Smoky Mountain Bible Institute
Break out your maps and histories as we travel in a time machine of sorts to examine History & Geography through a biblical worldview. We have traveled through 1656 years of world history and have come to the worldwide flood. We discussed evidence of this event last year in lessons 34 through 37 when we addressed Plate Tectonics, the Ice Age, and Ancient Lakes and Fossils. These four lessons give great evidence in our world’s natural geography and geology of a worldwide flood not a localized event that is used by many to dismiss the biblical account. Genesis 6-9 is a ‘second hand’ eye witness account, recorded by Moses but revealed to Him by God.
So in approximately 2444BC, Noah, a humble God fearing man 500 years of age, was told by God to build an ark. First let me note that I am making an assumption that Noah, whose age is given as 500 in Gen 5:32, is still that age 14 verses later in Gen 6:14. Scripture does not tell us how old Noah was when God actually gave him this instruction. So for those who believe the 120 years in Gen 6:3 are not a limit to human life but a limit to the years before the flood, Noah is then 480 years old when he got this instruction. (We do know from Gen 7:11 that Noah was 600 when the flood started) So from whichever age, for the next 100 or 120 years, he and three of his sons built an ark that many today say could not be built. Well, contrary to that belief, not only does the technology exist but you will be able to see a life size replica in Williamstown KY in 2015. The "Ark Encounter" plans to start construction either this year or in 2014.
Before we discuss the ark narrative and time line let me first point out that there are hundreds of ancient worldwide flood narratives and just about every culture has an ancient flood narrative as part of its cultural heritage. Although hyper-skeptics use this to argue that the flood narrative is a plagiarism from other accounts like "Gilgamesh", it makes more sense that it is indeed accurate because all of the descendants of Noah and his three sons have some parts of this flood account in their narratives and histories. Flood accounts are part of who they were and where they came from. Unfortunately due to the division of language and people at Babel, and the hardships of populating the world under ice age conditions, all other accounts were corrupted by embellishment or loss of information.
We know very little about those 100 or 120 years between Gen 6:14 & 7:11. However we can make some reasonable deductions based on what we do know. The dimensions and ratios given for the ark are the ideal for nautical stability and self-righting. Feasibility studies have been done and if you care to revisit lesson 26, Kind v/s Species (see link above), you will see that there was more than enough room for pairs of 6000 kinds of animals, seven pairs of each clean animal. There was room for food, fodder and anything and everything needed for a long trip at sea. As a matter of fact when you do the simple supply math for this year- long trip, you see the real question was not ‘was there enough room’, the real question is ‘why is there so much room?’. Once you put all that scripture describes, and all that could be logistically needed for such a voyage together, you find that one third to one half of the upper deck was additional space that could be used. (Now I know what you are thinking, Noah's wife and her three daughters- in-law would have no problem filling that available closet space :-)......
But actually that open space shows that God loves us so much that even though He knows everything, He hoped that others would come to their senses, turn to God and join Noah on the ark. This is of course speculation but it is in keeping with God’s loving and giving character to provide more that enough space, more than enough blessing, more than enough love, to redeem and cover the needs of all His creation. Trusting in his promises, receiving His great gifts of faith and salvation.
Next month we board the ark! 2344 BC
Pastor Robert Portier