Noah’s Ark Floats Again!

 

Noah’s Ark Floats Again!

Richard Hollerman

Most of us are familiar with the great destruction of the earth at the time of Noah, as described in Genesis 6-9.  You will recall that God’s Word describes the fact that “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

The Scriptures say that God “was grieved in His heart” because of the rampant disobedience of those who dwelt on earth (Genesis 6:6).  In light of this evil, God determined to wipe out the ungodly from the earth. We read, “Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.  God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth” (vv. 11-12).

Because of this widespread departure from Him, our Creator wanted to save the few remaining faithful persons on earth. But how was He to do this? He close to use water to destroy all humanity, except for the faithful ones. Would He just lift them from the earth and receive them to heaven? No, He wanted to use the few faithful to repopulate the earth, thus he planned for Noah and his family to build a huge ark to preserve not only themselves but also two of every animal on the earth. 

The record explains: “Then God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13). He consequently gave instructions on how Noah was to build a barge-like boat to save him, his family, and representatives of all animals: “Make for yourself an ark of gopher word. . .” (v. 14).

By means of this ark, God saved these few remaining righteous people.  As Peter puts it, “A few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water” (1 Peter 3:20b).  The ark was a huge floating vessel—somewhat like a barge—measuring 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high (Genesis 6:15). If the cubit was about 18 inches, this would mean the ark measured 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.  (Some think that the Babylonian cubit was 21 inches, thus the measurements may have been slightly larger.)

Over the years, unbelieving “scholars” have tried to discount and deny the existence of the ark as well to deny the worldwide flood.  Sadly, some professing “Christians” have also claimed that the flood only covered a small portion of the earth, such as the Mesopotamia Valley. 

The objections to this kind of denial are many and this is not our purpose presently.  Scripture seems plain that the deluge did cover the entire world, including all of the high mountains (Genesis 7:19-20). The mountains may not have been nearly as high before the flood as after, but still the fact remains that whatever mountains there were, all were covered. And all mankind perished as well as all animal life (cf. Genesis 6:17; 7:4, 21-23). Only Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives remained (cf. Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 2:5).

What if the remains of Noah’s ark could be located today?  This would give unmistakable evidence that Noah did exist, that he did build an ark, and that there was a flood that destroyed the world—just as the Bible says.  In fact, there have been many attempts to find the ark in “the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4). 

We are not sure of the exact mountain peak, but the Ararat mountains are known today, thus many have climbed with an attempt to find the ark’s remains. There have been various reports of sightings and some have even claimed to find artifacts of the vessel.  However, there seems to have been no unambiguous remains that can be verified.  If the ark ever is found, this will make many unbelieving religionists blush at their unreasonable and belligerent unbelief and ridiculing statements.

Although we don’t have the original and authentic ark, there have been some who have attempted to construct models of the ark.  Right now, Ken Ham, leader of the “Answers in Genesis” project in Hebron, Kentucky, is preparing to build a full-scale replica of Noah’s ark at Williamstown, Kentucky, some 40 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.  As I write this, it is reported that $12,196,567 has been collected out of a needed $24,500,000 total (Answers Update, Vol. 20, Issue 3). 

Ham explains, “While trees are being cleared and more permits are being submitted, a busy design team is working on the Ark’s design, inside and out.”  By the fall of 2013, they hope to “break ground and begin construction.”  Ham explains further, “A finished Ark will be a great testimony to the historicity of the Bible and will proclaim the gospel.”

Along with the ark, the “Answers in Genesis” organization has a huge, impressive Creation Museum at Hebron which my wife and I have visited. (Please visit this at your earliest convenience and give yourself a day or two to observe.)  They also plan to have a theme park , where the Ark will be in Williamstown.  Using Amish craftsmen from Indiana, the project is to have a Tower of Babel and other Biblical sites. Indeed, this should be worth a visit from across the country. (See the website at www.ArkEncounter.com and www.Answersingenesis.org.)

One “evidences” teacher, John N. Clayton (who believes in “long ages” for the earth!) ridicules the idea of building an ark. He criticizes the project, “We would wonder if the money being used to promote a westernized denominational view of the flood account could not be better spend in relieving hunger in Africa” (Does God Exist, Mark/April 2013). While the poor in Africa and around the world do need help, we can see the rationale for a project that would help to give evidence for a flood that millions deny.  Further, just as all mankind outside of the ark perished, we know that all of mankind apart from Christ will eternally perish!

Another interesting Ark experience comes from Dordrecht, Netherlands, south of Rotterdam.  Dutchman Johan Huibers, a builder by trade, and a professing Christian and creationist, wanted to reach people for Christ.  He said, “I want to make people question that so that they go looking for answers.” Ultimately, he wants people to “find salvation through God and eternal life” (nydailynews.com/life-style/ real-estate/dutchman- completes-20-year-quest-build- full-scale-noah-ark- article-1.1217581).

Huibers took 20 years to complete his project and presently the recreated “ark” is moored at Dordrecht. It measures 427 feet long, 95 feet wide, and 75 feet high. Just why there is a slight difference from the Biblical dimensions is unknown.  It would appear that his desire was to have room for many additional features besides models of the animals.  The builder has packed much into the Ark replica:

Gazing across the ark’s main hold, a huge space of stalls supported by a forest of pine trees, visitors gaze upon an array of stuffed and plastic animals, such as buffalo, zebra, gorillas, lions, tigers, bears, you name it. Elsewhere on the ark is a petting zoo with actual live animals that are less dangerous or easier to care for—such as ponies, dogs, sheep, and rabbits—and an impressive aviary of exotic birds” (Ibid.).

The ark also contains “a restaurant on the topmost level and a movie theater capable of seating 50 people. Around the edges of each level of the craft are displays on ancient Middle Eastern history and dress, scenes from the life of Noah, and games for kinds, including water pumps and a system of levers to lift bales of hay” (Ibid.).

One visitor, Martin Konijn, said that he was amazed at the detail seen in Huibers’ project.  “You might know the story of Noah, okay, but if you see this you begin to get an idea of how it would actually have worked in practice” (Ibid.).  This is just what the builder would want. And further than this, he would want visitors to establish faith in the reliability of Scripture and especially in the Author of Scripture.  Huibers, the builder, would like to take the ark to other European ports for even more people to visit. Although Ken Ham’s full-size ark will never float, Huiber’s ark is presently floating and can be seen from a distance. One can board the ark and vividly imagine what it would be like to live on the ark for over a year, as Noah and his family did.

Whether any of us actually set foot on Ken Ham’s planned ark or actually visit Huiber’s full-scale ark in the Netherlands, we can have the assurance from the reliability of God’s infallible Word that there was a real ark.  There was a massive worldwide apostasy from the true God, there was the grace of God that called the righteous Noah and his family (Genesis 6:8-9), there was an earth-wide deluge that destroyed every living thing on dry ground, and God began human life once again on earth, as well as animal life.  All of the earth was populated again from this tiny beginning (Genesis 8:16ff; 10:1-32).

God promised to never again destroy the world through waters of the flood (Genesis 9:8-17).  In the future, our Lord will destroy the world with fire (2 Peter 3:5-15).  Are we ready?

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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