Genesis 7 - Imagine how many trees Noah cut down to build the Ark.
Methuselah, whose name we have seen means "When he dies, judgment" was on his deathbed. God’s grace in giving man time to repent was drawing to a close. In Genesis 7 the entire earth is flooded. This isn’t a local flood. This is big.
Imagine how many trees Noah cut down to build the Ark. In our days he would have had the tree conservation people trying to stop him. In his day, there was so much wickedness on the face of the earth that he probably had trouble with people trying to steal his tools, heckling him and throwing stones when he preached to them. We can only imagine how tough it was to build that thing. It took nearly 100 years to make.
I love the way God says to Noah, "Come into the Ark" (Genesis 7:1) not "Go into the Ark". To me that says that God was indicating to Noah that He was inside. The outside would experience great judgment but God’s presence and grace would be on the inside. They had to choose to walk into that thing but once they did, I noticed God closed the door in Genesis 7:16. No turning back.
What about you? God says "Come" a lot in Scripture. He wants us to respond to Him. Noah was saved from the coming judgment by coming into the ark. We can be saved from the coming judgment by coming to Christ and believing in Him. Come under His authority and trust Him today.
In Isaiah 1:18 (NLT) God says "Come now, let’s settle this," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool."
Jesus says "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
It’s interesting that Noah took 7 of every clean animal and only 2 of every unclean animal. Notice the numbers. Not just 2 by 2. And what is this clean animal and unclean animal thing? We are not told but it seems clean animals were those which could be domesticated and used for sacrifice. Moses is probably writing this and so this could be one of his edits. He categorized clean and unclean animals in the Laws that were developed much later, but Noah probably had to have it explained by God.
The world was given an extra week to repent in Genesis 7:4. Noah was given a week to get things sorted out and perhaps time to mourn the death of Methuselah, and then it was on.
And how did he get all the animals on board. Can you imagine trying to get wild tigers on board? You’d have to keep certain animals separated. It all seems a bit difficult to imagine. At least the movie Evan Almighty helps you to picture it a bit better although the theology is twisted. The passage just simply says they came. Reminds me of "If you build it they will come" from the movie called "Field of Dreams". Apparently God did all the work concerning the animals. Noah built it. God did the rest.
Where did all the water come from? Even raining 40 days and 40 nights wouldn’t flood the entire earth? Notice Genesis 7:11 where it says "all the fountains of the deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened." So subterranean water was involved in this too. This was a mighty upheaval of the earth’s surface.
What caused it? The tilting of the earth’s axis? Meteorites? Aliens? (just joking), or how about a miracle by the hand of God. He made the earth. He can flood the earth. Whatever started the process, it was the subterranean waters that came up from the earth as well as the rain that contributed to the deluge. One thing is sure - this was not your average rainstorm. And this was no local flood. It was a world destroying, universal flood.
It rained 40 days and nights. Somehow 40 in the Bible has become significant ...Moses was in the mountain receiving the law of God for forty days and nights (Exodus 24:18), Elijah fasted for forty days and nights (1 Kings 19:8), Nineveh was given forty days to repent (Jonah 3:4), Jesus fasted for forty days before He faced the devil’s temptations (Matthew 4:2), Jesus was on earth for forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3).
Someone wrote "Everything I need to know about life I learned from Noah’s Ark... One: Don’t miss the boat. Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat. Three: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. Four: Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Five: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. Six: Keep your business afloat. Seven: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs. Eight: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. Nine: When you’re stressed, float a while. Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals! Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting. Twelve: Watch the Woodpeckers.
But the water didn’t start to subside for 150 days and by that time the whole of the earth was drastically changed. Ever been through a flood? Well it was much worse than anything you could imagine. But tell me "Would you have been on the Ark?" God says the basis for coming onto the Ark was righteousness, the opposite to wickedness. It doesn’t depend on man’s righteousness which is flawed. It depends on exchanging our sinfulness for Christ’s righteousness. In involves coming to the Cross and committing your life to Christ. Have you done that?
God bless you Church as you learn the lessons from Noah. Find God’s presence in the midst of the storm. Let God close the door on your past. Wait for God’s timing. Make good use of today.