Monday, September 22, 2008
Genesis 6:14-15 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.
And so it begins. God starts laying out orders for Noah. Remember - God still has not said anything to Noah about sparing his life. God tells him to go find some cypress wood. God knew what He was doing. They didn't have the stains and chemical treatments used to build things like we do back then, but listen to the qualities naturally found in cypress wood: The tree produces an oil called cypressine which acts as a natural preservative within the wood. This inherent characteristic of the Southern Cypress makes it durable and extremely resistant to harsh weather conditions, insects and fungus. Cypress wood lacks sap and doesn't bleed. The lumber is lightweight, scarce of knots, medium textured, and dimensionally stable with a closed straight grain. It is easy to cut, saw, nail, and resists splitting, warping, checking, splintering and cracking.
Sounds like the perfect material for a boat that will be at sea for awhile. Then He tells him to use pitch (which is tar) inside and out - that's some pretty messy stuff. Notice that Noah is still quiet and already what he's being told to do is going to be hard work - then it really gets laid out for him: "The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high." HELLO - For what purpose could He possibly need this boat to be that big! That would've been my response, but not Noah. He still listened to what God was telling him to do.
Here's what I noticed: God is very specific about what He wants Noah to do. I really feel like we are getting the whole conversation here. I don't believe the scriptures are leaving anything out of the conversation. So what strikes me is this - God doesn't tell Noah HOW to build the ark. We are not told what Noah's profession is, but surely he must have some knowledge on how to build boats because Noah doesn't say, "Um, how do I get the boat to float?" or "how many nails will I need to put it together?" Noah must have previous knowledge of how to do this. How many times do we gripe and complain about our jobs? Do you question where God has put you? Maybe, just maybe, God has an ark He's going to want you to build and you need to know how to do it. We need to be happy no matter where God has placed us, for He knows the plans He has for us - so don't complain, just grow where you're planted.