Drawn into the Ark
‘Thou shalt come into the Ark.’—Gen. vi. 18.
YOU would like to take this great step out of danger into safety; but you find it very hard, though it sounds very easy. You feel as if you had spiritual nightmare,—seeing the danger, and not able to stir hand or foot to escape it.1
Perhaps every one who comes to Christ has this sense of utter helplessness about it.2 This is because the Holy Spirit must convince us that the whole thing is God’s doing, and not ours, so that He may have all the glory of saving us from beginning to end.3 It is not at all because He is not willing to save us, but just because He is willing, that He lets us find out for ourselves that our own will is so numb that it cannot rouse and move without the fire of His love and grace.41 Rom. V. 6. 2 Deut. xxxii. 36.
3 Isa. xlii. 8; ib. lix. 16. * Eph. ii. i.
Now just trust His promise, ‘Thou shalt come into the Ark;’ in other words, believe that His power and love are even now being exerted upon you, and that your sense of helplessness is only part of His wonderful way of drawing you to Jesus. God the Father is ‘not willing that any should perish,1 but that all should come to repentance.”
Then why do any perish? Simply because they won’t come; because they will not yield to the winning love and the ‘drawing’ power which is now being put forth to save you, if, as you read this, you want to be saved. There is no sadder word in the Bible than ‘Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” But if you are saying, ever so feebly and faintly, ‘I will,’ God meets it with His strong and gracious ‘Thou shalt.’1
Do not fear to take the ‘Thou’ to yourself. Remember the great ‘Whosoever will,” and look up at this star of promise in the dark, ‘Thou shalt come into the Ark.’ Jesus said, ‘All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” And the Father says, ‘I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me; for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto Me?” Whose heart? Is it not yours? You would hardly be reading these pages, if your heart were not at all engaged to approach unto Him. And if it is so engaged, who engaged it? Who but the God from whom alone all holy desires do proceed?
Then go on a few verses farther, and see the word of the Lord to you. ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.’
1 2 Pet. iii. 9. 2 I Tim. ii. 4. 3 John v, 40.
4 Jer. iii. 19. 5 Rev. xxii. 17. 6 John vi. 37. 7 Jer. XXX. 21
Now do not wrong, and wound, and insult that tremendous love by refusing to believe it. He is at this moment giving you the personal proof of it, by ‘drawing” you even for these few minutes. Do not resist the half-formed wish to come to Jesus. It is very solemn to realize that this is no less than the Father’s own drawing of you to His dear Son.3 Without it you could not come, because you know you would have refused to come * but with it, if only you yield to it, ‘thou sha/t come into the Ark.’
When the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and returned to Noah because the waters were on the face of the whole earth, ‘then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in ‘5 (margin, ’caused her to come’) ‘unto him into the Ark.’ What a beautiful picture is this little helpless tired dove6 of our helplessness and weariness, and the kind Hand, strong and tender, which does not leave us to flutter and beat against a closed window, but takes us, and pulls us ‘unto Him,7 into the Ark!’
So we have the willingness of the Father8 in one part of the type,9 and the willingness of the Son in another part,10—willingness to receive you into safety and rest.11 Then ‘Come thou into the Ark!
1 Jer. xxxi. 3. 2 Hos. xi. 4. 3 John vi. 44.
4 Luke xiii. 34. 5 Gen. viii. 9. 6 Isa. Ix. 8.
7 Luke xiv. 23. 8 Ezek. xviii. 23. 9 2 Cor. vi. 17.
10 Luke XV. 2. 11 John xii. 32. 12 Gen. vii. i.