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The Lord Shut Him In
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: God’s determination to rid the earth of evil reaches its apex as Noah and his family are instructed to board the ark with multiple pairs of select animals. Their assurance of survival inside the ark is coupled with the somber reality that everything outside the ark will die, a sobering truth that is made clear by the Lord Himself shutting the door. At the appointed time, waters from above and below combine for a period of forty days and nights such that even the mountains were submerged. The overwhelming power of the flood ensured that every living thing on the face of the ground was blotted out from the earth. The only survivors of the flood were those who heeded God’s Word and took refuge in the appointed means of salvation, a truth that was not lost on the original audience and one that we should remember also.
01. The flood of Noah’s day is a type of the judgment to come which is sobering in its causes, sudden in its coming, and sure in its consequences.
02. The ark in which Noah was saved is a type of Christ where all who take refuge in Him will be spared from God’s wrath, safe in His shelter, and saved to live life anew.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Consider how the account of Noah and the ark is often presented quite peacefully, with two pairs of animals orderly boarding the ark and a smiling Noah welcoming them aboard. How does this picture square with the reality of judgment depicted in the Bible? How does this picture accurately point to new life emerging from the flood?
2. Compare the flood narrative with the creation narrative. Note how God separates the waters by creating an expanse in Genesis 1:6-7 and how He gathers the waters for dry land to appear in Genesis 1:9. How does the flood narrative depict a reversal of creation? Note also how the animals are paired, male and female (7:2, 16). How does this picture of creation point to God’s promise of re-creation?
3. What is the significance of the Lord shutting the door of the ark? How does it point to the security of Noah and to the finality of judgment? Do you find security in Christ, knowing that He has fully satisfied the requirements of our salvation? Do you find shelter in the Lord, as Noah and his family did in the ark while in a very turbulent world?
4. How would you respond to a person who suggests that the flood was an example of Divine overkill? How would you respond to a person who asks if it was really necessary for animals to die alongside of humans? What do such questions reveal about our understanding of sin? What does the flood narrative reveal about God’s holiness and His right as the Creator of the world to judge as He deems appropriate?
5. In addition to the ark being seen as a type of Christ, some have also noted the ark as a type of the church. Can you think of ways in which we might appreciate the church more while not taking away from the uniqueness of Christ’s work for our salvation? Do you view your church family as the object of God’s love and saving grace, such that you prefer their company to that of the world?
For Further Reading: Richard Phillips and Gabriel Fluhrer, These Last Days: A Christian View of History (P&R Publishing, 2011).