Living Word Christian Magazine

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Russell Crowe stars as Noah. Photo (c) Dwong19

Russell Crowe stars as Noah. Photo (c) Dwong19

With all the excitement about the new ‘Noah’ movie starring Russell Crowe (left), released by Paramount UK, we decided to reprint an article which first appeared in our August 2012 edition. The article asks, what does the factual, historical account of Noah’s ark teach us today?

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: (Luke 17:26 NKJV)
God’s Work of Dealing with Mankind
If we consider God’s dealing with men we must first consider what kind of men they are. They are sinful men. The Noah account (Moses) gives a terrible description of the moral vice and sin of Noah’s time.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7 NKJV)

We see that sin began in the heart: “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Jesus said “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:19 NKJV)

As it was in Noah’s time, so it will be in the days of the son of Man. In Noah’s time was characterised by widespread violence, and corruption, particularly the corruption of sexual license and perversion.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:11 NKJV)
There was no one on the face of the earth who did what was right and was without sin – just like today.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 NKJV)


With such a situation, the hearts of men turned far from God, no one without sin, God was sorry that is grieved, that he had made man. His purpose was to wipe man from the face of the earth in Judgment.

So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7 NKJV)

Here God pronounced his judgement.
And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. (Genesis 6:17 NKJV)

That judgement came as certainly as it was pronounced.
Just as God pronounced judgement in Noah’s day so he has pronounced it on the wickedness of mankind today.
For this they wilfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:5-7 NKJV)

Jesus said They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:27 NKJV)
The judgment was all inclusive. No one was left out, for everyone outside the ark perished, and in the coming day of judgement everyone outside of the Lord Jesus Christ will perish. Many ask why, if Jesus is coming again to bring God’s judgement, why has He not come yet? Since it has been 2,000 years since Jesus said it would happen, they suppose that it was all false and that it will never happen at all.

But with the account of Noah still fresh in his mind, Peter warns, the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, but is long suffering with us, not willing that any should perish.
Peter goes on to tell us that: “the Divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared,”(1 Peter 3:20 NKJV)
For 120 years God waited patiently. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. (2 Peter 2:5). At that time God gave all men opportunity to repent and be saved. He is still doing so today. The judgment he has pronounced on this sinful world and every one in it will surely come, but he is waiting, holding back his wrath, and giving all men the opportunity to respond to his call of salvation. God is not willing for any to perish.
The motive of his long-suffering is quite simply love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)
God loves all men everywhere -the world. He would have all men to come to repentance and be saved. As the gospel is preached faithfully to crowds all over the world, even when men refuse to listen, even when they kill the messengers of God, the fact that God is still sending messengers to all men is a sign, a proof positive that he loves them and that he is long-suffering. God offers His mercy to all who will respond to God’s call of grace as Noah did.
In a world of sin and unbelief, we read of one man, Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. By His grace God gave Noah warning of the coming judgement, and Noah responded with faith, a faith which led to obedience and action. With godly fear he built an ark. (Heb. 11) which resulted in himself and his family being saved.
Today God gives us all warning and by his grace opportunity to repent of our sin and put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us. Just as an ark was the means of salvation for Noah, so Jesus Christ is the means of salvation God has provided for men who realize their need to “flee from the wrath to come.”

God’s Way of Salvation for Mankind
In scripture the ark is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. So by examining the ark, we will learn more about Jesus and his power to save.

We notice on the ark there was only one door, only one away in. There is only one way which God has provided for men to be saved from their sin and the wrath to come. The Lord Jesus Christ said “I am the Way”.
Following our Lord’s death on the cross for our sins, and his victorious rising from the dead, Peter proclaimed “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NKJV)

There was only one window on the ark, facing upward, speaking to us of our heavenly calling in Christ Jesus. The believer has his or her eyes fixed on the author and finisher of their salvation, Jesus Christ. His call, being responded to by us, is a heavenward calling. He has gone to prepare a place for us and promises to come again and receive us to himself that where he is there we shall be also. So as we see that day approaching, Jesus said, “Look up ,and lift up you heads, for your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)

Then think of the dimensions of the ark. It was vast. It was the size of a football field and over three storeys high. There was plenty of room for all the animals and for a lot more men than Noah and his family. We could well suppose that if all men repented and came in faith, the ark would be able to accommodate them, although if that had happened surely God would have relented of sending the flood at all.

