Gen 8:13 Noah Removed the Covering of the Ark 1/14/2018 ßà
#1. The Earth Dries Out (Gen 8:1-19)
#2. The Covering of the Ark (Gen 8:13)
#3. The Last Day (Zech 14:5, Amos 1:1, 1Thes 3:13, 4:14-17, Jude 14-15, John 5:28-29)
#4. Our Feast of Tabernacles (John 3:3)
Please open your Bibles to the prophecy of Genesis, Gen 8:1 (2X). Today’s sermon is installment number 10 in the series on Genesis, and I might add, this is the sixth sermon on Noah. Is it not amazing how much information there is in the Bible on Noah and the flood of Noah’s days? And so, it would be wise to summarize briefly what we have already found in the past 5 sermons on Noah.
#1, We have seen that God spoke highly of the faith of Noah in Heb 11:7. But this faith did not come out of Noah himself, for God said in Gen 6:8 that God’s grace was given as a free gift to Noah. Then, #2, We have seen that Noah stood out above the rest of mankind because God made him a picture, or a type, or a shadow, of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why Noah was called “a just and perfect man”. And that is why God portrayed Noah as the Savior of the Kingdom of individuals whom God wanted to save. #3, We have seen that the Ark that God instructed Noah to build was a picture, or a shadow, or a type, of the eternal church that Christ built through His suffering and dying on the cross for all those whom the Father chose to give Him. The key to this interpretation is Gen 6:14, where the holes of the Ark were not patched with pitch, but with atonement. In other words, the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ made the church absolutely water-tight to the flood of the wrath of God. #4, We have also seen that the window mentioned in Gen 6:16 was not a window, but it was a bright light as bright as the sun shines at mid-day. This light was a picture, or a shadow, or a type, of God the Holy Spirit who gives light to everyone in the eternal church, shining the light of the Gospel of Christ to everyone in the Ark. #5, We have also seen in Gen 7:16 that the wrath of God on all wicked mankind in the form of a flood is a type, or a picture, or a shadow, of the Judgment on the Last Day when the wrath of God shall destroy the entire earth by fire. And thus, the historical event where Noah and his family, and all the animals that were chosen to be saved, entered into the Ark, “And the Lord shut him in”, was a picture, or a type, or a shadow, of the Rapture on the Last Day. All these events were historically true. But God wrote these things down in such a way that we can also see the spiritual pictures they represent. And God intended for us to understand the spiritual pictures, for we read in Rom 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. All these events were stringed together as a series of miracles. But God was not finished performing miracles. Now we continue in chapter 8 with another string of miracles, and again the words in this chapter harmonize with the interpretations we have seen in the previous two chapters. Let us now read Chapter 8,
#1. The Earth Dries Out (Gen 8:1-19)
Ge 8:1-2 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Ge 8:3-5 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and
fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Ge 8:6-9 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Ge 8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
Ge 8:13 ¶
Ge 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
Ge 8:15 ¶
Ge 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Let me pause here for this is the last section where the analogy with Christ and the Rapture holds. This is the chapter where the earth dries out. And Noah waited until God told him that he could leave the Ark. What is the spiritual picture behind these events? We have already seen that the inhabitants of the Ark are saved from the wrath of God, like as the remnant chosen by grace are saved from the wrath of God on the Last Day by the Rapture. This is the interpretation that is supported by the NT. And what event shall follow the Rapture? It is the judgment on all the unsaved who will be subject to the Lake of Fire. Well, in Gen 7 and 8 this judgment is taking place by the flood that was destroying all the unsaved of the world. The separation that was taking place between Noah with all who are his and the wicked world is similar to the separation that is going to take place on the Last Day between those who are of Christ and those who are of Satan. But when that judgment will be complete all those who are of Christ shall enter into the NH&NE. And thus, Noah and all that were his remained in the Ark until the judgment was complete, and then they left the Ark, which was a picture of all the saints entering the NH&NE. It is there where the analogy with Noah as Christ and the Rapture ends.
