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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Animal 'Crackers'

You may have heard rumors floating around out there that the Story of Noah's Ark, with the animals congregating in the Ark, whether 'two by two' ( unclean ) or seven ( a complete number ) of the clean animals, was simply an allegory for Gentile peoples. Whatever the case may be, there is definitely more to this Story than first meets the eye!

God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people.
II Peter 2:5- GNT

Depending on which version you read, and I'll be the first to admit it, this IS a presuppositional statement, Scripture seems to be pretty clear that there were only 8 people aboard the Ark! Genesis 7:7 ( interestingly enough ) says, 'So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark'. Pretty simple, right?

Covenant Creation, which I fully ascribe to, says that the previous chapters, in particular 1 & 2, refer, not to the creation of the physical universe, but to the institution of covenant, or a personal relationship between our Heavenly Father and His Creation! Whether the animals described in short in Genesis 1:24 & Genesis 2:19 were actual, literal animals, or whether they were simply allegorical representations of Gentile peoples is really somewhat beside the point when it comes to the Story of Noah!

The whole point of the Story was to prefigure salvation in Christ. If indeed the animals that were brought onto the Ark were just Gentile peoples, or those outside the Covenant of Faith, this would almost seem to make sense, because it would prefigure the entrance of Gentiles into the Covenant! This seems to work well with the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, in that it is He that brings individual people to salvation, according to His will! 

The Scriptures though, as we have seen, tell us clearly that it was animals, both clean & unclean ( clean for sacrifice & unclean to repopulate the land ), that were brought to the Ark. Peter's vision in Acts 10 does tell us that the Gentile nations had been cleansed, or prepared for relationship with their Creator, but it does not necessarily follow that the Story of Noah did not involve animals. 

Non-human creatures were doubtless part of the original creation! There should be no doubt that they were brought onto the Ark ( unless you want to believe that it's just a story ), and while they were significant of the Gentiles entrance into the Covenant, they were just animals, nonetheless!

It could well be argued, maybe, that is Covenant Creation views that have lead to this ( Gentiles 'animals' on the Ark, etc. ), but as with so many other doctrinal views, it is not Covenant Creation itself that leads to error, but merely human reasoning! Presuppositions have a large part in constructing our world-view, as well as adding unnecessary baggage. If we are of the notion that the Story of the Flood is simply an allegorical story, significant of salvation in Christ, then we could easily put two & two together, and 'see' that there were no actual non-human creatures on the Ark! In fact, there was no Ark; it's all just allegory!

To get back to the Story, though, in which we partake; the Ark, which WAS symbolic of Christ, literally saved 8 real people from the Flood of Noah's Day. This was significant of our Heavenly Father, through His only begotten Son, saving His People ( Israel ) from their sin, as we have seen! To say that the 'animals' on the Ark were actual Gentile peoples is really to fly in the face of Covenant Creation, and its insistence that the Flood of Noah's Day was localized rather than universal, or world-wide. More importantly, it wreaks havoc with the symbolism employed by Gospel writers and theologians alike that the Story was significant of Salvation in Christ!

Why, if the animals, in particular the unclean ones, were Gentile humans, why is it that only two of each were saved, while the rest perished outside the Ark? For that matter, if the clean animals were merely representative of the Sons of God, why does Scripture record that there were 7 of each, besides 'Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives?

In conclusion, though more could doubtless be said here on the subject, let us just remember that although it is important to know that these animals, both clean & unclean, symbolize the People of God, both Jew & Gentile, it is more important to live as those who have been freed from the tyranny of sin & death! Because of the Salvation of those in the Ark, countless generations have been freed from that awful tyranny! 

As we live in that Freedom, let us always be thankful to our Heavenly Father that we were included in the company of those that 'God has cleansed'!

Amen & Amen!

Charles Haddon Shank




2 comments:

bill said...

Ty brother.....this article help me in my studies. ...ty very much

Charles Shank said...

You're welcome, my brother; I pray my studies may continue to bless you!