Several days ago, I was doing a few repairs on a maple vanity chair and I needed to employ the use of an ancient clamping technique called the tourniquet clamp. How it works is very simple. Rope is wrapped a few times around the objects that are in need of clamping and a stick is inserted into the gap between the wraps. The stick is then rotated, end for end, and this reduces the length of the ropes, pulling together the pieces to which they are attached.
As I was twisting the ropes, I began to wonder if Noah might have used this simple clamp while he was building his ark. I imagined long rope cables, three or four inches thick, spanning the width of the ark, with a large beam, perhaps ten feet long, twisting the giant tourniquet. I could hear the massive beams of gopher wood (Genesis 6:14) moaning and creaking their ways into place, the giant ropes echoing in the hull like a jumbo bass string.
Then, my thoughts turned to relationships and what it takes to maintain them. We humans have much in common with these simple, wooden joints.
With too little tension on the ropes, one runs the risk of the joint being weak. If there is too much tension, the wood cannot bear the strain and either one or the other piece will break. However, applying just the right amount of strength and tension almost always results in an astonishingly strong bond and a joint that will stay together for many years.