Saturday, April 26, 2014
The ark is admitted by the apostle to have been a distinguished type of Christ.
In that period before the flood, when the age of man was more than 900 years, the temptation to put death out of view was great. A Church there was—but by intermarrying with the wicked world it had become corrupt, and at last almost extinct. This was the first illustration of the fatal consequence of too close a connection between the Church and the world. By these means the Spirit of God was provoked to depart, and general licentiousness ensued. The Church became reduced to a single family, and the rest of the world sunk into infidelity and vice.
Thus the universal and complete effect of the fall was publicly ascertained. This done, God determined to cast away the world as ruined, and to make a new beginning on the foundation of grace, commencing a new stock in the family which included the whole church. This rejection of the world is expressed in the following strong eastern figure, "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 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." (Genesis 6:6-7)
For a hundred and twenty years, God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved. The history leads us to suppose that the whole of this period was taken up in building the ark. In the infancy of the 'building arts' such a vessel must have cost immense labor, and it was so unpopular an undertaking, that few if any besides the family of Noah would be induced to engage in the the work. His sons were born about twenty years after the building commenced, and for a long time they could afford him no assistance. Cheered by the society and counsel of his venerable father and grandfather, he wore out the hundred and twenty years in patiently waiting for the fulfillment of the prediction. When the ark was finished, God brought all the creatures into it and shut Noah and his family inside.
The old world is devoted to destruction. The waters are to rise and rage above the highest mountains. No vessel had yet been invented to ride the waves. How can any escape? God only can find out the way. He causes an ark to be constructed, in which his friends find refuge, while the waves of wrath sweep away a wicked world. Who that turns his eye towards this frightful scene, is not reminded of that spiritual ark in which the friends of God are sheltered while the floods of vengeance sweep away an unbelieving world?
This prepares the way for us to meditate on the conduct of Noah while laboring for that refuge, and the conduct of that profligate generation who cast contempt on him. The things most worthy of notice in respect to Noah, are his faith, his obedience, his patience, his self-denial, and his fortitude.
Hebrews 11:7 ... By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Genesis 7:23 ... And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
Matthew 24:37-39 ... But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.❤