Lesson 25

The Ark

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Genesis 6:8-22).

Introduction
In our previous studies we have noted that God pre-warned the world that the Flood was coming. The people had 120 years to repent as they watch Noah build the Ark and listen to his preaching. Instead, they mocked him and ridiculed any idea of a coming Flood. The world was so wicked that God had no other option but to destroy it (:11-13). Before we investigate the Flood we need to study the significance of the Ark itself.

The Fairy Tale
The people of Noah’s day made fun at the Ark the preacher was building. Today the majority think of the Ark and the Flood as a fairy tale – a myth. In the modern mind, the Flood did not happen and the Bible is untrue. Even so-called Christians reject the worldwide Flood when they suggest that it was just a localised flood. The comical Ark images in children’s books perpetrate the notion that the Flood is a myth. The little house on a boat is Satan’s trick to get people to dismiss the Bible’s account of history.
The Old Testament is offers us ‘pictures’ that speak to us of Christ. The Ark and the Flood have much more to teach us beyond the historical records, they indicate that salvation can only be obtained God’s way. In the New Testament salvation can only be received by being in Christ. To reject the Flood, which Jesus proclaimed as truth, is to reject God.

Noah’s Faith
Noah alone was found righteous in the eyes of God amongst that fallen world (1 Peter 3:20). Here was a man of faith that God could use to repopulate the world after the Flood (Hebrews 11:7). We are told that he did all that God commanded him to do (:22). This is what true faith is. True faith cannot be divorced from obedience. Noah walked with God on a daily basis and taught others about Him (2 Peter 2:5). Noah was a protective shield around his own family, thus enabling them to be included in God’s plan (:17-18).

Go For Wood
God commanded Noah to prepare gopher wood (hard wood) for building the Ark. The Ark was to be a huge barge-like structure about 438 feet long, 73 feet wide, and 44 feet high if we base it on an 18 inch cubit, its overall volumetric capacity was approximately 1,400,000 cubit feet. It would be built for capacity and stability rather than speed. The Ark had no means of propulsion, and would be almost impossible to capsize in the severest of storms. It could tilt close to 90º and still be able to right itself again. It was to be sealed, inside and out, with pitch, a type of tar or bitumen. There was a single window and one door in the Ark. The window, for daylight and ventilation, would have been situated close to the roof. The door may have been quite high up in the Ark. There was only one way in and out of it. The door is an excellent illustration of Christ Himself (John 14:6, 10:7-9).
The Ark had three stories, each of being about 15 feet high. These decks were divided into rooms that would house the various types of animals. All measurements for the Ark were very exact, and we can be sure that our salvation in Christ is equally precise. God designed the Ark, man designed the Titanic!

Interestingly Facts

[1] British civil and mechanical engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel built a steamship (the Great Britain) in 1843 that had almost the same proportions as the Ark, although it was smaller. This was regarded as a remarkable feat of Victorian and maritime engineering.

[2] St. Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton was Commissioned by Arthur Wagner and designed by Edmond Scott, it was based on the dimensions of Noah's Ark given in Genesis.

Click the image for a larger view

The Animals went in two by two
God would preserve male and female of each of the living creatures. In addition seven each of the clean animals would come in. The clean animals would be used for sacrifice and food after the Flood. We need to note that only the young of the species needed to be brought into the Ark, this would include the dinosaurs too. God would have guided the animals and birds to the only place of safety, so Noah would not have needed to go on trapping expeditions (:19). This may account for the migratory instinct in many animals. Enough food was stored in the Ark to see both human and animal through the Flood (about a year in duration). It is believed that God caused some of the animals to go into hibernation to prepare them for the post-Flood world, since the seasons would be more distinct then. These animals could survive with little or no food intake or excretions during this period. Both migration and hibernation would have been inherited by their offspring. It should be noted that only animals possess these abilities, thus making them different from mankind.

Conclusion
The idea of a boatful of cute little animals is simply Satan’s propaganda to compel the world into believing that the Flood is a fairy tale. If Genesis is a myth then the whole Bible cannot be trusted. If the Bible is untrue, even in places, then Jesus Christ is not Lord and Saviour, the only way of salvation. He is our Ark, and He alone can protect us from the judgement coming upon the earth. Even the animals of Noah’s day were bright enough to go into the Ark, but just as today, man refused to receive the warning and the invitation.

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