What is the most eye catching part of this story? It is the part where Noah, or Christ, sends out the raven and the dove. But what is the most mysterious part of this story? It is verse 13, where Noah removed the covering of the Ark. This is the first time we read that Noah also made a covering for the Ark. Did Noah not make a roof on top of the Ark? Of course he did. It would be very irresponsible for him not to make a roof on top of the Ark, since God revealed to him that He was gong to send a fierce rain storm on the earth. Why then did Noah make an additional covering on top of the roof?
#2. The Covering of the Ark (Gen 8:13)
Ge 8:13 ¶
“The covering of the Ark”. What does it mean? We find that this is indeed the word for covering. It is a word that appears 16 times in the Bible, and it has always been translated “covering”. But what kind of covering is it? Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Exodus, Ex 26:14 (2X). When we search out the other 15 times this word appears in the Bible we find that it is a word that has always, and I emphasize “always”, been used for the special covering of the tent that is over the Tabernacle in the wilderness, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt. For example we read in Ex 26:14,
Ex 26:14 And thou shalt make a covering <04372> for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering <04372> above of badgers’ skins.
God instructed Moses to make coverings for the tent that is over the Tabernacle: first a covering of rams’ skins dyed red, and on top of that a covering of badger skins. It is not known what exactly these badger skins were. God did not reveal to us what particular animal this was, and therefore it is an unimportant detail. But the Hebrew text says that it was “tachash leather”, and the word “tachash” is derived from an early Egyptian word which refers to the special treatment for processing the leather and therefore the covering of badger skins refers to a specially finished covering of leather. But more important is the word “covering”. Since the word for “covering” in Gen 8:13 and in Ex and in Num for the covering over the tent that was over the Tabernacle is the same word, it means that the covering of Noah’s Ark was a covering that was either identical, or it was pointing to, the one used for the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Please turn a few pages to your right, to Ex 35:11 (2X). Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together to solicit donations and workers for the things God has commanded him to build, and Moses conveyed the message of God to the people. And Moses specifically mentioned the covering of Rams’ skins and of badger skins in Ex 35:11,
Ex 35:11 The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering <04372>, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,
And so, the objects we should keep in mind are first the Tabernacle, a wooden structure, and over it the tent, and over it the covering of rams’ skins, and over it a covering of Badger skins. These last two coverings bear the same name as the covering over Noah’s Ark. Let us confirm this. Please turn one page to your right, to Ex 36:19 (2X). And there we read,
Ex 36:19 And he made a covering <04372> for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering <04372> of badgers’ skins above that.
Under the supervision of Bezaleel and Aholiab, the two craftsmen who constructed all the furniture of the sanctuary in the wilderness, the coverings were made. Then Moses inspected the work in Ex 39:34. Please turn three or four pages to your right, to Ex 39:34 (2X). And there we read,
Ex 39:34 And the covering <04372> of rams’ skins dyed red, and the covering <04372> of badgers’ skins, and the vail of the covering (this is a different word),
And in the second year of their wilderness wanderings, in the first month, on the first day of the month, Moses raised up the Tabernacle, and he specifically mentioned the covering again. And notice how this date coincides with the second year of the flood, for we read in Gen 8:13,
Ge 8:13 ¶
And God honored the raising up of the Tabernacle by filling the Tabernacle with a cloud and with the radiance of His glory. And again in the raising up of the Tabernacle God mentioned the covering. Please turn to the page on your right, to Ex 40:19 (2X), and there we read,
Ex 40:19 And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering <04372> of the tent above upon it; as the LORD commanded Moses.
There are seven more places in Numbers where this same word for “covering” <04372> is used, and all these again refer to the same covering for the tent of the Tabernacle. Nowhere else is this word used in the Bible. And so, the question is: What does this mean? Let us now consider:
What spiritual picture did God reveal to us here? We know that the Ark of the Covenant that was placed in the Tabernacle was an object which symbolized the Lord Jesus Christ. We read in Heb 9:4 that the Ark contained the golden pot that had manna, representing Christ as the Bread of Life, and it contained Aaron’s rod that had budded, representing Christ as the giver of life to dead souls, and it contained the tables of the covenant, representing Christ as the Word of God, and on top of the Ark was the mercy seat, representing Christ through whom sinners obtain mercy. And just like the Ark of the Covenant dwelt in the Tabernacle in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land, so Noah, representing Christ, and all who were His dwelt in the Ark, representing a Tabernacle, on the way to a new world. The children of Israel had been delivered from Egypt, the house of bondage. And all who were with Noah in the Ark were delivered from the wicked world they left behind.
