Noah was a man who had no known scientific training, lived his life on dry land, may never have sailed in a boat, was an itinerant preacher and a prophet who knew a little about carpentry and yet built a colossal, sophisticated structure on dry land that was able to contain his family of eight, and thousands of animals, for months (1 year 10 days to be exact) floating on water and all without the slightest calamity.
Ponder on this and be amazed.
Modern day large ships and cruise liners are designed by naval architects and built by skilled engineers, technicians and a plethora of highly-skilled workers. These ships are modelled and tested in wind tunnels and hydrology systems along scientific principles and based on the science of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics.
And yet Noah, who was just as clueless of these highfaluting scientific principles as a newborn baby is of astrophysics, came up with the unique design for a colossus to float on water that has never been surpassed. Six thousand years after Noah built the ark, and with all the state of the art testing and computer modelling, no one has produced a most excellent proportional structure than Noah.
When people talk about God you just remember that, and be amazed. In truth the world should be astonished by God's awesomeness, but, as ever, they do not give God due credit.
When God was ready to punish mankind and spare just one family, he instructed Noah to build the ark and God gave specific, detailed instructions to Noah as follows:
"Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits." (Genesis 6:14-15)
Notice this was not a boat with a keel and a helm because it was not meant to travel from place to place. This was a flat bottom ark, a structure with a nest of rooms to hold animals, foodstuff and eight people and it was to resist all weather conditions until the waters had receded and it rested again on dry land.
What stands out for all time is the critical dimensions of length and width because these dimensions were critical for the structural integrity and manoeuvrability of the ark. Get it wrong and the ark would topple over or sink without trace and we should remember that nobody was weighing the ark or its contents.
God told Noah to build the ark three hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide. Simply dividing 300 by 50 gives the proportion or ratio of 6 to 1 or 6:1. Throughout history, even up to this modern, high-tech, computer-driven age this ratio stands. Incidentally the height is not critical and the reason the ark was 30 cubits tall was to have adequate capacity for its purpose, i.e., to carry eight people, a number of animals and provisions.
Notice the God-given ratio 6:1 for this is enormously important.
Here are some facts to show how awesome God really is.
The world's largest container ship is named Emma Maersk and its details are as follows:
Country of origin: Denmark
Length - 1,004 ft
Width - 122 ft
Proportions: (length/width) 6.2:1, rounded up it becomes 6:1 exactly the same as the ark.
Caribbean Princess is a large, popular cruise ship and its details are as follows:
Country of origin: Italy
Length - 951 ft
Width - 159 ft
Proportions: (length/width) 5.98:1, rounded up it becomes 6:1 exactly the same as the ark.
The largest cruise ship in the world is named Allure Of The Seas and here are the details.
Country of origin: Finland
Length - 1,187 ft
Width - 213 ft
Proportions: (length/width) 5.57:1, rounded up it becomes 6:1 exactly the same as the ark.
Let us remember that ocean-going vessels today are constructed of steel, either bolted, riveted or welded and yet they are still constructed in the ratio (length/width) of 6:1 exactly as Noah's ark. So was Noah a genius beyond compare or is God just awesome?
How is it possible that an unlearned preacher 6,000 years ago could build an ark to such scientific exactitude that even modern boat builders 6000 years later are still following?
The answer is quite simple really; God is powerfully real and he interacts with his people here on earth in some awesome ways.
It is risky, in some cases life-threatening to stand up and say, "God told me so" but in truth, God is still telling us important things and giving us detailed guidance. Let's remember how God told Paul some important things during a devastating storm as recorded in Acts 27:23-25.
There are many things that defy human wisdom and logic that can be understood only by the acknowledgement that Almighty God is real and active in our world.
The flat earth argument is a great example of how God's awesomeness is not understood and appreciated by a degenerate world. Isaiah, born some 6 centuries BC, described the earth as a globe, (Isaiah 40:22) and anyone looking at NASA's photo of the earth from space can see the globe or circle, yet educated people were arguing that the earth was flat for centuries after Isaiah. Job described the earth as hanging on nothing (Job 26:7) but it was only in the last few hundred years (Sir Isaac Newton in 1665 AD) that the concept of gravity was understood.
Another example of God's awesomeness has to do with universal light. Before God created the sun on the fourth day (to give light to the earth) which is recorded in Genesis 1:16, he created light in the entire universe on the first day, (Genesis 1:3). Scientists have argued for centuries that beyond the earth and deep in space there is only darkness, for they could see nothing else through their telescope in the spaces between stars and galaxies. However they recently discovered a light throughout the universe, they call it cosmic microwave background, you can read about it here. This is 6,000 plus years after Genesis recorded the fact, and their vehement, ongoing denial, but it is good to see that science is catching up.
God's awesomeness can be seen by those who have eyes to see, a loving heart to appreciate and an unsullied mind prepared to give God his due.
The wicked wise and the presumptuously foolish have no interest in ascribing to God the honour and praise due unto him. That is regrettable, but understandable since they are alienated from God; and they are the poorer for it.
Believers, however, not only rejoice and magnify God for his awesomeness and ineffable majesty, but are thankful for his grace, and mercy, as well. We relish and depend on his guiding wisdom in our life every day, we read and meditate on his every word and we await with joy his soon coming kingdom. In truth the most awesome moment is yet to come and we can hardly wait for its arrival, but in anticipation, we pray, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013