floodwaters! Of all the people, only one man and his family were saved. Of all the animals, only those, which were in the ark were not destroyed. There was one man whom God could trust, who was just and who walked with God. To this one man, Noah, God had revealed His plan.
God had said that there would be such a flood as to destroy "both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air." This was sent as a punishment and judgement for sin. The people were so wicked that God was sorry He had ever created them. God saw in the heart of men that their thoughts were "only evil continually." The earth was filled with vileness, and man did not think of God and His ways. God hates sin and it was necessary to destroy those who were sinning.
A Way of Escape
God had given Noah some instructions to follow so that he might not be destroyed with the others when the flood came. He had Noah prepare for the flood by building an ark. It was something like a boat, which had no rudder, no oar, no engine, and no sail. The ark was made of wood, with pitch on the outside and on the inside to make it waterproof. There were three stories to this building, with a window and a door. God told Noah exactly how to make it. "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he." Noah obeyed God and was spared during the flood. He made the ark according to God's plan. He did not change the size, the kind of wood, the number of stories, the number of doors and windows, or anything about it.
Builders today follow blueprint or plan. Sometimes after the building or boat is started there are changes made. Often some-thing is added or something left out. Many times when the building is finished it does not look exactly like the plan. A lack of material, a mistake, or someone's idea or desire may cause the building to be different from the plan.
We might consider everyone a builder today because he is building for eternity. God has given the plan of salvation. In order to be saved one must follow God's plan. Just as Noah did all that God commanded, so must one today do all according to God's plan, which is found in the Bible.
Noah had a big Job. To build the ark was no easy task, but Noah did it because God told him to do it. Even though it took hard work for many years, Noah did exactly as God commanded. God does not ask of a person something that cannot be done.
Noah was a "preacher of righteousness" (II Peter:2:5). People probably asked Noah what he was building and why he was building it. No doubt some had suggestions. Others probably made fun of Noah and did not believe what he said. Noah must have preached to all of them, telling them about the flood that was coming. But only Noah and his family believed the words of the Lord and prepared to escape the coming judgement.
There are people today who believe the Bible, God's Word. We read of a time of trouble from which God will deliver His people -- "every one that shall be found written in the book" (Daniel:12:1). We read of a judgement day when "every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans:14:12). The Bible teaches that those who sin are not God's people, because "whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John:8:34). We read that "whoso confesseth and forsaketh" his sins "shall have mercy" (Proverbs:28:13). We read: "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John:1:7). This is God's plan of salvation for all people. This is the way of escape from the destruction that is yet to come upon the earth.
The way of escape is open to all, but only those who believe God will be saved. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John:3:16). "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3: 18). Some do not believe God’s Word today. Some say they believe the Bible but they do not obey God and do not prepare to go to Heaven.
There are some people today who do not preach all the Bible, for example, they say that it is not necessary to live a clean, holy life. But the Bible says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews:12:14). Just as Noah did "according to all that God commanded him," so we must be obedient to God in all things.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our way of escape. It is our Ark and our only hope. Let us compare our Ark with Noah's. Jesus said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (John:10:9). Noah's ark had only one door. Noah's ark had three stories and the Bible teaches that there are three experiences in the Gospel: salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
"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" (Hebrews:11:7). We, too, must prepare our lives, in order to escape the great destruction, which is coming. We must pray, and be true to God. We must be obedient in order to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, just as Paul wrote to the Philippians ([Philippians:2:12]).
The Closed Door
One day God told Noah to go into the ark, along with the animals. After Noah and his family and the animals were safe in the ark, God shut the door. In the Bible we are warned to prepare in time. "Seek Ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah:55:6). There is coming a time when the door to salvation will be closed and no one can open it. (Read [Revelation:3:7].)
When the waters began to flood, no doubt many people believed Noah. But it was too late to enter the ark. The Lord had closed the door. Noah was safe on the inside, while just outside the door the people were drenched and doomed to drown. They believed too late!
For forty days and forty nights the floodwaters came. Every living creature was destroyed -- except Noah, his family, and the animals in the ark. After many days the floodwaters dried up. The trees put forth their leaves. But Noah remained in the ark until God told him to leave.
After Noah, his family, and the animals had left the ark and were safe on dry land again, Noah built an altar unto God. The Lord promised that water would never again destroy every living creature on the earth. He sealed His promise with a sign -- the rainbow. Whenever the rainbow is seen, it reminds men that God will never again send such a flood. But the rainbow should also remind us that some day judgement of a different sort shall come upon the earth, and all that is therein shall be burned up ([2 Peter:3:10]). "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (II Peter:3:11).
1. What kind of man was Noah?
2. How was he deferent from the others who lived at the same time?
3. Why did Noah build the ark?
4. Who were safe in the ark?
5. Why did God send the flood?
6. What happened when God sent the flood?
7. How long did it rain?
8. How many stories were there in the ark?
9. When did Noah leave the ark?