Monday, February 7, 2011

Genesis 6:14-22 PART 2

Good morning, gang!

I wanted to revisit the verses that talk about how Noah was to build the ark, because there is some significance in them. Because most of us have known this story since childhood (probably first saw it on flannel board as toddlers...), we tend to see it in a cartoon version in our minds. We see a round Noah with a long white beard and some cute pairs of animals, including two giraffe heads sticking out of the top of the ark! This makes it harder for us to grasp the reality, I think. So I wanted to look at some of the technical things about the ark.

First, if we assume 18 inches to a cubit (which seems to be, according to Jon Courson, what most accept), then the ark was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, with three stories, or about 97,000 square feet. Noah was told to coat the ark with "pitch," inside and out. Courson says this word "pitch" is the Hebrew word, kapher, which is translated in seventy other passages in the Old Testament as "atonement." Noah and his family were being saved from destruction and "sealed" in with this pitch, even as we are "sealed" in Christ through His atonement for our sin. Noah was to put in a window, for light, and only one door on the side. As Courson says, there was no back entrance or emergency exit. There was only one way in, even as Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father.

Jon Courson says that the 97,000 square feet was the equivalent to 520 boxcars. He calculates more than 35,000 species of animals, including reptiles and birds, with an average size of a full-grown sheep, would take up only about 240 boxcars, leaving plenty of room for Noah and his family and the food and supplies.

Again, verse 22 tells us, Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Courson wonders, what if Noah had not obeyed? We would not be here! But his obedience points to an even greater obedience of an even greater Carpenter: Jesus' obedience unto death on the cross. Courson finds these parallels: Noah held a hammer in his hand, while Jesus absorbed the blows of a hammer upon his hands; Noah built with wood, while Jesus was pinned to wood; Noah constructed a door, while Jesus said, "I am the Door;" Noah covered the ark in pitch, while Jesus covers us with His blood. All who entered the ark were saved. Jesus is our Ark, and all who would be saved must enter into a relationship with Him.

What happens if you and I don't obey God? What are the effects to those around us? Noah's obedience saved his family and the animals. What might happen if you and I did not obey God in giving up whatever he's asking us to give up? What if we don't do what we know He's been nudging or outright telling us to do? And conversely, what would happen in our families if we decided to obey - if they saw in us a wholehearted giving over of ourselves to God (Rom 12:1-2)? Hmmm...

Tomorrow we'll read about the animals and Noah's family entering the ark.

Have a great day!

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