The Animals and Noah's Ark
Introduction: It seems that man is forever doubtful of the teaching of the Bible. Many will not believe a matter unless it harmonizes with their own preconceived notions or their particular form of rationale, regardless of how flawed their thinking and logic is. One example of man not accepting God's word unless it is consistent with his own thinking involves the animals of the antediluvian world and the ark.
I. The Bible tells us two of each of the animals (except for the clean animals) were taken into the ark (Gen. 7)
A. Man says such proves the unreliability of the Bible because no "boat" could transport such a volume of animals.
a. Some among professed Bible believers have called for a second creation following the flood, claiming such is necessitated because of the inadequacy of the ark to accommodate such a large amount of animals.
II. Modern man often has the same foibles as the Greeks at Corinth
A. The Greeks took great pride in their wisdom and thinking ability (I Cor. 1 through chapter 4).
a. In using human wisdom, they counted the preaching of the cross as foolishness (I Cor. 1: 21).
b. In so doing, "the world by wisdom knew not God " (vs. 21). Man is indeed endowed with thinking and reasoning ability superior to the rest of creation. Man is expected to use this ability (Heb. 5: 11-14). However, man's intellect is often defeated because of his proclivity to want to doubt and disprove the Bible.
c. Could it be that man's thinking regarding Noah and the ark has failed to completely consider the matter?
III. Facts relative to Noah's task, the animals, and the ark
A.Noah was a righteous man, a man who did what God told him to do (Gen. 6: 22, 8, 2 Pet. 2: 5). Noah accepted God's commission by faith (Heb. 11: 7).
B. We find the dimensions of the ark in Genesis 6: 15. The volumetric carrying capacity has been calculated as equal to 522 standard railroad stock cars having a transporting ability of 125,000 sheep.
a. One item man often misses in his rush to disprove the biblical account of the animals and the ark is that only land animals had to be placed on the ark. The ark was also constructed in three stories. There were stalls or rooms to accommodate the animals (Gen. 6).
IV. Some suggest there are a total of only 17, 600 actual species ("kinds") of animals
A. Using a number of factors and calculations, some have concluded there were a total of about 50,000 animals on the ark (compare the 125,000 sheep statement). Of course the scoffers seldom take the time or do sufficient research to establish the total number of species and the volumetric carrying capacity of a ship with the dimensions of the ark.
a. The size and the ability of the ark is also consistent with the universal scope of the flood (not just local flooding, as some contend).
V. Some object to the Genesis' account, claiming Noah could not have gathered all the animals
A. Of course, simply utilizing man' s ability this could be a valid argument. However, the Bible tells us the animals came to Noah. "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," God tells Noah (Gen. 6: 20).
a. God is under no obligation to placate man's thinking ability and objections. When God says something, we must accept it, even if we do not possess all the answers and nuances. However, in many cases when man lays aside his prejudices and really considers the matter, research only further establishes the truths of the Bible.
Conclusion: There really is no reason to doubt the Genesis' account of the animals and the ark. In fact, the more one studies the Bible, the more one trusts in it to the point of the Psalmist: "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119: 103-105). Again, "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (vs. 89).