I recently had the opportunity to visit Noah’s Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, located halfway between Lexington and Cincinnati. Although I had read the story in the Bible many times, I could never have imagined just how awesome this wooden ship is.
As our tour bus approached its destination, a huge structure loomed in the distance. Just the very size of what I saw shocked me. The ark stood 51 feet high (or seven stories tall), 510 feet long (or 1.5 football fields), and 85 feet wide. To put it in perspective, the ark is about two-thirds the size of the Titanic. A 747 jet plane can fit inside with plenty of room to spare.
The astounding thing to me is how Noah, at 600 years of age, and his three sons spent one hundred years constructing this monster ship in that ancient day. That alone seems to be miraculous. Here’s the story from Genesis:
13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.16 You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks ~ Genesis 6:13-16, NASB.
Inside the ark, there are three levels to explore, each containing world-class exhibit bays. How Noah’s family operated from woodworking, to cooking, to feeding and caring for the animals—hundreds of exhibits show and explain what their lives may have been like. Each level concentrates on individual themes by showing educational movies in a small theater, and there is even one museum area dedicated to children for their enjoyment. From perusing cages with all kinds of animals and birds to an in-depth study of ancient history surrounding the biblical account, the Ark Encounter offers an experience for all ages and interest levels.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. Come inside the museum and let me show you around.
What does Noah’s Ark represent to us today?
Do you see a parallel between the ark and salvation? Jesus is the door of the ark. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me” ~ John 14:6, NASB.
The ark represents our lives, kept safe from the floods and tempests of life. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses” ~ Psalm 107:6, NASB.
The entire ship , inside and out, was sealed by pitch, which represents the power of the Holy Spirit to seal us from evil. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” ~ Ephesians 1:13, NASB.
As Noah fed and cared for the animals, so God cares for us, feeding us from His Word. He will bring us safely through the storms of life and will deliver us into His eternal kingdom.
Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. 2 You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.’5 Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him ~ Genesis 7: 1-5, NASB.
‘I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth’ ~ Genesis 9: 11-13, NASB.