The ancient story of Noah building his ark is much more than history. God instructed Noah to build the ark because a crisis was at hand. But the people of Noah’s day saw no such crisis. For them, life would continue with business as usual.
This is the normal attitude of the majority. “In the days before the flood,” said Jesus, “people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage…until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:38-39).
Even when Jesus preached and healed the sick, many failed to recognize the miraculous nature of what was happening in their time. “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky,” Jesus told his generation, “but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).
Noah’s neighbors looked at the ordinary skies, which seemed to promise ordinary weather. They did not perceived the troubled and turbulent moral climate – a sign of imminent disaster. But Noah, because he was a just man and walked with God, was enabled to see what others could not.
How about you? Do you assume that only the visible is real?
|An extinct volcano, Mt. Ararat (left), located inpresent-day Turkey, is believed by some to be the site where Noah’s ark came to rest. At nearly 17,000 feet, it is the highest mountain in the region. |
Free to roam the earth again, a magnificent menagerie emerges from the ark in Filippo Palizzi’s 19th-century painting (below). Spanning the sky is a rainbow – the sign of God’s covenant with all living creatures.
Author: Jim Herst and Tim Finlay