The writer of Genesis steps back in verse 22 of Genesis chapter 6 to observe Noah’s response to God’s instructions regarding the building of the ark and the rescuing and caring for all the animals. It simply says, “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. But Kissling rightly observes, “Literally this reads, ‘Then Noah did according to all that God commanded him. Thus he did.’ This is a sort of Janus parallelism (the same thought repeated in reverse order): Noah did according to all that God commanded him. According to all that God commanded him, thus he did.”[1] We sing a song about Father Abraham sometimes, “Father Abraham had many sons, Many sons had Father Abraham.” It’s the same kind of construction and represents an emphatic statement. The Jewish commentator, Cassuto, says, “The words form a solemn conclusion to the second paragraph, and also indicate a pause in the course of events, leaving Noah at work fulfilling God’s command. This verse, which states, and reiterates that Noah did all that he was commanded, provides us with a graphic picture of Noah working devotedly, with complete faith in all that the Almighty had told him, and in absolute obedience to the word of his Creator.”[2]

John Calvin praises Noah at great length in his commentary on Genesis. He says, “Let the reader reflect on the multitude of trees to be felled, the great labor of conveying them, and the difficulty of joining them together.” He seems to have worked on the ark for over a hundred years. How many of us could persevere on such a daunting task? Those around him most likely challenged him for claiming deliverance from God’s judgement while they would face God’s judgment. The “building an asylum for himself virtually doomed them all to destruction.” How many times over that period do you think Noah asked himself if all or any of this was really true? Do you think he worried about how he would collect all the animals? Did he worry about feeding them all? Was he concerned about how he would teach the lion to lay down with the lamb? How was he going to deal with all the animal waste? The smell would be horrendous! “But the obedience of Noah is celebrated on this account, that it was entire, not partial; so that he omitted none of those things which God had commanded.”[3]

Like the ark, the assembly of believers in Jesus (The true church) has only one door. Jesus claimed to be the only door to salvation. Just as the means of salvation was cut from trees, so is the instrument of our salvation cut from trees upon which Christ died for our sins. There was only one ark into which one could enter to escape God’s judgment. There is also only one Christ through which our faith in Him keeps us from perishing. One last thought is that God closed the door and sealed, secured, the salvation of all who came aboard. The Greek Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament (The Septuagint) adds the phrase “from the outside” when explaining how God closed in Noah and his family. If God closes it, no one else can open it. One cannot even open it from the inside. We are sealed to eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ and are assured an eternal destiny.

[1] Kissling, Paul J. 2004–. Genesis. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.

[2] Cassuto, U. 1997. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part II, From Noah to Abraham. Translated by Israel Abrahams. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University.

[3] Calvin, John, and John King. 2010. Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. Vol. 1. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.