Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God, Noah, the ark, and the origin of wisdom

Yesterday I wrote an essay about Thomas Jefferson and how he had edited the bible down to 46 pages. He excised all mentions of anything supernatural or miraculous, including the  flood and the ark.

Genesis 1-11 is often the first battle ground for people to begin chipping away at the truth of God's word. They cannot believe the 6-day creation, the fall of man, the global flood, the ark, the tower of Babel and so on. So they don't.

But disbelieving those things means one does not believe by faith that God has revealed Himself in His word. It also means they don't believe the bible is true. It further means they believe themselves a better barometer of truth-detection than God.

However, God is sovereign. That means He has dominion over all of creation, from the furthest universe down to the deepest atom.

I'm struck by one example of His dominion over all, how he calls the animals to do His will.

For example, the ark- He sent the animals to Noah.

"Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive." (Genesis 6:20)

He sent the ravens to Elijah.

"You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." (1 Kings 17:4, 6)

He sent a fish to Jonah

"And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." (Jonah 1:17)

He sent a worm to Jonah

"But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered." (Jonah 4:7)

God sees the smallest bird, the tiniest worm, and the most discouraged Christian. Nothing escapes His eye. We have a God who sees.

"So she [Hagar] called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:13)

Could not a mighty God who creates, sees, redeems, gives grace, and judges make an ark to hold animals? Boat builders even do that.

Johan did it. He is a Dutch man who created a life sized replica of the ark.

Dutch Creationist Rolls Out Life-Size Noah’s Ark Replica
"A carpenter who spent three years and more than £1million building a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark has opened it to the public. ... The narrative of the ark, in which God commands Noah to prepare for a great flood sent to purge the world of evil, specifies that the boat was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Mr Huibers converted this ancient unit of measurement, which is based on the length of the forearm, to determine that his recreation had to be about 450ft long. This puts the boat, nicknamed 'Johan's Ark', at more than half the length of the Titanic"





Johan's feat of biblical proportions
"Floods of visitors are amazed by Dutch builder's replica of Noah's life-saving ark. Just as the first storms of winter roll in, Dutchman Johan Huibers has finished his 20-year quest to build a full-scale, functioning model of Noah's Ark. Huibers used books 6 to 9 of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, as his inspiration, following the instructions God gave Noah down to the last cubit. Translating to modern measurements, Huibers came up with a vessel that works out to a whopping 130m long, 29m across and 23m high. Perhaps not big enough to fit every species on Earth, two by two, as described in the Bible, but plenty of space, for instance, for a pair elephants to dance a tango. Johan's Ark towers over the flat Dutch landscape and is easily visible from a nearby highway where it lies moored in the city of Dordrecht, south of Rotterdam."

"Another visitor, Martin Konijn, was impressed with the level of detail. "You might know the story of Noah, okay, but if you see this you begin to get an idea of how it would actually have worked in practice."

Exactly.

And of course the ark could hold two of each kind. (Not species, kind. Not variety, kind. Not sub-species, kind).

GotQuestions gets technical.
Thus, the ark could have been up to 550 feet long, 91.7 feet wide and 55 feet high. These are not unreasonable dimensions. But how much storage space does this amount to? Well, 550 x 91.7 x 55 = 2,773,925 cubic feet. (If we take the smallest measurement of cubit, 17 inches, we end up with 1,278,825 cubic feet). Of course, not all of it would have been free space. The ark had three levels (Genesis 6:16) and a lot of rooms (Genesis 6:14), the walls of which would have taken up space. Nevertheless, it has been calculated that a little more than half (54.75%) of the 2,773,925 cubic feet could store 125,000 sheep-sized animals, leaving over 1.5 million cubic feet of free space (see - http://www.icr.org/bible/bhta42.html).

John Woodmorappe, author of the definitive Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study, estimated that only about 15% of the animals on the ark would have been larger than a sheep. This figure does not take into account the possibility that God may have brought Noah “infant” animals, which can be significantly smaller than adult animals.

How many animals were on the ark? Woodmorappe estimates about 16,000 “kinds.” What is a “kind”? The designation of “kind” is thought to be much broader than the designation “species.” Even as there are over 400 dog breeds all belonging to one species (Canis familiaris), so many species can belong to one kind. Some think that the designation “genus” may be somewhat close to the biblical “kind.”

Nevertheless, even if we presume that “kind” is synonymous with “species,” “there are not very many species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. The leading systematic biologist, Ernst Mayr, gives the number as 17,600. Allowing for two of each species on the ark, plus seven of the few so-called “clean” kinds of animals, plus a reasonable increment for known extinct species, it is obvious that not more than, say, 50,000 animals were on the ark” (Morris, 1987).
Ultimately, today's post and yesterday's post are about faith. Do you believe what God says about Himself? Do you believe that what is written in the bible is directly inspired by the Holy Spirit? Do you believe it was accurately recorded and represents the best and only reliable information we have about God? Do you believe the things that the bible says happened actually happened as written? (Ten plagues, Red Sea parting, Lazarus raised from the dead etc?)

