16x20 acrylic on canvas, painted at Carolina Memorial Baptist Church, Thomasville, NC
Is Noah's ark a myth, a fairy tale, or is it a factual account recorded in the bible? Our children are being bombarded with the notion that the earth is millions of years old and the geologic structure of the earth is the result of millions of years worth of erosion. However, the bible states the contrary. So, which set of lenses will we look at the evidence with...will we examine the evidence with a secular worldview or with a biblical worldview?
lots of water.
So, with this little God given illustration, we can see the devastating effects that a lot of water can have on the structure of the earth...which brings us back to Noah.
Get in the boat boys, the crick's a swellin!
Due to man's wickedness and corruption of the earth, God warned Noah of a coming judgment. He instructed Noah on how to escape His wrath...build a boat.
One reason why so many children, even adults, find the concept of all these animals, along with Noah and 7 of his family members, being able to fit on the ark is due to the misconceptions we have of the ark. Most art or representations of the ark look like this:
If we go by the bible's description and use a little common sense, we can see that Noah's ark is very believable.
The ark's dimensions are 300 cubits long (approx. 450'), 50 cubits wide (75') and 30 cubits tall (45'), Genesis 6:15. It was to be 3 stories tall and have a window finished above the ark, 1 cubit (it doesn't give the length of the window, so we can assume it ran the length of the ark's top...like a modern day ridge vent). The space of the ark is big enough to hold 522 railroad boxcars.
What about all the animals?
Another misconception is that Noah would've had to take thousands and thousands of large animals. 2 German shepherds, 2 chiwawas, 2 golden retrievers, etc... This is not the case, though. He took 2 of every kind, 7 of the clean animal kinds. He only had to take 2 of a generic canine kind...probably something like a wolf. We get all of our different types of dogs from inbreeding and selective breeding.
Something else to consider, seeing that Noah was 600 years old (I imagine he was a pretty smart guy), he most likely didn't take full grown adult animals. He probably took young animals...old enough to keep themselves, but small enough not to take up much room. And, since young animals sleep a lot, especially when in a confined space, they probably weren't much to keep up. Given this, the average size animal is the size of a sheep. You can fit 240 sheep on one railroad boxcar, which means you could fit 50,000 animals on 209 boxcars...which is not even half of the ark.
What does the flood teach us, today?
First, it teaches us that God is good and He's a God of justice. Because God is good, He must punish sin. For instance, if someone hurt your family member, and you took the criminal to court...if the judge let them go free, he would not be a good judge. A good judge upholds justice.
This was the case in the flood. Mankind had corrupted his ways on the earth. So God had to punish the wickedness. However, the good news is that God showed a man named Noah, grace. He gave Noah some undeserved favor by showing him a way of escape...through the ark.
In the same way, Jesus Christ has provided a way of escape from God's wrath. There is a coming judgment day, but all who are in Christ will be spared. To be in Christ is to fully trust Him...to find your all satisfaction in Him...not just believing in Him as a historical figure. Salvation is not found in any "repeated prayer" or the fact that you "asked Jesus into your heart" at whatever age, or any other religious activity you might have done. Salvation is in a Person...Jesus Christ. All who were on the ark were saved, as all who are IN CHRIST will also be saved. Find your refuge IN HIM.
We'd like to give a special thanks to Carolina Memorial Baptist Church in Thomasville, NC for allowing us the opportunity to minister. The painting at the top is my 15-20 minute rendition of Noah's ark that I completed while the children sang. Below is another painting of Noah's ark I completed several years ago...prints are available, just visit my website: www.jeremysams.com
For more info on Noah's ark, visit Answers in Genesis.