Where Science Meets Faith
"God commanded him, so he did" - Genesis 6:23
The world today is indoctrinating us and our children to believe that Christianity is outdated and we believe in a book that isn't scientifically correct. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard that we believe in magic and that if we would just open our eyes to the world around us we would see the foolishness that we believe in. The thing is, the more I study science, archaeology, and geology the more I see that there is no way plants and animals evolved.
I just started teaching a class on evolution. The purpose is to give people a reason for the hope that is in them. As I prepared I found that it can be easy to teach just the points to use in a debate with an evolutionist. Is there a time for debating creationism and evolution, maybe, but a debate won't bring people to Christ.
Rather than look at this in a manner to debate or use to evangelize I want to show you how it strengthens my faith. I already full heartedly believe that the Bible is 100% accurate, true, and the word of God. Science isn't the foundation of my faith, that lies on Jesus alone, but science does play a role in strengthening my faith.
I'm going to step out on a branch and say that the whole world has heard the story of Noah and the ark. I mean if they are going to make a major motion picture that is very very very very very very loosely based on it, there is a good chance you have heard it. As a side note many cultures have their own version of this story. Guess what it involves? A flood, eight people, and a guy named something like Noah! Now comes the question for you. Are you a biblical literalist? I am. I believe that the Bible is very literal when it speaks of a global flood. You can read all about it in Genesis chapters 6 through 9, but this is what the Bible says
Do you take this literally? I will tell you that even a lot of atheists will agree and say that there was a world wide flood that occurred in the past. They will tell you that it was millions of years ago, and they won't agree that there was a boat that made sure life was carried through this flood. But they will agree that there was a flood. The geologic record points to a flood! There are marine fossils on top of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. How did they get up there? At one point the mountain was underwater is the only answer. I'm not saying that the flood was deep enough to cover the 29,000 foot tall mountain. The mountain could have formed after the flood. But there is no doubt that the rock that forms the mountain was underwater at some point.
Ok with that little rant over lets get back to the matter at hand. Atheists will say that there is no way all of the animals could have fit on the ark. That is where they start to whittle away at the story of Noah, and for some at their faith. If the enemy can get that one little dart between your armor its going to hurt. The stance I took for a long time was if it is the Bible that means God said it, and therefore it must be true. This is a great place to be, accept the Word of God exactly as it is. Stand by it in faith. But I beg you to not just sit there in that position. Move out study figure out why you take that position. There may not always be an answer. I can't explain everything that God did, many things are just racked up to miracles. This one however is a great one to dive into and figure out.
There is no way on my own I would be able to dive into answering how did all of the animals fit on the ark. So I looked to people who are smarter and have more time than I do to answer that question. All of their research is nicely summed up in this short 5 minute video.
Now of course there is going to be some debate even within the Bible believing community about the number of animals, there always will be. Why? Because we weren't there. I don't know what really happened. All I can do is look at it and say is it logical, and does it work. There are people that might say less animals, I know there are even people that provide a case for more animals. The end result is still the same. It works. There was plenty of room on the ark for all of the animals.
To study through this and find out that you can get even more detailed and allow for even more animals really strengthens my faith in the Bible. There are numerous studies that have investigated the shape of the boat given the dimensions and materials used to make the ark and find that it was perfect for the cargo it was carrying. It was made to be sea worthy in every aspect. There are even studies that go into how much food and water was needed for all the animals to survive being in the ark for 370 days. Where there are questions in the Bible you can count on the fact that someone is looking into it. The best part is I have yet to hear of anyone saying that the Bible was wrong when taken from the position of trying to prove it. Of course evolutionists say it is wrong, but they are coming from a different starting point than we are. But again another discussion for a different day.
Here is the thing that really gives me hope. Lets look at how much extra space there is on the ark. If only 125 stock cars are needed for the animals, lets say twice that many are for food and water. After all they were small and wouldn't need to eat as much as a full grown Brontosaurus. That means there are 375 stock cars accounted for and 147 remaining. The standard box car of World War II could easily hold 40 men. This means that there was room on the ark for about another 5,880 people. Would it have been tight quarters? Yeah in the beginning, but every day would have gotten better and better. But 5,880 people is 735 times more people than actually got on to the ark.
The Word of God is very clear here in Genesis though.
Noah found grace. The ark is more than a boat. It is more than the animals and the flood. The ark is an image of Jesus Christ. Who closed the door on the ark?
God shut those people in the ark. Noah trusted in God and because of that eight people were saved from the destruction of the earth because they found grace. How did they find grace? In chapter 7 God says "because I have seen that you are righteous before Me". To be righteous before God means that they were obeying God's commandments, and they weren't falling into the corruption of the world. But its all over the place in through this story.
In all the world only eight people would do as the Lord commanded. We are only 9 generations from Adam. That is not a long time, especially when you look at their life spans. It is possible for Noah to be the first generation that couldn't actually meet Adam. To walk fully in corruption and at the same time be able to meet someone that walked with God in the garden is a terrible thing.
God's heart is that none should perish and that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Since God never changes, this was His heart at the time of Noah too. He didn't want anyone too perish. Seeing that there was room for 5,880 people reminds me that He is loving. If everyone had repented God wouldn't have needed to send the flood. Knowing that that didn't happen He still provided extra room so that no one could be turned away. If anyone would have repented and turned back to the Lord there was room for them on the ark.
The same goes for us today. God has promised that this world is falling away. It is but a matter of time until Jesus returns to judge this world for it's corruption. He will judge it the same way that He was judged when He died for us on the cross. His death on the cross was the fulfillment of the ark in our lives. It is the vessel that will provide salvation for us.
The world doesn't just mean eight people. The world doesn't just mean 144,000. The world means the world. It means that Jesus died for all, for everyone in the world. But it is still our choice to get on the ark. It is still our choice to believe in Jesus Christ and to accept what He has done for us. People would have known about Noah. He had family, I'm sure they knew what he was up to. The Bible doesn't say that Noah spent 100 years telling everyone to be prepared and to repent. The Bible says that Noah did as the Lord commanded. At this point it was the responsibility of those who saw to ask, to seek God, and to make a change. Noah couldn't help them.
But today you have the choice. It has been presented to you. Before you is laid life and death. In the gift of grace that we have obtained from Jesus Christ is life, life more abundant. In the rejection of the gift of grace there is death. It is a life separated from God. An eternal torment because you are separated from all that is good. All you have to do is respond. Respond to the same call that has been going on for 6,000 years. It is the call of God to His creation, to His children. It is the call to come back to Him. Adam sinned and since we have been estranged, but He beckons us to return to Him. He leaves us clues everywhere, because He is everywhere. Today you have the choice to do all that the Lord has commanded and enter the ark which is salvation, or perish in the fires of Gahanna for all of eternity. The choice is yours.