Back in my college days, I was obsessed with the question of why some nations in the world are more prosperous than others.
My relentless search had me reading books like “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond, “The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success” by Rodney Stark, “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations” by David Landes,and “What’s So Great About America” by Dinesh D’Souza as well as many other tomes expounding on a wide variety of evolutionary and political theories.
Maybe I’m a super weirdo, but in my late teens and early twenties, I was really curious as to why modernity developed ONLY in the West—in Europe and North America.
Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap.
While different scholars have suggested a variety of reasons, I tend to go with the idea that it was the Judeo-Christian respect for manual labor, summed up in many Biblical injunctions, that was one of the main factors which enabled the West to rise above the other nations.
And I believe the story of Noah’s Ark is a prime example supporting the truthfulness of this theory.
God commands Noah to “build thee an ark with gopher wood”.
There is an important principle being established here that I hope everybody caught.
God will do His part to save us.
But we have to do our part as well.
Cooperative effort with God is necessary to secure our salvation.
Another important point we learn from Noah’s story is that 1 + God is always a majority.
In a world that had completely given itself over to evil, ONLY Noah was found righteous.
As a result, only Noah and his family were saved.
The remainder of all mankind was completely destroyed.
I hope this would give encouragement to those who find themselves on that lonely path where it seems like you are the only one who believes in or cares for the things of the Lord.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Also, at the time of the Son of Man, it will be just as it was at the time of Noah. People ate and drank, and men and women married, right up until the day Noah entered the ark; then the flood came and destroyed them all.“-Luke 17:26-27
“But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father. For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noah. Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noah entered the ark; and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes.” -Matthew 24:36-39
“Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”-Matthew 7:13-14