Come Into the Ark
This word “come” you will find in all parts of the Bible; but this is the first time it occurs. One hundred and twenty years before this invitation was given, Noah had received the most awful tidings that ever came from Heaven to earth. No tidings like that had ever come to this earth. God told Noah he was going to destroy man on account of his wickedness. Some skeptics will say: “I wonder if that man believes there ever was a flood. I thought we in this age of the world had got beyond that.” A great many people say: “I don’t believe there ever was a flood upon the earth. There are some things in the Bible I believe, and some things I do not believe.” Some people say: “I believe the New Testament, but not the Old Testament. There are a great many things in the Old Testament which I can not believe.” Well, if you throw out some things you most throw out the whole. Take the narrative of the flood out of the Old Testament, and you must cut the New Testament to pieces; because the Son of God said: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” He put his divine seal upon it. If you can make it appear that God did tell a lie and misrepresent one thing, then all his teaching goes for naught. I believe there was a flood, just as much as I believe I exist. I do not see how any man can read the Bible and doubt it. Some of the scientific men try to get over it; but they have to believe it. Heathen nations tell us they found the skeleton of a whale in Asia; and there are other indications of a flood having at one time covered the earth. Skeptics try to make out these things were not caused by the flood recorded in Scripture. They do it because they know if the Bible is true it condemns them. Now, good men could not have written the Bible unless it is true; and what would be the object of bad men writing such a book, condemning themselves?
I will now call your attention to the message: “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” Noah was one hundred and twenty years building that ark; and in all those years it was a warning to the people. It was Noah’s testimony. Every time he drove a nail, it was a warning to them. Every sound of the hammer said, “I believe God.” Noah said, “I believe God.” All the rest of the world did not believe. There was not another family in the world that believed God. Men turned away, and reasoned in this way: “Why, if it was true, others would know it besides Noah.” In our day people say: “Because a great many people don’t believe God, God cannot be true.” They think in consequence of sin, God is a failure. Are the decrees of heaven changed because men do not believe them?
God told Noah to build the ark. It was to be five hundred feet long; it was to be eighty feet wide and fifty feet high; it was to have three stories. If the floors were put on one level, it would be fifteen hundred feet long, two hundred and forty feet wide, and sixteen or seventeen feet high. This building we are in would be nothing to it. You could put five or six such buildings as this into it. That was no small undertaking in those days. I can imagine the people said: “How are you going to get the animals into the ark?” A great many men are ready to ridicule. No man stands up for God but he has to suffer ridicule, scorn, and contempt. I have no doubt that when Noah walked down to his home the people called him, “the lunatic;” they called him, “the old dreamer.” They said he was a fanatic, and was spending all his means in that ark; that he was wasting his time, energies, and strength in a foolish undertaking. Men caviled and laughed at him. If there had been any preachers in those days, they would have preached about him and warned the people against him. If there had been any theatres, they would have had him represented on the floors of those theatres building the ark; and if there had been asylums for the insane, no doubt they would have put him in one, if God had not protected him. If we are true to God, we must be true in heart. All classes of the people were opposed to Noah. The great men of that time, the scientific men, the statesmen, the princes, kings, and rulers,—the whole world were all against him. But thanks be to God, Noah lived and walked close to God, and his children had confidence in him. And when the word came from God for them to move into the ark, they all went in with him.
~ This is from “Come Into the Ark” in The Gospel Awakening