Friday, February 13, 2009

Noah's Ark, Faith, and Lack of Control

"Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make the roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make a lower, second, and third decks" (Genesis 6:14-16, English Standard Version).

God gave Noah very specific instructions about the construction of the ark. He told Noah what kind of material to use, how long it would be, how wide it would be, and how high it would be. He told Noah where to put the door, and how many decks should be in the ark.

Why did God not tell Noah to build a rudder or a sail for his ark? I heard someone ask that question a few days ago. I thought, what a great question!

When Noah entered the ark with his family, he gave up all control. He placed his complete faith in God. God did not instruct him to build a rudder or a sail, because Noah was not going to be in control of his destiny. Noah was going to need to place complete trust in the Lord for reaching whatever destination lay ahead. Noah was not going to be able to control the direction of his life.

In many ways, the Christian life is the same. When we enter the life of faith in Christ, we give up any sense of control. We are called to trust the Lord to carry us through the storms of life. We are called to trust him for direction. We are called to trust him for our destination. We are called to imitate Noah's faith.

"By faith, Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith" (Hebrews 11:7, English Standard Version).


Anonymous said...

what is noah's last name ?where was he born? when was he born? where and when did he die?
i am doing a research project on him.
Where did he live?

Terry said...

Noah is first mentioned in Genesis 5:29. The account of his life is recorded in Genesis 6-9. Little else is known about him. Apparently, he did not use a last name (which was a common practice in ancient cultures). He was born when his father Lamech was 182 years old in an unknown location. I have not found a location for where he lived prior to the great flood, but the ark came to rest somewhere on the Ararat mountains (which are in modern Turkey), so he spent at least some of his time in that area after the flood. He lived another 350 years after the flood and died at the age of 950. I am not sure when he lived according to our calendar, but it would have been before the rise of Egypt as a world power under the Pharoahs. I wish I could have given you more specific information, but I have not found much in the text that specifically answers your questions.