A Solemn and Comforting Encounter at Noah’s Ark
A Solemn and Comforting Encounter at Noah’s Ark
At the Ark
Last month I had the opportunity visit the Ark Encounter in Williamston, KY. I experienced several emotions as I walked through the different levels of the vessel, watched a video of an interview with Noah, and participated in a virtual reality production of what it may have been like to be on the ark during the flood.
I have read, and believed, the account of the worldwide flood as recorded in Scripture. However being on this huge replica helped me comprehend the reality of this event in a new way. I was reminded me of being in Jerusalem and how that pilgrimage brought the Bible to life. I had known that Jesus had lived and died in that blessed land, but walking where he walked made it much more real.
My first emotion was a solemn one as the realization of a catastrophe of this magnitude sank in deeper into my consciousness. This historical event really happened. God had decreed this was going to come to pass, and it did, just as He said.
“God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.’” (Genesis 6:13-18)
Jesus spoke of these days, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-27)
People died. The world was destroyed. Other judgments occurred later at Babel, and in Egypt when the false gods were found wanting during the exodus. Future judgments await those of us on the earth today. This is extremely sobering.
My second emotion was a sense of calm assurance. The Ark is a testimony that God cares for His people. Several thousand years ago during a worldwide catastrophe, God preserved Noah and his family. Just standing in this huge vessel was faith building and comforting. Our faithful God provided a way of escape for His children. While multitudes of men and animals were perishing, they were safe inside the ark.
Peter describes God’s ability to rescue His people while punishing the ungodly in his second letter. “If he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes He condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” (2 Peter 2:5-9)
My encounter at the Ark not only reinforced what I knew about God’s Word, it also taught me more about the nature and character of God.
Jesus, the Door
On the middle decks there is a large door. I have attached a photo of yours truly in front of it so you have an idea how large it is. When I saw that door, I thought of Jesus, who is the door, “I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
I also saw Jesus as the one who closed the door. For He and the Father have pledged to keep their sheep. “I give them eternal life, 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.” (John 10:28-29)
Jesus, the loving Pursuer and Preacher
When Jesus died and was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God, He made a visit to the spirits in prison. There was a preaching service for the poor deluded souls who had drowned in the flood.
“Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which He went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.” (1 Peter 3:18-20)
These poor souls met the risen Christ. They were pursued by the good Shepherd, just as we have been. Isaiah 26:9 reminds us that “when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” A multitude of people learned righteousness during this great flood and now it seems they had another chance. This is our wonderful God who uses even catastrophes to draw people to Himself.
Yahweh, the King
As I was preparing to write this newsletter I was seeking God and He brought this Scripture to mind.
“Yahweh sat as King at the Flood; Yea, Yahweh sitteth as King for ever. Yahweh will give strength unto His people; Yahweh will bless His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:10-11 ASV)
Our King sits. As the King of Kings, He reigns alone and He reigns supreme. He is not wringing his hands or wondering about the outcome of the affairs of this world. He is confident. He knows the end from the beginning. He rules in wisdom and might. He ruled in the affairs of men in Genesis and He rules in our world today.
“Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Yahweh is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)
As I dug a little deeper I discovered that the name Noah comes from the root word for rest. Like Noah, we can each rest in the knowledge and assurance that our God is seated on His throne. He sits as King forever. He gives His people strength and peace. Amen.
His Banner over us is Love
At the end of the virtual reality production there was a scene where the ark was resting on a high mountain and water was streaming in rivers and streams into a verdant valley below. Above the ark was a magnificent rainbow. It was so beautiful that I could only weep.
“‘I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’” (Genesis 9:15-17)
What a good King we serve. He protected His children. He fulfilled His Word. And He used the righteous judgment on the world to draw people to Himself. He is loving, merciful, and omnipotent. I worship Him!
Recent podcasts are posted here.
291 Hallowed be Thy Name, 292 Adventures on the Road, and Knowing God leads to Bearing Fruit for God, 293 God has exalted above all things, His Name and His Word.
If you live near Northwest PA come see Steve this Thursday, October 7 and experience Homeschool Day at Miracle Mountain Ranch.
May we each increase in our reverence for God and be comforted by how He preserves his people,