Noah and the Safety of the ArkLet's focus on God's picture of grace and a glimpse of Jesus in the flood story.
Genesis 6:8 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" KJV. This is the first mention of grace in the Bible. What is grace? Grace is a free gift that is undeserved. The Bible tells us we are saved by grace, through faith, unto good works. Grace has always been and always shall be the only way to be saved. Before the actions of Jesus at the cross, there was not a clearly defined way to grace. The people of the Old Testament had the law of Moses, but the law does not save. The law convicts us of sin and all of us have violated the law at some time in our lives. God knows our hearts and He knew the hearts of the people of the Old Testament. He knows who believes in Him and knows who is deserving of grace. Today we are fortunate in knowing exactly what to do to find grace from God. All we have to do is ask, as you can see in the article “Why am I here?”
At the beginning of Genesis 6 we see that God has had enough with man. Verses 5-6 say, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” God had made the decision to destroy man and all the animals that breathe. But through all the evil in the world, God saw a man worth saving, Noah. God gave Noah a free gift, grace. Where there is sin, there is death. Where there is grace, there is life. God was going to spare the lives of Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives.
God instructed Noah to build a ship. He told Noah how to build it and what materials to use. Wouldn't you like to have a car you knew God designed? Some detractors think the story of Noah is not factual because the ship described could not possibly function as found in Genesis. What fools. Maybe they can’t build such a ship, but Noah did because he had God’s help.
You can imagine the distractions Noah had from the unbelievers while building this ship as he preached about the glory of God to all who would listen. He might have even subcontracted some of the work to his neighbors. Throughout the time of construction Noah’s faith never wavered.
Eventually the time for the flood came and God said, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark” Genesis 7:1 KJV. God was already inside the ship. Safety was inside the ship. When Noah, his family, and all the animals and food were inside “Then the Lord shut him in” Genesis 7:16 NIV. There was only one door and God shut it. Noah and his family were saved from the flood inside the ark. God invited them in with Him and sealed them in. This is the same process described in the New Testament when we are saved. Jesus invites us to live with Him and he seals us in. When we are saved in Jesus and no one can take us away from Him. He seals us with His blood. When God looks at us he does not see our sin, He only sees the blood of Jesus. We are sealed in Christ, Noah was sealed in the ark with God.
One last very interesting fact in this story. Genesis 8:3-4 NIV says “At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.” If you take the time to read the story of the flood, you will see specific days of specific months mentioned sometimes, but not always. The story also mentions events occurring over a period of days. Not all events are presented in precise calendar terms but there are enough clues to get a good picture of the length of time from the start of the rain to the day Noah left the ark. So what is the significance of the 17th day of the 7th month? Glad you asked because this is fascinating. The ark came to rest but it was not dry enough to come out until the 27th day of the 2nd month. But when that ark came to rest on the underwater mountain, Noah must have known that the end was in sight. He was safe. The pain of this world was not over, but he was saved when he was no longer drifting along. Safety in the ark.
Something else happened thousands of years later on this same exact day. The Jewish calendar begins in October. The 17th day of the 7th month is April 17th. Passover is April 14th, so it’s not that significant event. So does the Bible tell something about April 17th? Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples. That day He was arrested. At daybreak on April 15th the council of the elders tried Him for blasphemy. Later on April 15th Jesus died on the cross. He spent the next day, April 16th dead and buried in the tomb. The glorious thing happened the next morning. God raised Jesus from the dead. God rolled back the door to the tomb and Jesus walked out. The resurrection of Jesus occurred on April 17th, the same day that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Wow.
You can believe every word of the Bible. God makes a lot of promises in the Bible and He keeps all His promises. God promised to save Noah from the flood and He used the ark to do it. Noah had faith in God and was saved by grace. Jesus offers you grace -- all you have to do is ask. He has made you a promise and you can believe it.
These Kingdom Servants pages are written and maintained by Ken Pugh
Revised February 15, 2009