Our ‘ark’ of salvation

Recently I, along with some family members, visited the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. What an awesome experience! The ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high. It has 3.3 million board feet of timber, is the biggest timber-frame structure in the world, and was closely built to Bible specifications. Staring up at the ark I stood in total amazement, shaking my head in wonder! In my mind’s eye, I could envision the ORIGINAL ARK bobbing about as the water belched from the earth’s bowels, and the windows of heaven unleased a lashing downpour, causing the waters to rise higher and higher. (Genesis 7:20) Within, God had secured Noah and his family, along with clean and unclean animals. While walking through the replicated ark’s lower, middle and upper decks, I was astonished by its vastness. I could almost ‘hear’ the dinosaurs roar along with vocalizations of other animal species. Clearly, some guesswork went into depicting this ark’s interior, since little is provided in the Bible concerning this matter. Nevertheless, by God’s instructions, the original ark would have been spacious, with many rooms, allowing comfortable family living quarters, and housing for the many animals.

As I walked through this replica, I thought about how the antediluvians (people before the flood) would have perceived Noah’s Ark. In three words… a useless monstrosity. They would have considered Noah to be mad as he labored approximately 120 years, board by board (gopher wood), being careful to apply waterproof covering of pitch both inside and outside, being mindful to be obedient to God’s instructions (Genesis 6:14,15). I imagined the people shaking their heads as Noah pounded peg after wooden peg into the Ark, and their irate expressions when Noah preached about God, and likely, the looming judgment.

Standing in front of the ark’s huge door, I pictured the animals, large and small, entering into Noah’s Ark as God commanded them to do so (Genesis 7:9). With emotion, I visualized the peoples’ panic as the earth suddenly began to split beneath their feet, water gushing everywhere. At the same time water poured from above causing them to frantically run toward the Ark, fists clenched, furiously pounding on the door, screaming in desperation to be saved. It was too late! The door had been closed by the very hand of God. (Genesis 7:15,16) Judgment had arrived!

With such thoughts, I wonder if people recognize the importance of the ORIGINAL ARK, and the lessons to be learned from it! Too frequently, Noah’s Ark biblical account is considered nothing more than a kiddie story with Noah being nothing more than a fabled character. Not true! The New Testament mentions Noah as an historical person (I Peter 3:20; II Peter 2:5), and in Hebrews 11:7 he is listed as a great man of faith. Building of the Ark is testimony to Noah’s faith and obedience to God (Genesis 6:22).

My thoughts then turned to what grieved God when He looked upon His creation (Genesis 6:6), causing Him to instruct Noah to build an ark. “… God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” (Genesis 6:12) All humanity had destroyed themselves because they wanted nothing to do with God. “…every imagination of the thoughts of his (man’s) heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) ‘And God said unto Noah,…………. for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:13) Sin ruled in the antediluvians pleasure-driven culture. Then Judgment came… and judgment WILL come again. Not in the form of global flooding, but in earth-shattering destruction covering seven-years; the last half of that period far worse than the first half. This destruction called the Tribulation Period will occur after the Rapture (believers caught up to meet the Lord – I Thessalonians 4:16-17), and BEFORE the Second Coming of Christ.

Although no one knows God’s time table (Matthew 24:36), consider Jesus’ words. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37) Think! Arewe not witnessing the very same depravity, the same evil hearts, the same rejection of God as in Noah’s days? Biblical doctrines are being perverted, atheism has roughly doubled since 2007 (Pew Research), immoral sexual appetites are being glorified and legalized, and terrorism and street violence are increasing alarmingly. Are the prophesized signs (Matthew 24) preceding Jesus’ Second Coming not escalating: wars and rumors of war, Christian persecution, severe weather conditions, false teachers, and apostasy? But born-again believers have no need to worry for we are forever sheltered in God’s eternal ‘ark’ of salvation! An ‘ark’ not covered with pitch, but covered with the shed blood of Jesus Christ! “…..we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Ephesians 1:7)

The antediluvians refused to heed the warnings, God closed the door, and they were eternally lost. But for thousands of years God has left the ‘ark’ of salvation’s door wide open. That door is JESUS!

“I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved….” (John 10:9)

“ENTER IN” before it’s TOO late!

Nancy Hamilton lives in Marietta. You can submit a Thoughts of Faith viewpoint to jhoutman@mariettatimes.com

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