The ark was finished, and God directs Noah to go inside with his household. God sees righteousness which is extraordinary in that generation. God gives Noah some details about taking some additional animals. These animals were to be clean animals. How the distinction between the clean and unclean was made in this early period is not clear. Apparently, Noah understood, and he did not require further instruction. These animals would be used for sacrifice after the flood, food during the flood, and the reproduction of clean animals after the flood. God tells Noah that there were only seven days left before the rains would begin and last for forty days and forty nights. Noah obeys all that Lord commanded him.
Noah's obedience was not only personal; it was influential. Noah's wife, sons, and sons' wives also comply with God's directive. The ark would be their salvation and safety. God's lesser creatures display more obedience as they boarded the ark. God's promises are always true, and the rain began seven days later. At six hundred years old, Noah experiences the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven simultaneously. The waters began to rise, and the ark rose high above the earth. The mountains were submerged to a depth of fifteen cubits and water prevailed upon the earth for the next 150 days. God had shut Noah and all his passengers in the ark for salvation always belongs to the Lord.
Imagine the devastation taking place outside the ark. It is as if when we read the story, we take no thought of the magnitude of the loss of life. The story does not mention the events taking place outside the ark, but it is not difficult to imagine the cries of despair accompanying the death struggle of both man and beast or the terror of families as they flee the flood waters and seek higher ground. The last frantic breaths of husbands, wives, and children. This judgment is the complete and utter extinction of everything with the breath of life in it. The wrath of a holy God cannot be imagined no matter how vivid the description. Finally, it is solemn, desolate, and silent. The ark floats safely protected from the carnage that took place. The inhabitants of the ark received God's mercy and found favor. God had provided everything necessary for their salvation. Salvation always belongs to the Lord.
The story of Noah is a Sunday School classic that usually comes home with art and animals. Nurseries are decorated with this story as the theme. However, to look at this as only a whimsical children's story is to neglect what the story tells us occurred. The account of the flood is a frightening story that should shake us into a sober awareness of the truth that sin brings the judgment, wrath, and death. The story of Noah is a picture of the gospel. Think about humanity. People argue about the condition of humankind. We know the world is broken and we see the effects of sin but what about individuals? Are people inherently good or bad? Is it nature or nurture? Is it something else? The Bible tells us the answer. Humanity suffers from the malady and monster called sin. People are not good. People are sinful, and they rebel against God, creation, and one another.
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” (Romans 3:10–11, ESV)
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, ESV)
The truth about sin is bad news, but there is good news. God, who is gracious, provides a way of escape from the wrath and judgment of a holy God. God's rescue plan for you is specific just like the detailed plans for the ark. God has fixed another day of judgment and salvation through Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved. Heed the warning, repent of your sin, trust God, and find security and rest in Jesus Christ.
Things To Consider:
- How did God see Noah's righteousness?
- Why is God's wrath so complete?
- What can we learn about Noah's family by this?
- Where do we see God's sovereignty in this passage?
- What sort of Genesis is happening in this story?