Behold I will destroy the earth», says God to Noah. I will destroy it by a medium, that will prove my power to be superior over all the elements of nature. I will destroy the earth through a cataclysm of many waters.
He could invisibly through some angelic knife kill them, as He did later for the first born of the Egyptians. And then in order to save Noah He wouldn't need other than mark him and his family, in order for them to escape the blade of the exterminator.
Nevertheless He prefers the cataclysm, for reasons that only Him knows and which reasons without any doubt are both fair and wise.
He hides many and various tools in His toolbox the Lord of heaven; and as in order to instruct His own children He chooses a distinct method for each one, likewise in order to crush His enemies He chooses the knife that is suitable and more sharp for the accomplishment of His purpose.
«Make yourself an ark of gopher wood». God guides Noah, for him to construct an ark, inside which ark they could be saved both him and his family.
But wouldn't is be possible for God to save in some other way Noah, without submitting him to so much effort and to so much toil and to so many expenses?
Wouldn't He be able through the protection of His angels to save him from the disaster of the cataclysm? He certainly could. But God prefers in a way completely natural, in which he would cooperate even Noah himself, to save this righteous man for the following reasons.
Noah would fatigue a lot, he would work for whole years. He would toil in order to construct the ark. And he would toil when at the same time his similars, his neighbors, his friends would laugh at him and would scoff him.
From the one hand therefore, the excessive fatigue, from the other hand the excessive time, that would pass without the coming of the cataclysm, and from the other hand the comments and the laughter and the mocking of the people of that epoch, who would see Noah to toil without reason, as they thought,
all these were temptations, that were putting in trial the faith of Noah, that were seeking to unsettle it and annihilate it, that were pushing Noah to follow the current, that was being followed by the many, by the whole world, back then, of the humans.
And thus Noah was living in a spiritual struggle, that was preparing him a struggle in which he was fighting against the enemies, who were coming to unsettle his faith, and thus he was reposing in an even more solid manner upon this faith and upon the hope towards God.
In the second place, this way of living would also be used as a kind of preaching of protest and of repentance for the sinful world of that epoch.
Because all those who would see Noah to cut wood and to construct the ark, they would certainly ask him for what reason he was making it. And they would learn by the mouth of Noah, that God had decided to destroy the world because of its sins and for its great perversion.
If the people were in good spirits, as during the days of Jonah the people of Nineveh were, wouldn't they repent as well, as the people of Nineveh repented?
But now, you might say, they ridicule him. That is their own affair. God, the love of God has utilized all the means in order to save them. If they kicked those means away and they didn't use them, their reprobation would be greater.
In the third place, He wanted to teach us the great truth, which also afterwards, when through a dream He leads Joseph together with Jesus child to Egypt in order to avoid the knife of Herod, He also teaches us.
That is to say that during the dangers and during the temptations the man must do everything that depends on him in order to be saved.
It is not permitted to cross his hands and expect everything from the sky. Only then he can cross the hands, when indeed there is nothing he can do and it doesn't depend from his hands anything more. But when there is something that he can also do, he must do it in order for God to help him.
That in order to be saved both you and me and anybody else from the cataclysm of sin, you must cooperate with God. It needs to be put to work your own will as well. On its own of course, without the help of God, there is nothing it can achieve.
But neither God without the cooperation of your will cannot on His own carry out the work of your salvation, not only because this would be unfair, but also because He should have to void your freedom and from human being to turn you to an animal without free will and self-determination.
According to the instructions, that God gives to Noah, the ark should be constructed by «square» beams.
Not with boards, as we would say today, but with beams planed and square and adapted one near the other, so that the whole ark to be a solid and unbowed and unwavering body.
Also the ark on the inside should be divided in rooms and in nests, in a way that its space would be totally used and it would not remain not even a corner of it out of use.
Moreover it should, on the inside and outside, be well covered with tar, so that it wouldn't be possible for the water to enter inside from any hole.
God also provides the measures, which should the ark have, in order to be able to include not only Noah and his family, but also from each kind of animals and beasts and birds and serpents the corresponding number, as well as the food supplies, that they would need those inside the ark in order to eat, for as long they would remain in it.
And according to these measures the ark had to be three hundred cubits long, that is 500 english feet or 155 french meters; fifty cubits wide, that is 90 english feet or 27 french meters; and thirty cubits of height, that is 50 english feet or 16 french meters.
The ark on the inside should be divided in three floors, so that all its space would be able as much as possible at its fullest capacity to be used.
In order to be illuminated and in order for the ark be ventilated it should also have some small window near its roof, while its door would be one and only that would open on the side, on one of its sides and in such way, that it would seal well and when it would shut it would not be possible for the waters to enter from its openings.
