"So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out." Genesis 6:14
It was a Sunday evening service and only a handful of people were gathered in a basement that served as a sanctuary. The good people of the Bourbon Bible Church had intended to build a main story above the basement but it hadn't happened yet.
A seven-year old boy sat on the aisle about five rows back. At the the of the message the pastor gave an invitation to come forward for salvation. He didn't seem like he really expected anyone to come and showed surprise when the young boy stepped out into the aisle and came to the front accompanied by his mother.
The pastor dismissed the rest of the congregation and invited the youngster and the mother to join him in a room off the side of the sanctuary. When they gathered there the pastor asked the boy if he wanted to accept Jesus as his Savior and the boy said he did. So, the pastor began to tell the story of Noah and the ark. It was the first time the boy had heard it and he was riveted on each word the pastor shared. At the end of the story he told the young fellow that salvation was like the ark and if wanted invited Jesus to become his Savior it would be like coming into the ark. After leading the seven-year old in a simple prayer the door of the ark swung open!
That night happened fifty-three years ago and I remember it well because that young boy was me. That was the night I became a Christian and entered the ark of salvation.
Needless to say, the story of Noah has always had special significance to me. There is no doubt that it is a metaphor for salvation and it was literally the means of salvation for Noah and his entire family - not to mention the animal kingdom.
With this in mind verse 14 caught my attention because I think it illustrates a profound truth about the relationship between grace and works in salvation. It involves God's favor, our faith and works that evidence our faith.
God had favor on Noah, but Noah had to spend over a century building something he had never seen before to prepare for a threat he had never witnessed told by a God he had never laid eyes on. Salvation is provided by God but must be appropriated by our faith and proven by our works of righteousness.
Like, Noah, you have found grace in the eyes of God. And like Noah, you must enter it. Salvation is where our faith meets His grace!