The World Needs an Ark

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: the ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.  (Genesis 6:11-22)
We are living through a moment in history when even the nonbelievers around us are recognising that the hand of God appears to be at work in the world. During the first lockdown, news reporters described the crowded hospitals and empty streets as apocalyptic scenes – that is, as reminiscent of The Apocalypse, which is another name for the book of Revelation. Now that we are in second lockdown, those same news reporters are describing Covid-19 as a “plague of biblical proportions”. As Christians, we mustn’t miss it when secular news reporters use such terms!

It feels increasingly as though Covid-19 is to our generation what the prophecies about Noah’s Flood were to his – a strong warning from the Lord that he will not overlook human sin forever, and an urgent invitation to receive his gracious offer of salvation while there still is time.

For Noah’s generation, that salvation was to be found through Noah’s Ark. For our generation, it is not a wooden Ark that saves us, but the wooden cross of Jesus to which that Ark pointed. It is also the Church which is home to the Family of God and which the Lord is building amidst this crisis so that people can be saved. It may not appear to be very relevant to us when the Bible records the Lord’s specific instructions for how Noah was to build his ark, but it is meant to remind us that the Lord has a detailed Gospel message that we must not alter and a detailed plan for his Church which we must not tweak and tamper with. Why was Noah’s Ark able to save people in his generation? We are told in Genesis 6:22.  It was because “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
1)   How might we be tempted to alter the Gospel message that God has entrusted to us? What slight alterations has the Western Church already made to the Gospel? How does this make our “Ark” less likely to save people?

2)   How might we be tempted to adapt the Church to suit our own desires and preferences, rather than to build the “Ark of salvation” that the Lord has actually commanded us to build?

3)   What insights is the Lord giving you during #Lockdown2 into the way in which he wants us to build Church together on the other side of lockdown? How can you share these insights with your leaders?
Father God, I feel like I am living through history right now. Help me to discern what you are trying to say to us through this Great Flood of our generation. Help me to know what you are trying to say to me personally and what you are trying to say to my church family. Lord, empower all of us to build our “Ark of salvation” really well. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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