Then the children of Israel were commanded to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month, and all who were with Noah in the Ark actually celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles all the way to the new world. But this they did after they had been raptured and God closed the door of the Ark. Is there any Biblical support for this celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles after the Rapture?
When we search the Bible for events on the Last Day, where the Rapture is seen and also the Feast of Tabernacles is seen as an integral part of these end time events, we land at the last chapter of Zechariah. Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Zechariah, Zech 14:5 (2X). You find the prophecy of Zechariah almost at the end of the OT, just before Malachi. Just like the Revelation of Jesus Christ at the end of your Bible, this entire chapter of Zech 14 was written in parabolic language. We should be careful not to interpret this chapter literally. The beginning of this chapter speaks about the FTP of the last days, just before the 2nd coming of the Lord. Then we read in Zech 14:5 about:
#3. The Last Day (Zech 14:5, Amos 1:1, 1Thes 3:13, 4:14-17, Jude 14-15, John 5:28-29)
Zec 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
This verse really proves that God is speaking of the Last Day, when time shall be no more. There are three things mentioned in this verse. #1, Flee through the valley of the mountains unto Azal. #2, Flee like you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah. #3, The LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. Let us now carefully look at these three statements.
#1, Flee through the valley of the mountains unto Azal. What is Azal? Azal is not the name of a city, but the name of the goal, the destination. The Hebrew word here is derived from the prime root which is “atsal”, which means “to separate”. The idea of separation suggests that it is referring to the Rapture. And so, when the saints shall flee to Azal at the Lord’s coming, it means that the saints will depart from the world, and be separated from the world, to flee its destruction.
#2, Flee like you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah. Since this earthquake is mentioned in Amos 1:1, and since this earthquake is mentioned as a sign of the end of the world, we can conclude that the prophecy of Amos deals with the FTP just before the end comes. It is the day when all things that are not permanently secured in Christ will be shaken loose and removed for judgment. That the saints shall flee on this day shows that the saints will escape the shaking and downfall of the world. And this shaking shall be followed by the earth going up in a ball of fire.
#3, The LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. This is a key phrase referring to the Rapture on the Last Day. When the Lord returns, He will come with the souls of all the saints who have died and whose bodies have been put in the grave. We read this for example in 1Thes 3:13, 1Thes 4:14-17, and in Jude 14-15. Then all the bodies of everyone who has died shall be raised, and shall come forth; they that have become saved with glorified bodies unto the resurrection of life; and they that have remained unsaved with horrible bodies unto the resurrection of damnation, according to John 5:28-29. Then the glorified bodies of the saints shall be joined with their souls on the side of Christ, and the horrible bodies of the unsaved shall be removed to another place to stand before the Judgment throne of Christ. Then the saints who are still alive at the time of the Lord’s coming shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be joined to their fellow saints at the side of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us now continue in the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 14:6 (2X).
Zec 14:6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
This is absolutely the wrong translation, for it does not harmonize with the next verse. Both words “clear” and “dark” are the wrong translation. The correct translation goes as follows, “And it shall come to pass in that day the light shall not be rare, nor condensed”. After the Rapture and the judgment we shall enter the NH&NE where God dwells with man. We read in Rev 22:5 that in the new creation there is no need for the light of a candle, nor for the light of the sun, for the Lord God shall give us light. His light shines solid, and firm. It is not something that comes and goes, but it stays unmovable. This is the figure of the light that God is using here in Zech 14:6. Then God says in V. 7,
Zec 14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
In other words, there is no more day, nor night. The Last Day shall usher in a timeless eternity, and the light of God shall shine without interruption. The light that we are familiar with consist of electromagnetic waves of various wavelengths, which are propagated through space at the speed of light. But the light that we know is from this universe, and this universe is subject to disorder and decay, according to the law of entropy. Nothing of this universe will qualify to exist unchanged for an eternity, not even the light. Therefore, the new creation that we enter into must be a totally different universe, which will be ruled by laws that are totally different from the laws of nature in this universe. God shall shine for an eternity, and we shall shine also for an eternity without having to refuel our energy. Can we understand this? No! That is why Zech 14:7 states, “It shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD”. Only He presently knows what that new universe shall be.
