Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3* PART 3 *BOOK 2
Noah: The Ark of Security
Genesis 6:1 – 7:7
The Bible says lets “buy up the time”, so we want to use every minute we possibly can. Turn to Genesis chapter 6. Come back to verse 13 just to recap a little bit.
We mentioned in the last lesson that the standard of living, the technology just before the Flood was probably equal to or even surpassing where we are today. And, I know this is something hard to swallow for a lot of people. But, as an example, the legend of the sunken city, or the sunken continent of Atlantis. I don’t think that is all just fabrication. I think there was a civilization of Atlantis and God saw fit to totally remove it from the scene.
Along with their tremendous standard of living and their technology; morally and spiritually as the Bible said, they became so corrupt. They became so wicked. They became so violent. Murder was just running rampant and God said, I am going to have to bring it to an end. So, let’s pick that up in verse 13.
“And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
Now, watch that last prepositional phrase! He’s not just going to destroy man. In other words, it isn’t just a matter of killing the life, but He’s going to destroy the planet! The whole surface of the earth is going to be totally; I like to use the expression, turned inside out. It’s going to be totally destroyed. We will see that in just a little bit. Now verse 14. The instruction to Noah is:
“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”
I never like to just hurry through these verses in the Old Testament because Paul says in Romans 15 that “all these things were written for our learning.” I always maintain that you do not get doctrine back here but we get the learning. We get the foundation. I like to make the analogy between Bible Study or becoming a Bible student and our secular education. How many computer scientists would ever become a computer scientist without third and fourth grade arithmetic? Impossible! So no matter what professional discipline someone ends up in, he had to get his basics of education back there in grade school.
It is the same way in the Scripture. In fact, it is rather interesting. For years I had a good missionary friend. They go to these tribal people, the uncivilized people. And, they would immediately approach them with the Gospel of Mark. For a long time when he would come home on furlough, I would question that and say “How can you approach these totally ignorant people, immediately with the Gospel and have them comprehend?” Well, he said, it seems to work. But it must not because here a few years ago, and I like to think I may have had a part in it, that Mission Board went to what they call the chronological teaching of the Bible.
In other words, they take these uncivilized people that they have brought out of the jungle and they begin to reduce the language to writing. It is a long process, but they are finding that it works. They start back in Genesis and they take these ignorant, uncivilized types and they teach them the whole chronological unfolding of the Old Testament. Bring them into the New and then they present the Gospel.
And I agree with that whole heartedly because I have had people who have come into my classes who knew nothing of the Word of God. Well, the first thing that I do not do is try to twist their arm to be saved. Because I just don’t think that this is the way to do it. There has to be a time of preparation. The Holy Spirit has to do His work. So, I don’t get into a hurry. I have had some instances where people came to my class for a year, a year and a half or two years, before they actually got to the place they were ready to make that step of faith.
Noah, now, is being approached by God to do something that has never been done before. And, that is to make an Ark or a boat that would survive a flood. You want to remember, it has never rained before! But, what made Noah do it? Let’s go back again to the book of Hebrews chapter 11. We call it the great Faith chapter. Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6. We allude to it quite often.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him:…”(God)
No matter how good we are, mo matter how schooled we are or anything else, if there is no faith in it, God will have nothing to do with it. He demands faith!
“…for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Now verse 7, we have an example.) By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet,…”
What’s he talking about? It had never rained! How can you have a flood if it has never rained? Remember back in Genesis 1 told you that the earth was watered from beneath and there was no weather. It was a perfect environment. A perfect climate. It was constant from pole to pole. Remember all that as we studied it back in chapter 1. Now all of this fits that perfectly. How can there be a flood if it has never rained? But, God said there would be, so now come back to the verse. God warned of things not seen as yet:
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
To answer my own question, what prompted Noah to build the Ark? Faith in what God had said! God said “Noah build an Ark”. What did Noah do? He built the Ark!
This is the perfect lesson of the obedience of faith throughout all of Scripture. When God told Cain and Abel to bring a blood sacrifice. What did Abel do? He brought a blood sacrifice. Cain, disobedient, destitute of faith, said, I’ll take something else.
