The unlimited power of God Almighty to give expression to His righteous judgments was clearly manifested when He destroyed the first world with water. Though the earth was overrun by a deluge, God Almighty, Who is ever faithful to His promises, saved Noah, his family and other creatures in a specially-built ark.
The miraculous event, which has become a major reference point in Biblical history, is a type of what God will do in greater measure in this age of the end of the world. It is an everlasting testimony to the power of God Almighty and a warning to the living to fear God lest they be swept off the surface of the earth.
God Almighty then commanded Noah to make an ark 300 cubits (450 ft) long, 50 cubits (75 feet) wide, and 30 cubits (45 feet) high. It was to be three stories high. God told him that He would establish his covenant with him and that he and his wife and his sons and his sons' wives would be saved in the ark. Noah was further commanded: "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he." - Genesis 6:18-22.
It is pertinent to point out that Noah did not go in pursuit of the creatures but that, by the power of God, they came to him of their own accord. (Genesis 7:16) In the 600th year of his life God instructed Noah to enter the ark, along with his wife, and his three sons with their wives (Genesis 7:1-10) The rain began on the seventeenth day of the second month and continued for forty days and forty nights as the "fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened". - Genesis 7:11-17.
Apart from Noah and those with him, "all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both birds, and cattle, and beasts, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was on the dry land, died". (Genesis 7:21, 22) For five months the waters continued to rise, and reached fifteen cubits (22 feet) above the highest summits to which anyone could run for refuge. At length the waters began to abate until the earth was dry again. On the 27th day of the second month, in the 601st year of Noah's life, he came forth from the ark, along with the creatures in the ark. He then made an altar, and offered sacrifices to God, Who also appointed the rainbow as a pledge that He would no more destroy mankind with a flood. - Genesis 8: 13-16.
It is pertinent to mention that the story of the flood has been preserved in the traditions of various nations, including the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Greeks, Hindus, Chinese, Japanese, Scythians, and Celts, and in the western hemisphere among the Mexicans, Peruvians, and South Sea Islanders, etc. This is additional proof of the genuineness of the flood account as an actual historical event and of the authenticity of the Holy Bible.
The story of Noah and the flood certainly highlight a number of virtues which commend themselves to us as worshippers of God by His grace. These include:
Faith: Among the object lessons is the example of faith which Noah so clearly demonstrated. Though rain had not started falling on the earth, (Genesis 2:5,6) yet when God told Noah that He would destroy the world with water, he did not doubt it. He proceeded to warn people of the impending catastrophe and to build the ark. Expounding on the faith of Noah, Apostle Paul stated: "By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." (Hebrews 11:7) Unless we have implicit faith, which St. Paul defined as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", (Hebrews 11:1) we cannot serve God acceptably. Scripture says: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." - Hebrews 11:6.
Obedience: Another important virtue people of God should learn from Noah is that of obedience. This is a quality that is central to the life of every true worshipper of God. It is on record that Noah did "according to all that God commanded him..." (Genesis 6:22) People of God are not to do their own will but the will of God. They are not to choose their own way but to do as the Lord had commanded. (John 6:38; Ephesians 5:17) God Almighty speaking through the prophet Jeremiah stated: "For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you." - Jeremiah 7:22, 23.
While Noah and his family were saved because of their obedience, the rest of the people living at that time were destroyed because they failed to heed the voice of God. Job declared: "Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge." - Job 36:9-12; Romans 2:8-11.
Bible understanding shows that the flood story was a type of great importance in regard to the salvation of God's people and the destruction of the wicked in this age. The significance of the flood and the ark of Noah are stated hereunder.
Noah, a type of the Apostles' class: Noah was the one God Almighty commissioned to proclaim His name and word among the people at that time. St. Peter called Noah "a preacher of righteosness". (2 Peter 2:5) Definitely it was not only by word of mouth that Noah warned the people of impending doom; his labours in building the ark was a clear message to the people as it gave concrete form and urgency to his preaching. The fact is that Noah was a prophet and witness of God Almighty. He stands for or represents the anointed christians' class. They are chosen by God to feed His people with knowledge and understanding, and to warn peoples of the world against sin. They are not taught by man. - Jeremiah 3:15; Ezekiel 3:17, 1 John 2:27; Galatians 1:11-19; Hebrews 5:4.
The Ark: The ark symbolizes God's holy organisation, His Kingdom, which He promised to set up in this age as a place of refuge for His people by His grace. It is called 'mountain' in Isaiah 2:2. See also Matthew 24:15,16; 24:31) That promise has by God's grace been fulfilled and God's Kingdom Society, the church of the living God, an organisation that was established through St. Gideon Meriodere Urhobo, is part and parcel of God's organisation in this part of the world.
Those who should "read" and "understand" are the anointed Christians, the remnant who would be taught by God in spirit and then go out to expound the truth to the world. It is to any of these Organisations that those in Judaea - people who love to praise God - shall flee to, knowing that they are the places where truth and safety could be found by God's grace. - Isaiah 26:2, 20, 21.
The family of Noah: These stand for the Other Sheep Class, those who support the saints and follow the example of faith and obedience to the laws of God as demonstrated by Noah and his family. - Hebrews 6:9-12. See also Galatians 6:9,10; Revelation 7:9,10, 13,14.
The World of Noah: In Biblical symbology, the ungodliness of the world of Noah is a type of the state of the world in the last days, the time of the second presence of Jesus Christ while the deliverance given him and his family is a prophetic illustration of how God would save His people when He destroys the world in this age, called the Last Day. (Luke 17:26-30) As people scoffed at the warning of Noah in his days so they deride the truth being preached by the true ministers of Christ today by refusing to accept the truth and do the will of God. - 2 Peter 3:3-6.
The flood: The flood stands for the battle of the great day of God Almighty, also called the Battle of Armageddon when He will destroy the devil and his hosts, visible and invisible from the earth. Whereas at the time of Noah the devil and other spirit creatures were not killed, they will not escape annihilation at the great tribulation as Jesus Christ, leading the army of God will deal him a crushing defeat when he arises to "destroy them which destroy the earth". - 1 Peter 3:20; Romans 16:20; Revelation 11:18.
The Bible shows that the like of the great tribulation will not happen again. (Matthew 24:21) But before then the people of goodwill everywhere must take warning by fleeing into God's established kingdom on earth where they would remain practising righteousness until the end. That was why, in the book of Zephanaiah, God directs His people, "the meek of the earth", thus: "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger." - Zephaniah 2:1-3.
May God Almighty unto Whom belongeth salvation continue to guide and strengthen us to remain in His holy Organisation, the antitypical ark of Noah until the end so as to be saved in His kingdom fully established by His grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.