The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. [Genesis 6:11-17 (KJV)].
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly……..[2 Peter 2:4-5 (KJV)].
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in. [Genesis 7:11-16 (KJV)].
And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. [Genesis 7:18-22 (KJV)].
The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. [Genesis 8:2-5 (KJV)].
What a big boat it was and because of it the lives of eight humans along with a number of selected animals and birds were spared when God’s wrath was poured out upon the earth in a devastating judgment that is completely incomprehensible to our limited minds!
If we had been able to have been there when the ark settled back to earth as the waters receded and looked around the outside of the vessel we would have noticed a huge number of vertical markings a few inches long and maybe a quarter of an inch or so in width all along both sides.
Were those marks part of the original design when Noah and sons put it together? No, these marks were made as the depth of the water increased from the breaking up of fountains beneath and pouring down from the sky as noted in the Genesis record. They were made by the fingernails of numerous persons frantically trying to get inside the ark in their final moments of life. Remember that it was said that Noah and his family went in by the door and then God shut him in, which meant that the family was safe but everyone else was shut out!
Now the question – why were those claw marks on the sides of the ark? There are a few explanations as to why a number of people in a sense “engraved” Noah’s ark with their fingernails in the final moments of life!
First, some simply did not believe Noah who is described as a “preacher of righteousness” by the apostle Peter in his writings. Noah’s message was one of warning of judgment to come because of excessive wickedness and a call to repent of sins and be reconciled to a holy God, thus escaping the impending judgment. That, of course, is a very unpopular message to proclaim and there are many who simply rejected it – it was unacceptable. If you are going to speak in God’s name, then give us something that will make us feel good and we can go home with a healthy sense of “self-esteem!”
Second, there were likely those who believed that God is a “God of love” and would never do such a horrible thing as to bring judgment upon the people of the world. After all, we are good people and not deserving of the terrible judgment to which Noah makes reference!
Third, perhaps having heard Noah speak of judgment to come there were those who dismissed it by thinking, “That’s a far off thing – it will never happen in my lifetime, so I have nothing to worry about.” The Scripture stresses the present hour as the time to make things right with God, not tomorrow, or next week, or next year!
Fourth, among the crowd that heard Noah sound the warning trumpet of judgment there would have been some who said to themselves or to one another, “I’ll wait for a while and then I will give attention to this issue of making peace with God. I’ve got a lot of things I want to do yet before I become religious – God will just have to wait!” As previously mentioned, God always deals with us in the present – His call is always now, not later!
Fifth, of the crowd clawing at the sides of the ark as the waters rose higher there would have been some who had second thoughts about Noah now! They had written him off as a deranged fanatic who was really out of his head. Rain? No such thing existed at that time. Flood? Never happened and never will! The weather system was completely different with a kind of mist cycle in operation that nurtured the plant life. No rain nor downpours of the same had ever occurred. So Noah’s boat project and the warnings that went with it as it was constructed over 120 years of time likely became the subject of a lot of mockery and ridicule. Suddenly thought patterns changed -- maybe that old coot was right after all! I better get down there and get on board that boat before it's too late! Can you hear them yelling and screaming as they claw away at the sides of the ark? "Noah, Noah! Let us in -- please, please help us!" And then you hear the gurgling as water is sucked into their lungs and the voices are now silent -- the door into the ark has remained closed during the whole ordeal and for good reason - do you remember? The Scripture says that God shut him in!
Sixth, idolatry was a way of life for large numbers of persons. Yes, they heard about the God in Whom Noah had placed his trust but the deities they worshipped were different than that. The attitude was: “My religion is just as good as Noah’s and maybe a lot better because it is not so narrow and bigoted as his!”
In the 21st Century one does not have to look far to see identical attitudes existing as was the case in the times of Noah before the judgment of the flood took place! The warning is being sounded – there is a judgment that will take place upon an ungodly world. Only those who have taken refuge in Jesus Christ, and knowing Him as Savior and Lord will be delivered from the horrors of that judgment. He is truly our “ark of safety” now and in the future time ahead. If you have not already done so, ask His forgiveness, and receive Him as Savior and Lord today while you have opportunity. Tomorrow may be too late! Remember why there were so many claw marks on the ark!
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. [1 John 5:10-13 (KJV)].
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [Revelation 3:20-21 (KJV)].