2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

While reading these verses it struck me how inefficient things are for God, doing His work through mortals. We aren’t told how long it took Noah to build the ark, but given the size of the project one would imagine it was quite a while! In fact, several scholars interpret Genesis 6:3 as saying that there was 120 years between God’s warning of the flood and when He actually sent it. Now Noah wouldn’t necessarily have been building the craft for that entire period of time, but it is possible that this was decades of hard labor!

And then there is the matter of getting all of the animals safely stored in the ark in just the last week! Either Noah had been retaining them elsewhere for a long period of time, waiting for the word to usher them into the ark, or else some divine intervention was directing all the animals out of the wilds and into the vessel.

In short, it sounds like it would have been more straightforward for God to just work some miracle without any human involvement whatsoever. How about He just snap His fingers and the ark magically appears? And forget about the animals, why not just save Noah and his family alone, then He could recreate all other forms of life, just the same as He did in the Garden of Eden?

But God tends to not rely on miracles when there are children who are able to do the work for themselves. We will see this truth many times throughout the Bible. God made the world and the rules and systems that define it, and He prefers to operate within those limitations whenever possible. God will work miracles in our lives, but the vast majority of them are going to come through His people.

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