A Devotion for 19 September 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Genesis 6:1-8 (KJV)
The most pressing question of every man, woman and child of our day is one of simplicity, but eternal import: “Have we found GRACE in the eyes of the LORD?” The question is not, “Have we perfectly obeyed the LAW of God in righteousness,” but “have we found GRACE in the eyes of the LORD?” If mankind could perfectly keep the LAW of God, there would have been no need for a Savior/Redeemer, but the heart of man is sinful and, despite our best efforts, we cannot meet the legal requirements for salvation; therefore, we need a Substitute Redeemer. It is not justice we seek (for we are all justly labelled ‘sinners’) but simple GRACE. Grace is unmerited – it is a free gift – and it issues from the Heart of Mercy of God. It sets the sinner free in the sense that TRUTH (God’s Word is a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 (KJV)
The Book of Genesis is filled with a sweet simplicity that makes it most appealing to young children. Stories such as the Creation account, Noah’s Ark, and Joseph in Egypt are full of wonder and amazement to the young mind that has not yet been so corrupted by the false lights and shadows of the world. But there is also a profound depth that escapes the minds of the best scholars. Perhaps the modern mind is blinded by the simplicity of God’s Word which makes truth so easily grasped by the young, but an often insurmountable challenge to the mature scholar. The young mind simply believes, while the mature scholar endlessly questions everything, applying his own faulty logic to a level of truth he is incapable of grasping. Such doubt may be summarized as a failure to trust God.
The account of Noah’s Ark has particular meaning to us in our time – in fact, to men of all time. The first destruction of the world was with water – the second will be by fervent heat and fire. The Deluge required an Ark that could float above the destruction below. The fiery end of all time will require an Ark that can likewise waft its objects of love above the fiery ruin. That Last Day Ark is Christ. In Noah’s day, the greater the Deluge, the higher the vessel mounted on high. In Christ, we are transported far above the fiery destruction to come. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;” 2 Peter 3:8-15 (KJV)
There are many subtypes in the Ark that are comparable to Christ and His nature. For example, the wood of the Ark represents the humanity of Christ. The wood of the Ark was obtained from a tree, felled, sawed, and nailed together. That living tree had to surrender its life before the Ark could be constructed. Christ is our Living Tree of righteousness which was rejected in Eden, but came down in a body as man so we could know God. That Living Tree was cut down to provide a haven of safety for those who knew Him. Noah was instructed to fill the seams between the wooden beams of the Ark with pitch, otherwise, the Ark would allow water to penetrate her hull and sink into oblivion. The blood of Christ is represented by the pitch. His righteous humanity alone could not save completely, but His blood was required as the Lamb of God to purchase our redemption.
The window at the top of the Ark teaches us to look up unto our Lord: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) The door in the side of the Ark foreshadows the wound to His side made by the Roman spear. Just as Adam’s side was opened to create his bride, so was the side of our Lord opened up to purchase His Bride, the Church. Jesus Himself is also represented in full by that Door. You will remember that Noah did not close the door of the Ark – it was God. “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. Genesis 7:16 (KJV) Why did the Lord shut Noah in? Because only God has the authority to close the door of salvation on mankind!
Before the fountains of the deep were broken up and the torrents descended from heaven, what did God say to Noah? “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1 (KJV) Why did God tell Noah to COME into the Ark instead of telling him to GO into the Ark? Because God is always the place of security to the believer. In fact, Our Lord Jesus Christ is the DOOR of the sheepfold. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9 (KJV). Children can understand these subtle nuances better than adults! I wonder why?
The Spirit, Soul, and Body of our Lord Jesus Christ is represented by the three stories of the Ark – His tripartite nature.
The first rumbling terror of the Deluge was the breaking up of the fountains of the deep. Hell was full of rage at the Ark of Christ and the earth shook at His death. Then the windows of Heaven were opened and the waters descended in violent torrents. This represents, too, the wrath of God against the sins of the world taken to the Cross upon Himself by our Lord. It was our sin that compelled our Lord to the cross, and therefore the Lord God hated that sin. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:10 (KJV)
The reference to sabbath rest occurs three times in early Genesis. The first when the Lord God finished His Creation in Chapter 1 on the sixth day. Again, Chapter 5 you will recall that the earth was cursed in Eden by Adam’s sin. Noah was born as one to bring rest and comfort to those who toiled the sod. “And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” Genesis 5:29 (KJV) The curse upon the earth itself was absolved by the Flood. When the Flood ended, the Ark rested on Mt. Ararat. (see Genesis 8:4) Our Lord rested over Sabbath when His work was finished on the cross.
Our Father is God of the living, not of the dead. All creatures, including man and beast, were aboard the Ark because God loves all His creatures. The day will come when the lion will no more utter a horrifying roar, and the lamb will safely abide by the side of the lion – they will be friends. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9 (KJV) A word of comfort to those who have a dearly beloved pet: “The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” Isaiah 43:20 (KJV) I believe just as God preserved animal life in the Ark of Noah, He shall also do so in Christ at the End of Days. God created no creature to perish in vain.