Then God said to Noah . . . "I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood." Genesis 6:13-15a

I’m amazed that the God of heaven and earth shares his plans with a mere mortal, even if he was a righteous man like Noah. God announces the coming of judgment and then he details an escape plan for Noah and his family.

Noah was a recipient of God’s grace who was asked to walk by faith by building an ark. Make no mistake about it. Salvation has always been by grace and through faith (Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 11:7).

God gave Noah specific instructions on how to build the ark in Genesis 6:15-22). He left no detail unmentioned. Size, dimension, and materials all mattered to God. He told Noah where to place the door and the window, and how many decks to build. He also gave Noah a passenger list. “You shall bring two of every kind into the ark.” He told Noah what food to bring on board the boat as well.

Fortunately, Noah did “all that God commanded him” (v. 22). God knew he needed a man who would obey orders. Noah obeyed God meticulously. Because of what one expert says about the design of the ark, it’s a good thing he did.

“The ark had a ratio of 30 x 5 x 3. According to modern shipbuilders this ratio represents an advanced knowledge of shipbuilding since it is the optimum design for stability in rough seas. The ark, designed by God, was virtually impossible to capsize – to do so, it would have to be tilted over 90 degrees” (The New Manners and Customs of the Bible).

Had Noah been the type to cut corners or shrug off obedience, the ark would have been the first Titanic. Noah and his family would have drown like everyone else on planet earth. Instead, Noah obeyed God. He built the ark to the exact specifications God gave him. What a model for us to follow.

We never outgrow our need for obedience in the Christian life. In fact, if you want God’s favor and intimate fellowship, learn the first steps of obedience. Jesus said it this way, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he is it who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).

Noah could have been the inspiration for the old hymn that says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

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