Learning from Noah – part 5.

building the ark


Genesis 6:14-16 – 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 a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks.

God warned Noah of the impending flood and instructed him to build a boat.  God even gave Noah the proper dimensions for the ark to sufficiently carry its cargo of people, animals, and supplies.  I am intrigued that God did everything except build the boat for him.  That was Noah’s job.

God could certainly have spoken the ark into existence.  That would have been easier and more convenient for Noah.  At 300 cubits, Noah’s ark might have been more than 500 feet long.  That is a big boat, and its construction was a mighty undertaking for Noah.  The ark would have also been more seaworthy had God built it.  I trust God’s workmanship over that of any man.  Yet God gave that assignment to Noah.

There is a lesson in Noah’s story for us today.  Knowing God’s will is not enough.  We must also do the work of following Him.  Reading the Bible instructs us about the nature and character of God.  In many ways, the Bible also directs us how to live.  However, the living and obeying are left up to us.  For instance, Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”  God has given clear direction that we are to make every effort to live at peace with other people, but He requires us to do the excruciating work of humbling ourselves for the sake of peace with others.  Who enjoys admitting their sin and seeking forgiveness from someone else?  Aren’t there also times when you’d rather hold a grudge than forgive?  Nevertheless, it is our role to obey whether we like it or not.

Obeying God is hard work sometimes.  Building the ark was arduous work for Noah, and obeying God can still be hard for us today.  But it is worth it.  Life is always best lived according to God’s plan.  May the Lord grant you insight as you read and study the Bible, and may He give you strength as you endeavor to live accordingly.