God teaches us how to stay afloat in troubled times.
One of the best known accounts in scripture is the story of Noah’s ark. The Creator had seen the depravity, wickedness, and evil that pervaded mankind and regretted creating humans (Genesis 6:6). It was not that He hadmade a mistake. When He made Adam and Eve, He delighted in what He had done and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). He decided to allow freedom of choice in the hope that mankind would come to realize His love and goodness as the only way to eternity and would then consistently choose to do as He instructed (Deuteronomy 30:19).
God had already experienced Lucifer and a third of the angels rising up in rebellion against Him, but that seems to have been the first and only bad experience on such a large scale God had up to the time of Noah. But then He faced an Earth on which people had chosen to follow Satan, and thus every evil of their imaginations was taking place. He realized that mankind would suffer untold agony and distress through their actions. He preferred people would heed His warning and return to Him, but they did not.
God’s answer was to bring about a worldwide flood that would drown all air-breathing land animals and birds, with the exception of those He would save by instructing Noah to build an ark. God knew the extent of flooding that would come and the exact dimensions of the ark that was needed. He gave the plan to Noah, and Noah followed the blueprint. A total of eight humans were saved along with the animals and birds that God brought into the ark. The creatures came at God’s bidding and God shut the door (Genesis 7:16).
Parallel experiences in our lives today
Life presents us all with storms from time to time. They can be storms within the economy or desires of the nations and world; they can be storms within our personal lives; or they can be storms of finances, health, marital stress, warfare, or something within our communities that cause distress and danger. We can stand by and just watch what is going on, or we can build an ark that will carry us through the storm until the sun begins to shine again and we are on dry ground.
In Noah’s time, God allowed 120 years for people to do something about their condition (Genesis 6:3). During that time, Noah was preaching about repentance and the flood to come and building the ark. No doubt his work was the talk of the town. When a man builds a huge ark on dry land, the story makes headlines. But it seems that watching the spectacle is all that happened. People may have come to see this “wonder of the world” at the time, but went back to living their lives as though nothing was going to happen—right up until the time the flood came and took them all away (Matthew 24:38-39).
Are you preparing for tough times ahead?
A wise person learns to “make hay while the sun shines,” but he also knows that he needs to prepare for the time the sun might not shine. Bad weather has always been a farmer’s fear. Wise farmers plan well and have a backup plan, if needed. Wise people in all walks of life do that too. Not many are wise, it seems. Wise creatures (programmed to be so by God) are intended to help us humans (who have been given the ability tothink) to learn lessons. Ants prepare their winter supply of food in the summer. Badgers make their homes in crags for protection. Locusts have no apparent leader, but march in an orderly fashion. Spiders work hard and are successful anywhere through their work (Proverbs 30:24-28). There are many other creatures who take needed steps before a serious threat arises. There are some who “build an ark” in anticipation of a flood. Some heed the red flags and warning signs.
The economic picture on the earth looks bad for people. Some have seen the downturn coming and aretaking steps to protect themselves. Many have seen the downturn coming, but are not heeding the warning signs or they are finding reasons to carry on as though nothing willhappen (Proverbs 22:3). Winston Churchill once made one of his profound remarks when he said that some people can stumble over a great truth, get up and dust themselves off and go on as though nothing has happened. We ought not to be that way, but various forces from within often push us in the direction of doing only what needs to be done at that time.
Interestingly enough, God did not build the ark for Noah and his family. He gave the warning and the instructions, but it was Noah who had to do the work. God allows us to do the things that are good for us. A wise parent will realize that they must not do everything for the child. Children need to learn to think and plan. They need to learn how to work. All of that is designed to build character. God is a faithful and wise parent. In His wisdom, He wants us to build our arks.
What red flags and warning signs do you see in your life? Is your marriage losing some of its wonder and luster? Are you letting greed make you borrow far beyond that which you are able to repay? Are your grades in school as good as you can make them? Do you look after your health by not carrying excess weight or developing habits that will hurt and disable you? Do you relegate prayer and study to the back-burner of your life? Are God and His laws important to you?
We live in a dangerous age
We are living at a time that is similar to the time of Noah. This earth is full of violence, greed, and evil attitudes and actions. The Bible is often relegated to the bookshelf and there are few that humbly and truly seek God (Psalm 10:4). Human suffering is growing throughout the world, and if God does not step in, we will obliterate ourselves (Matthew 24:22).
God is about to step in and rescue this world. Jesus Christ is about to return, but with great power and might. He will come with great wrath (Revelation 6:17). John wrote about the seven bowls of the wrath of God in the last book in the Bible (Revelation 16:1). He also notes that some will be blessed because they will be watching and striving to please God. They are building an ark for the day of His wrath.
Peter wrote for all who wanted to listen and encouraged them to think about the day of the wrath of God (2 Peter 3:9). God does not want any to perish, but those who refuse to repent and conform to His laws will die. The good news is that Christ will return and take full control of this world. The caution is that His return will be met with anger and resistance. There will be war, famine, and disease all over the world.
Until the very last moment, God will provide people with the opportunity to enter an ark. Just as the ark Noah built was standing with doors open until it began to rain, so, too, God offers entrance into His grace and favor. God will provide two witnesses in Jerusalem whom the whole world will see and know about (Revelation 11:2-4). According to prophecy, the world will reject and kill them, but the wise will act. They will be able to assess the situation and turn to God in deep humility and repentance.
The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night with fire and fervent heat. What kind of ark are we building for that day? Our ark is not made of wood as was Noah’s. It is a spiritual ark—made up of the holy righteous character and holy conduct that God has taught us (2 Peter 3:10-12). Build your ark and come aboard for God’s protection.
To learn more about the dangerous times to come and how you can build a relationship with God that will see you through, request the free study guide booklets "Making Life Work " and "Managing Your Finances ".