There’s an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
But when you take a picture and spend millions of dollars to bring it to life, the impact increases significantly.
Consider just such an exercise in the power of visualization that debuted in Hong Kong this week.
Hong Kong Christens an Ark of Biblical Proportions
The First Built as Big as Noah’s, It Joins a Global Regatta of Replicas
HONG KONG — This city’s three billionaire Kwok brothers have just the answer for the rising waters threatening the global economy: the world’s first life-size replica of Noah’s ark, built to biblical specifications off the coast of this recession-struck Chinese financial center.
The message in its 450-foot-long hull, its rooftop luxury hotel and 67 pairs of fiberglass animals: “The financial tsunami will be over,” says Spencer Lu, the Kwoks’ project director at Noah’s Ark, which is opening soon.
The land-bound ark wasn’t built in response to the current global turmoil; it has been in the planning for 17 years. But the financial storm provides a nice marketing hook for the Kwoks’ ambitious project, which will probably need to lure visitors from beyond Hong Kong’s city limits to be an economic success.
Initial reports on this project sound a similar theme. The immensity of the structure blows people away.
I guess that shouldn’t surprise us.
Most people believe that the biblical ark was something straight out of the Fischer Price kiddie toy catalogue.
But the more we come to grips with the description and dimensions of the original ark in Genesis, the less likely we are to write it off as myth or fairy tale.
Sure, even with the opportunity to see just how immense Noah’s ark was, some will object to the idea that a ship of this size could carry both Noah, his family and the animals.
A stunning response is found at the excellent Answers In Genesis web site:
In the book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study4, creationist researcher John Woodmorappe suggests that, at most, 16,000 animals were all that were needed to preserve the created kinds that God brought into the Ark.
The Ark did not need to carry every kind of animal—nor did God command it. It carried only air-breathing, land-dwelling animals, creeping things, and winged animals such as birds. Aquatic life (fish, whales, etc.) and many amphibious creatures could have survived in sufficient numbers outside the Ark. This cuts down significantly the total number of animals that needed to be on board.
Another factor which greatly reduces the space requirements is the fact that the tremendous variety in species we see today did not exist in the days of Noah. Only the parent “kinds” of these species were required to be on board in order to repopulate the earth.5 For example, only two dogs were needed to give rise to all the dog species that exist today.
Creationist estimates for the maximum number of animals that would have been necessary to come on board the Ark have ranged from a few thousand to 35,000, but they may be as few as two thousand if the biblical kind is approximately the same as the modern family classification.
As stated before, Noah wouldn’t have taken the largest animals onto the Ark; it is more likely he took juveniles aboard the Ark to repopulate the earth after the Flood was over. These younger animals also require less space, less food, and have less waste.
Using a short cubit of 18 inches (46 cm) for the Ark to be conservative, Woodmorappe’s conclusion is that “less than half of the cumulative area of the Ark’s three decks need to have been occupied by the animals and their enclosures.”6 This meant there was plenty of room for fresh food, water, and even many other people.
So the Kwok brothers’ creation does give a very vivid and visual representation of biblical reality.
But interestingly, this mamoth project is designed to send a message.
“People are experiencing a crisis right now,” says project manager Mr. Spencer Lu, waving his hand over fiberglass statues of a pair of bears overlooking the South China Sea. “It’s possible that this financial tsunami has come at this time to Hong Kong for a reason. And our message is: The doors of the ark are not closed, they’re open, and the animals — representing new life — are coming out.”
There is no doubt that Noah’s Ark is a very powerful symbol on a number of levels.
But none more powerful than the meaning Jesus gave to it.
In fact, according to Jesus the time of Noah would be a strong portrait of the days that would precede His return.
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:37-42)
There is no doubt that many will see the ark in Hong Kong as a sign of hope that things will get better.
But for those who know their Bibles a different message comes across.
The sight of an ark reminds us:
Things will get better.
But not until after a storm like no other breaks upon this world.
The wise person listens to this heavenly heads up and, like Noah, takes advantage of God’s offer of protection and deliverance for all who will put their faith in His Son.
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