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THE FIRST SHIPBUILDER

I have placed my rainbow in the clouds as a sign of my promise until the end of time, to you and to all the earth

(Genesis 9:13 – Living Bible)

 

Expelled from their home in Eden, Adam and Eve faced the harsh realities of working long hard hours day by day to provide food and shelter for themselves and for the children that were soon born to them. A great and terrible grief came to them when Cain, their eldest son, became madly jealous of his brother Abel, and murdered him.

And this was only a beginning of great wickedness in the world. Although for a time some tried to be pleasing to God, and helpful to families and friends, there were others who became bitter and resentful toward God and vindictive towards their fellow men. This kind of evil behaviour can be contagious, and over the years an atmosphere of suspicion, fear and animosity spread through the population, until there were very few who lived good and honest lives, and who still worshiped God.

One of these was a man called Noah, who along with his wife and their three sons, was still pleasing to God. Having witnessed the violent and evil conduct of the people, there came a time when God determined to put an end to that situation. Everything that was evil and corrupt should be destroyed, and earth would have a new beginning.

NOAH BECOMES A SHIPBUILDER

God confided His plans to Noah. He would send a vast flood of water onto the earth to destroy all that was contaminated with evil. Only Noah and his wife, with their three sons and their wives, would be spared. They were to build a large vessel which would carry them safely over the floodwaters, and in due time they would generate a new population for the earth. God specified the design and dimensions of the ship, which would provide suitable accommodation also for two each of every animal and bird.

Building the ship took many years Neighbours watched with curiosity and fell about laughing when Noah warned them of the coming great flood. They were not laughing when the rains came. When the vessel was completed, God instructed Noah to make provision for a long journey afloat, both for his family and for all the creatures to be taken aboard. Within a week, this was done – and then the deluge of rain began to fall.

A SAFE VOYAGE

Torrents of water poured endlessly from the sky. Nothing like this had ever been seen before. AsJohan Huiber Noah's ark gives Bible Students and thinking Christian's world-wide a glimpse in to what the ark may well have looked like the rising floodwaters covered the land surface the huge craft was lifted up and carried along in the wind. Noah had proved himself to be a skilled shipbuilder, and he and his charges were kept safe and dry. Soon all the familiar landmarks vanished. People and animals had all disappeared beneath the flood and there was nothing to see but water all around. For six weeks the rain lashed down, until even the tops of the mountains were lost to sight.

The vessel that carried Noah and his family through the great flood became known as Noah’s ‘Ark’ – a word that has come to mean something that offers shelter or protection. Throughout their amazing experience God had protected the eight good people, and numerous birds and animals, so that the earth could be repopulated after being cleansed from the evil that had threatened to bring it to destruction.

A NEW BEGINNING

At last the drumming of rain on the timbers stopped, a strong wind sprang up and the water began to subside. The ship floated for many weeks, until one day it came to rest on a mountain. After a while Noah opened a porthole and let out a raven, which did not come back, then a dove, which returned without finding a resting place, so that Noah knew the waters had not dried up yet. A week later he sent the dove out again, and that evening she returned carrying a fresh olive leaf. The water was almost gone! But Noah waited another week before letting the dove fly out again, and this time she did not come back.

The day came when God told Noah it was safe to leave and make a fresh start, and Noah and his family held a special service of thanksgiving to God for bringing them all safely through such a tremendous experience. Then God made a solemn promise that never again would there be such a destructive flood upon the earth, and as a token of that promise he showed them something they had never seen before – he set a beautiful rainbow in the sky, which to this day is a wonder and a joy to behold, and a constant reminder of God’s loving concern for His people here on the earth. To find the full story in your Bible read from Genesis 6: 7 to Genesis 9: 17.

SEE THE ARK!

Artists through the ages have tried to portray Noah’s Ark on canvas, but until recently no convincing picture has been presented. There is now on display in Amsterdam an amazing model of the huge vessel, built of timber it one half the length and one-third the width of the Biblical dimensions. This is on display to the public, and a full-scale replica is already under construction.

Our thanks to Johan Huiber the builder of the Ark and for the photographs on the websites below.

For details, log on to:  www.pbase.com/paulthedane/noahs_ark  (Copy and paste in to browser)

More information on:  http://www.arkvannoach.com/language/en/  (Copy and paste in to browser)

Copyright October 2008, UKBibleStudents.co.uk.

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