<<builder of the Ark>>
A righteous, OT man best known for building a large boat or ark, commonly called Noah’s Ark. He was called a preacher of righteousness, but evidently without success (2 Pet 2:5). He lived for 950 years, 350 of which were after the flood. The period during which he lived can’t be confirmed, however it was relatively early in the earth’s history. His story is told in Genesis 5:29-10:32.
God had seen the wickedness of humanity and decided to destroy them from the earth (Gen 6:5-8). He gave Noah detailed instructions for building the ark and saving selected animals. Along with his wife, their three sons and their wives, Noah survived the flood that destroyed all other humans, animals and birds that were not safe inside the ark. He could be called the second ‘father of the human race’ as after the flood, all descendants could trace their ancestors back to Noah, who became an heir of righteousness because of his faith (Heb 11:7). God gave the rainbow as a symbol of His promise He would not destroy the world again by a flood (Gen 9:8-17). The ark was a picture or type of Christ – only those inside were safe.
Lessons from his life: * He was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God (Gen 6:9). In a wicked society, he tried to live according to God’s will. Is the world squashing me into its mould or do I live according to a higher authority (Rom 12:2)?
* God instructed Noah to build an ark...he did all he was commanded to do (Gen 6:12-22, 7:5). God communicated and Noah acted. This was a major undertaking of faith, building a huge boat on dry land with construction understood to have taken 120 years. This called for perseverance and commitment especially in the face of possible ridicule. When God speaks, do we obey and fully carry out His directions until the job is completed, even if mocked or it takes a very long time?
* This account illustrates how mankind should co-operate with God, so together they accomplish the divine plan. Noah did his part, doing as he was directed. Meanwhile God organised the animals and birds to come when the ark was ready. Sometimes we try to fulfill God’s responsibilities while neglecting our own work – the things that we are responsible for like showing love, having good attitudes, building relationships. We should concentrate on doing what He tells us to do. He is more than able to fulfil His side of any agreement.
* The first recorded action Noah did after coming out of the ark was to build an altar and make a sacrifice to God (Gen 8:20). Our thoughts and actions reveal the priority we place on God. We need to ensure tradition and formality does not replace spontaneous, true worship and gratitude for what He has brought us through.
* Noah had been preserved by God because he was a righteous man yet all humanity is biased towards evil. He later disgraced himself and was a poor example of godliness to his sons (Gen 9:20-27). Continually be aware that regardless of how spiritual you are Satan wants to trip you up and tarnish your influence. We sometimes think we have won the battle, settling down and dropping our guard however, the Bible warns this is a dangerous attitude (1 Cor 10:12; 1 Pet 5:8; 2 Pet 3:17).
* “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at Christ’s second coming” (Mt 24:37-39). The unsaved are involved in all sorts of ungodly activities, oblivious to the calamity that will soon overtake them. It is our responsibility to present Christ, seeking to turn them from the error of their ways to the way of life (Jn 14:6; Jas 5:20).
See also: ark, flood, obedience.