Build an Ark!

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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 Genesis 6:6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
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). 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 Genesis 1:31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
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). 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 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
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).

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 Genesis 7:16And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
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).

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 Genesis 6:3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
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). 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 Matthew 24:38-39 [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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).

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 Proverbs 30:24-28 [24] There be four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceeding wise: [25] The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; [26] The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; [27] The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; [28] The spider takes hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.
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). 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 Proverbs 22:3A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
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). 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 (Psalms 10:4 Psalms 10:4The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
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). Human suffering is growing throughout the world, and if God does not step in, we will obliterate ourselves (Matthew 24:22 Matthew 24:22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
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).

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 Revelation 6:17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
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). John wrote about the seven bowls of the wrath of God in the last book in the Bible (Revelation 16:1 Revelation 16:1And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God on the earth.
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). 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 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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). 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 Revelation 11:2-4 [2] But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. [3] And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth. [4] These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
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). 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 2 Peter 3:10-12 [10] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. [11] Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, [12] Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
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). 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".