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-The Man Who Built An Ark-

Noah was born and reared during the most crucial period of all time in the history of mankind so far. The depravity of mankind had reached a point that God was grieved in His heart and was sorry that He had made mankind. The ancient society had become morally and spiritually impoverished.

Inspite of the evil abounding around him, Noah and his sons were monogamous, as God wills mankind to be. Noah, like others had the choice to receive or reject God's grace and mercy.

Noah however, was a righteous man, a preacher of God's goodness and although God had to carry out a just judgement upon the sin in mankind, there was great hope and a future for Noah and his family, His wife, three sons and three daughters-in law.

Noah's grandfather was Methuselah, the oldest man that ever lived. Noah was the son of Lamech, a descendant of Adam in the line of Seth, and the head of the only family to survive The Flood. A good and upright man, Noah was the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth who were born when he was 500 years old. Noah's forefathers would have taught him about God who revealed His will to Noah.

Noah was able to stand for God against ungodliness and temptation of the pre-flood generation and acted with unwavering obedience. Noah had a taste of the grace of God and he knew it. He walked and talked with God as did his ancestors. He had been convicted of sin, of righteousness and of judgement, he believed at a time when no one else believed. God explained to righteous Noah the moral basis for the coming Flood as judgement upon mankind. God did not delight in this action at all.

Noah alone among all the others found favour and grace in the eyes of God, The Creator. Judgement was about to come upon the earth and Noah was moved with a godly fear. Noah became an heir of righteousness through faith.

The divine judgement is that God's Spirit will not compete or remain forever but will withdraw from men. Noah's assignment was to proclaim God's message of judgement. God warned Noah that He was going to wipe mankind from the face of the earth with a flood. Because Noah walked with God and stood blameless among the people of that time, God gave him specific instructions for building an ark by which Noah and his family would survive the coming flood.

Noah responded to God obediently, he like God rebuked the sin of the world, and it was accredited to him God's favour and righteousness.

Noah preached righteousness and justice for one hundred and twenty years to the people as he patiently built the ark, the period of grace before the Flood was unleashed, preparing a way of escape. God told Noah the design and woodworking for making such a structure.

Noah's neighbours undoubtedly scoffed at him, building such a structure on dry land. This resentment towards godly Noah came from the sin nature, and it is truly astounding that no-one repented, no-one would believe and join him and his family in the safe confinement of the ark. Noah, in the face of ridicule continued obediently to build the ark. To Noah too, this sounded totally strange, for he would not have known of a flood before, because it had not rained before in the pre-flood world. Noah did not question God even though he would have found it very embarrassing.

Noah followed the building instructions down to every detail. The size and shape of the ark are described only in the most general terms. The ark, made of gopher wood was approximately 450 feet long, approximately 50 feet high (between 4 or 5 building stories) and 75 feet wide. It was designed to float only, not a sea going vessel. It's sole purpose was to provide a shelter for Noah's family and a great variety of creatures. Noah and his sons may have had help of woodcutters to fell the trees and saw them into thick boards to dry in the heat of the sun as well as in kilns.

As far as the layout of the ark was concerned, it was constructed with three stories, or decks of rooms, and separate compartments, it had roof with an opening for light, and a door in its side. This wood was then sealed with pitch, both inside and outside, to make the vessel completely sea worthy. For a wooden vessel, the size of the ark was enormous by ancient as well as modern standards.

Noah also packed enough supplies to last him and his family of eight in all to last. He also provided the food for the animals. Noah also gathered the special provisions for the seven pairs of clean animals to be taken into the ark and four pairs of unclean animals. Noah also looked after the pairs of animals for God, both clean and unclean were taken in pairs aboard the floating ark for preservation, the birds, and beasts.

Then a week before the flood, Noah led his family and all of the animals into the ark just as God directed. A picture of man is given in the midst of his everyday affairs, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. After seven days, the rain began. What is most apparent in the description of the onset of the Flood is the focus on the occupants of the ark. Noah's age, the month and the day of the beginning of the rain, which lasted 40 days and 40 nights, the source of the waters, the kinds of animals and their number. The people who did not seek refuge in the ark perished along with every nostril breathing creature. Noah was under God's sovereign protection. The Flood was 20 feet above every moutain that was on earth. The highest mountains that exist today are still continuing to be raised day by day, year by year, because of the pressure of the earth's crust.

Pre-flood era, the earth was one land mass, after the flood which included volcanic eruptions the earth became large earth masses.

While those in the ark may have been safe, Noah and his family were not saved until they were back on dry ground. Noah and his family waited patiently in the ark a hundred and fifty days, before God sent his deliverance.

A portrait of Noah and his family is that of a righteous and faithful remnant patiently waiting for God's deliverance, and Noah's deliverance is an image of the salvation of the faithful remnant.

