Genesis 6:8-9 - But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
I returned last Saturday from a church bus trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Two of the highlights of the trip were two plays we saw, The Passion Play and Noah, the Musical. We all know the story behind the Passion of Christ. We all know the story of Noah. I know I've written about the symbolism behind Noah and his ark. Something about seeing this play struck the hearts of nearly everyone on the trip. It was all the talk.
There's so much about this account of Noah that can be said. He was 500 years old when God told him to build the ark. It took 100 years.
Noah's dedication to God was immense. He did not question God. He just did. The earth had never seen rain or flooding so how could he comprehend these things? The earth then was replenished with moisture like that of a terrarium. The earth had enough moisture beneath the surface and the earth's atmosphere held in just what was needed. No rain. The gentle hand of a loving God provided.
But God was fed up to say the least with the corruption of the earth. "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth," God told Noah in verse 13. He wanted to start over with Noah and his small family of eight, three sons and their wives, and he and his wife. He would destroy all things beneath heaven and since He found Noah righteous, He gave him and his family favor. He would establish a covenant with Noah. A covenant initiated by God is everlasting as opposed to man who tends to break covenant time and again. I wish I could go into more detail about covenants here. The symbolism is amazing.
Noah and his sons built the ark and no doubt as they did the people questioned them as they told them of God's plan. The people couldn't fathom what a flood was having never experienced such a thing so they mocked and scoffed. But Noah stood his ground because He trusted and believed in his LORD. Reminds me of the scripture in 2Corinthians 4:18 - while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. By faith Noah trusted enough. It's what God desires of each of us too in today's world. How many really do? Are we consumed with the things we have and do and do not even consider what happens when we die?? The people of Noah's day did that and look where they ended up.
After 100 years of building and putting up with the scoffing, the ark was finished. By God's hand the animals were lead in two by two, along with Noah and his family. God, not Noah, closed the (only) door to the ark. There's another scripture in Revelation 3:8 that says “... See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name." This sounds like Noah...he did not deny God nor go against all he was told to do, despite the pressure and mocking of all others. God finalizes this 100 years of ark building. He had given the people plenty of time to reconsider their ways. Now the door closes and the rains begin...and continue...and continue.
In the play you hear the screams on the other side of the door. Friends, neighbors, even family members. You see the anguish of Noah's family because they cannot open the door. It's too late. They didn't trust in what they couldn't see, only in what they saw before them in their lives. God's wrath on the world will come again, despite the people who scoff today. All life outside the relationship with Jesus, the Ark, will perish.
After the intermission we were told to be sure to be in our seats for the second half. Don't miss a thing. As the lights came on little by little we saw an expansion of the ark, On both sides of the auditorium were three tiers of rooms (make rooms in the ark, Genesis 6:14) that housed animals (most animated, some real) and foodstuffs. It was breathtaking.
As the play continued we saw how Noah's family cared for the animals and made a life for themselves for over 300 days. And at last, without going into detail, they were on dry ground and were able to exit the ark to a new world.
The end of the play was upon us. We saw the ark slowly coming apart and forming a cross. What we saw next was incredible. The ark door opened once again and a great white light and "smoke" appeared. Out stepped Jesus. He said: I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (John 10:9, 14:6, Acts 4:12) In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).
The ark symbolizes the promise of eternal life in Christ. Jesus is the only Door to this life. If one chooses not to receive Christ (enter into the ark), that door is closed in his last days. Like Noah and his family, they represented the few who received the invitation to enter into the ark. Today there also are few and the way is narrow and few enter by the narrow gate.
Just as Noah was delivered from the flood, we can be delivered through Jesus Christ. Many hear these words but most do not accept them seriously. The covenant God initiated with Noah still stands today. The ark is Jesus Christ. He is the only Door to everlasting life. It is one that must purposely be stepped into. It's not about knowing Jesus, it's about being in relationship with Him. It's trusting in Him despite what the world thinks, how it also has a purpose...to take God out of all areas of life...the mockers, the scoffers, the unbelievers. If anyone is lax in that belief, that door will close. That Door means life. Like the ark, there are many dwelling places that He has prepared for us. There is one for each who enter into relationship with Jesus.
One last detail about the play itself...only Jesus Christ was seen at the end. No accolades to or bows from actors. All the glory was given to God...as it should be.
As the trip came to a close, it was noted that word after word, event after event was about oneness. Oneness in each other as we traveled together peacefully. Oneness knowing that God was with us each step of the way and even showing us in incredible ways how He was looking out for us, bringing perfect moments at just the right time, providing for us and blessing not just us but others whose paths crossed with ours. When we come to Christ, these things can be lived out daily. It's well worth the choice of receiving God, being counted as His, having His covenant be for each of us. That covenant is Jesus Christ. Find grace through Him. The greatest oneness is being in Christ.
Another day will come when the door will be closed permanently. People even mock this. The Bible tells us in Revelation about God's wrath on earth. All those outside the will of God and have chosen not to be in Christ, will perish. But until that day Jesus continues to pursue:
John 6:37 - “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”