God told Noah to build an ark to preserve himself, his family, and the animals, because the world became so wicked that He chose to destroy mankind by a flood. God said more than just “make an ark.” He said, “Make an ark of gopher wood” (Gen. 6:14). Instructions that were specific had been given. If Noah was to please God he had to follow carefully the directions he had been given.
Noah and his ark of gopher wood have served to illustrate some very important points on authority through the years. Let’s be reminded of some simple points that we learn from God’s instructions to Noah.
God Has a Plan for How Things Are to be Done
God has not left man to serve him without telling him how to do it. God not only told Noah what to do, but also told him how to do it. The command involves what was to be built: not just anything, but an ark. It was to be built of a particular wood: gopher wood. It was to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. There were also directions for a window and a door. God had a plan.
When the tabernacle was to be built, Moses was to make it “according to the pattern” that he had been given while on the mount before God (Heb. 8:5). Again, God had a plan.
Solomon was directed to build the temple according to the “plans” or “pattern” revealed from God (1 Chron. 28:11-12,19).
Today we must abide by God’s word in all of our service unto him. If God had a plan for the ark, the tabernacle and the temple, surely he has a plan for his church and all it is to do. John wrote, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9). We must do all by the authority of our Lord (Col. 3:17).
We Can’t Go Beyond the Authority of God
We cannot go beyond what God has said (Num. 22:18;2 Jn. 9). The consequences are serious: we do not have God. One cannot justify the use of that which is not authorized saying that it is an “aid” to doing what God said. To use another kind of wood (pine, oak or cherry) to simply aid in building the ark would be to act without the authority of God. Another kind of wood would be an addition (Rev. 22:18-19) and not an aid. To use the instrument of music thinking it would “aid” the singing, is to act without God’s authority. Instrumental music is another kind of music, thus an addition and not an aid. One could as well justify putting strawberry jam on the unleavened bread (to make it more tasteful) as to justify the instrument or any other addition to God’s word.
We must learn to respect the silence of God’s word. God’s silence is not permissive. It is prohibitive (Heb. 7:14). God told Noah to make an ark of gopher wood. He was to do that — no more and no less. We must do the same with the instructions he has given to us. God commanded man to obey the gospel. Specifically one must hear the gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4), believe with he heart and confess with the mouth that Jesus is the Christ (Rom 10:9,10), and repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Then are we added to the Lord’s church (Acts 2:47) and if we remain faithful unto death we are saved (Jam 1:12 f; Rev 2:10). We must do this in order to be saved__no more and no less.