Last summer, my family and I traveled to visit my dad in Indiana and then decided to take a day trip to the Ark Encounter, the extravagant Bible story attraction located in rural Williamstown, Kentucky.
Remembering back to my pre-K Sunday school class, I was very familiar with the Old Testament Bible story of Noah building the Ark to keep him, his family and every pair of animal species safe from the historic flood.
Walking through the long ramps of the life size wooden Ark, I learned not only how the people lived and maintained the animal life on the boat, but also was reminded of the reason why God sent the flood in the first place. In church, we often glaze over the fact that civilization at that time was caught up in so much sin that it caused God to flood the Earth. We quickly turn our attention to the cute animals and the beautiful rainbow after the storm.
We don’t like to talk about sin. I totally get it. I don’t like feelings of shame, guilt and sadness either. But honestly, I wouldn’t have had to deal with some of the negative consequences if it weren’t for sin in my life. We will never be SINLESS as long as we live on this Earth before Christ returns. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;”
However it will be less painful for us and others to strive to sin LESS. “But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over, and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.”
Romans 6:17-18 CSB
Let’s go back to the story of Noah and just before he began building the Ark. The story begins in Genesis 6:1 – “When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. And the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men. When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. Then the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky — for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor with the Lord. These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God. And Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with wickedness. God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth. Then God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to every creature, for the earth is filled with wickedness because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth. “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it with pitch inside and outside. This is how you are to make it: The ark will be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. You are to make a roof, finishing the sides of the ark to within eighteen inches of the roof. You are to put a door in the side of the ark. Make it with lower, middle, and upper decks. “Understand that I am bringing a flood — floodwaters on the earth to destroy every creature under heaven with the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.”
Genesis 6:1-18 CSB
Even though we have sinned, there is hope for us. Just like God sent the rainbow as a promise to never flood the whole Earth again (see Genesis 9:13-17), God also sent Jesus to Save us from our sins.