Sunday, October 10, 2010

Noah, The Ark, The Animals

by Donna L. Watkins

In Genesis we see that the world was full of sin and that God was grieved that He had made man on this earth (Gen. 6:6). It says His heart was filled with pain to see that man was choosing sin with everything the enemy put before him as temptation to worship him instead of Him.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Turtles
Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell, GA
God loved us so much it grieved Him to see this, so in the next verse he makes the decision to wipe out mankind from the face of the earth. There was only one problem though ... there lived a man on the earth that was righteous and called a friend of God. A man who swam against the current of his day, against the relentless tide of evil. His name was Noah and he wasn't being drawn into the endless choices the enemy presented to indulge in wickedness.

Imagine that! Noah was the only righteous man on the earth and yet he could stand against the wiles of the enemy, just as Paul says in Romans 6:11 that we can do when he tells us to reckon ourselves dead to sin. Noah did not fulfill the lust of the flesh, he kept his spirit man making the choices rather than his soul (flesh).

God couldn't destroy this righteous man and his family. Peter Horrobin mentions this: "And if God was going to save Noah and his family, then it was essential also that all the other air-breathing creatures on the planet, that were essential to man’s ongoing life on earth, should also be saved. So, instead of carrying out His threat to destroy all the earth, He gave detailed instructions to Noah to build a Ship of Salvation (the Ark)."

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Mourning Dove
Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge
Essential to man's ongoing life on earth? For those of us who love God's Creation, we know that life on earth without the rest of the Creation He made would be a horrible, ugly, bleak, and lonely place to live. But essential?

Isn't it awesome that God thought the animals were essential to man's life on earth? Yet, much of mankind has not agreed with God on that issue.

Extinction means nothing to those who feel they can use up the earth's resources in any way they want, without consideration for the other creatures we share the planet with and for our own future generations of children and grandchildren.  He called it "very good" so shouldn't we?  Do we even think about the very fact that it's God's art work and that He thought it was essential for us.  Genesis 7:3 says He did it "to keep their kind alive on the face of the earth" and yet we take extinction as no big deal.

Imagine the tenacity of Noah to build this enormous ship in a day when the earth was in a drought. It's said that it took Noah 100 years to get the ark ready. He had to endure the taunting insults and laughter of all his neighbors.  But he did it.  He obeyed God and saved mankind for God's original plan of relationship with us.  Only in obedience can we have relationship with a holy God.

After 375 days in the ark, they exited on dry ground.  Imagine the amount of food stored and used during that time for every species God had created.  It's beyond imagination.  The end result was that God made a covenant with Noah that the rainbow would mean He remembers His covenant between Himself and "all living creatures of every kind on the earth" (Gen.9:16).  Shouldn't we remember it also?

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