The Flood lasted for over three hundred and seventy three days. There were volcanic eruptions springs from the depths of the earth. Noah could only open the window to look out of the ark. As he sought to know whether it was safe to leave the ark, he sent out first a raven and then a dove. The dove returned, Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove once more. When the dove returned with a fresh olive leaf in its beak, Noah knew the water had receded. Noah and his family were grounded for seven months and ten days on Mount Ararat, before he was instructed by God to disembark.

The sinful nature of humanity is one thing that remained. Noah left the ark only at God's command, and released all the birds of the air and the beasts of the field and all of God's great variety of animals and creatures, "let them swarm upon the earth, and let them be fruitful and multiply upon the earth". The restoration of God's Creation was founded on the establishment of a covenant. Noah understood the full implications of God's Covenant, and His loving concern for himself and his whole family.

Once on dry ground, out of the ark, Noah built an altar and gave a sacrifice of clean animals as burnt offerings on the altar. Noah expressed his gratitude to God in this manner. The Lord promised never again to destroy living creatures as He had done in the flood and established a covenant with Noah and his sons. God made this covenant with Noah and with every living creature that survived the universal Flood (NEED TO KNOW TEXT) including all mankind, the descendants of Noah's sons. God has been faithful and true to His Covenant, was a Royal Grant Covenant, which is an unconditional divine promise for provision.

The building of an altar followed a major act of God's salvation. It was thanksgiving to God for the rescue of Noah from the Flood and for God's deliverance. The altar and the offering marked the establishment of a covenant with a visible sign, sealed the covenant with the rainbow in the sky. This Covenant with Noah which represented new beginnings, are marked by God's promise of blessing and His gift of the covenant.

In the account of Noah's altar and the universal covenant, it is still in existence today with the whole human race. As a result of Noah's altar and offering, the whole of the state of mankind before the Flood is re-established. Man is still fallen but it is significant that the interest in mankind after the Flood, is in God's image.

The covenant is rather a return to God's original promises. Once again God is at work restoring his fellowship with man and bringing mankind back to himself. The covenant with Noah plays an important role in the development of God's restoration of blessing, between His original blessing of all mankind. All things were once again made subject to mankind, being Noah and his descendants. Mankind could now partake of meat, the sacredness of life was made of outstanding importance, for whoever murdered another human being were to be killed themselves.

There are three terms in the Covenant God made with all of mankind through Noah. 1)- God would never again destroy the whole earth and living creatures by a flood. 2)- The sign of the rainbow is a guaranteed of that promise God made with all mankind. 3)- As long as the earth endures the seasons of the years will continue and always be so as long as the earth remains.

Noah was the first tiller of the ground in the post-flood era, he planted an orchard including a vineyard, drank of its wine, became drunk, and he lay naked in his tent, his son Ham saw that his father had exposed himself, and Ham looked on his father's nakedness Ham informed Shem and Japheth about their father's nakedness who immediately walking backwards, they covered their father without looking on him. The latter two showed respect for their father and covered him. As a result, they received rich blessings for their descendants from Noah. Ham in turn received a curse for his descendants.

The actions of the three sons as in the contrast between the deeds of Ham and those of Shem and Japheth, becomes the basis for the curse and the blessing that followed. When Noah awoke from his drunken stupor and learned what his youngest son had done, he cursed Ham and his descendants.

The sons of Noah are here shown to belong to two groups of mankind, those who like Adam and Eve hide the shame of their nakedness, and those who like Ham, have no sense of their shame before God. To the one group, the line of Shem and Japheth, there will be blessing but to the other, the Hamites, there can only be a curse. The descendants of Ham were to be the Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Hitites, Amorites and Africans. Shem's descendant were Assyria and Japheth's are Europe and Asia Minor.

Noah prophesied over his three sons and their respective descendants regarding their deeds and characters. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood and all nations find their ultimate origins in the three sons of Noah.

Noah lived another 350 years after the flood and was 950 years old at the time of his death.

The wickedness of mankind and the horrendous deeds and its consequences that caused the Flood are in keeping with the age of mankind which became increasingly shorter. After the days of Noah, the age rapidly declined for the protection of the firmament around the world was not longer in place. The pre-flood world was a different biosphere to the post flood world.

The saddest lesson from Noah's experience of the pre-flood days is that little has changed. Many still today reject God's Word and Will which bring upon themselves judgement. They also reject His message of a coming judgement as they did in ancient times.

New Testament affirms Noah's actions of faith in building the ark. Noah was the single exception in an era of great moral debasement. Great was Noah's faith. Noah was a remarkable, complete man of God, with his heart fully turned towards God.

Noah's close walk with God enabled God to share His saddened heart with him. Noah was assured of much more than the saving of his family, they were not merely survivors but went forward into a new age as bearers of God promises. It was because of his obedience entirely on faith in God's Word that he was given this momentous task.

Even though Noah's testimony is very powerful, he was not sinless.

Noah was obedient to God more than most others throughout history.

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