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Study the Master Theme of the BibleChrist in Old Testament Index
Genesis 6-9 The Ark of Salvation
Depravity of the world in Noah's time (Genesis 6:1-12) is summarized for us by Moses with these words: "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth" (vv. 5, 11-12).
God took the initiative to save Noah and his family (v. 13). "Then God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.'"
God planned the ark as a means of safety for Noah and his family. There is no hint that Noah anticipated the flood until God revealed it to him. Things were going along as normal before God spoke to him. The ark was planned by God alone to save the elect family (Genesis 6:14-22). Our salvation is no accident. Sin did not catch God off guard. Ephesians 1:4, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him." The names of the redeemed have been "written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain" (Revelation 13:8).
Salvation for Noah and his family was by grace alone. Noah was also a sinner, however he found grace in God's sight. Relative to his generation he was a righteous man. 2 Peter 2:5, God "did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly . . ." God in His wondrous grace took the initiative to save us "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God" (1 Peter 1:19-21).
We, too, live in an evil day that could be described with the same words of the days preceding the deluge in Genesis 6:5, 7-8, 11-12. God in His grace had reached down to us and saved us because it was the desire of His heart. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Christ is our ark of safety from the wrath of God.
God revealed to Noah the coming judgment (6:13). "God said." Hebrews 11:7 tells us Noah believed God's word. "By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." Faith comes from the Word of God. We must heed God's warning in His Word. We must take God at His word and believe what He says about His Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:9-10
The ark was the only means of escape and there was only one door to enter the ark (6:16). Jesus used the analogy of the door to stress the fact that He is the only entrance into the Kingdom of God. Jesus said, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:9). Again He stressed, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (14:6). The Apostle Peter proclaimed, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). All may come, but they have to come through the only door of salvation.
Once Noah and his family got into the ark they were perfectly safe. They were the only ones to escape (Genesis 7:1). God was in the ark with them. There were no causalities. They were all perfectly safe. Noah, his family and the animals were save in the ark. A year later we are told in 8:18-19, "So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark." Regarding our own salvation Jesus said to his disciples, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (John 10:27-30). Jesus is in the ark and it cannot sink. When we are in the ship with Jesus, we will never sink.
Many interpreters have noted the Hebrew word in Genesis 6:14 is not the common one for "pitch, (zettet)," but kapher meaning "to cover." Nowhere else in the Old Testament is it rendered "pitch." Everywhere else it is translated "to make atonement." By covering it inside and out with "pitch" the ark was waterproofed. We have been protected from the wrath of God by the perfect covering that comes from Jesus Christ. Our shelter from God's wrath is found only beneath the blood of Jesus. 1 John 1:7 says, "if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." "Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:14).
There is urgency for us to enter the ark now. Once the door is shut, no one else can enter in. "Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him" (Genesis 7:16).
We have been redeemed "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:19). That is the only covering that will protect us from the wrath of God.
Title: Genesis 6-9 The Ark of Salvation
Series: Christ in the Old Testament
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
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Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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