Gen. 6:14 (NIV)
Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.
One of the great heroes of God's word in the Old Testament was Noah. This example of faith lived during a very difficult time, when the people of the world were so wicked that the thoughts of their hearts were only evil continually and that God determined to destroy the earth with a flood. But Noah was a man who found grace in God's sight because he was just, perfect in his generations, and one that walked with God. Therefore, God determined to save Noah and his family and commanded him.
There was only one door to the ark. God told Noah to put it there in Genesis 6:16. Its purpose is quite evident. "On the very same day Noah and Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark. . . .So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in" (Gen. 7:13-16). There had to be a way by which Noah, his family, and all the animals that God had commanded to be taken could enter into the ark and be shut in by God for their protection. Once the door was shut, there was no other way in.
Similarly, as the church is God's ark for us, there is only one door into it. In a different context, but making the same basic point, Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. . . . I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture" (Jn. 10:7-9). This truth is reinforced by many other passages of Scripture. Christ also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). In Matthew 7:13-14, the Lord described two basic ways. One is broad, with a wide gate and room for many different routes. But it leads to destruction. The other is narrow or confined, with a gate that is strait or difficult. And only that way will lead to eternal life.
God commanded Noah to build an ark. How did Noah respond? "Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him so he did" (Gen. 6:22). The result of this obedience is revealed for us in Hebrews 11:7. "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." Noah was not saved by "faith only" as some claim we can be saved. He was saved by a faith that prompted him to do everything exactly as God had told him to do.
We need to remember that Noah had to build the ark after a pattern and that God has commanded us. We must also realize that as salvation in Noah's day was available only in the ark, so salvation today is offered to mankind only in the church. And let us understand that the only door into God's ark for us, the church, is through Jesus Christ by coming to Him for forgiveness of our sins and being baptized unto Him. These are simple, basic lessons. But they are recorded for our learning that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope (Rom. 15:4).
Dear Lord, we thank You for the faithfulness of Noah. We pray that we likewise would be faithful with the task You have before us, to bring others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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