Genesis 6:14 “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood, make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.”

Observation: Moments earlier God had revealed His heart’s anguish thus: “The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.” (v. 6) Sin’s stench had so overwhelmed Him that he resolved to “wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…” (v. 7) Only Noah and his immediate family were to escape the God-ordained holocaust.

Application: As a way of escape, God commanded Noah to build himself an ark, and through an astonishing economy of words He requires a mere seven verses to detail not only the dimensions and composition of the ark, but also His plan for redemption of the human race. Even so, the ark wasn’t going to be simply dropped from heaven into Noah’s cul-de-sac. Instead, Noah was required to wield hammer and axe, plane and miter, for one hundred twenty years to be able to lay hold of the rescue God provided. In this is a wonderful foreshadowing of Paul’s admonition centuries later to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12) God’s free gift of eternal life invites my laying aside every agenda of mine, every more immediate priority, to be fully engaged in obedience to Him. He has done this marvelous thing; my part is to gain it in whatever ways He directs.

Yet there is an oddity in His blueprints: “…coat it with pitch inside and out.” Come again? Of course pitch would be needed on the outside; seagoing vessels have always had an understandable need to keep water out, and pitch was universally used for that purpose. Even Miriam applied pitch to the outside of the basket woven to float baby Moses from harm’s way. (Ex. 2:3)  But why would pitch be required for the inside of the ark? Might it be to preserve it? Wood pitched round-about would have increased protection from decay’s usual ravages. Is it possible that a vessel thus made and then encrusted in Ararat’s glacial covering could survive, say, thousands of years? It is a tantalizing thought, and has increasing support by hundreds of eyewitness sightings since the days of the Czar.

What I know without a doubt is this: I serve a God who is self-disclosing. He longs to be known by me, to have intimacy with me of a kind not experienced since my ancestors earned eviction from the garden. All creation reveals Him (Rom. 1:20) and by His daily interaction with me I am wooed into ever-deepening intimacy with Him. So yes Noah, pitch the inside too, that one day all mankind might have still more evidence of His magnificent provision.

Prayer: Father, You reveal Yourself to me in countless ways. Everywhere I turn, You are there. I will not be surprised if a warming trend reveals still more evidence of Your truth, yet my own heart is already captured. Thank You.