(Or The Sign of Noah)
After Adam and Eve, the world became so sinful that God decided to cleanse it with a great flood. Noah was a righteous man so the Lord used him to warn the people and provide a means of escape by building a great ark. Noah did his best to warn his community and everyone he could, but in the end only his family and the animals boarded the ark and escaped God’s wrath. Once the flood receded, Noah, his family and all the animals left the ark and began to repopulate the newly cleansed earth.
This story is a clear picture of those who listen to and obey God and those who did not. One way leads to life and safety while the other leads to punishment and death. The ark symbolizes this choice as it is the only way to receive God’s mercy. In the end, only the righteous were saved and only the disobedient were punished. Believing the ark could save without getting on would earn an individual nothing. Only those who embraced it by walking on received mercy. In fact, the disobedient were not rejecting the ark, but God himself.
Just as Adam and Eve accepted the covering that God provided, the people of Noah’s day also had a choice to receive or reject what God provided. Those who accepted it received honor while those who rejected it received shame and punishment. From this story we can learn more about what the promised great sacrifice from Adam and Eve will be like. We learn that when this sacrifice comes it will be like the ark and all the true believers will receive it. This is the same choice we have today, but we need to look at Abraham to learn more.
Just like Noah and his family were saved by actively putting their faith in God’s provision, we must also receive and act upon the provision that God provides.
Optional use of the Qur’an:
– Noah pleaded with his people to escape the coming wrath and receive God’s mercy, but they rejected him (The Heights 7:59-64).
– The story culminates as Noah pleads with his own son to board the ark and avoid the fate of the unbelievers, but his son refuses and said he is capable of saving himself by climbing a mountain. Like all others his son drowns in the flood. In his grief Noah cries to the Lord on behalf of his son, but the Lord tells Noah that his son wasn’t a believer (and therefore not even a legitimate son) and, thus, deserved to die (Hud 11:25-48).
– Like Adam and Eve using the leaves, Noah’s son believed he can work out his own mercy and way of escape, but in the end, instead of a covering of righteousness, this leads to a coving of shame and death (Hud 11:39). The choice is clear for us, “will we try to save ourselves or simply receive God’s mercy?” It is the choice between a covering of righteousness or a covering of shame.
– The sign of Noah is the Ark itself. When the great sacrifice comes it will be like the ark and all the true believers will receive it. Not even a son of a prophet can reject God’s way and still get mercy.