Genesis 7:1-3 – 100 years earlier God gave instructions concerning the building of the ark. As far as we know there was no other word from God until now. Yet Noah persisted in his faith, and his proclamation to his unbelieving neighbors concerning the impending judgment of God. Methusaleh was on his deathbed ready to go home, and that would be the harbinger of the coming flood.
It was probably not an easy thing to leave the world behind to enter the Ark but all who were called went in. They had been chosen in Genesis 6:18 but their predestination involved a choice that they freely made. This instruction to take seven pairs of clean animals was preparatory for sacrifice (Genesis 8:20) and for food (Genesis 9:3). God spoke to Noah and told him to “come—enter into the ark.” These words must have been both comforting and terrifying to Noah.
Comforting because Noah knew that he was now to be vindicated and delivered from all the trials of this evil world and from the abuse of the ungodly; terrifying because he knew that the earth and every living thing upon it was now to be destroyed. The emotions and thoughts that Noah was experiencing must have been overwhelming but Noah had God and His comforting presence, and God knows how to comfort and carry His followers through frightening and terrifying experiences, even the experience of death itself. Note how God comforted and assured Noah.
Genesis 7:4-9 – This verse tells us categorically that the flood is not local in nature but universal. The length of the rain is given as 40 days and nights. We are also told in this verse that it would still be 7 more days before the flood begins. Some have speculated that this was a period of morning for the death of Methusaleh. This is the amount of time that the sons of Jacob mourned for their father (Genesis 50:10). Noah was six hundred years old when he entered the ark, and thus begins a new era in God’s dealing with mankind. The recounting of those entering demonstrates the solemnity of these events.
Genesis 7:10-12 – The waters now come the date is fixed by the exact age of Noah. The “fountains of the great deep” refers to “springs,” while “deep” is the same word as the vast and almost infinite “deep” at creation (Genesis 1:2).
The word for “broken up” could also be translated “split,” “ripped open.” The sources for the floodwaters were apparently two: a great downpour from above, and subterranean waters from below (cf. Isaiah 24:18; Amos 7:4; Malachi 3:10). Some have interpreted the “windows of heaven” as a vapor canopy over the earth (Genesis 7:6) which collapsed, joined by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, bringing about enormous topographical upheaval.
These are the geological observations of something more terrifying, God’s judgment. Just as judgment came to the world of Noah it is as surely coming to our world. The day for our judgment is already predetermined. No person knows when the day will be: one hundred years from now? Five years? One year? Tomorrow? Later today? Only God knows. Christ clearly said this (Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Mark 13:32-33).
Genesis 7:13-24 – Again there is a recapping of those who entered the ark but the most significant thing I believe, is that the Lord shut them in. God is the one who closed the door of the ark and sealed them from the judgment of the waters of the flood. The author implies that the highest waters covered the Ararat mountain range, the height of which is approximately 16,000 ft. (Genesis 8:4).
Surely a flood more than 3 miles in depth could not be confined to any portion of the earth. The Hebrew word kol, used twice in the verse (translated “all” and “the whole”) adds to the impression that the Flood was a universal phenomenon. No one could have escaped the catastrophe except those in the ark. There are more than 270 flood stories from all parts of the world. There is strong geological evidence for a universal flood. We will look at some of these evidences next week.
In this we see God’s great salvation in the midst of judgment: the ark of safety. Even in the midst of judgment God was merciful. Noah believed and followed God and taught his family to seek after God, and they were saved. The ark was Noah’s place of refuge appointed by God to save Noah and his family from the terrifying judgment that was about to fall upon the earth. The ark was a type or picture of Jesus. Jesus is our refuge from the terrifying judgment of hell and eternal separation from God. Note how clearly the ark symbolizes what Christ does for us.
How does Noah’s world compare to our society?
Why was God willing to destroy most every living thing?
How can we maintain a blameless reputation?
How does God response to the evil in our society compare to His response to evil in the days of Noah?
God Himself purposed and planned the ark, even to the most minute details (Genesis 6:14-16). God Himself purposed and planned the coming of Christ to save man, even before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:2).
God gave the provision for light within the ark. One window—an opening, a skylight—ran all the way around the ark. It ran within eighteen inches of the top (Genesis 6:16).
God has given the provision of light to the world: Jesus Christ is the light of the world (Isaiah 9:2; John 1:4; John 8:12; John 12:35; Ephesians 5:14; Revelation 21:23).
Some kind of pitch, probably some form of tar or asphalt, covered and sealed the ark. The Hebrew word for pitch (kopher) is the same word for atonement, which means to cover (Genesis 6:14).
The blood of Jesus Christ covers the sins of the believer, cleanses and seals the believer before God (Romans 5:9, 11; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7b; Revelation 1:5b). God Himself gave the great invitation to come and enter the ark (Genesis 7:1). God Himself invites man to come and enter the ark—the safety and security—of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 1:18; John 3:16-17; Matthew 11:28; 22:2-4; Revelation 22:17).
Jesus Christ is the believer’s refuge, the believer’s safety and security from the coming judgment of hell and eternal separation from God (John 3:16; John 5:24; Romans 5:9-10; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 7:25; 2 Peter 2:9).
The ark saved Noah and his family through the waters of judgment (Genesis 7:10-24).
Jesus Christ saves the believer through the waters of judgment. The waters of baptism symbolize the saving work of Christ for the true believer. Peter used the ark and the waters of the flood to illustrate this point (1 Peter 3:20-21).
God called Noah to separate from the world—from its wickedness, evil and doom—by entering the ark (Genesis 7:1). God now calls people to live a life of separation from evil through Christ (John 15:19; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, 2 Corinthians 17-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6).
Jesus Christ is the hope of salvation for all families (Acts 16:15, 30-31).
The ark was secured—the door was closed—by God Himself (Genesis 7:16b).
God Himself secures the believer through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The believer has perfect security—God sees to it—through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12b; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24-25).
God kept the door of mercy—the door of the ark—opened right up until the end. But when it was time for judgment the door was shut. There had been a time for grace, but there was also a time for judgment (Genesis 7:16b, 2 Peter 2:5).
God has his ministers and followers all over the world preaching the gospel of salvation. God has the door of mercy opened today, but the end is soon coming when the door will be shut and judgment will fall (Luke 13:24-27; Matthew 25:1-13).