CANDLEGLOW LESSON NOACH
(Genesis 6:9-11:32) Week 2
The Bible story of the plans for the first of the Four Arks of the Bible still reverberates with children’s stories focusing on a beautiful floating zoo, filled two-by-two, male and female, with every animal and bird and creeping thing upon the earth, along with Noach, his wife and three sons and their wives. The promise of Noach, Hebrew for Rest, comforts and gives hope as the meaning of his name comes alive. Because of his personal search for God through a growing, faithful obedience, his family was invited by Adonai to join Noach in the great escape!
The first Ark of the Bible, (Ta’va) held something precious to our Creator; life! More than this, it held the intentional life of Noach as he sought after God’s own heart, giving God a reason to turn his creative force from destruction to redemption. The first of the Four Arks of the Bible is expressed in Parashah Noach. The Architect was the Lord God Almighty. The builder was Noach. The treasure filling the Ark was everything God still found good. The Ark held the promise of life, and a future; a new beginning; a way to start all over again.
The second Ark of the Bible, (Tebah) a tiny Ark made by a mother’s hands for her infant son, was also tarred and pitched inside and out, immersed into a river which would send the Ark carrying baby Moshe to safety. Without the escape in the Ark, death was waiting for him, as it would have for Noach. This Ark held the life of baby Moses. But more than this, it held the anointed life of the deliverer of the Nation of Israel and all the good plans going forth from the Red Sea, around Mt. Sinai, and into the Promised Land. The Ark of Tebah held the intercessor of the Covenant relationship between the Nation of Israel and the God of Israel.
The third Ark of the Bible, (Aron) was an ornate golden box designed by the Master Architect for His Tabernacle. The Ark of the Covenant held what Adonai considered true treasure; His Commandments etched on two sapphire plates, and the Torah Scrolls which would eternally bring life to the people of God, and the world. The Ark of the Covenant also held the budding rod of Aaron, flowering with new blossoms as a sign of the eternal life of the priesthood, and the sample of the precious manna from heaven which nourished the new Nation of Israel for forty years in their wilderness wanderings.
This Ark, so unimaginably beautiful, marked the spot where the Shekinah Glory of the Lord God Almighty hovered between the two Cherubim whose wings covered the Mercy Seat over the Ark. Yet, this Ark had no water upon which to travel, as the first two had. How would this Ark sail, as the Spirit of the Lord moved His people through a desert wilderness?
On the shoulders of the Levitical Priesthood, the Ark sailed! Their shoulders and arms became the waves and the water upon which all the treasure held safely inside made the journey as commanded by the Creator. On their shoulders, in their humble obedience, the journey was possible. By the Spirit, the Levites advanced into unknown territory carrying the Lord’s treasure into the Covenant Land, marking new territory with all that was held safely inside the Ark of the Covenant.
The fourth Ark of the Bible, (Sukkah) was made in the simplest form and function called a manger, which held the greatest treasure of all. The infant Messiah, born of a virgin and laid in a manger as prophesied, is the greatest treasure given to the world by the Creator. The greatest treasure of all time and eternity was safely laid in a trough where the lowliest domestic animals came to be fed. Through the treasure of Messiah laid in the Sukkah, the world might be saved.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders; and he will be given the name (Pele-Yo’etz El Gibbor Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom) Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 CJB)
This is the Lesson of the Four Arks, which culminates in the final irony of an Ark, designed to hold the King of Kings in the first days of His life on earth as Son of God and Son of Man. It was to be the crudest of all. Each of the Arks was made by the hands of men. Each of the Arks held untold heavenly treasure. Each of the four Arks fulfilled their design, as if God’s hands cupped together to tenderly carry all that He held dear, into an extension of every good and generous design for His creation; the outworking of which is still unfolding!
CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR SHABBAT
The Four Arks of the Bible held the truth of the heart of Adonai; His abounding love for His creation and for mankind. The over-riding lesson about the God of Creation is His relentless love for all He created. Having found one simple, righteous man named Noach, meaning rest, was enough for the God of Creation to design the first ARK of LIFE, and move through the rivers of the outworking of His~Story.
Each one of the Four Arks of the Bible points to the moment of Pentecost, when the promise of the Messiah was fulfilled by His Holy Spirit pouring out into the hearts of new believers. A final living Ark, not made by the hands of men, but by the hands of God, holds the treasure of His Spirit, in the beating hearts of you and me.
The Ark of our hearts now holds the greatest treasure of heaven, the very breath of the Messiah! Tonight, on this Sabbath, allow the Ark of your Heart to beat with love for the Lord, as you rest, like Noach, in His good plans for your life. Choose life!