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All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Noah’s Ark

Romans 15.4

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 19, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. In 1986, Robert Fulghum published, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
    1. It was a simple but popular book.
    2. That spawned other writings with similar titles, but
    3. from a different experience than Kindergarten.
  2. I saw a list for, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Noah’s Ark.” 
    1. The list of things learned varies from thirteen to seventeen and eighteen.
    2. Today, I will do eleven.
      1. The main points come from someone else unknown to me, but
      2. the supporting material is all mine, as far as I can remember.
  3. The story of Noah and the Flood 
    1. is not a children’s story, but
    2. a real family’s struggle with the hardships of life.


  1. Do not miss the boat 
    1. Genesis 7 shows the finality of God.
      1. God gave the earth 120 years to repent, but
      2. only Noah’s family submitted to God,

        13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in (Gen 7.13–16).
      3. Once the Lord shut Noah in, the world lost its opportunity.
      4. Right now those souls suffer in eternal agony!
    2. Second Corinthians 6 explains that only one chance for salvation exists.
      1. That time is now.

        2 For He says:
        “In an acceptable time I have heard you,
        And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
        {Isa 49:8}

        Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2Co 6.2).

      2. Do not miss the boat on eternal salvation.
  2. Only Believers Were in the Boat 
    1. Genesis 6 and 7 reveal clearly why God saved Noah,

      8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God (Gen 6.8–9).
      22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. 1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation (Gen 6.22–7.1).

      5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him (Gen 7.5).

    2. Noah walked with God, because
      1. Noah believed God,
      2. leading Noah to obey God.
  3. Plan Ahead (It was not raining when Noah built the Ark) 
    1. Genesis 2 provides evidence that it had never rained before the Great Flood.

      5 …before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground (Gen 2.5–6).
    2. Consider Genesis 9, which explains the significance of the rainbow.
      1. God gave the rainbow after the Flood.
      2. If there had been rainbows, what would be the significance of this sign?

        13 “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Gen 9.13–15).
    3. Nevertheless, Noah planned ahead.
  4. Stay Fit (When you are old, someone may ask you to do something really big) 
    1. First Corinthians 6 teaches that the Holy Spirit dwells in our bodies.
      1. How then should we treat the temple of the Holy Spirit?

        19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1Co 6.19–20).
      2. What do we accomplish if we are strong on key doctrines, but
      3. weak on self-control and self-discipline when it comes to our bodies?
    2. First Timothy 4 teaches shows the value of keeping ourselves fit inwardly,

      7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come (1Ti 4.7–8).

      1. We first see Abraham when he was 75!
      2. At 80, Moses accomplished his most significant work.
      3. John wrote the Book of Revelation in his 90s!
        1. Those three kept their bodies in top condition for spiritual purposes.
        2. God may still have something He wants you to do.
  5. Do Not Listen to Critics (Just get on with the job that needs to be done) 
    1. Why do we think no one should criticize us?
      1. Why do critics think
      2. that they can criticize without having to answer for their criticisms?
    2. Second Peter 2.5 says Noah preached righteousness.
      1. Therefore, he had to be around people.
      2. That inherently means people criticized him.
    3. There will be critics.
      1. The greater your dream,
      2. the greater the critics.
        1. The more public your work,
        2. the more public your critics.
    4. Every hero story of the Bible has an antagonist.
      1. Nehemiah 4 shows how a man dealt with his critics.

        3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.” 4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! 5 Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders. 6 So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work (Neh 4.3–6).
      2. Nehemiah did not argue endlessly with his critics.
      3. He prayed to God and the people had a mind to work.
  6. Build Your Future on God’s Promises 
    1. Matthew 24 shows that Noah could not rely on man’s thoughts of the future.
      1. He focused his attention on God’s promises.
      2. God’s will directed that man’s entire life.

        37 “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt 24.37–39).
    2. Daniel 5 shows that as the days of Belshazzar were,
      1. so will also the collapse of a company or nation be.
      2. For as in the days when Belshazzar ate and drank, and
        1. did not know until the Medes and Persians were in his palace and
          1. killed him,
          2. so also will life change dramatically.
        2. Belshazzar failed to learn that,

          “God…holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways…” (Dan 5.23).
  7. For Safety’s Sake, Travel in Pairs 
    1. Ecclesiastes 4 says it is not good to be alone.
      1. Noah did not build the ark alone.
      2. God did not want any animal entering the ark alone.

