11.2 - The Flood Story

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This story is based on Genesis 7 and 8

Noah stood in the doorway of the ark, waiting for people to join him on board. “Will no one accept God’s invitation of mercy and find safety in the ark?” he shouted. “A terrible flood is on its way! Please join us on board now before it’s too late!”

Sadly, no one took him up on the offer. Only his wife, his three sons, and his sons’ wives walked up that ramp and into the ark. He couldn’t believe it. He had been warning and pleading with these people for 120 years. Now was coming a flood so terrible that it would swallow an entire world. All the people had to do to be safe was to take a short walk up the ramp and get into the ark, but no one would listen. They would all be lost, and there was nothing more Noah could do but to get into the ark as God had told him.

As Noah disappeared inside the ark, a hush settled over the crowd.  

Then suddenly a bright flash of light streaked down from the sky and rested motionless by the open doorway of the ark. The crowds stood dumbstruck at the glorious being, but still no one made a move forward to enter the door of the ark.

Slowly the giant door began to swing shut on its hinges. An unseen hand was closing it until it hit the side of the ark with a thud.

“There will be no flood,” they told one another, and soon they were smiling and laughing as before.

For seven days, the people shouted and made fun of Noah. I can almost hear them saying, “You’ve lost your mind. What a fool to be sitting in that ark with all of those smelly animals.”  

However, one week later their day of judgment came. Suddenly a stiff wind began to blow, and dark clouds rolled up on the horizon. The people had never seen such things before. When lightning raced across the sky and big raindrops began to fall, they grew really worried. The earth itself seemed to break apart as geysers of water came shooting from the ground. Heavy rain and hail fell from the sky, and huge tsunami waves rushed over the land.

Some people rushed to the ark to call on Noah.

“Open the door!” they screamed. “We’re sorry we didn’t listen! Open the door, or we’ll drown!”

 

But Noah could not open the heavy door that God’s power had closed. It was too late.

People and animals were running everywhere now trying to find a safe place. Some climbed up on their houses, and some climbed trees. Others ran to the highest hills to get away from the rising water. People and animals fought together to escape the flood, but one by one they lost their foothold and fell away into the swirling waters.

Some tried to hang on to the ark and some tried to climb up on it, but the rising tide of waters quickly tore the desperate victims from its side. Soon there was nothing left but the howling winds and the ark plunging up and down on the churning waters. Not a man, woman, or child could be seen anywhere. Not a horse or a lion. There was no living thing in sight.

Meanwhile, Noah and his family were doing all they could to calm down the animals inside. No one had ever experienced anything like this before, so they didn’t know what to expect. Noah prayed. It was all anyone could do. Satan and his evil angels tried to sink the ark, but God and His holy angels protected the small crew and their boatload of animals.

For 40 days and nights, the rains fell from the sky, and the waters rose still higher. Finally, the tops of the highest mountains on earth were more than 20 feet beneath the waves. The terrible flood that Noah had preached about had come, and just as he had warned, no living thing outside the ark remained alive.

For months, the ark drifted back and forth on the endless ocean. There was lots of food stored on the ark, so there was plenty to eat, but there was also plenty of work. Noah and his family had to feed all those animals! Every day! They had to clean their stalls and cages too. What a smelly job!

They all watched for signs that the flood might be nearing its end. After a time, God sent winds to start drying up the water. Finally, the ark stopped moving and came to rest on the Mountains of Ararat. What a relief. It had been 10 months now. The tops of the mountains could be seen, and the sun was shining.

Noah opened a window in the ark and sent out a raven and then a dove to see what would happen.

 

The raven never came back, but the dove returned. A week later Noah sent out the dove again, and it soon returned with an olive leaf in its beak. Plants were growing again. The third time Noah sent out the dove it did not return, and Noah knew there must be lots of dry land all over the earth.

Finally, more than a year after Noah and his family had entered the ark, the giant door slowly began to open. An angel of God had come to let them out. They were so happy! God had been watching over them, and He would let them out of the ark only when earth’s conditions were right for survival.

The animals ran from their cages, happy to be free at last. A few stayed around the ark, content to remain with the people who had cared for them for so long.

Before starting to build himself a home, Noah led out in a worship of praise to God.

 

He offered sacrifices, they probably sang some songs, and the Lord drew very near to them. “I will never again destroy the earth with floodwaters,” God told Noah’s family, “and that’s a promise.”

They bowed their heads in prayer to thank God for His care and protection during the long months of the flood. As their prayer ended, they all looked up and saw an amazing sight. Stretched above them over the ark was a beautiful rainbow in the clouds. The first one ever!

And this wasn’t just any rainbow!  It was much more than that! It was a promise from God that the whole world would never again be destroyed by a flood. So every time we see a rainbow, it is a reminder of our loving Savior, who always keeps His promises.

 

Hidden Treasure Questions:

How long did Noah preach before it started to rain?

Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for God to destroy the world He had made?

 

Our Prayer:

“Thank You, Lord, for sending us Your promise with a rainbow. We know we can trust You to keep Your word. Help us to always listen to You.”