Noah’s Ark

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This year at the BCEC, we’ve set off on a journey through the Old Testament, and no longer have we cast off from shore, then we arrive at the story of Noah’s ark. On one hand it’s a story of God’s judgement, and on the other hand it’s a picture of God’s mercy. And it’s that dichotomy that can make it difficult to wrestle with ā€“ especially when we try to engage with it in a logical, grown-up manner.

And as I listened to James preach on the Noah this week, no further than 10 minutes into the message, i was struck by something new.

Noah, as righteous as he was, could not save humanity. God used him to save the human race, but he could not save humanity. The story of the ark is God’s mercy to save creation, one of each kind of living creature ā€“ mankind included.

And in doing so, you might think that this gives humanity a fresh start. Take one good man, and start all over again – surely that would be enough to recreate life?

But in reality, the saving of one good man, is not enough to save the soul of humanity. It’s a new beginning, but one that is still inherently flawed. Man’s heart is still subject to the brokenness that comes with sin. And every generation since has struggled with that brokenness. And no amount of personal goodness, scientific breakthrough, glorious achievement can change that very fact.

The story of Noah’s Ark highlights the fact that saving something broken, doesn’t fix it. It’s like, restarting a virus infected computer, doesn’t fix the virus – it just starts it all over again.

But Jesus, Jesus is in many ways the “anti-noah.” Well, maybe not “anti-noah”, rather he is the antidote. Where Noah is one life saved at the cost of many, Jesus is the story of one life given for the saving of many. Whereas Noah, a good man, was put into an ark, to start life again. Jesus, a great man, was put into a tomb, to die for all. And Noah, a good man, could not save the rest of humanity. Only Jesus, a perfect man, through his death, saves all who believe.

The tying thread here is faith. Put your confidence in Christ, and be saved. But deny him, and deny salvation. As we see through noah, just being good, isn’t good enough. It won’t save you, and it won’t save humanity. When judgement comes, and it will come, where will your confidence be found? In your own goodness, or in the goodness of Christ?

3 Responses to "Noah’s Ark"
  1. George says:

    Good point. So why do through the while Noah and flooding business in the first place? To show highlight the point that to save humanity takes more than just wiping out the bad eggs? Oh it’s a good women too to recreat life!

  2. George says:

    I can’t type it’s too early!

  3. bert says:

    hi george,
    8.28.. too early? šŸ™‚ lucky you.

    Good question — and if i’m understanding you correctly it’s why does God bother sending the flood to destroy the world in the first place?

    I think the answer comes in verse 5 & 6 – “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”

    Mankind had gotten to a state, where evil was so pervasive that “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Can you imagine that sort of scenario? Absolutely lawless, merciless, corrupt, full of hate, violence and destruction. You can imagine the atrocities of the Nazi’s, Pol Pot, Stalin, Milsovec – but multiplied across all the civilisations at the time.

    If God does not do anything, we would complain that he is completely unjust. And yet, if he exercises his judgement we will complain that he is merciless. We want to be saved, but on our own terms.

    Does it seem dramatic? To nearly wipe out humanity to start again? It seems dramatic to us, because we can’t see into people’s hearts, or even into the historical scenario. We’re left to imagine and author what it must have been like. On top of that, we see things from a very personal point of view – the thinking that our individual relationship with God is the most important thing. When in reality, God is the omnipotent one.

    I’m not sure that completely answers your questions, but those are some additional thoughts I have on the passage.

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