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GOSPEL TRUTH: “Build your own ark”

What Noah did NOT say…..


031 31



Graffiti, if it is not obscene, can sometimes bring a smile to your face. The summer of 2008, you may recall, turned out to be generally quite wet and unpleasant. In July I was delivering tracts in Sheffield when I noticed some words painted on a wall. Some wit had inscribed the slogan,

Noah says build your own ark.”




The message, adjacent to a busy junction, must have been read by many — either in cars, or buses, or on foot. Some, like me, must have appreciated the sentiment behind the statement — perhaps an attempt to cheer people up during a dismal summer. In April of the next year I revisited the same area, but the Council cleaners must have been busy as the message had disappeared!



I am sure I will never know who was responsible for daubing those words on the wall or why they did so. The Sheffield City Council probably does not know who was responsible either. Their concern was to preserve the image of a clean and tidy city and remove graffiti. However, the message got me thinking. Someone obviously had heard of Noah and the ark and thought that others would know of the incident too. But the short statement was wrong on at least two counts!





First, although Noah built the ark, there is no record in the Bible that he ever told others to copy his work. Genesis describes Noah as a righteous man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord and who “walked with God,” (Gen.6:8-9). This “preacher of righteousness” (as Peter calls him) was divinely warned of a coming flood (Heb.11:7). The words, “Build your own ark” were never uttered by Noah. Others around him were completely godless. There was no rain while Noah built the ark, so any such advice would, in that day, have been absurd.



This leads on to the second mistake: it was not the building of the ark that saved Noah but God who saved him. Many today subscribe to the same error, thinking that human effort plays a part in salvation. Like Noah, we can only be saved by God’s grace. Noah’s message would more likely have been, “Escape from the coming righteous judgment of God by entering the ark He has commanded me to build.”



A final thought: Peter goes on to refer to the flood again later in his epistle. Just as the world in Noah’s day “perished” under the waters of judgment, the world in which we live faces judgment too — but next time it will be by fire (2 Pet.3:6-7). It is sobering to think how close that day may be. Before that time comes we need to repent of our sin and forsake sinful ways. It is only by turning to Christ and accepting what He has done for us that we can obtain eternal salvation.