Daily Devotional

Noah: The Ark and the Closing Door

by Simon Whitton

And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists
 and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen,
in holy fear built an ark to save his family.
By his faith he condemned the world
and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Hebrews 11:6-7 (NIV)

Noah's ark may have taken up to 100 years to construct and, at 450 feet in length, it's doubtful that anything like it existed in that era.

God told Noah that two of every kind of animal would come to him, to be kept alive.  Scripture doesn't say how or when.  It's unlikely that Noah's family suddenly had all the world's creatures thrust upon them in the close confines of the ark days before the flood.  Noah was responsible to collect, sort, and organize them and their food.  To feed and manage the animals for a year in the floating ark would require knowledge and experience that was probably built up over several decades, as they slowly added to their collection.

Imagine the scene: The largest ship ever built, under construction on dry land, together with the most amazing collection of animals; and this before anyone had even conceived of the idea of a zoo.  Surely this was at least two of the seven wonders of the pre-flood world.  Then Noah himself, an eccentric holy man preaching that judgment was coming.

The ark must have grown in renown over the years and perhaps attracted visitors from hundreds of miles away, traders bringing rare species, sightseers and important leaders who had to see the exotic animals and the ship they'd heard about.  Noah spoke to them about God's righteousness and His warning to men, and so the word went out across the world.

if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
2 Peter 2:5 (NIV)

We, like Noah, have been 'warned about things not yet seen'.  Just as the ark was slowly completed according to God's original plans, today we see prophecies in scripture being fulfilled with increasing clarity as judgment draws near.  There came a time when the ark was finished and the door was shut.  The time is soon approaching when the scriptures will be fulfilled and another door is closed.

"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you,
will try to enter and will not be able to.
Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer,
'I don't know you or where you come from.'

Luke 13:24-25 (NIV)

We have found salvation through faith in God's word, and like the ark it is the only way to be saved.  Regardless of the scoffing of unbelievers, let's bear witness to the righteousness of God as Noah did and warn people that judgment is surely coming.

Spend some time praying.  Thank God that you will be spared the coming judgment; and that like Noah your faith can even save those close to you.  Pray for the boldness to warn others, that they may receive the truth and be saved.

SHARE This Devotional

See Also: As it Was in the Days of Noah