«And when it's finally made according to this plan the ark,» God continues guiding Noah, «then you shall drive inside the ark from all the animals and from all the serpents and from all the beasts and in general from every living being on the earth.
You shall keep all these animals with you and you shall feed them from the supplies of the foods, which you must stock in order to have abundant of them, everything that you will need for you and for your family and for all this world of the animals and the serpents and the fowls that will be inside the ark.
The other world, that will not be inside the ark, I will destroy it, says God, with a great cataclysm, that I will throw upon the earth.
«And I will set my testament with you». I shall make, He says, my treaty and my testament together with you. I will make a contract with you.
I will make an agreement with you, so that you will serve as the new forefather of the mankind and it will increase your seed and your descendants in order to conquer the earth and to take the place of this generation the cunning one, which now I will destroy.
I will set my testament with you and I will be your God and your protector and your helper and your guardian, and you will be a man of my own, for whom I will especially take care and I will look after.
And if you examine these things, you can understand, how much faith Noah should have in order to accept with all his heart these words by God and in order to abandon aside every other occupation of his and to dedicate himself to the construction of the ark.
God doesn't tell him insignificant and common things. He assures him, that the whole world will be destroyed and only you will be saved!
It will be destroyed not through fire, not through a deadly pandemic of some terrible disease, but through the rain, through which they are irrigated your fields and cools off the entire earth!
Just think about it, my reader, and judge, how much faith was needed for Noah, in order to accept it without objection and hesitation.
Moreover what He says to him, that inside the arc they will enter from all the serpents and the wild beasts and the birds the carnivore ones, is this a small thing?
That is, to stay within the same arc the wolf and the sheep, the lion and the tiger with the rest of the peaceful animals, the snakes and the humans! To be closed inside there, and the most amazing, that they would enter on their own and they would remain calmly in there!
A wonderful thing, unprecedented, unheard of. A thing, I could even say, paradoxical and improbable! But it is God who says it. And for this reason Noah believes it, he accepts it, he indulges in it.
Noah therefore was selected by God in order to be used as new head of the human generation, as a new beginning of a new creation of human beings, that would come in order to replace the old creation, that would meet its death inside the vast waters of the cataclysm.
And thus Noah at the same time becomes also an image and a prototype of the Messiah and of the Savior, that one day would come in order to save the world from the corruption and the cataclysm of the sin.
So pay attention, my reader, and you will immediately see the similarities and the analogies that there exist between this type, who is called Noah, and of the iconized prototype, which is called Jesus Christ.
Both Noah, and Christ as well they emerged within corrupted generations, carnal ones, that had forgotten God and had been perverted by the sin.
A preaching for repentance, a preaching for protest aiming at restitution is the preaching of Noah towards his contemporaries, towards whom he must have cried out and he must have foretold the imminent wrath of God, when they were asking him about the arc, that he was constructing.
But is it not true that also of the Messiah the preaching is for repentance and for return towards God a teaching and an invitation? Is it not true that about Jesus Christ it could be told, that all the words by the Father that He heard all these words He declared to us?
And he becomes Noah a patriarch and head of the new generation of mankind, that comes in order to replace the buried in the waters sinful and adulteress generation.
Likewise Christ also becomes head of the Church, which was created by Him and on Him it depended and was built and which comes to replace the domination of the darkness and of the death and to shake down the old world of the idols and of the sin.
Also Noah becomes saviour also for the lower creation of the animals and of the beasts and of the birds and of the serpents, to which he gives a roof within the arc and secure shelter, as well as food for their preservation.
And therefore he acquires both him and us humans too, since we are his children and his descendants, new rights upon the kingdom of the animals and the birds and the serpents, which, if they are alive today, they owe their lives to our ancestor Noah.
And Noah becomes again in this also a type of Christ, to whom not only we humans, but also the whole in general creation owes its existence and the fact of its being as well as its renovation, which is going to take place some day.
And as everyone who inside the arc are to be found under the government of Noah, and under his orders, are saved and they escape the, through the cataclysm, destruction, likewise everyone who are to be found under the authority and government and guidance of the Messiah Jesus Christ, they shall be saved from the decay and the destruction of the eternal condemnation.
Christian brother, Jesus Christ is the arc for us that will save us from a disaster worse than that one, that was caused by the cataclysm.
What are you doing and how are you living? Are you also mocking the preachers of the truth, as they did in some other times the contemporaries of Noah to that righteous man? Are you also living and are you also faring into a careless and fearless existence like the people of that epoch?
