Summary: Noah was a man known to do exactly as God told him to do. His obedience saved all of man and the living creatures.
Today we will continue to discuss Noah. We will be looking at the call on his life, God’s provision for this call, and how we benefit from it.
However, as I was proceeding with my studies I pondered how it would have been if Noah had been called to build the ark today. It may have gone like this.
The Lord spoke to Noah and said, “Noah I am going to cover the world with water and all the evil things will be destroyed. But, I want to save a few good people and two of every living thing on the planet. So I want you to build an ark.”
As the sky began to cloud up, and the rain began to fall in torrents, the Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting in his yard, weeping, and there was no ark.
“Noah!” shouted the Lord, “Where is my ark?”
“Lord please forgive me!” begged Noah. “I did my best but there were some problems --- big problems. First, I had to get a building permit for the ark’s construction, but your plans did not meet their code. So, I had to hire an engineer to redo the plans, only to get into a long argument with him about whether to include a fire-sprinkler system.”
“My neighbors objected, claiming that I was violating zoning ordinances by building the ark in my front yard, because it was killing the dandelions --- so I had to get a variance from the city planning board. Then I had a big problem getting enough wood for the ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists and the Fish and Game Commission that I needed the wood to save the owls, but they wouldn’t let me catch them, so no owls.”
“Next, I started gathering up the animals but was sued by an animal rights group that objected to my taking along only two of each kind; they wanted me to save them all. Then the Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed flood plain. So I sent them a globe! The IRS has seized all my assets claiming that I am trying to leave the country, and I just got a notice from the state that I owe some kind of usage tax. Really, I don’t think I can finish the ark in less than five years.”
With that, the sky cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. “You mean You are not going to destroy the world?” he asked hopefully. “No,” said the Lord, “I am too late, the government already has.”
Last week we discovered that God was grieved that He had made man because man had become consistently and totally evil. He also was going to destroy every living animal that walked the earth. But Noah found favor in God’s eyes. God considered Noah righteous because of his faith in God. God considered him blameless because of the intent of his heart. Noah had a close relationship with God that reflected in the way he lived his life.
Because of Noah’s life choices and God’s favor on him, mankind would be saved along with the animals on the earth.
Ponder this for a moment. God knew by allowing Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives to live, sin would once again infect the world. But his love for man, created in his own image, was so great that He allowed his creation to be corrupted once again.
So God comes to Noah with some rather specific instructions.
Genesis 6:14-16 “Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.”
This was basically a rectangular box. It was as long as one and a half football fields, as wide as 1/3 of a football field, and as tall as a seven story building. It is designed for stability. Since it doesn’t have pointed ends and rounded sides, it is one third larger in capacity than an ordinary ship. Some have calculated that it had the capacity to carry five hundred and twenty-two boxcars. Each boxcar could hold 240 average sized animals, for a total of 125 thousand animals.
But the most remarkable thing about the design of this boat was the ratio to which it was built. The ratio was 6 to 1, length to width. Six times longer than it is wide. This same ratio is used when building modern ships. God was the mastermind behind modern shipbuilding.