Safe In The Ark
I. There has been a vicious and relentless attack in the last few years, and the chief point of attack seems to be the Pentateuch. (First five books of the Bible) Among those books, Genesis is singled out by skeptics more than any other book.
The flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra are the hardest hit. The skeptics are teaching our children that Genesis has no historical basis, and that it is not an accurate
and literal account of the creation of the earth and man, of the entrance of sin, and of the early days of Abraham.
A. The Lord knew beforehand that these two records, the flood and the destruction of Sodom, would be attacked, so He goes out of His way to place His seal of endorsement upon these two accounts. When He does this, He leaves no doubt in the matter at all. He states in Luke:
Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Luke 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
B. And how about the miracle of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra? How about Lot’s wife having been turned into a pillar of salt? Listen to what Jesus thought about this?
Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.
Luke 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Luke 17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
Luke 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.
Did Jesus believe these two records? If He didn’t, He was using deception, which is against His nature.
C. James Hutton first proposed the idea of uniformity. "Uniformity is the evolutionary belief that natural processes now at work on and within the Earth have been operating in the same general manner throughout many geological ages." In high school, my science teacher called it the "Present is the Key to the Past." Hutton believed this idea could help find the key to the understanding of the earth’s past history.
1. Hutton denied that there was the flood of Genesis.
2. Hutton concluded: "No vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end."
3.Charles Lyell wrote the first text of geology - Principles of Geology. He brought Hutton’s work to it’s conclusion.
4.Lyell’s book had a great impact on Charles Darwin, who popularized the idea of evolution with his book, Origin of Species.
D. Peter seemed to know that the uniformity attack was going to happen in the last days when he wrote 2,000 years ago in II Peter:
II Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
II Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.
II Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
II Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
II Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
E. Anomalies in science point to the flood of Genesis. (An anomaly is an event that should not happen that way or that can’t be explained by modern science)
1.A rock slab in Agate Springs Nebraska - "… contains the fossilized and closely packed bones of many animals. It is estimated that the hill from which this slab was cut contains the bones of about 9,000 animals all jumbled together. The record shows that a great variety of animals (rhinoceros, camel, giant boar, and numerous other exotic animals), were killed and buried rather suddenly. It would appear that whole herds were destroyed by some great catastrophe that threw their bodies together quickly and violently. Because none of the bones show any of the usual signs of weathering or of mutilation by scavengers, geologists conclude that the animals were buried quickly before the elements and the scavengers could do their work."
(It is catastrophic events like this that we would expect to happen during the flood)
2. A hill located in Burgundy, France - "An isolated hill stands more than a thousand feet above the surrounding plain. Near the top of this hill is a fissure crowded with fossilized animal skeletons. These fossils are unusual in that the skeletons of the animals which normally have a predator-prey relationship: the predator is found right along side an animal that is normally its prey. It seems from the evidence that animals such as bears and oxen, wolves and horses, and other groups scaled the hill and then died and were buried in a common grave. Animals which ordinarily would not be found in such proximity could be expected to flee rising flood waters in this manner."
These unusual situations do not surprise the Bible student, but uniformatarian and/or evolutionists scientists, since they have only one recourse – They ignore them in hope that a satisfactory explanation will someday be possible.
F. Remember from the last lesson that it was God who planned the ark. Noah couldn’t have built it on his own. Noah, being in the dessert, probably had never seen a boat before. What a testimony of the inspiration of the Scriptures. Below are some facts about the flood:
1.The flood reached a depth which caused the highest mountain to be covered. (Genesis 7:20); because of this extensive inundation, Noah and his family, along with the animals, were in the ark approximately 1 year.
2. Following the flood, the earth was, no doubt, marked by violent crustal adjustments. Crustal adjustments probably also occurred during the forty days and forty nights of rain since the fountains of the deep were broken up, probably by shifts in the earth’s crust. This would have caused many fossils.
4. A clue to later earth-shifting may be provided in Genesis 10:25, where it is stated concerning a man named Peleg:
Genesis 10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one [was] Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; .....
This verse could be telling us that the continents were separated at this time. Some Bible scalars think so, and some don’t. It is possible that the continents moved apart quite rapidly at this time causing even more fossils to be formed.
