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The Configuration of the Ark

line The Configuration of the Ark

Pause and Consider


08.02.17                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Configuration of the Ark


We have spent several weeks looking at the condition of the earth prior to the Great Flood.  God sent the Flood because the wickedness on the earth was great.  There was great violence and mankind had corrupted itself beyond repair.  God was going to start the world anew with godly Noah and his family.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but this writer believes that the Deluge actually occurred and that it was universal—it covered the entire world.  Our text today reveals the words of God to Noah, the instructions God gave to Noah regarding the building of the ark. God had definite plans for the construction of the ark. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.  And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.  You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.  And behold, I, even I 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.  But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.  And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.  Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.  And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:14-21).

Perhaps you have a vision of the ark as a rounded ship, with giraffes and other animals sticking their heads out of it.  Actually, the word ‘ark’ means a box or chest; just as the Ark of the Covenant was a small chest.  The ark was not a ship for sailing, but a vessel for floating: flat-bottomed, square-sided, having no mast, sails or rudder.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The ark was to have rooms or “nests” in it; places for the animals to be kept.  The material was to be gopher wood, a still yet unknown wood; perhaps cypress or cedar which are found in the area of Mt Ararat.  The pitch is also an unknown substance, but it provided a protective covering.  This covering is a picture of the atonement provided by the Lord Jesus. (Lev. 17:11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.                                                       

What about the size of the ark?  First, we need to understand the measure of a cubit.  It is understood to be about 18 inches.  Thus, translating to feet, the ark would be 450’ long, 75’ wide, and 45’ high.  This 6:1 ratio of length to width is the most stable in rough water.  For perspective, the ark was as long as 1.5 football fields.  It contained 1.5 million cubic feet, the volume of 522 railroad cars.  Its size is almost exactly the size of the ‘Great Eastern’ which laid the first North Atlantic cable.

There is much more to discuss, but let us end with the last verse of our text: Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did (22).  How wonderful that Noah obeyed God.  There was much that Noah did not understand, but he took God at His word, and followed the Lord’s plan.  It is a good thing he did, or none of us would be here today!

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