The Open Door That Closed
Written by: The Gospel Tract Society Posted on: 03/31/2003
The Open Door That Closed
"AND THE LORD SHUT HIM IN!" Gen 7:16
The door of the Ark stood open a long time. The People got used to seeing it
stand open. It stood open so long that no one felt any alarm. It always seemed
that there was plenty of time, just because it stood open so long.
While the door stood open Noah delivered his warning message. He warned men of
a coming world flood because of world-wide wickedness. He preached the
righteousness of God, and called upon men to repent. While he preached, the
Spirit dealt with men. Noah's message fell on pleasure-loving, sin-hardened
ears. Men gave themselves to gluttony, to eating and drinking to excess, to
marrying and giving in marriage, to a life of legalized lust, void of the
sacredness of the marriage tie. Man had filled the earth with violence. Yes,
man's wickedness was great.
While Noah preached the door of the Ark stood open - and the weeks grew into
months, and the months grew into years, and men grew in their sin, and matured
in transgressions, and ripened in iniquity, making of God's long suffering
mercy an occasion to sin yet more and more.
Doubtless some thought that, IF it rained, the ark would be a nice place to be
in -- but of course it could not rain since it had never rained. (Gen. 2:5, 6)
While Noah preached, he labored -- his preaching and work all telling the same
story -- THE FLOOD WAS COMING!
The constant sunshine never discouraged Noah -- he spent no time looking for
clouds, or listening for thunder. He never lost faith in his message.
God had been patient and long-suffering -- but the 120 years of grace finally
drew to a close. When the time for the flood came, the fowls, and the cattle,
and the beasts, and the creeping things, were gathered into the ARK to restock
the earth, and God said to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the Ark."
Then! -- then! -- THEN! -- a mysterious and timely thing happened! -- the door
that stood open so long began to swing slowly shut! -- closing tightly! -- and
"THE LORD SHUT HIM IN!"
The air grew hazy -- and the sky became overcast with clouds, the gentle
breezes sighed and moaned, became fitful and angry, increasing to gales and
shrieking tempest and tearing tornados. Dazzling lightnings leaped across the
gathering blackness, and pealing thunders cracked and roared -- and then CAME
THE RAIN! -- Showers --- sheets --- torrents ----, and cloud-bursts; and the
same day were all the fountains of the deep broken up, and the windows of
heaven were opened. Gen. 7:11
In the mean time THE DOOR WAS SHUT! The same door that shut Noah and his
family IN, shut that unbelieving generation OUT!
The time came when every one of them BELIEVED -- But THE DOOR WAS SHUT!
Outside of the ARK the `King of Terrors' held universal sway -- retributive
Justice had transformed a world of life into a world of death, destruction,
world-wide and mountain-high, engulfing the earth in universal ruin. A fair
creation that once called from its Maker the superlative note of praise, was
now, by the same Omnipotent hand, turned into a chaos of ruin - because of
The destruction was not instantaneous, but gradual. The lowlands were first
inundated and deserted. Perhaps, few perished there -- most fled to uplands.
As the flood crept upwards, submerging the elevations, men and beasts and
great snakes fought for possession of little Atolls just above the rising
waters. But gradually and inexorably that encroaching menace pursued and
overtook them one by one -- and there came the hush of a great silence,
unbroken by frenzied appeal, imprecation of prayer -- hushed was the voice of
ridicule -- silenced the mocking of unbelief -- stilled were the arguments of
the wise men that there would be no flood.
Infidels would have us believe that the story of the flood is but a
superstition -- a baseless legend -- an invention of priest-craft.
Let Earth bear her own testimony to the flood. Spread over the tops of highest
mountains are seashells and skeletons of fish and deep-sea monsters --HOW CAME
THEY THERE? Skeletons of elephants and whales were found buried in England,
skeletons of crocodiles in Germany -- HOW CAME THEY THERE? In Artic Siberia
elephants that cannot live in a cold climate are found frozen in the ice with
their flesh so well preserved that dogs and wolves eat of it greedily, and in
several instances scientists have had a meal of this ancient meat which has
been kept in cold storage down through the centuries. The question is - HOW
DID IT GET THERE? Butterflies have been found in glacial ice at Cardovo,
Alaska -- HOW DID THEY GET THERE?
The FLOOD is the answer to all these questions -- they were washed there by
The story of the ARK and of the flood is a vital story for our time. Jesus'
chief use of it was as a type of the spiritual blindness and pleasure loving
spirit that will characterize the time of His coming.
Jesus said: "For as the day's that were before the flood, they were eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered in
the Ark, and KNEW not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall
also the coming of the Son of man be." Matt. 24:38-39.
For 120 years Noah had been preaching the coming of the flood -- yet they
"KNEW NOT," until it came -- evidently, they BELIEVED NOT -- yet it came! This
story reveals the enormity of sin -- its prevalence and judgment. It reveals
God's mercy that bore long with the wicked that they might repent. It reveals
God's uniform way in dealing with the wicked to amply warning them before
The Ark was a type of Christ. As the Ark carried over from the old world the
citizens for the new, just so, Christ will carry over from this world the
citizens of the "new Heavens and new Earth."
You have heard, ARE YOU READY?
The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Therefore, be ye ready; for in such an
hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Matt. 24:44.
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