Alas! You will be deceived, as they were deceived! It will find you the wrath of God suddenly in one hour that you will not expect it, as it found them as well.
And I do not know whether the waters of some sea or of some flooded river are waiting for you in order for you to die over there in agony, as they died.
But I know well, that both for you as for me and for all of us the time will come, that we don't know when, in an occasion that we don't expect it, during which hour we shall deliver our soul into the hands of the Great and awesome God.
If we have leaned upon the arc of the faith, in which He has invited us Jesus Christ, certainly we shall be saved. But if we are to be found away from this arc, who then is going to save us from the upsurge and the waves of the rightful wrath of God?
With a few words the Scripture inform us, that Noah fully complied to the orders of God and «he did everything that God had ordered him to do, so he did».
He calls him affectionately. Like a father who sees some storm approaching or the deep darkness of the night falling upon some desert place and he calls his beloved child to enter into the hut or into some shelter, which he spotted on the street.
He calls him and He says to him: «You enter now and all you family in the ark». Enter inside; Enter inside you and the entire family of yours. «Enter».
He does not say «go» into the ark. But He says enter inside in the ark. As if He was God too inside the ark and from the inside He was calling Noah, in order to enter in it.
And thus Noah in there he will have as company the God Himself, the presence of Whom will console him and will turn that closed and dark prison to a splendid and beautiful palace.
God invites him to enter. The ark was ready. The ark had been constructed precisely in order to enter inside Noah with his own people and in order to be saved by the threatened cataclysm.
And yet Noah does not enter inside and he neither settles himself in the ark before God for a second time invites him to enter in it.
A teaching this is for all of us, my reader, in order not to be in haste. Always wait for God to guide you through the circumstances. Do not ever be in haste. Do not be tempted by public offices. Do not be blinded by feelings.
Do not let your heart stick to things, that you do not know, whether God will judge them as beneficial for you. Surrender yourself to the benevolent providence of God. And stay reposed to this, towards which through the circumstances God is guiding you.
He sends you death? He prepares poverty for you? He calls you to a public office? Be ready to always accept His orders and always keep the preposition of not having it according to your will, but according to the sacred will of Him.
But one of his children, Ham, is afterwards demonstrated, that he was not a good man. He gets saved however him as well in favor of the good and righteous father of his.
This is why we have said in other occasions also, that it's worth for someone to have righteous relatives and saints and pious. It is to be expected that near them he would also be saved, in this present life of course, from many hardships and evils, which the wrath of God would unleash upon his evil head.
And thus therefore inside the ark an ill-mannered enters as well, Ham. Together with the selected ones behold also a trickster. It is therefore impossible even from the most exquisite societies the bad weeds to be absent and the ill-mannered people.
Why are you surprised? Observe that right in here in a circle of select people, that were selected by God, there exist also a certain Ham inside. Also observe to that humble circle of the twelve, that Christ himself chose, there exist a traitor, Judas.
This is how things are. They cannot be absent the bad weeds and the tempters. They must exist these also, in order to be tested and to be drawn up the selected ones; in order to become through the temptations and the scandals firmer and choicest.
God calls Noah to enter in the ark. How much had Noah toiled in order to build that ark! And now? How good and how nice! They were not lost his efforts, but now he reaps from them the repose, the safety, the salvation.
What are you waiting, O Christian? Willingly do whatever He tells you and whatever He asks from you the Christ. Even if it demands fatigues and lots of sweating. Be sure, that sooner or later, at first ot at last there you will find the repose and the peace.
Everything you do out of obedience towards God, be certain that soon it will give back to you an outcome of repose and comfort.
God calls Noah in the ark. And this invitation is a type of another invitation, which after many thousands of years would be directed from the heavenly God to the human generations. And this invitation calls us to get closer to Christ.
Christ is now for us the ark, in which we will be saved from the wrath, which will be disclosed during that great and dreadful day of the judgment.
And she is calling all of us the Church of Christ, the preaching of Christ the ministers of Christ, the spirit of Christ. «Come», they tell us: Come, enter into the ark. «O children of man, until when will you be hard-hearted? Why do you love the vanity and seek after the falsehood?»
God invites Noah into the ark. And he shows therefore a particular favor and preference to him. Why?
God is not unfair in His loving. He loves those, whom it is worth loving them. He loves therefore also Noah, «because I saw you, He says, that you are righteous in my eyes among this generation». I saw that you are righteous in front of my eyes.
«Righteous in my eyes». These are the truly righteous, whom the eye of God distinguishes and finds them to be righteous.
