For more than two decades, the quest for Noah's Ark has attracted worldwide attention. Even the term "ark-eology" has been coined to describe the numerous pictures supposedly taken by the CIA and locked away in vaults, eyewitness reports, satellite images, lost photographs, and various expeditions to the Ararat region of Eastern Turkey, where the Ark is believed to be located. Despite the interest, however, no scientific evidence has ever conclusively demonstrated the Ark's existence.
That could soon change if Daniel McGivern should succeed in his search for the great vessel. McGivern, a Christian businessman and activist from Hawaii, is currently putting together an international dream team of archeologists, forensic scientists, geologists, glaciologists, and others to investigate a site on Mount Ararat this summer. McGivern is "98 percent sure" the Ark is buried there beneath the mounds of snow and ice. He says last year's hottest summer in Europe since 1500 made it possible to get better satellite images that ever before. He claims the satellite imagery now reveals "vertical beams, and one horizontal beam."
Will McGivern's expedition actually discover Noah's Ark? No one knows but God. Still I can't help but speculate what the Ark's discovery might mean for our time.
Perhaps it would be a tangible witness to our own coming judgment. It's a principle with God that the more degenerate the times, the more definite the testimony.
In his book The Genesis Record, Dr. Henry Morris notes the biblical teaching that the same world conditions that presaged a coming catastrophe in Noah's day, also foreshadow an even greater calamity to befall our own. Some of the characteristics are summarized as follows:
- Preoccupation with physical appetites (Luke 17:27)
- Rapid advances in technology (Gen. 4:22)
- Grossly materialistic attitudes and interests (Luke 17:28)
- Uniformitarian philosophies (Hebrews 11:7)
- Inordinate devotion to pleasure and comfort (Genesis 4:21)
- No concern for God in either belief or conduct (II Peter 2:5; Jude 15)
- Disregard for the sacredness of the marriage relation (Matthew 24:38)
- Rejection of the inspired Word of God (I Peter 3:19).
- Widespread violence (Gen. 6:11, 13)
- Corruption throughout society (Genesis 6:12)
- Preoccupation with illicit sexual activity (Genesis 4:19; 6:2)
- Widespread words and thoughts of blasphemy (Jude 15)
If the Ark were actually found, it would certainly be a reminder to our age that God's loving-kindness cannot be indefinitely scorned, His patience abused, and His offer of salvation ignored. God has clearly demonstrated in the past that His Spirit will not always strive with men.
Moreover, the discovery of Noah's Ark would also point to the truth that God's plan of salvation for the ancient world was the same as for today. Noah, the great antediluvian carpenter, built a judgment-proof vehicle of redemption for a lost world. His work simply reflects the work of the Carpenter of Nazareth who provided a judgment-proof righteousness and perfect salvation for mankind. All who shelter in Him will never face the storm of God's wrath. Christ comes between them and God's anger with sin. Nevertheless, there must be a deliberate response to God's offer -- a conscious turning to Christ. For Christ is our Ark and salvation is available only in Him.
Great Bible commentator and expository preacher John Phillips has written: "It is a principle with God that He witnesses in two ways to an age about to be relinquished to judgment -- by faithful preaching and by fulfilled prophecy; by sermons and by signs. In that far off world, Noah was a "preacher of righteousness" and, as history has demonstrated so often, his witness was in vain. There was fulfilled prophecy, too. Methuselah died. His name was a prophecy: "When he dies, it shall come." The death of Methuselah was an ominous sign to that generation. There were others, also. What a strange and disturbing sight it must have been for those antediluvians to see the animals beating a path to Noah's door to seek refuge in the ark. No doubt the rationalists had an explanation for that. In any case, the sign was ignored."
Indeed. And should Noah's Ark be discovered, would its sign to our age be ignored? Show us and we shall see, Mr. McGivern.