We do not have time to examine all the verses in Zech 14. The remainder of this chapter deals with a description in parabolic language of the conditions and the blessed state in that new creation that we enter into. For example verse 8 speaks about, “And it shall be in that day”. Verse 9 speaks about, “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth in that day”. Then follows in verses 12-15 a flash-back to the judgment that has come upon all the unsaved, and God again uses the words, “And it shall come to pass in that day”. Then, in verses 16-21 we enter into the description that we sought after, where apparently the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated after the Rapture of the Last Day.
Zec 14:16 ¶
Who are these that are “left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem”? Who is left? This entire chapter deals with the FTP and with the events on the Last Day. Who are the nations which came against Jerusalem? These are the unsaved of all the nations in the world. Who are those that are left of those nations? Undoubtedly this is the remnant chosen by grace out of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues. It is the remnant chosen by the Father to be saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that initially we all were in rebellion against God and against His Christ. But we now read from verse 16 that God’s favor rests upon them, for they are not rebellious like the people described in verses 17, and 18, and 19. It means that even during the FTP there are still some in the camp of Satan who become saved, and who now eternally worship God.
Which Jerusalem have we been fighting in the past, before the moment of our salvation? It is not the Jerusalem that is presently there on the East of the Mediterranean. If we would align ourselves with the ecumenical movement that is also called the Judeo-Christian heritage, and that is presently so popular in these United States, we would not be persecuted. The Apostle Paul said in Gal 5:11,
Ga 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
In other words, the Apostle Paul was persecuted because he preached a Gospel that was an offense to the Jews of his days, and it would still be an offense to the Jews and to many churches of our day. If we would align ourselves with the Judeo-Christian heritage, I would be preaching that God has a wonderful plan for the nation of the Jews. And when the church age is over the Lord Jesus will come down to the Jerusalem there East of the Mediterranean, and He will empower the Jews to evangelize the world for a thousand years. But the Bible does not teach this. This is a scenario that came out of people’s minds, but not out of the Word of God. The Word of God says in Gal 4:25-26,
In other words, the Jerusalem which now is there East of the Mediterranean, the capital city of the nation of the Jews, is in bondage with her children. She is still unsaved, and is still in bondage to sin and Satan, and is still on the way to Hell, for their belief system rests on obedience to the Law which was given on Mount Sinai in Arabia. But God says in Gal 2:21, “If righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain”. No one shall be saved by obeying the Law. Therefore, after the cross it is no longer the Jerusalem of bricks and mortar that is called the holy city, but the Jerusalem that is above, the New Jerusalem, which is the Holy City, the City of God. And the Jerusalem which now is made of bricks and mortar is under a curse, the curse of being under the Law and not under grace.
Let us return now to Zech 14:16. The nations that have been fighting against Jerusalem were fighting the Jerusalem that is above. They were fighting the saints who truly are citizens of the Jerusalem that is above. They were fighting the eternal church by placing all kinds of false gospels in her path. And they were doing their level best to silence the true Gospel outreach into all the world. But now a separation has occurred. It is the separation of the Rapture. The saints have been separated out of this wicked world, and now the saints are celebrating. What are they celebrating?
Zec 14:16 ¶
Why the Feast of Tabernacles? Three times each year all the adult males had to appear before the Lord. First was the Feast of Passover, secondly was the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, and thirdly was the Feast of Tabernacles. For the Jews the Feast of Tabernacles was the greatest feast of the year. Overall, the seventh month was a month filled with joy. On the first day of the month was the Feast of Trumpets. On the tenth day of the seventh month was the holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement. And from the 15th day until the 22nd day of the seventh month, for 8 days, was the Feast of Tabernacles. And so, when they thought of the joy they would have in the life hereafter, they were thinking of the Feast of Tabernacles. But it was not Jewish sentiment, but God who put this Feast of Tabernacles here in Zech 14:16, so that we would have a reference when we search for the meaning of Noah removing the covering of the Ark. God chose the Feast of Tabernacles for several reasons:
#1, It celebrated the completion of the harvest. For this reason it was also called “The Feast of Ingathering”. God and the angels will celebrate the Feast of Ingathering when the Last Day has arrived, but they will celebrate especially when the judgment process has been completed and the Feast of Ingathering can truly be a feast when the saints are gathered into the NH&NE. And likewise, when all the inhabitants of the Ark entered into the new world, it was a picture, or a type, of the saints celebrating the ingathering of nations and the completion of God’s salvation plan.
#2, This feast was a memorial to the wilderness experience, and therefore this feast was also called “the Feast of Booths”. In eternity the saints will look back and remember how the Lord brought them miraculously out of the house of bondage, Satan’s kingdom, and cared for them both physically and spiritually in the wilderness of this world, wherein we have spiritually pitched our tents as pilgrim ambassadors of the Gospel. And when we look back on that wilderness experience, we remember how God’s grace upheld us in every trouble that we encountered.
#3, It was the most joyous feast of all the feast days. It fell at a time of the year when the hearts of the people would naturally be full of thankfulness and joy. And thankfulness and joy shall also be our condition in eternity. Truly the seventh month was filled with an abundance of ceremonies pointing to Christ. And so, it was fitting that the Feast of Tabernacles should be used as a symbol for the joy and the remembrance of God’s grace in this earthly life.
#4, Sacrifices and offerings occurred every day of this feast. Sacrifices always point to Christ’s atonement on the cross. And even though animal sacrifices are no longer offered after the cross, there is much love toward God hidden in those sacrifices, which were freely offered. And in eternity God will not let us forget that Christ was the Lamb slain for our sins, to set us free. For example, during the Feast of Passover 14 bullocks were sacrificed. But during the Feast of Tabernacles 5 X 14 bullocks were sacrificed. And so, it was a feast of much joy, and there was much to eat.
#4. Our Feast of Tabernacles (John 3:3)
How do we apply the Scriptures of the Feast of Tabernacles to our life? Do we remember our successful journey through the wilderness of this world? First of all, do we remember that we were born as slaves in the house of bondage, and that we were in bondage to sin and Satan? Do we remember that we were totally content with our sins, and that we did not want it any other way? But then came a point in our life, perhaps through some traumatic event, that our ears were opened to the message of the Gospel. We do not even remember how it came to pass, but God recorded it for us in the Bible in John 3:3, where the Lord Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Some denominations do not even teach this fundamental principle. But since that time we became willing servants of Christ, by the grace of God. It was a miracle performed by God in our soul, and we recognized that it was as great a miracle as God drawing 2 million Israelites out of Egypt in one day. And like the children of Israel, from that day forward we became strangers and pilgrims in this world, on the way to our Promised Land.
The question I have for each one of us is this: Are we living as pilgrims? Are we living as if we are just passing through? Are we careful that we are not driving our tent-stakes too deep in the ground? This earth is not our home. We have become citizens of Zion, the New Jerusalem, the City of God, and we really would not want it any other way. This earth is nothing but a great pile of problems. But when we are through with this earth we will be inheriting the NH&NE, our Promised Land. Are we in our life looking forward to that, or are we bogged down with earthly problems? Do we have our eyes on Jesus, or do we have our eyes on this earth? It is important for us to examine ourselves.
Those who are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in this life are those who are saved and are thanking God for a successful journey. We have received the ability to come to the New Jerusalem. All the unsaved do not come up to the New Jerusalem, because they are not able to do this. Praise God for giving us this ability, and for giving us gratitude, for without gratitude there is no salvation. And pray to God that He will always let us remember the Feast of Tabernacles, for it is a joy to look back on His work in our lives. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.