5. The ark was specifically designed by God to be the means of preserving Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives, together with all of the kinds of creatures which were "upon the face of the ground." That the ark was quite adequate for this purpose is a foregone conclusion to the Christian, but it may be helpful to show that the ark was indeed large enough:
A. The Size of the arc – (using the minimum cubit of 17.5 inches)
1. A barge-like vessel
a. Approx. 438 feet long
b. 73 feet wide
c. 44 feet high
2. Volume – 1,396,000 cubic feet – Compared to railroad car to carry livestock:
a. volume equal to 522 livestock cars
1. Stock car can carry 240 sheep
2. Arc could carry 155,000 animals the size of sheep – (522 x 240)
b. There were relatively few large animals like rhinoceros, elephant, dinosaurs, etc.
c. Most could be represented by small young animals
3. Size adequate
a. Many animals hibernate or estivate when conditions are not normal
b. Many water animals died – some survived
c. Only kinds had to be represented – 1 dog represents at least 144 kinds
Also, not every individual species of animal familiar to us had to be taken aboard the ark. For example, not every type of dog or dog-like animal had to be taken aboard the ark. Some estimates place the number of animals aboard the ark at about 35,000, or about one third of its capacity. There was ample room in the ark for Noah, his family, the animals which came aboard in pairs, the "clean" animals which came aboard in sevens, and the food needed by all.
II. Virgin Birth - The Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation were given with the primary purpose of revealing Jesus Christ.
In our last lesson, we began an explanation of the ark as a picture of Jesus, the Savior from judgment. The wickedness of man had become so great in the days prior to the flood, that God said:
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.......
……Genesis 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
A. Conditions worsened just prior to the flood - After God had revealed His plan of salvation with the coats of skins, the world did not accept His lesson, and things certainly did not get better. In fact, they got much worse. And so God commanded Noah to build an ark of salvation for a remnant of mankind. The ark was the only escape.
B. Conditions will worsen just prior to the Second coming
Jesus used this historic incident to illustrate the condition of the world just prior to His Second Coming. The world again is not going to get better, but get much worse.
In the book of Matthew, we read:
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:38 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,
Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
C. The same Jesus is foreshadowed in the ark. – Remember we pointed out in the last lesson the unmistakable figure pointing to Christ by emphasizing:
1. The ark was not the invention of man, but the foreordained plan of God.
2. It was supernaturally revealed to Noah by the Word of God. (Hebrews 11:7)
D. The Incarnation - Now we come to the most interesting detail in the record of Noah’s ark.
1. While Noah had no part in planning the ark, he nevertheless was given a part in the building of the physical structure. I hope to show you that this building is a figure of the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus of which the ark is a type. The ark was designed by God - but was built by Noah. The instructions were clear:
Genesis 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
2. The Redeemer of mankind, in order to substitute for man, must Himself be a man. While the ark was God’s divine design, the ark itself must be built by the sinner who was to be saved from the flood. The Savior must be both God and man.
a. Because He was a man, He could stand in man’s place.
b. Because He was God, He could bear in a few hours the eternal, infinite judgment of God upon sin.
3. Can you see this shadow of the Incarnation? The part that humanity was to play in preparing the Savior, Jesus as the ark of safety. The Savior must have a human body and nature as well as divine.
a. Noah was therefore commanded to build the ark.
b. Millenniums later, the One who was foreshadowed by all this came into the world.
1. The product of a human being.
2. In Scripture called the Seed of the Woman.
The Apostle Paul made it crystal clear in the book of Galatians:
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Galatians 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
This was a part of the fulfillment of the Protevangelium in Genesis 3:15:
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Jesus Christ was and is the eternal Son of God, pre-existent from eternity, but in the fullness of time came into the world as the incarnated Son of God, with a human body and nature prepared by God within the womb of a virgin mother. He could not have a human father, or he would be completely human, and not God. God designed it all, but Noah had to build the ark.
III. Perfect Safety - The ark was the safest ship ever built.
It was completely unsinkable. There could be no storm violent enough to cause it to flounder or sink. It was the perfect place of refuge because first of all it was designed by Almighty God Himself. The security of all those in the ark was fully guaranteed for at least two reasons - Both typical of Him of whom the ark is a picture.
A. The designer and architect Himself was present in the ark with its occupants.
Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
B. Notice the word COME. - It is the first occurrence in the Bible of the word.
God did NOT say to Noah, "Now the ark is ready, don’t hesitate to GO IN because I will be out here watching over you.
2. This would have been enough for Noah, but that is not what God said. Instead He went into the ark first, and then invited them into the ark to join Him.
3. If the ark went down, it would carry God along. His very presence guaranteed its safety.
C. This is the very lesson that the disciples did not learn in the great storm recorded in the book of Matthew:
Matthew 8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, inasmuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
Matthew 8:25 And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
When Jesus is in the ship, it can not sink.
D. The occupants had nothing to do with handling the ark. Evidently, the ark had no engine, no rudder, and for that matter, no pilot house. God Himself directed the course of the ship. The common idea that the ark just drifted aimlessly upon the roaring waters is as far from the truth as you can get. It was directed by the One that said: "Come In" It was being piloted to a safe goal - Mt. Ararat, and a safe landing.
E. So too, when we trust Christ, and come into the ark of safety, we are not left to drift aimlessly upon the tide, but God gives us direction with His Holy Word, and His Holy Spirit. The Word instructs us to stay in the ark of safety, so that we can know the pilot.
He is in the ark and is calling, "Come In."