What is this ark? Ark just seems like such a funny word to me. Why not just say boat?
The Hebrew word is tebah. It means vessel, and is used 28 times in scripture; mostly in the context of Noah's boat. However, it is also the same word used for the basket in which Moses was floated on the Nile by his mom. The word tebah carries the concept of protecting its contents while floating upon water. It is interesting to note that a completely different Hebrew word is used for the Ark of the Covenant.
The ark was made of gopherwood, covered in pitch both inside and outside. What will this do? It would preserve it. Pitch is oil. Something that was and is plentiful in the Middle East.
The Hebrew word for pitch is kapar. It is a word that means atonement, or covering. The root word is the same one used for Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. Also, Orthodox Jewish men today wear a kippah, or covering, on their heads.
And oil is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit of God.
Almost right away, we can see that Noah's ark is a picture of salvation. More on that in an upcoming post.
And what is gopherwood? Nobody knows. The Hebrew word gofer is only used once in all of scripture. It was possibly a species of wood that is no longer available in our post-flood world.
The ark, when finished, would be a football stadium and a half long! It was also quite wide and tall... it would reach all the way up to the cheap seats! It contained a lower, second, and third deck with a window up top. It was built like a barge, made to float on top of the water. Oil tankers are still built like the ark today. It was unsinkable. Unlike the Titanic.
|Ark replica at the Creation Museum|
Peppered among God's ark instructions were His warnings. Verse 17 says,
And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.
Noah was then given instructions on who and what to bring on the boat.
First, eight people. Eight people on the ark is a picture of a new beginning. And the LORD promised Noah that He would establish His covenant with him.
And then animals... God brought the animals to Noah supernaturally. Two by two, they just showed up. Mind blowing!
|Animals showing up at the ark|
And then food. Noah had to plan for a lot of food; enough to feed his family and all those animals for a long period of time.
And the last verse of chapter 6 tells us that Noah did exactly as was told. How refreshing.
Obedience equals righteousness. We know that Abraham obeyed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Noah did the same thing.
It is tragic that the world had become so wicked and corrupted, and that God needed to press the reset button. Ten generations had passed from Adam to Noah. The number 10 is a picture of a time of testing, and of righteous government. But other than Noah and his family, there was no righteousness in the world.
Random thought: Does anyone else think it's odd to decorate a baby's nursery with this story of death and destruction?
|It's cute and all, but hmmm.|
The gospels of Matthew and Luke both compare the last days to the time of Noah. Widespread wickedness will abound. Luke's gospel even adds the days of Lot. We haven't reached the story of Lot yet in Genesis, but most people know what those days of Lot entail, culminating in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And look around our world. We are there.
The time before the flood was a chance for people to repent before judgment came to earth. God gave this chance because of His mercy and grace. Sadly, nobody outside of Noah's family took Him up on it. Methuselah,the longest living person ever, is a picture of God's longsuffering. Remember, Methuselah means his death shall bring. The LORD waited until Methuselah's death before sending the flood.
Today, God is still extending His mercy and grace to a wicked world through Yeshua the Messiah. And this time around, escape from judgment is not limited to eight people, but includes boatloads (pun intended) who are accepting His mercy and grace. The Messiah is opening many eyes in these last days, before His soon and awesome return!
For my next post in this series, click here.