        9 Two are better than one,
        Because they have a good reward for their labor.
        10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
        But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
        For he has no one to help him up.
        11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
        But how can one be warm alone?
        12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
        And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
        (Ecc 4.9–12)
    2. Jesus needed His Father and wanted friends.
  8. Speed Is Not Always an Advantage (Tortoises and cheetahs made it on board) 
    1. Being hasty causes problems.
    2. The Book of Proverbs teaches the problems of being hasty,

      Pro 1.16
      For their feet run to evil,
      And they make haste to shed blood.
      Pro 19.2
      Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
      And he sins who hastens with his feet.

      Pro 20.21
      An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
      Will not be blessed at the end.

      Pro 21.5
      The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
      But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

      Pro 25.8
      Do not go hastily to court;
      For what will you do in the end,
      When your neighbor has put you to shame?

      Pro 28.20
      A faithful man will abound with blessings,
      But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

      Pro 28.22
      A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,
      And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

      Pro 29.20
      Do you see a man hasty in his words?
      There is more hope for a fool than for him.

    3. It’s not the fast that eat the slow…it’s the diligent that eat the negligent.
      1. It’s not the belligerent that eat the kind…it’s the gentle that eat the rude.
      2. It’s not the hasty that eat the thinkers…it’s the wise that eat the foolish.
      3. It’s not the busy that eat the sleepers…it’s the planners that eat the aimless.
    4. Each of the animals in the ark made it according to his ability.
      1. For the way the cheetah lives, speed is right.
      2. But it is not right for the tortoise.
        1. God and Noah waited for both the tortoise and the cheetah.
        2. Work according to your ability and success is yours.
  9. When You Are Stressed, Float Awhile 
    1. In the ark, Noah and his family could not fight or flee.
      1. They had to do hard work for over one year.
      2. Yet, it was necessary for survival.
    2. However, they were away from the world.
      1. What was it like to live in a world so violent that God destroyed it all?
      2. In spite of the daily work on the ark, they had relief.
    3. Float with Jesus, spending much time in secret with Him alone.
      1. Acts 16 shows that quiet time was important to the Greeks.

        13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there (Acts 16.13).
      2. Do you have a place like that?
  10. Amateurs Built the Ark, Professionals Built the Titanic 
    1. Experience is not everything.
      1. Experience can create ruts from which we will not change.
      2. Experience can produce arrogance that your ship cannot sink.
    2. Do the best you can with what you have.
      1. Psalm 127 promises that
        1. if God is with your work, it shall prevail.
        2. If God is against your project, it shall not prevail.

          1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
          They labor in vain who build it;
          Unless the LORD guards the city,
          The watchman stays awake in vain.
          (Psa 127.1)
    3. Noah and his family were in the ark for 371 days.
      1. The ark endured the most violent waters earth has ever seen.
        1. The ark was only built for one journey.
        2. It had no power and no steering.
      2. The Titanic, with calm seas,
        1. built for endless voyages
        2. with power and steering,
        3. lasted part way through its first journey.
  11. Regardless of the storm, with God there is always a rainbow waiting 
    1. Dark times in life are like storms.
      1. We forget the sunshine the day before.
      2. You wonder if you will ever see the sun again.
    2. A Jew wrote Psalm 126 after returning from Babylonian captivity.
      1. He learned something that he wanted to teach us.

        5 Those who sow in tears
        Shall reap in joy.
        6 He who continually goes forth weeping,
        Bearing seed for sowing,
        Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
        Bringing his sheaves with him.
        (Psa 126.5–6).

        1. You will make it.
        2. Do not give up.


  1. In First Peter 3, the apostle used the ark to teach a lesson about salvation. 
    1. Peter compared the water of Noah’s Flood to the water of baptism,

      20 …in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 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 (1Pe 3.20–21).
    2. Have you learned that lesson?
      1. God used water to remove the filth of the world in Noah’s day.
      2. God uses water to remove the filth from your soul today.