Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Genesis 6 - Noah to God: "I'm Building a What Now?"

Genesis 6

What it literally says:  As mankind grew in population, so did wickedness.  God regrets creating humanity, vowing to wipe all of creation off the earth by sending a gigantic flood (7, 17).

However, Noah finds favor in God's eyes (8).  God will let Noah and his immediate family live, but he must build a giant ship, an ark, that will house his family and scores of wildlife.

And Noah did so.

What it says to me:  It's really easy to conceptualize Noah as a pure and honest man who might possibly be skeptical of what God commanded him to do, or at least he might wonder if he heard the Almighty correctly.  I usually think of Noah being in a landlocked area nowhere near water that needed the size of a ship God wanted him to build.  His neighbors wondering what in the world crazy old No-ey is up to.  But then I realize I'm just thinking of Evan Almighty, but that's probably not far from plausible.  The world was beginning to grow comfortable in it's wickedry so I can imagine Noah being made fun of plenty.

And I wonder how God sees us today, how we compare to the world back then.  Today the world feels like it's at its most evil; I'm thankful God made his promise afterward ... but I won't spoil the ending :)

But man, Noah had a task, more daunting than this blog!  Here are the rough estimates of how crazy big the LORD wanted Noah to build this sucker:

450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

That's a football field and a half long, more than seven stories wide, and more than four stories tall!

Not only is it a massive undertaking to construct this floating oddity, God also wants Noah to take two of all living creatures along with him and his family (19).  I won't make the obvious jokes about it smelling terribly.  A major controversy is this ark's ability to house two of "all living creatures."  Aren't there millions and millions and millions of animals on the Earth?  What about insects and sea creatures?  Well, Arnold C. Mendez, Sr. has another answer for you (see yesterday for his calculation of early biblical ages).  The short answer: "Only air breathing, land dwelling animals would have to be placed aboard the ark," (emphasis mine, and this is further explained in Genesis 7).

When we think about it that way, the size of the ark to house the necessary animals makes more sense!  Mendez also provides these further details about what animals would have lived not in the ark:

The following animals could have survived outside the ark (Whitcomb 1998, p.68):
  • 25,000 species of fish
  • 1,700 tunicates (mane chordates like sea squirts) found throughout the seas
  • 600 echinoderms including star fish and sea urchins
  • 107,000 mollusks such as mussels, clams and oysters
  • 10,000 coelenterates like corals and sea anemones, jelly fish and hydroids
  • 4,000 species of sponges
  • 31,000 protozoan, the microscopic single-celled creatures.
That's a concept I never thought about, surviving animals outside the ark.  This almost sounds contrary to what God says, that He will wipe out everything (13).  If you read his article he goes into more detail, again with mathematical answers that provide a compelling argument.

I wonder what "arks" God wants us to build, things He wants us to do when they either seem unnecessary to us or just outlandish on the surface.  He always has a plan that sees farther that what we can.

I just hope we can be like Noah and simply "do as God [commands]" when He wants us to do something a little on the crazy side (22).

Just how crazy was Noah's task?  Check out the finished product!

No comments:

Post a Comment