Genesis 6:5 - 9:17
At the beginning of time, when God first created the world and all that was in it, everything was perfect. God looked at His work and called it all very good.
All that changed when Adam and Eve sinned. Of course, God was a loving God and forgave them, so they could continue to live on the earth and enjoy the blessings of God, but that didn't erase sin. People became more and more wicked. God looked down at the world and was sorry about all the evil things people were doing. In fact, He was sorry that He had even created man!
However, there was ONE man that loved God and was righteous. His name was Noah.
God talked to Noah and told him what He was going to do. He told Noah to talk to everyone he could and warn them that He was going to destroy the earth and everything in it. He also told Noah to start building an ark, which is another name for a big boat. This ark was going to be so big that there would be room for two of every kind of animal in the WHOLE WORLD and seven of certain types of animals.
Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, began building. They had to chop down trees and make smooth boards. They had to put the boards together piece by piece, according to the instructions which God had given them. They had to make pitch to coat the ark so that it would be waterproof.
The whole time they were working, Noah was also preaching to the people. He warned them to turn back to God or they would ALL be destroyed. He told them it was going to start raining and would continue to rain for FORTY days..
................but no one believe him!
Instead of turning back to God, they started making fun of Noah. They thought he was crazy for building such a big ark. Besides that, the people had never seen rain, because, up until that time, the earth was watered by dew that rested on the ground during the evening. They LAUGHED and LAUGHED at Noah because of his strange talk. They just didn't believe anything was going to happen to them. They continued being sinful.
Just after Noah and his sons had pounded in the last nail and made sure the ark was sealed and waterproofed properly, the Lord spoke to Noah.
"Take seven of every kind of clean animal and two of every kind of unclean animal into the ark. Then take your wife, your sons, and their wives into the ark."
So that is JUST what Noah did.
Into the ark went seven cows, seven sheep, seven goats, seven chickens, seven ducks, seven turkeys, two lions, two bears, two elephants, two giraffes, two zebras, two dogs, two cats, two lizards, two spiders, two tiny ladybugs, and.... Well, I think you get the idea!
The people outside were looking on in amazement. "That old Noah must be CRAZY!" someone exclaimed. "He SURE IS! I just can't understand why he would want to live in that big boat with all those STINKY animals!" someone else remarked.
Noah looked at the people sadly. He knew there was nothing he could do to make them believe that God meant what He said, but he kindly invited anyone who wanted, to join his family in the ark so they would be safe. As he suspected, they STILL didn't believe, and they laughed and snickered LOUDER.
Noah and his family and all the animals spent their first night in the ark. When they awoke the next morning, they heard the people outside making fun of them. "Hey, Noah! I thought you said it was going to rain," they sneered. "Well, it DIDN'T! You were just WRONG!"
They awoke the second day . . .
The people outside were taunting and yelling even LOUDER. But Noah remained calm and continued to invite them inside the ark so they would be safe.
The fifth day and the sixth day were NO different; there was no rain, and the jeering of the crowd didn't stop, but Noah continued to warn the people and invite them into the ark.
The seventh day started out the same as all the others, but, then, SLAM! God shut the door of the ark. Noah heard someone exclaim, "HEY! What was THAT? I thought I felt a drop of water!" Then someone else felt it, and another, and another . . . and it continued raining . . . and raining . . . and raining . . .
The water was getting higher and higher, and it wasn't long before the ark started floating.
10 days . . .11 days . . .12 days . . .
Poor Mrs. Noah! She was thankful that God had protected them throughout this whole ordeal, and she didn't want to complain, but she just didn't think she could take ONE MORE DAY of this! The camels were beginning to REALLY STINK! The elephant enjoyed sticking its head out the window, then spraying everybody with water! The cats were shedding hair all over the place, and the monkeys were getting into EVERYTHING! "Only two more days," she thought.
On the fortieth day, just as God had said, the rain (pause here for emphasis) STOPPED. Everyone was so happy to be able to look out the window and not see rain! But they couldn't leave the ark just yet. As far as they could see, water covered EVERYTHING. Even the mountaintops were covered with water and could not be seen.
Slowly, the water began to go down and rivers and lakes started to appear all over the place. They looked out the window one day and were able to see the tip of a mountain. B......UUUUUMP! "What was that?" They noticed that the ark had stopped floating.
"We must have landed!" they decided. They HAD landed. Right on top of Mount Ararat.
Noah wanted to see if was time to come out of the ark, so he opened a window and let one of the ravens fly out. He watched as the raven flew around. Then he sent out a dove. He watched as the dove tried to find a place to rest. Since it couldn't find a good spot to build a nest, it flew back to the ark and Noah knew that there was still too much water on the ground.
After a week had gone by, Noah sent the dove out again. This time he watched as the dove flew and then returned with an olive branch. Noah knew that the waters had gone down and plants were beginning to grow.
He waited one more week, opened the window, and let the dove go out once more. This time the dove flew away and did not return. Noah removed the top of the ark and looked out at the dry land. What a wonderful sight!
God assured Noah that it was safe for his family and all the animals to leave the ark. HOW EXCITED everyone was to be able to walk on dry land!
The first thing Noah did was to build an altar and worship God. He was so thankful that the Lord had protected him and his family. He looked up into the sky and saw a beautiful rainbow and heard the voice of God speaking to him. God told Noah that the rainbow was a promise that He would NEVER AGAIN destroy the whole earth with a flood.