What was absent from Noah’s Ark?

Take a minute and read the story of Noah and the building the Ark in Genesis 6:9-22. What important details are missing for ship building? Ravi Zacharias gave me this challenge in his book The Grand Weaver. So what did you come up with? To be honest in my impatience I jumped ahead to find the answer, “no sail and no rudder.”

Hearing and reading the account of Noah countless times I had never thought about the Ark having no sail or rudder and yet how profound is this truth. Noah and his family built a gigantic vessel according to God’s design and they could not steer or direct in any way. How would that make you feel? In a world that preaches “you are the master of your fate the captain of your soul,” to have no say or control of the direction of your life seems inconceivable.

Yet, doesn’t the Ark preach the very foundation of the Gospel? We are called to a childlike faith, a faith that hands our lives over completely to the will of a Good Father. He sent His only Son to be the Ark of salvation for His children. Through Jesus’ perfect life of obedience, purifying sacrifice on the Cross, and the glorious resurrection celebration, a door has been opened. The Spirit of Jesus invites us into this life giving-life saving Ark-but there is a catch:

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow Me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for Me, you will find true life,” Lk. 9:23-24.

When you follow Jesus into the spiritual Ark you are giving up your rudder & sail and saying I trust you to sail my life to the places you so desire, I give up control. I remember saying to Patty during the strictest part of our lock down here at the Retreat Center in South Africa, ” I feel like we’re on the Ark, and at least it’s a big Ark.” But after reading about the Ark having no “sail or rudder,” I believe this is a sermon I need to preach to myself daily. God has spoken rather loudly of late that being in control of our lives is a fabricated illusion.

We see riots all over the world, political machines pushing their platforms for success, media outlets spinning their narratives, and influencers selling the “perfect” product. All these groups plus a host of others offer this false gospel that we are the captain of our own ship, the master of our soul which will bring the “life we’ve always wanted!” I wonder if this controlled living ever brought you or anyone you know true peace, joy, or the life you always wanted?

Let the Ark preach to you, “no rudder & no sail” living will lead to a life of abundant blessing both now and forever more.

1 reply
  1. Ruth Catron
    Ruth Catron says:

    I appreciated these insights, Tim! Thank you! Even without a rudder or sail we aren’t to be tossed to and fro! Our faith, trust and obedience in our faithful God will keep us headed in the right direction. I try to say this to myself often when I feel unsure, “I don’t know what to do but my eyes are fixed on you,” dear God.
    Give Patty my love and greetings.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *