The story of Noah's Ark and The Flood has always fascinated me. It is a story of righteousness, redemption, and also a story of destruction and the result of sin. It isn't just a cute little story of a man building a boat and saving animals by having two of every kind come on the boat while it rained a little bit.
Indeed, it is a real story about a real, righteous man who found favor with God. It is a story about a man who obeyed, and did that, which in the eyes of worldly wisdom was nonsensical. Through his obedience God saved this one family who truly loved Him, as well as a remnant of animals to start fresh on earth. Yet also, it is a story of sin, and the result of sin: death. A lot of people and animals died because of the wickedness of mankind.
This weeks Teaching Creation Thursdays is brought to you by Dr. Derek P. Blake. He is sharing with us his thoughts and a story on Noah and The Flood.
The Bible tells us: in Genesis 6:19-20 (NIVUK)
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
First of all God created 'kinds' that means He created a basic animal kind. He created a dog, He did
not create a Labrador and a German Shepard and a Poodle, etc. He created a dog (a dog that had the
gene bank for every variation of the breeds we have today). Now we also need to realise that not all
dinosaurs were giants, some were only 60cm tall, like the Saltopus which was a small, lightly-built
dinosaur that walked on two legs. It was less than 2 feet long (0.6 m) and weighing about 2 pounds
(1 kg), about the size of a small cat. It had light, hollow bones, and a long head with dozens of
small, sharp teeth. Saltopus has five fingers on its hands, but the fourth and fifth digits were very
small. It ate primarily insects and scavenged for carrion (meat left by other dinosaurs). Fossils of
these have been found in Scotland but were fairly widespread. There were many other dinosaurs
that were far smaller than an elephant.
There are some 668 names of dinosaurs fossils that have been found, however there are maybe only
55 different ‘kinds’ of dinosaurs. It is likely that, with the very large dinosaurs, like the
Brachiosaurus, were probably 'baby', ‘teenagers’ or young adult specimens, that would have fitted
easily into what was a very large boat. So even if Noah took on all 55 'kinds' of dinosaur and a pair
of every other animal there would have been enough room for them.
2 Cows – not 2x Jersey, 2x Frisian, 2x of the 800 or so cattle breeds we now have.
2 Sheep – not the 200 odd breeds we now have.
2 Goats – not the 300 distinct breeds we now have
2 Elephants – not the two we have today or the many that have become extinct (Mammoth, Woolly
Mammoth, Mastodon, etc
You get my point here by now, and we also must remember that the Ark was huge, nothing
approaching the size of that boat was built again until the late nineteenth century. Genesis 6:15
tells us the Ark's dimensions were at least 135 meters long (300 cubits), 22.5 meters wide (50
cubits), and 13.5 meters high (30 cubits). That's 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high! It
could have been larger, because several larger-sized cubits were used. But the 45-centimeter (18-
inch) cubit is long enough to show the enormous size of the Ark. Maybe the story below will help.
Noah and the Great Flox
A very long time ago in the land we now call the Middle-east, there lived a man called Noah, with his family; his wife, their three sons and their wives. They were a good and kind family who lived by Gods rules, but sad to say, almost everyone else in the land were wicked and did nasty things that angered God. So God decided He would wipe out all
living creatures in the world and start over, only Noah and his family pleased God, so God decided to use them to to rebuild the Earth's life. One day Noah was working in his workshop, sawing wood, for Noah was a carpenter and
made furniture and ploughs, which he sold to people in the cities and farms that surrounded the land. Haw, haw, haw, haw went Noah's saw as he hummed to himself a song of praise to his God; suddenly Noah thought he heard someone calling his name. Noah, Noah,” the voice called. “Who's there,”shouted Noah.
“It's the Lord, Noah,” the voice told him. “Yea, right,” scoffed Noah, “Now who's really there?” Noah went outside to look around but could see no one who could have called his name. Whilst he was outside the voice
called again. 'Noah, this is the Lord your God, speaking to you my beloved Noah,” the voice said.
Now because there was no one else around, Noah suddenly realised that it really was God speaking to
him and fell down on the ground in worship and respect for the Lord. “What can your humble servant do for You Lord,”
Noah answered. God told Noah how angry He was about all the wickedness in the world and how Noah's family were the only good people left. “Noah, I have decided to destroy all life on this planet and start again, but I will save you and your family because you are good and obey my commands,” God told him. “I want you to build a boat Noah, because I
am going to destroy the world by water”.
Now because Noah lived in a desert he had never seen a boat before so God had to explain about boats, and Noah ended up with the picture of a 'floating box'. Or as it became known later,an Ark (meaning simply 'BOX' in Latin) but Noah called it a Flox (Fl-oating B-ox). Then God gave Noah the measurements of the Flox, “I want you to make this Flox three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the Flox and make lower, middle and upper decks. Now
any questions Noah?” “Yes Lord,”said Noah, “what's a cubit?” “It’s the distance from your elbow to your finger tips,” The Lord told him. “I want you to build the Flox from Gopher wood only.” “Lord I live in the desert, the nearest trees are a long way off,” complained Noah. “Why do you think it's called Gopher wood, Noah,” said God, “it's because you have to 'go fer it,' and Noah heard the Lord give a mighty laugh. “When you have built the FLOX I will send you a pair, male and female, of every living creature and you will house them in the Flox whilst the Earth is flooded.
