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From Eternity Past

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    A Boat to Preserve Life

    A hundred and twenty years before the Flood, the Lord declared to Noah His purpose and directed him to build an ark. He was to preach that God would bring a flood of water upon the earth. Those who would believe the message and would prepare by repentance and reformation, should find pardon and be saved. Methuselah and his sons, who lived to hear the preaching of Noah, assisted in building the ark.EP 52.3

    God gave Noah the exact dimensions of the ark and directions in regard to its construction. Human wisdom could not have devised a structure of so great strength and durability. God was the designer, and Noah the master builder. It was three stories high, with but one door in the side. Light was admitted at the top, and the different apartments were so arranged that all were lighted. The material was cypress or gopher wood, which would be untouched by decay for hundreds of years. Building this immense structure was a slow process. On account of the size of the trees and the nature of the wood, much more labor was required then than now to prepare timber. All that man could do was done to render the work perfect, yet the ark could not of itself have withstood the storm. God alone could preserve His servants upon the tempestuous waters.EP 53.1

    “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7. While giving his warning message, his faith was perfected and made evident, an example of believing just what God says. All that he possessed he invested in the ark. As he began to construct that immense boat, multitudes came from every direction to see the strange sight and to hear the earnest words of the preacher.EP 53.2

    Many at first appeared to receive the warning, yet they did not turn to God with true repentance. Overcome by the prevailing unbelief, they finally joined their former associates in rejecting the solemn message. Some were convicted and would have heeded the warning, but there were so many to ridicule, that they partook of the same spirit, resisted the invitations of mercy, and were soon among the most defiant scoffers. None go to such lengths in sin as do those who have once had light but have resisted the convicting Spirit of God.EP 53.3

    The men of that generation were not all idolaters. Many professed to be worshipers of God. They claimed that their idols were representations of the Deity and that through them the people could obtain a clearer conception of the divine Being. This class were foremost in rejecting the preaching of Noah, and they finally declared that the divine law was no longer in force, that it was contrary to the character of God to punish transgression. Their minds had become so blinded by rejection of light that they really believed Noah's message to be a delusion.EP 54.1

    The world was arrayed against God's justice and His laws, and Noah was regarded as a fanatic. Great men, worldly, honored and wise, said, “The threatenings of God are for the purpose of intimidating and will never be verified. The destruction of the world by the God who made it and the punishment of the beings He has created will never take place. Fear not, Noah is a wild fanatic.” They continued their disobedience and wickedness, as though God had not spoken through His servant.EP 54.2

    But Noah stood like a rock amid the tempest. Connection with God made him strong in the strength of infinite power. For one hundred and twenty years his solemn voice fell upon the ears of that generation in regard to events which, so far as human wisdom could judge, were impossible.EP 54.3

    Heretofore rain had never fallen; the earth had been watered by a mist or dew. The rivers had never yet passed their boundaries but had borne their waters safely to the sea. Fixed decrees had kept the waters from overflowing their banks. See Job 38:11.EP 54.4

    But time passed on; men whose hearts had at times trembled with fear began to be reassured. They reasoned that nature is above the God of nature. If the message of Noah were correct, nature would be turned out of her course. They manifested their contempt for the warning of God by doing just as they had done before the warning was given. They continued their festivities and gluttonous feasts. They ate and drank, planted and builded, laying plans in reference to the future. They asserted that if there were any truth in what Noah had said, the men of renown—the wise, the prudent, the great men—would understand the matter.EP 54.5

    The period of their probation was about to expire. The ark was finished in every part as the Lord had directed and was stored with food for man and beast. And now the servant of God made his last solemn appeal to the people. He entreated them to seek a refuge while it might be found. Again they rejected his words and raised their voices in scoffing.EP 55.1

    Suddenly beasts of every description were seen coming from mountain and forest, quietly making their way toward the ark. Birds were flocking from all directions, and in perfect order passed to the ark. Animals “went in, two and two, unto Noah into the ark,” the clean beasts by sevens. Philosophers were called upon to account for the singular occurrence, but in vain. The doomed race banished their rising fears by merriment and seemed to invite upon themselves the awakened wrath of God.EP 55.2

    God commanded Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.” His influence and example resulted in blessings to his family. God saved all the members of his family with him.EP 55.3

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