They do not only have the shape and the form of the justice and the piety, through which not only they appear in front of the people to be righteous, but they have also the strength of the piety and of the justice, through which they attract the approval and the praise of God himself, Who is investigating the hearts of the people and it is impossible for Him to be deceived.
«I saw you». Even if you are just one. Even if you resemble to a grain of wheat mixed and buried inside whole mountains of wheat.
Large, very large is the number of the people who are away from Me. A whole pile of bad weeds and of every kind of evil seeds is the mankind. And in the middle of it a small little branch, which anyone would think it's burried, this is you, Noah.
I myself, the Lord of heaven, «I saw you» in the midst of this generation the cunning one and perverted.
And as you have guarded yourself pure during the time, that all that crowd of people was busy in deeds of injustice and in the sin, likewise now Myself too I will keep you safe and sound during the time, that all this crowd is going to be destroyed.
Those, who do not participate in the sins of the others, certainly will not participate in the punishments either, which they will be subjected for these sins of theirs.
Subsequently God leads Noah, in order for him to introduce into the ark also the corresponding number of the various animals and birds.
From among the clean animals, those who were used for the service and the conservation of the man, Noah had to let inside seven couples of each. And from the animals that were not clean two couples of each. The same Noah had to do also for the birds.
And God therefore does not only anticipate for the man, but He also provides for the easy and comfortable sustenance of the man.
Noah at that last moment of that great catastrophe no doubt he must have been confused. And in his many worries, that must have brought to him the preparations of these last days, he might not had time to think, that he should from the useful and pure animals maintain more of them.
At the same time however God is taking care for His whole creation as well. And for this He wants inside the ark to be saved a pair also of each from the unclean animals and birds.
It is not the time yet for the earth to be rid from the wild and untamable creation. Because the people also, that are going now to be born from Noah, will not all be meek and benign.
Nor is it going to be eradicated now for ever the wickedness and the sin from the earth. Those will be seen again.
And since they will be seen again, fair it is not to become extinct also the wild animals and the wild birds, that will be most of them the live images of the sin and also punishment in the lives of the justly punished man.
But let it be blessed the name of God, my brother! Don't you see? He doesn't allow to enter inside the ark too many of the wild animals and of the birds the wild ones.
And thus while today we have whole flocks of sheep and goats, yet we don't have herds from lions and tigers and wolfs and hyenas and eagles. Alas if that was the case! What calamity would be for us!
But God only wanted to educate us. But not to exterminate us. And thus also that creation of His the wild one He lets it live, but not become overcrowded. Only the useful become overcrowded for the necessities of the mankind domesticated animals and birds.
Enter inside the ark you and all your familiars, says God to Noah. «Because after seven days I will cause it to rain upon the earth, for forty days and forty nights; and I will destroy every living substance, that I have created, from off the face of the earth».
One more week, seven days only and immediately after I will induce, the Lord of all the elements of nature, a powerful rain, which will go on during forty days and forty nights continuously.
And I am going to eliminate through this rain every life resurrected, which I have created. Everything alive, which has raised little by little since its early years and has grown, I will eliminate it from the face of the earth.
God therefore now also defines a day. How benevolent God is! He waited for them 120 years. He postponed His wrath for 120 years.
They were seeing that for 120 years Noah was working on the ark for their teaching. And when these years also passed and the time came of a fair judgement, He waits again and a new time for repentance and a new opportunity for return He gives to these unrepentant people.
Until now Noah was telling them generally and vaguely, that God will drop destruction. From now on however certainly he must have specified to them also the time, when it will come this catastrophe.
Who denies, that, if these people had even just a little bit of a good will, they would be seized at that final moment by terror, like the people of Nineveh afterwards, and they would seek to return to God?
They however without doubt must have laughed and they must have mocked Noah. As they were mocking him all this time, similarly they must have mocked him those last days as well. And nevertheless death was near and the wrath of God was at the gates.
But what can you do? When someone passes a long time in the sin and gets old in it, it's not easy later to walk away from it.
And it's neither possible for someone, when he has passed all his years in the sin, at the last moment to reject it and to return to himself and to come back to God!
And if you see a thief on the Cross to repent and to ask for the mercy of God, do not forget that this is not a usual phenomenon. It is extraordinary;
I repeat it is a miracle, that was operated in the heart of that man by God Himself, because He distinguished that he had good intentions and He had to operate it.
The usual, that most often happens is this: for those who pass their years in the sin, even when the death comes, they are already blinded and they cannot see anything, and they die in the sin.
Let us be careful therefore, my brother, so that it won't happen to us, the same that happens to these unfortunate and miserable people. The sin is a bad companion. Let us leave away from it, as fast as possible and as soon as possible.
