Preschools often show cute pictures of Noah and the Ark on the wall. The ark is usually characterized as a small ship full of modern age zoo animals. You will usually see two giraffe heads sticking out of a window, two lions, and two hippopotamuses. After all, we know that dinosaurs all died out millions of years before the flood, right?
A close examination of the Genesis text shows that the size of the ark was not a cute little floating zoo. It was hundreds of feet long and three stories high. A scale model could easily fill up a bathtub, unlike the toy arks children might play with in the bath.
The text also indicates that the extent of Flood covered the entire surface of the earth. Genesis 7: 19, 20 says, “They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.” Hardly sounds like a local flood. If it were just a local river flood in a river valley that overflowed, then the ark would have flowed over the edge like a bathtub overflowing and they would have found themselves on the other side of the mountains. Is there evidence of water covering the entire earth? Everywhere you look you see layers of sedimentary rock laid down by water all over the earth—the geological record.
Why is the story of Noah and the Ark so important? Genesis also tells us the reason for the flood. Genesis 6:5 “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” The flood came because of human evil. It must have been even worse then than it is today.
Jesus believed in a literal Noah and the Ark; and used it as a sign of His return and coming judgment. Matthew 24:37-39 “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Peter used it as an analogy for salvation. 1 Peter 3:20 says, “God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water.” Anyone who was not on the ark perished. Anyone who is not “in Christ” will also perish. It was Jesus Himself who said he was the only way to God.
Noah’s Ark is important—deny the flood, deny future judgment.