When my children were young I was an assistant pastor in a church where my duties included being the children and youth pastor. In those days, assistant pastors had the honor of doing many things at once. Being the children and youth pastor was just part of the perks. As part of my work, I enjoyed having the children perform musical programs. One year I chose the musical "Get on Board Children". The theme was what it would have been like if children had been on Noah's Ark. Each song depicted the struggles it would have been for Noah's grandchildren to have experienced the events surrounding the flood and life on the ark. The theme song for the musical was, "What Do You Do on a Rainy Day in an Ark?" My wife and I enjoyed working with the children in those early days of our marriage and ministry. We find ourselves from time to time singing the theme song, especially when it is a rainy day.
If you think about it, though there were no children on the actual ark with Noah, how difficult it would have been for them if there had been children on board? What would children have done if they had been on the ark during the year and one week that Noah and his family were on the ark? I'm sure they would have been helping with the workload. Feeding and caring for the many animals had to be an exhausting job. There would have been very few things you could do after caring for the animals. What did the eight adults do that was on the ark for that matter?
Can you imagine what it must have been like finding yourselves as the only eight people alive on the earth and having to care for the entire surviving animal population? It had been raining for almost forty days, the earth was covered with water, and they had to believe it would stop after forty days and nights, as God had said. They were not sure how long it would be before the water would recede, but what they did know, is they were willing to be in the center of God's will, and they survived.
So, what do you do on a rainy day in an ark?
I'm sure they did not wake up one day and say to themselves, "We want to be zookeepers."
I'm sure they did not want to be in their situation; they most likely had their own dreams and desires for what they wanted in life. All this was gone and they are in an ark, and all they had to look forward to was caring for animals and having another rainy day.
Shem probably asked Ham, "What are we going to do tomorrow?" and Ham answered back, "I don't know, maybe feed the animals and watch the rain. What do you want to do?"
Who would have thought to be in God's will, you would have to stop all of your personal dreams, become something you probably never thought of being, and endure situations you would have never imagined?
Don't Abandon Ship
One thing they could not do was abandon ship!
There was nowhere to go, and if the left the center of God's will, the ark, they would die.
Outside of doing God's will, there is no life. There is no purpose.
Just as Noah could not leave the ark without dying, we too must remain in the will of God in order to maintain life as God has purposed it for us. His will cannot be abandoned. If you walk away from that which God has shown you in His will, your life you will most surely lose all purpose in life. You will lose all happiness and you will be in a hopeless state.
If anyone on the ark chose to jump ship, they would be in a hopeless situation, just waiting for their death to come. When people have come to know Jesus as their Savior and God has started revealing His will to them, to abandon what God is showing you, leaves you always searching, just drifting in life and waiting for the day you die. You do not have any hope. Colossians 1:27 tells us that, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Our only hope for complete happiness and fulfillment in life is to follow the will of God. You start by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Realize God is In Charge
Noah and his family had to trust in what God said, that after forty days and nights the rains would stop. Then they had to trust God for the waters to go down and for the land to be livable again. For people living in faith, trusting God is the natural thing to do. For those who choose to not live in faith, God's will can be a difficult thing.
Situations in life can bring with it too many questions:
1. How long will it take God before He causes the waters to go down (fulfill what he has promised me? Noah could do nothing about making the waters go down, they just had to wait. Sound like something you are become too acquainted with, waiting on God?
2. Will the land be fit to live on once the waters have receded? They could do nothing about who God was making their lives better, but to trust him. On this new land, there would be no one except that who will worship and honor God. They will have the hand of God providing for their every need, but they had to trust Him.
3. What will we do once God gives us what He has promised? How will we carry out His will? To know God's will and to do it is entirely two different things. Even after they were allowed to leave the ark, they still had to trust God daily. Ham chose to not do things the way God wanted them done, even after seeing all that God had brought them through.
4. What was next? After we have what God has promised, what do we do next? The new world was filled with all the promises of God, yet they had to get up every day and do something with what God left them as stewards over. This was a new start for mankind. Following God in all things is a commitment that requires dedication and discipline. Only those desire to follow God, His way, understand the true blessings of the Lord. It was only the lineage of Shem that chose to continue living in the will of God after the flood.
