Summary: The preservation of Noah in the ark is a type of our preservation in Christ.
We’re going to go back a little in Genesis to chapter six because I want to take a look at some details about the ark. The two main themes of the Bible are judgment and redemption, and this chapter is a perfect story which shows us these two themes. The world is destroyed in judgment while Noah is preserved (Jude 1) in the ark. The ark is a type of Christ; those inside it are protected and kept from death.
The whole world is wicked, and God has determined the time has come to destroy them:
And God said unto Noah,
Four things to notice from this verse:
First, God had a plan from the beginning and He revealed it to Noah. This is the same as the gospel. There is no plan B—everything is already planned.
Second, Noah didn’t know anything about what was coming until God told him. We were the same way. We didn’t know about the coming wrath until God made us aware of it and told us how to escape it. It makes me think of Lot in Sodom.
Third, God didn’t reveal His plan or warn the whole world. He told Noah to build an ark so that He can destroy the rest of the people. This is true grace for Noah.
Finally, Noah’s name means rest. Think of it this way: the man who will rest is found in the ark. What a great picture!
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. 14Make thee an ark
Again we see grace. “Everyone is going to perish, but not you. You make an ark.”
The word “ark” simply means “box.” This isn’t a ship, and it has no rudder or sails and not even a steering wheel! The only captain of this box is God, and He’ll take good care of it until the storm is over. This is the just living by faith!
of gopher wood;
No one knows what gopher wood is, but it could be a wood type or a laminate (layered) wood or wood covered in tar. Whatever it is it was designed to keep the water out.
rooms shalt thou make in the ark,
Rooms is always translated “nest” everywhere else (13 times). These are places of rest. You might do better to think of these as stalls that lined the sides of the ark. Have a look at this picture for clarity:
These little rooms were to keep the animals in place during the several months on board.
and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
It’s covered in pitch to make it water-tight. This is the only safe place on earth, and it’s absolutely secure. “Pitch” means to cover, and it makes me think about the blood of Atonement. I don’t know if that’s what God wants us to see here or not, but it is a working parallel.
15And 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.
This is a pretty big box: 100,000 square feet or 522 railroad cars, so thousands of animals can be kept in it. It’s important to remember that Noah probably didn’t take full grown animals because young ones take less space. The main point is that there’s enough space for everything God has ordained will enter. He didn’t lack space for even one.
16A 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;
I don’t think the “window” was a square cut out of the roof. Read it carefully and notice that there’s only one dimension given—“in a cubit shalt thou finish it above.” Imagine the walls going all the way up but stopping just short of the roof (about 17-18 inches). So you’ve got a little overhang from the roof, and just under it (running the entire length of the ark) you’ve got an open space for light and ventilation. Think of the “window” on a chicken house. You can open and close it with a tarp or whatever.
with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
This way there’s plenty of space for all the animals.
17And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,
There’s no mistaking this: God takes full credit for killing every person on the earth. Every baby, every grandmother, and every puppy that died did so as a result of God’s work. Some people really want only a loving, kind, gentle, and pleading God, but the truth is that He is harsh and unrelenting to every person whose name isn’t in His book. Noah found grace, but everyone else perished without mercy.