Vol. 3, No. 11
God instructed Noah to build an ark in which his family and all the animals in whose nostrils was the breath of life would be saved. This was God's plan to protect the future of the world, and so long as Noah did EXACTLY as commanded, it would work. The ark has been the subject of much attention.
Was it big enough to hold all the animals? Where did it come to rest? What did it look like? Has it been found? Let's look at some of the things that we can know for sure about the ark.
It was big enough to hold all of the animals that God wanted on it! The size of this barge-like vessel was huge. Go to Genesis 6 and read the dimensions and imagine just how large it was. Remember also that not all animals needed to be on the ark, only those in whose nostrils was the breathe of life. This leaves out a huge number of animals, if we are thinking that "all" animals on earth needed to be on the ark. Also remember that three fourths of all animals alive on earth today would fit in a fair sized house with room to spare; THEY ARE THE INSECTS! One male and one female ant do not take up much space! Also, remember that not every breed of "dog" needed to be present on the ark, just the genotype from which the "dogs" could develop. What about the food supply for so many animals? Well, Noah and his family were able to supply exactly what was needed in some way. Maybe it was miraculous, the bale of straw just never came to an end. Maybe the animals all went into hibernation for a year or so and did not eat at all. When we presume that the story of Noah and the ark is not true on the basis of the idea that the ark could not have contained all the animals and enough food for them to eat, then we limit the power of God and that is something I will not do!
What did the ark look like? Well only God knows for sure. From the instructions given in Genesis 6, it probably was very much a barge-type structure. How the window and one door were situated is not known. What Gopher wood is, we will never know this side of heaven. We do know that the dimensions given by God to Noah were exactly right ones for ocean going vessels. It gives the ark an almost impossible to sink combination. These dimensions were 'discovered' by shipbuilders to be near perfect in terms of stability. But why should that surprise us? The all-knowing God designed it.
Where did the ark come to rest? The inspired writer tells us in the "mountains of Ararat." This location, while seemingly precise, is anything but! This is about like saying that the ark came to rest in the "Rocky Mountains." An examination of a world globe shows that the Rocky Mountains are indeed huge, and finding a football field sized object would be very difficult. From historical writings, it does appear that the location of the ark was known by people in the centuries after the flood, but that location has been lost in time, indeed probably the ark itself. The mountains of Ararat are very rugged, high, a geologically active mountain range with lots of earthquakes to change and destroy structures found in them. Plus, much of the tops of the mountains are covered in glaciers, which would hide the location.
There have been many "reports" about the discovery of the ark. Yet, each has been shown to be a hoax or an unsubstantiated report. While the ark would be of a great deal of interest to me as well as many others, I do not believe that God will allow it to ever be found. Man would try to worship it and not worship the one who designed it -- God!
Well, there are many other things that could be discussed about the ark, but the story of the saving of Noah and his family from the destruction of the world, should strengthen our resolve today to be found in the other refuge of safety -- THE CHURCH!
The worldwide flood of Noah's time changed the appearance of the world forever! Second Peter 3:6 says that "...the world that then was PERISHED..." (EMP, mine). The world that Noah and his family stepped off on after their time on the ark looked nothing like the one they had lived on prior to the deluge. What physical evidence can we look at today to see that the world was covered by water? Let's look at some of the evidence that would appear to have been left by the flood, but since no one alive today saw the pre-flood world, it is all speculation.
First, ninety percent of the earth's surface is covered by sedimentary rock. This is the type of rock that is formed by water. Sandstone, limestone, conglomerates, etc. are all present in very large quantities on the surface. When we build a new road through the mountains and cut clefts and expose rock layers, most often they are sedimentary. This type of rock is so common, it is very likely that most people have never seen any other type of rock. Now the skeptics say that some of these rocks could not be formed in a flood, but they still say that water was necessary, and during the floodwater, we had plenty!
Second, the abundance of fossils is another strong evidence for a worldwide flood. This has been one of my favorite hobbies over the past 15 years, and my basement shows it. I have huge rocks containing evidence of life from the past from all over the United States and am fascinated by their existence. Fossil formation requires very unique conditions. An animal must be buried in mud or sand very rapidly to get away from the decomposing effects of bacteria and other decomposers. We all know what happens to a tree that falls over in the woods -- it rots! Yet, the rock out of which I blasted the basement for my house contains huge numbers of tree fossils, all sizes, laying at all angles, and leaving a very nice impression in the sandstone rock surrounding it. How could this happen on such a huge scale? -- especially since today the process of fossil formation does not happen often at all. Well, I believe that the sudden covering of the earth with water, and the erosion that would have accompanied it, would provide the unique conditions needed for fossil formation.
Third, the volcanic activity around the world gives evidence of the flood. The "fountains of the great deep" were broken open. This would have caused vast exposures of the interior layers of the earth to surface, hence giving great amounts of volcanic activity. The earth is ringed by active volcanoes even today, giving the evidence of a very dynamic disturbance on the surface of the earth, the Flood.
Fourth, geologic unconformities give evidence of the flood. A geologic unconformity is an area where the rock strata do not show the expected or predicted structures, vast areas of "older" rock sitting on top of "younger" rock, in the overthrust vaults, a rock strata that nowhere on the surface of the earth is "complete" as geologists predict. Where did the missing layers go? What about polystratic fossils -- those fossils that span several layers of the earth's structure? How could a tree stand for millions of years without decomposing?
Fifth, what about the coal, oil and natural gas that is being found today? Would not burial of vast amounts of plants and animals by a flood before they rotted be a reasonable explanation? Well, I for one believe that these and many, many other evidences support the account of a worldwide flood that destroyed the world.
[Editors Note: Every external evidence to the Bible that calls for a Divine Designer as opposed to happenchance confirms the biblical account of origins and strongly denies atheistic evolutionary theory. Brother David P. Everson's ongoing series on external evidences continue to promote faith in God and in his Holy Word, the Bible. I hope that you are enjoying these articles as much as I am.]