So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
There’s much debate concerning how all of the animals fit on the ark, were fed and cared for on the ark, etc. The ark was as long as one and one half football fields and taller than a four story building. The available storage space on the ark was equivalent to that of 520 modern boxcars and it’s been calculated that this would be more than enough space to accommodate the 16,000 species necessary to ensure the continuation of all of the animal kingdom. There’s a good article on the topic by John Woodmorappe that can be found on the Institute for Creation Research website.
The discussion on the feasibility of the animals on the ark is interesting but think this through with me. Isn’t this one of those questions that comes down to whether or not you believe in God and all that He is? If God did indeed create the universe in all of its vastness and majesty, if God did indeed create all of the animals on earth to begin with, then isn’t it an easy thing for God to preserve all of the animals on the ark? He could have brought only immature animals to ensure adequate size, once on board He could have put all of the creatures into a state of hibernation to ensure adequate care. The same God who created the universe, the same God who created Adam from dust, could have easily preserved the animals on the ark. Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14)
Some interesting observations:
Noah was a carpenter — Jesus was a carpenter.
Noah was righteous, blameless, walking faithfully with God — Jesus is righteous, blameless, walking faithfully with God (and He is God).
The ark had only one door in its side. There was only one way into the ark. — Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” (John 10:9 KJV) And Jesus also said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
The ark had many rooms — Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms…” (John 14:2) As the ark had many rooms for the many different types of animals, we see that our Father has designed heaven with many rooms for the many different types of Christians who will dwell there (yes, even Charismatics).
Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (v.22) — Speaking of God, Jesus said, “…I always do what pleases him.” (John 8:29)
The way of escape:
Yes the world was filled with violence but God provided a way of escape! The way of escape for mankind in Noah’s day was through the door in the side of the ark. There was no other way. You either went through that door, as Noah and his family did, or you perished.
The Hebrew word kapher is the word used in verse 14 that we see translated pitch. In every other instance in the Bible kapher is translated atonement. For you and for me, the way to escape hell is through Jesus Christ. That’s the only way. This isn’t my idea. As a firefighter that’s not the way I would have designed salvation. When a builder submits plans for a room that will hold a large number of people, we like to require multiple ways to escape. The greater the number of people, the greater the number of exits. That’s how I would have designed salvation. But God says: “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” When God designed the ark, He designed it with one door. When God designed salvation, at great personal sacrifice, He designed it with one Door, Jesus Christ, His Son.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…”
John 10:9 KJV
Institute for Creation Research