So you see, all the way through Scripture we have these examples and chapter 11 covers most of them. We have these examples of God telling someone something and that person believes it and God counts that believing for that man’s righteousness.
This flies in the face of a lot of people’s thinking, I know it does. But this is what the Book says. This same chapter 11 of Hebrews says by faith Abraham when he was told to leave Ur and to leave his family, what did he do? He left! And by his faith, God called him a righteous man.
It doesn’t say anything about Abraham offering sacrifices or Abraham entering in to the covenant of circumcision. It all came later. But Abraham BELIEVED what God said to him.
We discovered that in our class in Wilburton just last night, so it is fresh on my mind. So, what is the obedience of faith for us today? Now, we are told to BELIEVE that Christ died and rose from the dead and thou shalt be saved. And, what are we to do? We are to BELIEVE IT! And when we believe it, what does God do? He calls us righteous!
That is the whole concept of Faith.
Back to Genesis chapter 6 verse 14. God gives him the instructions for the building of this Ark. Might as well call it a boat, but on the other hand, remember, it’s not a boat that is going to travel someplace. It doesn’t have to have the pointed bow. It doesn’t have to have anything to propel it. All it is going to have to do is survive.
So, I like to think of the Ark, not as most people think of the Ark. Everyone that I have ever had in my classes immediately, I can tell by the smile on their faces, when you mention the Ark, visions come into their mind of those little pictures they saw back in Sunday School as a Kindergartener. You saw that little old round tub with a little box shed in the middle. Out in the front was a giraffe with his big head sticking up. Isn’t that your picture of the Ark? Sure it is!
Everybody has that same immediate mental picture of the Ark as this little boat like thing with a shed in the middle and some animals on it. Listen, that was not the Ark! The Ark was a rectangular box for all practical purposes. But, God was going to make sure that it would be built in such a way that it would survive the awful events of this coming flood. I will tell you before we get any further. The Flood was not just forty days of rain. It was far, far more than that.
So, this Ark is going to have to be built with real stability. It is going to have to be built to not only survive for a few days, but it is going to be in the water for almost a year. So, consequently, Noah must have been very meticulous in building this box or this Ark.
If fact, this just comes to my mind. The Hebrew word translated Ark is also translated in several other places in Genesis as coffin. Did you know that? A coffin. Well, what’s a coffin? It’s a box!
You take the Ark of the Covenant set back there in the tabernacle. Same word. What was the Ark of the Covenant? It was a box. Wood overlaid with gold and had tremendous significance but nevertheless it was a box.
Alright, that’s what Noah’s Ark was. It was one huge box! Let’s go on.
“Make thee an ark of gopher wood: (that was something, I think, akin to our cypress. It would stand water and it would not waterlog. It would just survive however long it needed to survive. Then) rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it…”
Here’s another interesting analogy. The Hebrew word pitch is also the same word translated atonement. Pitch and atonement. Now, what was the significant part on that day of atonement? What did the priest take in behind the veil? The blood! See?
So the pitch then of Noah’s Ark is a significant “type” or picture of the blood of Christ. Because pitch was tar. It was something that would seal out the water. You have to put this whole picture together.
The waters of the Flood were to be judgmental, not on the righteous family of Noah but on the unbelieving multitudes. So, the flood waters become the waters of judgement. But for those within the Ark, it was a place of safety. Wasn’t it?
Now, how safe would that Ark have been for the next year had the cracks leaked? Oh, it would have sunk! But you see, with the pitch it sealed out the waters of judgement and it kept the family within in perfect safety.
Let’s bring in ourselves. When we enter into Salvation, we enter into God’s ark of safety. And the water of judgment, the fires of judgment, will never touch the believer.Why? Because the pitch is going to keep it out. Remember, what is the pitch? The blood of Christ! Judgment will never touch the believer because of the blood of Christ!
Let’s take the time to turn to John chapter 20. This also is fresh in my mind, because it came up in my class last night. Since we are talking about the blood of Christ and it’s power to seal out the forces of judgement. John’s Gospel chapter 20.