So for the next few years Noah and his family laboured to build the Flox, two of his sons travelled back and forth to the forest in the North, felling and bringing trees to the desert site. Noah's other son, his wife and daughter in laws, helped Noah to lay the keel and start building the hull. Slowly, very slowly, the boat took shape, and people who lived nearby came to watch this monstrous construction. “What is it you are building Noah,” shouted one of his neighbours.
“It's a Flox,” Noah told him. “A what! What's a Flox,”the neighbour asked. “A floating box,”replied Noah. His
answer was met by the sound of laughing from his neighbours and others who had gathered to watch the work. “So where will you float it Noah,' called another neighbour, “this is the desert.” “He's going to float it on all the sweat from the hard work,” called the first neighbour to raucous laughter. “You will be laughing on the other side of your face when the Lord sends the flood,” retorted Noah from the top of the half finished hull. “Flood! It hasn't rained for over a year,” shouted the man who delivered the drinking water. And so the abuse and jokes continued over the years it took to build the Flox, neighbours came from miles around to taunt Noah, but Noah was steadfast in his obedience to God.
At last the Flox was built and the family set to painting it with a thick coat of pitch, the hull and the roof were totally
black and the walls under the roof were a lovely shade of brown. As one would expect, Mrs Noah wanted the walls a
different colour, so the daughter-in-laws volunteered to decorate it with pictures of animals and flowers. The decks were
fitted out with animal stalls and storage for the animal food, each deck had a living room for the human occupants
and Mrs Noah insisted on these being painted in pastel colours. Then the day came when there was nothing more to do on the great Flox and God started to send the animals to the ship. On a bright and, as usual, sunny morning, Noah's son Ham, was lazing on the deck after breakfast, when he heard a strange noise. The noise was like several trumpets sounding, like the ones that used to call people to worship, but slightly off key. Ham rose from his seat on the poop-deck and looked over the side of the Flox, what he saw astonished him. Coming across the desert
from four different directions were long lines of animals, trudging along in pairs, but what amazed him more was the source of the trumpeting sounds he had heard. Below him, at the end of the loading ramp were two giant, grey balloon-like creatures that seemed to have a tail at both ends. They had enormous ears that waved back and forth like fans and
two long teeth that stuck out from one end. Ham called to his father Noah, “Dad, there are monsters outside.”
Noah, being wise assured his son that they were not monsters but one of God's creation, when he saw the great
white teeth sticking out of each side of the mouth, Noah named the beast 'Elephant', meaning white-tusk.
All that day and for the next several days the animals arrived and were shown to their quarters on the Flox. On the third
day two very large animals arrived with their two babies and following them came others that were almost as tall as the Flox, others came that looked like the enormous creatures but they were very small, and stood no higher than a man's knee. Noah was distraught, “How can I save these huge lizards,” he asked. Now the great lizards had ruled the
animal kingdom for a thousand years and were very intelligent, in comparison to other animals like sheep and cattle. The lizards seemed to know what God was about to do, and they knew that there was no room for them in the Flox. As the first drops of rain started to fall the giant creatures came to the door of the Flox and kept banging the hull with their tree-trunk-like tails. Noah dashed to the door for fear that they would damage the hull, when he arrived he was greeted by a Behemoth (a brontosaurus) with a very sad face. The creature's head lowered to it's two offspring and nudged then towards Noah, who realised what was needed and allowed then to enter the Flox. Pretty soon other giants of the lizard world appeared, some bearing baby creatures and some bringing their freshly laid eggs. Noah accepted them all and thanked God for solving the problem, at least some of these giant creatures would be saved. As Noah said his silent prayer of thanks there was a sudden thud, and he knew that Jehovah had closed the door on the sinful world outside the Flox.
The rain increased it's intensity and the drizzle turned to a downpour, which the desert mainly soaked up to create a heavy mud, then the incredible happened, the earth itself burst open with enormous fountains of water. The water
covering the desert started to rise and the Flox suddenly lifted from it's cradle of wooden struts, and took to the swirling waters, spinning the boat like a fairground ride. Noah stayed on deck and watched as the waters rose and carried his boat away, the last thing he saw before her went inside were the giant lizards watching from some higher ground, and he thought he could see a tear in their eyes. As the Flox floated by, the two Behemoths raised their tails, as if to wave good-bye, both to their children and the world. Four and a half thousand years later, Professor Marcus Jones, an American Palaeoanthropologist from the University of Maryland was fossil hunting in Iraq. Marcus was a mediocre scientist who had never made a mark on science by discovering anything, so he was desperate to make his name with one great find. The Sun was hot and his team from the university were bored. Marcus was feeling the heat in more ways than one, he found a little shade under an outcrop of rock and sat down to take a few sips from his water bottle. Having drunk from the warm liquid he placed the bottle on the ground beside him, but the bottle tipped over and spilled the precious liquid onto the ground. “Dang it” he muttered as he snatched the bottle up to save the remaining liquid,
but what he saw made him leave the bottle where it was. The spilled water had washed the dust from the end of a fossilised bone, quickly he used his pick to reveal more of the fossil before calling over to his team of ten students.
Six weeks later Marcus and his team had excavated two full fossilised skeletons of apatosaurus (Brontosaurus). The bones themselves were in a position that suggested that they were both standing when death overtook them, and both had their tails raised high. Science interpreted these remains as being the result of a landslide when the two lizards came to the inland fresh-water sea to drink. Is is accepted by science that many desert areas
used to be sea-beds, so that must have been the case. However, Marcus could not get it out of his mind how sad the fossils looked, as if they were watching the far horizon, watching something disappear.
© Derek P. Blake – 21/11/2012