Let us now return to Noah. That righteous and virtuous man, immediately as God ordered him to enter in the arc and with him including from the animals and from the birds the determined number, «he did everything that had ordered him the Lord God».
It reminds us, as you can see, notably the Scripture the conformance and obedience of Noah to the commands of God.
It is worth reminding it to us. Because, as in the beginning, when God first told him, that he had to construct the ark, Noah «believed» and thanks to this faith of his he conformed to everything that God had ordered him, likewise also now he believes.
From the beginning until the end he believes. Because any other sign to demonstrate, that the cataclysm was near, there was nowhere to be seen. No cloud, nor any lightning, nor thunder.
And furthermore his contemporaries, when they saw him entering inside and announcing them in advance their death, they must have laughed with him much more now and they must have put into a trial and into a temptation his faith.
As it was being tested his faith during all this time, that the ark was being made, similarly it is now being tested until the end.
But Noah is faithful. Everything that God said he believes it and he admits to it with all his heart without doubting. Thus Noah in every step that he made he was walking through faith and not through the information of his bodily sensations.
«He did everything that had ordered him the Lord God». He must have placed everything therefore inside the ark during the time period of these seven days. He must have placed every kind of animal and bird in its place and in its nest and in the end he must have entered himself too together with his wife, his children and his daughters in law.
Strange indeed and unprecedented and marvelous would be the phenomenon, that the ark presented at the eve of the cataclysm!
To see all the kinds of animals to come by themselves there in front of Noah, the wild and the untamed to calmly move their tails and like domesticated to submit themselves and without any noise to take each one of them its place inside the ark! What a wonderful phenomenon!
Exactly like the ox knows its manger and the donkey of burden, knows its owner, similarly now the lion, the tiger, and the other wild beasts recognize their savior and they come near him.
And like the birds during the time of spring, when at the places, where they were living till then, the heat becomes unbearable, they depart by themselves and they come in other more fresh and more sweet climates and they are guided in this by some natural law, that God had established,
likewise now beasts and animals and birds, all those who are going to be saved in the ark, they are pushed as if by some natural instinct towards this ark and they ask to get inside.
And only the logical creatures of God, the humans the contemporaries of Noah, they do not want understand and conceive. They had become more bestial even from the animals and more ferocious than the wild beasts the miserables.
O Lord, Lord; how much right he was Your prophet, when while being inspired by Your infallible Spirit he was preaching that: «but the man being in honour does not remain, and he joined the ranks of the beasts the senseless ones and he became like them»!
Thus Noah did not have to toil and to risk himself in order to bring together that multitude of animals and of the serpents and of the beasts, that would enter inside the ark.
He brought them there God himself. They came by themselves and in fact they were tamed and meek, so that they could live all together, without one to threaten the life of the other.
After they came all the animals and the crew of the ark was fulfilled, at last they entered in it Noah with his wife and his three children with their three wives.
«And Noah entered, Shem, Ham, Japheth, the sons of Noah and the wife of Noah and the three wives of his sons entered with him in the ark».
Four men therefore and four women entered in the ark. And yet the world was going to be destroyed and to be born again by the three children of Noah. Why couldn't it be that these three young men would not only take one but more than one woman each one?
My brother, when God created Adam, one woman only He gave him. And this first couple with the blessing of God was multiplied and conquered the earth.
And now again that the time has come once more to start from the beginning the multiplication of the mankind, one woman each of them God wants them to have the three children of Noah.
And He teaches you with this, that the polygamy is not a natural thing and that only the bond of one man towards one woman, of the single man that she is going to know in her whole life the woman, and of the single woman that he is going to know in his whole life the man, only that kind of bond is blessed and sanctified and holy.
And after they entered also Noah with his children in the ark, then, says the Holy Scripture: «Lord the God closed the ark from the outside».
He closed it himself, as someone secures his cash box, inside which he keeps valuable jewelry and tresors.
He closed it well for the waters not to enter from the outside, when after a while they would flood the earth. He fastened it well, so that they wouldn't be able to open it afterwards, when with anguish and desperation they would rush the drowning unrepentants seeking to find refuge in it.
He closed it in a wonderful way, which the Scripture does not say to us and thus He showed His exceptional providence and love for His servant Noah.
Until a while ago it was open. And if somebody would come, even during the final seven days, and while repenting for his wickedness he would seek reguge and salvation in the ark, we cannot doubt, that the benevolent God would give him this refuge.
But now is too late. Everyone who is outside from the ark, that is, the totality of the mankind that lived at that time, they will meet their death into the vast waters of the cataclysm.