I didn’t plan to do this in this lesson, but I have to feel that the Holy Spirit prompts me to do things that I really hadn’t planned on doing. In John’s gospel chapter 20, here we are on that resurrection Sunday morning. Drop down to verse 11. Look at the verses closely.
We have the account that I am sure you are all familiar with, where Mary has come to the sepulcher on that early Sunday morning to anoint the body of Christ, as was the custom. So at verse 11 she stands outside the sepulcher weeping and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher.
Now all the people are very human, aren’t they? And no doubt as Mary left home in the darkness of that early morning predawn. She must have wondered, “Well, I wonder who I can get to roll that stone away so I can anoint the body?” This was customary.
So she gets to the tomb and it was already open! But, filled with grief and I think she is probably weeping and through her tear filled eyes she realizes that she won’t have to find somebody to roll the stone away. It is already open. As she makes her approach to the body and was going to anoint with the ointments, it wasn’t there! The tomb was empty!
“And seeth two angels (I don’t know if she comprehended who they were but the Scripture says she saw two angels) in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”
But, He was gone! Then verse 13.
“And they (the angels) say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him”
I always like to ask my students, did these people, Mary and the Twelve (or the Eleven because Judas is gone. All these followers of Jesus) did they know that come Sunday morning He was going to rise from the dead? NO!! Here again, most of Christendom just doesn’t seem to realize that.
These people, the last they saw of Him as He hung there on the cross, said “It’s all over”. He’s dead.” And they had no idea that come Sunday morning, He would be risen from the dead. Now they should have, but they didn’t.
Alright, so here she comes now and she says, what have you done with Him? Verse 14:
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.”
Now, that may seem hard to comprehend, but after all, it’s only been a couple of days. But what was her last mental impression of Jesus? Hanging on that cross. You want to remember that the book of Isaiah tells us in chapter 52, that He was so disfigured, that by the time He gave up the ghost, He wasn’t even recognizable as a human being.
So, awful had been His physical mutilation by the Romans but also the affects of that burden of sin that had been placed on him. So, Isaiah could say that He was marred so that His visage was not even as a human being. I have to think that this is what Mary had remembered. She saw him just totally, almost inhuman.
Here she sees this perfectly normal human being standing there and she can’t put two and two together, that this is Jesus. So, she supposed that he was, what? The gardener. Now read on.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?…”
If you will go back through Christ’s earthly ministry, do you ever realize how many times He will ask questions even though He knew the answer? But He gave the people the opportunity to speak without being confused. They could answer a question. So here again, He says, “Woman who are you looking for?” And all she had to say was “Jesus”. Whom seekest thou? Well, Jesus! Reading on in verse 15.
“…She (Mary) supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast lad him, and I will take him away.”
Now Jesus in verse 16 says:
“Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
You want to remember that Mary was one of His closest friends of the flesh, here in His earthly ministry. I think He spent a lot of time in their home. What did she recognize? Oh, the voice! That voice of endearment. “Mary.”
But, here is what I want you to see. She turned herself and said “Rabboni”. That is to say “Master”. What do you suppose was her natural inclination? Oh, she was going to go and embrace Him! To think that this one that we thought was dead, was alive! So she went to embrace Him, but Jesus stopped her.
What does He say? “Touch me not”. Now that is rather unusual because you go on through this chapter and you come to the end of it and by this time He has come to the Eleven and poor old Thomas who couldn’t believe. What did He tell him to do? He said, Thomas put your finger in my hand. Put your hand in my side. That wasn’t anything like saying, touch me not. But, to Mary He said, touch me not. Read on.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:…”
Where is the Father? He’s in heaven. Christ is here on earth but He’s telling Mary, “Now Mary don’t touch me because I have to go FIRST to the Father.”
We have to go back into the Old Testament. On the day of atonement, and that is what made me think of all this, before the priest could even put on his clothes which had been washed and washed and washed, until they were impeccably clean, what did he have to do with himself? Same thing. Wash and wash. There had to be an impeccable cleanliness to approach the Holy of Holies by the High Priest.
