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Noah's Ark: A Divine Commission


Polymer Clay relief sculpture of a sea scape in pinks, greys and blues.
New Beginning, Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture, Sara Joseph

The Biblical account of Noah's ark is still hotly debated. It captures the imagination of children, the contempt of the skeptic and the careful study of some in the scientific community. Even Hollywood made an attempt at reinventing it, indicative of its longevity as a powerful story from the past.


Vitriol is directed at those simple enough to believe the account as described in the Bible. Yet there is ongoing scientific and archaeological inquiry into this subject.


I'm no expert on the latest research, just an enthusiastic student of the Bible.


To me, it's a credible event in human history because Jesus verified it saying,


"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17: 26,27


Jesus has given me no reason to doubt Him, or His word. If He spoke of the flood as a historical event, then the story of Noah's ark is not a myth.


So with that settled, what lessons can be gleaned from Noah's ark commission that will benefit you, as a Christian visual artist?


The building of Noah's ark was an outstanding architectural endeavor with some very challenging parameters. God provided the instructions, and Noah the willingness and the obedience.

This is what strikes me from the account:


  • Noah was no stranger to the voice of God. He had the sensitivity to listen and receive complex instructions for this mammoth project.

  • Noah's righteousness qualified him to become God’s partner in this endeavor—a requirement for every joint venture with God.

  • Noah exhibited implicit trust in God’s provision. The building of the ark required enormous amounts of material, yet there is no account of him arguing with God about a lack of supplies!

  • Noah’s name meant "comfort". His role was to offer the comfort of redemption to a world gone foul with sin. His commission was 'performance art' at its best. With every blow of the hammer, he proclaimed one message – "Repent, before the coming flood."


It's not clear how long it took to build Noah's ark—an educated guess is possible. Noah was 500 years old when he is first mentioned, and 600 at the time of the flood. So at a minimum, the ark took at least a hundred years of dedicated labor to build!


His hard labor was undoubtedly met with ridicule, or there would have been more people in the ark with him, or perhaps no flood at all!


 

Helpful conclusions from Noah's ark commission for the Christian Artist


  • Spend time in prayer and study His Word to familiarize yourself with God’s voice as Noah did. Yield to His light.

  • If God was specific with Noah, He can be specific with you.

  • Don't be daunted by the scope of God’s call. If He could bring animals to Noah, provide every scrap of wood and bucket of pitch, He can supply you with ideas and tangible material supplies as the need arises.

  • Apply yourself to the task, like Noah did. It will involve strenuous effort.

  • Keep your life’s creative output consistent in service to the Lord. Noah didn’t stop building his ark after 50 years, and in the next 50 build a tower instead! Despite the length of time, he faithfully kept at his task. His message never changed, and his work never lost fervor or urgency. He did not permit ridicule to steer him off course.


Although each day with its sunrise and sunset seems the same, the clock is ticking. There'll be an end to your artistic endeavors here on earth. The Bible says that the fruit of your labor will be tested for integrity and motives, so work with that end in mind.


God is the author and finisher of your artistic exploits. God summoned Noah as He summons you. Yield to His light.


Scripture records that He had the final word—He closed the door of Noah’s ark, signifying the completion of the work!


On that final day when you stand before Him, let the record show that you too, like Noah, "did all that the Lord commanded." Genesis:7:5

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