In terms of the Lord Jesus Christ, his salvation is all inclusive. He died for all, so that all may enter in and be saved.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 NKJV)

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

Then there is the stability of the ark. Modern ship building experts have commented that the ark was a very stable design for a ship that would be tossed one way and another unsteered on the ocean. In fact I have seen sea worthiness tests carried out on scale replicas of the ark. That ship was not going to capsize. It stood the test. So Jesus is a Capable Saviour who has stood the test and will stand the test. He has saved and kept souls over many years, and we too are kept by the power of God in our immovable rock Jesus Christ.

In addition to that, the ark was coated with pitch inside and out made it waterproof. It was suitable for task. This made it, instead of a large wooden building, a sea worthy vessel. Jesus Christ is equipped, qualified. He was already prefect, but his experiences made him fully qualified to be our perfect Saviour.

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10 NKJV)
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (Hebrews 5:9 NKJV)
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV)

Then there was the food on the ark. The ark was laden with every provision for all aboard it in terms of food and water for just over a year. Christ knows all we need and all has been provided by God for us in this journey from earth to heaven, this Christian life. Since the ark is a type of Christ, the sufficiency of food shows that all we need is in him.

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, (2 Peter 1:3 NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3 NKJV)

God offers this salvation, forgiveness of sins to all who put their faith in His son Jesus who died for them and rose again. But lastly, notice that the door to the ark was eventually shut by God Himself. The day of grace in which we live will end.

Although God is merciful and long-suffering, the world cannot be allowed to continue in its wickedness much longer. We must be ready for the coming of the Lord. If you are saved, trusting in the lord Jesus Christ, then you are ready for that day.
Sadly, the door that shut Noah safely in the ark was also the door which shut the unbelievers out to face their fate. Make sure you are not left outside of Jesus Christ to face the wrath of God without a Saviour.
Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:13 NKJV)

God’s Will of Eternal Rest for Mankind
Finally, the Noah account teaches us about the way to find eternal rest through Jesus Christ. Peter tells us that the Water of Baptism, prefigured by the ark, represents new birth.
In the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:20-21 NKJV)
When we put our faith in Jesus we are born again by the action of God’s Holy Spirit, and become God’s children. We are citizens of heaven with the right to a title deed in the new heavens and a new earth. The waters of Noah renewed the face of the earth, changing it forever. But the Bible predicts an even greater event is imminent, when this present world will be done away, and a new heaven and earth replace it.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10-13 NKJV)
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1 NKJV)
So just as the Ark finally came to rest, so there is an eternal resting place for believers. Christ is already there and since we are in him, we too will enter his eternal rest. But we are not to imagine that rest means inactivity or non-existence; instead it consists of a blessed peace with the absence of trouble or pain.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:4-5 NKJV)
Have you ever stooped to think of the incident involving the raven and the dove? When the ark came to its rest, he raven was sent out and never came back. What is that symbolic of?
When the believer finds rest through faith in Jesus Christ, the fleshly appetites, represented by the raven, who feeds on carrion, has to be cast out. We are to walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. If the work of sanctification has begun in us now it will continue till the day of Jesus Christ and then be completed. If it hasn’t begun in you, don’t expect God to complete it. He completes only what he begins.
Then the dove is of course a type of the Holy Spirit in scripture. When the ark came to rest, the dove sent out from Noah came to rest only in the ark. The dove is taken as a pure and gentle bird. The flooded world was not its resting place. At present the Holy Spirit resides in the church of Jesus Christ. He is in us and will always be with us. But when God’s work was completed, God’s rest filled all the earth, and so he flew away, symbolising to us the day when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the water covers the sea.
True, at the present time, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, but in God’s eternal rest, we shall also dwell in him who fills all things. At that time, everywhere will be a place filled with the Spirit. There will be nothing either to taint us or to grieve him in that heavenly holy atmosphere. We’ll wait for it expectantly!

Article from May 2014 edition of Living Word Magazine. Search hundreds of free bible studies online.


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