So this is what is implied that Jesus couldn’t be touched with this defiled earth person, and after all that’s what we all are. Because, where is He about to go? Into the very Holy of Holies. Not in the temple there at Jerusalem, but the one in heaven. I will show you that in just a minute. So He said:
“… but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God.”
So Mary immediately goes and tells the Eleven and then later in the chapter Jesus appears to them and He tells them to touch Him. To handle Him. To make sure. So what did He do? Again we have to go to the book of Hebrews. You should be able to find that one easily now. Hebrews chapter 9 and here’s the clue to the events there on that early Sunday morning and the reason that Jesus had to tell Mary not to touch Him. That first He had to ascend into the very throne room of heaven. Then He would be back and appear to the Eleven.
Now, we are tied up in space age lingo and we know how many hours it took just to go to the moon. But always be aware of this. That when we come into the things of the Spirit, the things of God, I think we can attach it to the speed of light! One hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second. So however far out the very throne room of heaven may be, it was a matter of seconds for the Lord to transport from earth to heaven and back again. The speed of light!
Look at Hebrews chapter 9. This is why I know that He made that journey in those moments or hours before He came back to make Himself available to the Eleven. In Hebrews chapter 9 Paul is rehearsing in the first ten verses, the day of atonement. And how the High Priest would go in, that is in verse 7:
“But into the second (that is the second little room behind the veil) went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood,…”
He wouldn’t dare go behind that veil without the blood of that sacrificial animal to sprinkle on the mercy seat. So it is a whole allusion to the day of atonement by the High Priest.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come,
Now, He’s a priest, remember, after the order of Melchizedek and Melchizedek was not a priest of Israel. He was a high priest of ALL. So Christ is not a high priest after the order of Aaron in the Old Testament Jewish economy. But Christ is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, who appeared long before Israel even became a nation.
So, as our High Priest, He’s not just a high priest of Israel out of the tribe of Levi and in the line of Aaron, but He’s the high priest of EVERY human being. Verse 11:
“…by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, (more perfect than what? Than the one that Moses had. Or more perfect than the temple that finally Solomon built but on the same pattern, of course. But he says a greater and more perfect tabernacle) not made with hands, (not constructed by men) that is to say, not of this building; (or creation)“
In other words, this tabernacle with evidently the holy place and the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, wasn’t on this earth. So where would it have to be? In heaven! So, into this tabernacle in heaven. Into the very throne room of God Himself, God the Father, verse 12:
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, (as the high priest of Israel did but how?) but by his own blood he entered in once (the reason it says once is He didn’t have to do it every year. But, it was ONCE for ALL. He entered) into the holy place, (in heaven. We could go back to Exodus to see where God is giving Moses the instructions for building that little tent in the wilderness and again God says it’s going to be patterned after the one in heaven. So we know from all Scriptural accounts that there is something like the tabernacle architecture and the floor plan in heaven. And into that holy place the Lord Jesus entered in once with His own blood) having obtained (what’s the word?) eternal redemption for us.”
As I mentioned to my class last night. Jesus said one time in His earthly ministry, that it was harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than it was for a camel to go through the needle’s eye. That has caused so many problems but if people would just read the next verse, that puts the answer on it. And what does the next verse say? With God nothing is impossible!
Alright, I know that the blood of Christ flowed down that old wooden cross on to the soil and the ground of Golgotha. But, do you think it was any problem for an eternal God to put that blood in a container? I don’t see any problem.
And I think that the blood that flowed there on that cross, somehow, the Lord Jesus was able to take it right into the throne room of heaven. And I think it is there tonight! I think that blood is going to be there for all eternity and all the time we are going to be aware of it. We are going to know that that’s why we are there, ourselves. It is because the blood of Christ was shed for our eternal redemption. And the Lord Jesus presented it, Himself, as our high priest.
Now, that is comfort. To know that it is eternal, in the heavens never to be rescinded. Never having to be done over again!