The first man God saves is Noah and his story is an archetype of how one is saved. Rashi points out that God could have saved Noah in many ways – why instruct him to build an ark? One reason is to show that we must always do our bit; even when we deserve Divine assistance, as Noah deserved to be saved, we must still do our bit and cannot expect something for nothing. Rabbi Hirsch points out that the Noah built an ark and not a boat. An ark sits in one place and does not move, it does not travel and it is unpleasant. Sometimes, in order to be saved, even if we are deserving, we must still be willing to endure a measure of unpleasantness.