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Genesis 6:13-14 – Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch." (NASB)
I became fascinated while watching a commercial about a waterproofing agent contained in a spray can that was able to repair leakages on almost anything. The salesman even demonstrated a rowboat with a screened hole in the bottom that had been sprayed with this substance, and the boat remained afloat while he rowed through the water.
Consequently, as I was reading today's passage, the word "pitch" struck me. This begged the question: How significant is pitch, and what is it? So I researched the word. It is a smelly, black, oily, gooey by-product of organic material. Some Bible versions render it as tar; most likely it is a natural substance readily available and native to the area of the Dead Sea.
Mixed with other materials, this tar is similar to what roofers use on flat roofs. I thought that God used a clever idea in the days of Noah without modern-day technology. The ark was able to stay afloat and to withstand the turbulence of wind and water for over 150 days and nights, thousands of years before our modern ships were invented. What an immense demonstration of God's precision and protection.
Interestingly, the primary root word in Hebrew for "pitch" is "kaphar", meaning "to cover". It also means to expiate, condone, placate, pardon, forgive, be merciful, purge away, or make reconciliation. Now, I am starting to perceive a clearer picture of what is happening. The deeper meaning surfaces when we realize how God covers our sin. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus into the world to die on the cross as atonement for sin. He covers us through the storms of life so that one day, we will be able to live and reign with Him in glory in His kingdom.
1 Corinthians 1:27 – But God chose what is nonsense in the world to make the wise feel ashamed. God chose what is weak in the world to make the strong feel ashamed. (ISV)
Prayer: Our Father, we thank You for Your finished work on the cross. It is the little things that remind us of Your greatness. Help us to remain focused on Your living Son. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.