Okay, I confess I’m having a little fun with the title of this blog post.
Of course, Jesus was the greatest carpenter in the Bible, but any guesses
who comes in second?
That’s right: Noah.
If we think about it, building a craft the size of an ark is truly amazing.
The Bible specifically gives us the dimensions for this astounding craft.
This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its
breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. (Genesis 6:15 ESV)
In our terms, that’s 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.
That’s an enormous structure to make entirely of wood!
If we do the math, the ark would require about 182,250 square feet
of lumber. If laid out flat, edge to edge, end to end, that much lumber
would completely cover over four acres! And, that’s not including the
wood for stairs, bracing, or any dividing walls. It’s likely the ark, when
completed, weighed over half a million pounds!
With three stories inside, it would have over 100,000 square feet of
floor space—that’s equivalent to the square footage of 50 average
American homes. While trees in Noah’s time were probably much
larger, the ark today would require cutting down about 700 trees .
The Bible says Noah was 480 years old when God told him to build
the ark and the rain came when Noah was 600 years old. While some
naturally assume this means it took Noah 120 years to build the ark, the
Bible doesn’t actually say that.
A man in Holland, Johan Huibers, actually built a half-size ark in 2007.
It cost about $1.2 million and took him two years to build. Of course,
Huibers simply bought the boards and lumber to make the ark.
Noah could not have walked into the local lumber yard and bought
200,000 square feet of lumber. He would have had to cut down the
trees and turn them into lumber using iron and bronze tools. Then he
would have had to shape them, fit them, and join them --all without
using a single power tool.
And then Noah had to coat the entire ark, inside and out, with pitch. I’m
guessing that wasn’t as easy as applying nice, smooth water-based paint
with a roller. And it wasn’t soap and water clean-up.
Truly, the ark has to be the most amazing wood-working project ever
completed. It saved eight people from death and we all owe our lives to
Noah’s faith, trust, and obedience to God.
But the most amazing wooden structure in the Bible was simply two
pieces joined together to form the cross. It was the faith, trust, and
obedience of Jesus that made eternal life possible for us all.
Praise, glory, honor, and thanks be to God!
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:12-13 (ESV)