The flood is a significant event in human history. In fact, ancient cultures have been telling this story of thousands of years. It’s not simply a Christian and Jewish folklore. It’s embedded in cultures around the world. That’s because all of humanity comes from the survivors of the flood. And that event, as tragic as it was, is nothing compared to the coming judgments that this world will see. However, just as God provided a way of safety from that judgement, so to did He provide that for the one to come. The flood story, as with all Old Testament salvation stories, were meant to point to something far greater. They point to the One who would save us, not from temporary tragedies, but from a spiritual impairment…from an eternal death.
In part one of this series I drew the connections between the flood story and salvation in Jesus by looking at the construction of the ark itself. Today’s correlation is somewhat different. While the first post was very positive and encouraging, I’m afraid this one is more dire. But even in the bleak reality of what we’re going to look at, there is always hope. Like with any warnings, it only benefits those who choose to take them seriously. And for those who do, there is always hope.
The flood affected the entire world. Every living creature would be impacted. We don’t know exactly how many people lived on the earth in Noah’s day, but common sense estimates would have to conclude that there were millions, if not billions. If read some scientists calculations that have placed it from 1 to 40 billion people based on lifespans and numbers of children from each of those listed in the chapters leading up to Genesis 6. Either way, there were a lot. The sad reality is, only a tiny fraction of those were saved.
…because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
1 Peter 3:20 (NIV)
Eight…out of millions or billions. Even if it were only thousands on the earth, eight would be such a small number. It’s not like God had a “Noah only club”. Noah preached for 120 years and, as 1 Peter says, God waited patiently for mankind to turn. Because of who God is, we know that He didn’t want to just save eight. God wants everyone on the boat. But only a small percentage will walk through the door.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
When Jesus spoke these words, He was expressing the heart of a savior. God in the flesh was laying out the path to life and bidding us to come and follow. It’s not like Noah’s ark or it’s door were hidden. They are in plain sight. It’s not like the door to eternal life is hidden either. Jesus made it as plain and obvious as anyone could. It’s Him. That’s it. Jesus is the person who is also the path. And instead of one man preaching righteousness and repentance and salvation through faith, we have an entire church with that same mission today. But just like in Noah’s day, the message is falling on so many deaf ears. Please don’t let that be true of you. And if you’ve already punched your boat pass by believing in Jesus, lets spend our lives getting more people on the boat.