The generations of Ham, Japheth, and Shem failed to understand the significance of the ark. They did not honor the covenant God made with Noah and before long there was a need for another ark to carry a new covenant. Through the covenant God made with Abraham, his generations received a great promise that was kept in a smaller ark.
Ark of the Covenant
Many years later, 790 to be exact, God started using a new ark. Moses was charged by God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and take them back to the promised land of Canaan. It would be here, that God would have the name of the land changed to Israel. God made a new covenant with His chosen people and they were commanded to keep this covenant in an ark, the Ark of the Covenant.
The Bible records the size of this ark as being 2½ cubits in length, 1½ cubits in breadth, and 1½ cubits in height (Exodus 25:10-22); which is approximately 131x79x79 cm or 52x31x31 inches. This box, that was not much bigger than a large trunk, housed the covenant and testimonies of the Lord God.
Moses was instructed to keep three things in the Ark of the Covenant. Two were testimonies (witnesses) that God worked among them and the other the stone tablets containing the ten commandments, which is the foundation of the covenant God made with the nation of Israel.
". . .and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. . ." [NKJV]
• Aaron's rod. This was the piece of Aaron's rod that budded when God showed the rebellious tribe of Korah, who God intended on using as a leader with Moses (Numbers Chapter 17).
• The golden pot that held the manna. This was the same manna that Israel ate from for forty years. It did not rot or fade away as long as it was kept in the ark.
• The tablets of the covenant. This was the ten commandments that were written in stone. Along with these tablets the five books of Moses were kept in the ark (Deuteronomy 31:24-26).
As long as Israel would keep the ark of the covenant in front of them, God promised to protect them, and provide for all their needs as a nation (Deuteronomy Chapter 6; Leviticus 26:1-13).
• When they went to war they were to keep the ark in front of them (Joshua 6:1-8).
• When they advanced in the wilderness from place to place they were to keep the ark in front of them (Numbers 10:11,12,33).
• When they wanted to hear from God they had to have the ark before them (Exodus 25:22).
• When they wanted to have pure worship with the Lord they had to have the ark before them (2Samuel 6:14-15).
• To receive God's forgiveness and blessing for the year, they had to have the ark before them (Leviticus 16:11-14, 17).
Israel was always abandoning this ark and its contents, so much that God chose a new ark to carry a new covenant that would not be broken.
We have a New Ark
God made a new promise that expanded the covenant He established through Moses.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. [NKJV]
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. [NKJV]
In Christ Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is fulfilling this new promise.
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly, you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. [NKJV]
Christ has placed His covenant in a new ark, our hearts.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. [NKJV]
An ark is used for putting something in safekeeping until it is being used. When Israel needed to use any of the items in the Ark of the Covenant they had to go where it was and take out, otherwise it remained in the ark so no one would bother it.
By the power of God in us, His covenant in Jesus Christ, is planted in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Our ark is not a stationary object that can only be accessed by going to a specific location. Our ark is mobile, always with us. The light that is in us through the knowledge of the glory of God in us, is portable, and usable at all times, in any place.
This ark is not one that will be abandoned because it is God that keeps it. We are moved by emotions and wooing from the Holy Spirit that dwells in us when we are filled with the Spirit. We are kept in Christ. The excellence of the power that is in us is from God, so we do not have to feel we should abandon ship. We do not have to abandon that which the Lord has placed in our hearts because He gives us the encouragement from within.
We may be hard-pressed on every side, but we are not crushed.
We might be perplexed from time to time, but we are not in despair.
We do get persecuted, but God has not forsaken us.
At times when we are struck down, we are never destroyed. (2Corinthians 4:8-9)
So, what do you do on a rainy day in an ark?
You Praise the Lord for what He has planted in us!
You Rejoice that no matter what we are enduring, God is always with us!
You stop and enjoy the rain!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. [NKJV]
. . .And try Me now in this, Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it". [NKJV]
Do you hear the rain?
Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, each and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain."