The last study looked at how the people cleansed in the flood had a clear choice between right and wrong. This brings us to the other question my girls asked when little, "What about the poor animals? It isn't fair to them." True enough and a question that always tugged at my heart strings also. When I read why the animals had to be included the light bulb really went on. This explanation ties in with things I've read in other sources (notably Peter Kreeft's work) which talks about the universe being created for man.
|Noah's Ark (1846), Edward Hicks.|
For animals to be included in the cleansing of the earth suggests the inseparable relationship between man and the rest of creation. The dominion God had given him has real meaning - when man goes down, so does all the rest of the earth. This helps us to see clearly how all the elements of creation led up to the creation of man. He was not just one player among many. Without man, the rest has no meaning. (Genesis: God and His Creation)
The other question that comes up every time in this classic tale is just how the animals were collected in the first place.
Many have wondered how this animal kingdom roundup happened. Did Noah and his sons spend years collecting all the animals? In reality the creation, along with Noah, was doing just as God had commanded. There seemed to be no problem gathering the animals. God took care of the details of that job while Noah was doing his part by building the ark. Often we do just the opposite of Noah. We worry about details over which we have no control, while neglecting specific areas (such as attitudes, relationships, responsibilities) that are under our control. Like Noah, concentrate on what God has given you to do and leave the rest to God. (Life Application Study Bible)I also liked reading this description of the size of the ship, which boggles the mind. It's bad enough to build a regular boat with no visible hope of water to float it but what God asked Noah to do seemed preposterous if you didn't have faith.
... Picture yourself building a boat the length of one and a half football fields and as high as a four-story building. The ark was exactly six times longer than it was wide -- the same ratio used by modern shipbuilders. This huge boat was probably built miles from any body of water by only a few faithful men who believed God's promises and obeyed his commands. (Life Application Study Bible)