The details found within the story of Noah are like the foundation stones of a great castle. With them intact, the king can be firmly established. If they’re unstable, it’s just another kingdom bound to fall. The entire Bible is written with the Messiah in mind and with the intent of restoring mankind to perfect relationship with its Creator. The account of Noah is at the top of the list for telling the beautiful story of the gospel in riveting detail.
The story starts in Genesis 6:13 by telling us that “the earth is filled with violence” and that all flesh has become corrupt before Him causing Him to have to “destroy them.” This is directly connected to both Romans 3:23 and 6:23.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
All believers have broken God’s holy Law, which is the definition of sin (1 John 3:4) and deserve a flood. The great news is that there is, in fact, a life boat that saves from this coming Judgment: the life boat of Yeshua our Messiah. So in a strange way, the very waters that were designed for destruction actually brought new life. This is what Paul means in 2 Corinthians 3:6 when he says: “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Since we know that the Word of God is called “the water of the Word,” that it is designed to wash away all filth and fleshly desires, and that it does so with perfect accuracy, it is safe to assume that all those who are not on that lifeboat called Yeshua will be utterly destroyed. This in no way means that the Word itself is bad, but that because there was no life raft, the flesh itself was killed. In the same way, in the Old Covenant, mankind was judged by the strictness of the law, that strong cleansing water. And because there was no lifeboat yet, mankind had no hope. The temporary inflatable life raft of the sacrificial system was just not sufficient to hold all of mankind for eternity. It was exactly like a life raft: it was a temporary solution until the large rescue boat showed up. The Spirit was that lifeboat that came to the rescue in the form of Yeshua our great Messiah. If one is found in Messiah (in the ark), the water’s effect is to elevate man to a higher state. If one is not found in the ark of Messiah, the water itself would be the final judgment for the individual.
This is why the New Testament writers compare Noah’s flood to baptism.
1 Peter 3:20-21
“who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, when the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
In Hebrew, baptism is called mikvah. An ancient Israeli mikvah was very much like many churches’ baptismal today. It was a large bathtub-like reservoir that had stairs going both down into it and back up out of it on the other side. A person went into the water, submerged himself completely, and then walked out the other side. It was filled with living water (water that was in constant motion) and was built in such a way that when a person went into it, his body mass would raise the water level and force the top layer of water, which was now soiled, out the export channel. Then new water was added to bring the water level back up for the next person.
This concept of going through water to be “saved” is as old as the earth itself. Even in Genesis, Yahweh said that the earth came forth out of the water and that there were two waters: the waters below the firmament and the waters above it (Genesis 1:6-7). In the same way, there are waters of earth and there are waters of heaven. We must be “born again” through the waters of heaven, which is what the baptismal waters on earth represent. God even built the entire picture into the birth of a child. It is born through water. Until the mother’s water breaks forth and the child passes through it, it cannot see the earthly kingdom. And unless a person allows the water of the Word to penetrate and cleanse him, he cannot come forth into the kingdom of heaven.
We see the same thing in the story of the Exodus. Do you think it was just Yahweh’s creativeness that showed off His great power at the Red Sea crossing? Not at all. He was fulfilling prophecy. He was rebirthing His people and that meant that they had to go through water to be “born again.” The Moses story is the same story as the Noah story. The people of Noah’s time died and Noah’s family was saved through water. Pharaoh’s army had to die for their wickedness and Moses’ family was also saved through water. When both families came back onto dry land, their enemies had been destroyed and a new life emerged.
We see this concept everywhere. The mikvah is not a one-time event. It’s part of a lifetime of constant cleansing, because life causes us to become unclean. Do we think it was a coincidence that the children of Israel had the water parted for them once again at the Jordan River when they finally crossed over into the Promised Land? If you look carefully, you’ll notice that before virtually every major victory and promotion, there is always a mikvah, a major cleansing of sorts. When Yeshua started His ministry, He had to be mikvahed by John. And what happened after that? He had to be tested by the enemy for forty days in the wilderness. The symbol was the actual water and the real mikvah was the test in the wilderness.
I know that I have personally experienced this many times in my life. God wanted to elevate me but I needed a “bath” first. Unfortunately, “baths” come in the form of great trials many times. God floods our lives with things that appear to not be of Him. But the truth is that if you are a child of God, it’s all from Him. In His effort to rid us of all the corrupt things hiding within us, He gets us to cling to the Ark of Yeshua more intensely.
When the world looks at your life, it may look like judgment and chaos when, in fact, that is exactly what a promotion opportunity looks like in His kingdom. Even if it’s discipline from sin, if handled properly, it is, in actuality, a promotion in the making. The Creator’s whole intent is to get us from Egypt to the Promised Land, from the land of Noah to Ararat, from death to life, and from glory to glory. Life is not a series of trials; it only looks that way from our perspective when we’re not trained in heavenly protocols. When we have that training, we can see that life is a series of interviews for constant promotion. The reason we don’t tend to learn this is because we consistently fail the interview and never actually see the value of the trial that was set before us. If we would follow His instructions all the way through each trial (loving our neighbors as ourselves, forgiving and expressing love when it’s not easy, following His Torah, etc…) we would be given a promotion, like Yeshua was when he passed His test in the wilderness. Blessings are not free. Eternal life is free, but blessings are earned on this earth through obedience and obedience through suffering (Heb. 5:8).
The pattern found in Noah’s flood is profound and is just as applicable today as it was when it happened. When Yahweh wants to elevate us and take us out of our comfort zone in the “land of Noah,” He sends strong winds to carry us to another place. It is our job to stay on the boat and to continue to love all those around us (the animals on the ark…who, trust me, sometimes really stink!). We are to “feed His sheep” like Yeshua said until He comes again. We are to continually send prayers asking for mercy, forgiveness, and new life up to Him (the way Noah sent the raven and the dove). And when He brings us through our trial unscathed and cleansed from the things that we could not see before and takes us to our final resting place, we are to do exactly what Noah did: give a thanksgiving offering to Him.
From A-Z, the story of Noah details how we should be living our lives despite the waves we encounter along the way. Your friends may be like Job’s friends, stating you must be a sinner for God to allow so much “water” into your life that appears to be so destructive. But in fact, when all is said and done, if you stay inside that Ark of Safety, the promotion that will come will far outweigh any short term chastisement. As for this author? I would rather be in an animal cage on His Ark than in the most elaborate palace on earth. It may stink and feel like God is confining you in whatever your promotion opportunity looks like, but in the end, you will come out on top of a mountain and finally be ready to meet a whole new world! You may feel that your sails are about to burst from the torrents of wind, but when it’s all over, you will be amazed at how far that storm actually carried you!