These are questions we need to ask ourselves, and be ready to make an answer to all who ask. (1 Peter 3:15). If you have an area where you could study more so as to give a reasonable and accurate answer, do so. Answers in Genesis exists to give people who are curious about these things a scientific and sound basis for questions such as how the animals could fit into the ark, why fossil dating is unreliable, and so on.

"Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible."

It's about faith. Don't be like Thomas Jefferson and claim that some things Jesus said were like diamonds and the rest a dungheap. It's all good. Even the stuff you have a hard time believing. After all, if God was so common and understandable, He wouldn't be God. It is about faith in His wisdom, not ours.

He offers the best knowledge,the highest wisdom and the most solid protection. Lean into His understanding

If we lean onto our own wisdom, it is no different than a man who uses a newspaper to wrap himself in to keep the cold away. Man's words will tear and rip and the knowledge he finds in those pages will melt away in the first storm or rain.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 source
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:5)

Faith is a holy thing--

"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost," (Jude 1:20)

In the end, it is faith that is the victory--

"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."  (1 John 5:4)

God is sovereign. He calls the animals to do His bidding. He tells Noah to build the ark. He sends the animals to it. "Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him." (Genesis 6:22). God is not asking us to build an ark. All He commands us to do is to believe. (John 6:29). Do you?

7 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth!

    I commend you for faith in the Lord. I praise the Lord for your faith!

    Please Elizabeth pray that we all might have stronger faith and believe what the Lord has told us.

    Seeing as God is God, it is not hard at all from that perspective to believe that all these things are true.

    Love, from Drew

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  2. but wouldnt it have been more difficult for Noah to take care of "baby" animals since they need special care as they are a lot more weaker and stuff? As well special training on how to survive in the wild? And if this was a miracle why are people trying to scientifically prove it? No body tries to scientifically prove that Jesus rose from the dead, like you never see an apologist say that certain chemicals reactions in his body allowed Jesus to come back to life

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    1. I don't know why scientists and unbelievers do what they do. Most of them are not trying to scientifically prove that the flood happened, they use science to prove it didn't. If they were scientifically honest they would understand that between the salinity of the seas, the difficulty in determining fossil age, and the fact that there are sea fossils on top of the Himalayas, they would see that science in fact proves the flood. Science proves the earth as young, creation of man, and the flood, as a matter of fact. Scientists ignore the science and pervert it to suit their reprobate minds just as the prosperity gospel preachers pervert the scriptures to pervert the word. It stems from the same source: satan the liar and the father of lies

      As for the baby animals, I do not think it was any harder to care for them than an adult. Each has their own particular needs. Some theologians believe God put a spirit of docility into them so they could co-exist with each other and with man during the flood confinement. After all, God sent the animals to Noah and they docilely walked into the ark under their own steam. Noah did not have to hunt or trap them. So it seems they were already operating under a command of God. (Gen 6:20). It is not hard to believe their docility extended to the months on the ark and didn't end at the door when they walked in.

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    2. no i think the point is that noah's ark is a MIRACLE there is no need to try and prove it "scientifically" possible, I thought faith was about believing in something with few or little proof?

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    3. You are correct. Believing the bible is by faith.

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  3. The ship pictured above has steel fasteners to hold the planks together and a steel hull.

    Why? Because it is quite impossible to build a seaworthy boat of that size out of wood. Wood just isn't strong enough.

    I suppose that Noah just called up the nearest steel yard and asked for a thousand tonnes of steel girders and steel plate, plus 50,000 fasteners, then arc-welded them together to make a watertight solid hull. Next, he impregnated the wood with urethane polymer for strength and water resistance. For ventilation, he installed a dozen 200 horsepower gasoline powered blowers. He did all this millennia before any such stuff existed.

    No all-wood, seaworthy ship anywhere near this size has ever been built. None is likely ever to be built, even with today's advanced wood treatments. It would crack like a dry twig at the first large wave.

    Furthermore, the Ark Supposedly Held As Many Animals As a Large Zoo. How many people does it take to operate a large zoo? Eight is hardly enough. A few hundred, at the least.

    Searching for Noah's Ark makes just as much sense as looking for Pirates' Cove in Never-Never-Land or Santa's Workshop at the North Pole. Anybody who believes in such nonsense hard enough, is likely to find it. But that still doesn't make it real.

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    Replies
    1. I am sorry that you do not have the faith to believe the word of God, nor delight in the notion of His provision for man and animals through judgment. :(

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