Noah and the Ark

By Rosie Smith

This is a true story about a relative of yours. Your great great great grandfather, with too many great’s before it to number. A long time ago, when rain never fell, and giants roamed the land, there was a man named Noah. He was a good man, in fact, he was the only man at the time who loved God and did what was right, even when no one was looking.

You see, after sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, people began to grow more wicked. All day long they only thought of themselves. They hurt each other and did terrible things, without a hint of remorse.

God looked down on all the earth. He saw the evil and the sorrow. It was not how it was meant to be, and He was sorry He had made mankind. The only thing left to do was start again…with Noah and his family. Noah was five hundred years old when it all began…

It started as an ordinary day. Noah walked out of his little cottage, holding his face up to the morning sun, thanking the Lord for another day. He whistled a tune as he walked over to a well and slowly hoisted up a bucket of water.

“Noah” said a voice.

Noah jumped, dropping the bucket and splashing water across the ground. He looked around him, but couldn’t see another soul.

“Noah” the voice said again.

Am I dreaming? Noah thought. Then it dawned on him, maybe that voice was…

“Is..is that You Lord?” Noah said into the empty space. There was a moment’s silence, then a surge of joy filled Noah from head to toe and everything seemed to go bright. Noah slid to his knees with his face to the ground.

“Yes Noah” the voice boomed, “the earth is filled with great evil, behold, it is time to cleanse the earth. Make yourself an ark of wood, cover it with tar inside and out…”

Noah listened in awe as God gave him detailed instructions to build an ark. He had never built a boat before, not to mention something so big! Then God told him why,

“I am bringing a great flood, to cleanse the earth from all the wickedness. But I will establish a covenant promise with you and your family to keep you safe. You shall also bring into the ark every living creature, two of every kind, male and female. And store enough food for you and them.”

All at once, the brightness faded. Noah rubbed his eyes, then looked at his hands. I guess I had better get to work! He thought to himself. Then he hurried inside to tell his wife and three sons all that he had heard.

With the help of his grown sons, Noah chopped down huge trees, and began to lay planks for the biggest vessel man had ever seen. It didn’t take long for people to notice. Some days, large crowds would gather around to watch this unbelievable vessel take shape.

“What are you doing old man?” they shouted.

“Where do you plan to float that beast?” they laughed.

Noah had tried to tell them, but their reaction was always the same. At first it seemed that some might believe, but as time went on, and they saw no rain, they went on living just as they’d always done.

Slowly and carefully, Noah and his sons hammered together the wooden planks. Piece by piece, the large boat began to take shape. Over 100 years passed by, when the ark was finally complete – 155 metres long and three storeys high – just as God had described it to Noah all those years ago.

One day, as Noah was loading the boat with a barrel of grain, he heard a familiar voice.

“Noah” a voice rumbled.

This time, Noah wasn’t quite as startled.

“Yes Lord, I’m listening” Noah whispered.

“It is time for you and your family to enter the boat.” God told him. “Store all the food that you have. In seven days I will bring the waters upon the earth such as never has been. Two of each animal will enter the boat, and seven of clean animals. After seven days the waters will come…”

And just like that, the voice was gone. Noah sat in silence for a long time, shocked that it would all happen so soon. Seven days he thought. The time had finally come.

The week went by in a blur. Noah and his family worked day and night storing food in the boat and preparing stables for the animals. They watched in awe as animals both great and small flocked towards the ark, just as God had said. Lions, bears, birds and mice, too many creatures to count!

Lastly, Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives, all entered the boat.

As the seventh day dawned, God closed the door to the ark. Then the first drops of rain began to fall. Noah and his family huddled close on the top floor, looking out at the one small window above. Dark grey clouds rolled over the sky. A rumble of thunder echoed in the distance. They had never seen anything like it.

As the rain became heavier and heavier they held each other tightly. All of a sudden the boat lurched forward.

“What was that?!” Japheth shouted, barely audible over the roar of the storm.

Noah could only guess that the flood waters were rising, the sheer force of it jerking the boat.

“We are safe in here!” Noah reassured them.

All around they could hear loud cracks of thunder, as the sky flashed with lightening above. The sound of gushing waters echoed around them. Then the boat began to rise, gently swaying. It was as though angels were guiding its path.

For forty days and forty nights the rain never ceased. Noah and his family could sense they were rising higher and higher, as high as the mountain tops! Noah shuddered to think of all the people that were lost. If only they had listened! He thought. God gave them so much time, but it was no use.

When the rain finally stopped, they could hear a great howling wind. God was blowing the waters aside. Ever so slowly, the boat began to descend.

Many months had passed when Noah decided to check for dry land. He opened the latch to the small window and stretched out his hand, as the dove he was holding spread its wings. In the hours that passed Noah scanned the blue sky, waiting for its return. Suddenly he could see a small white dot in the distance. When the dove landed on the window ledge, he could see an olive branch in its mouth. Noah let out a shout. Ah ha! There must be treetops! 

After seven days, Noah let out the dove again. This time he waited the whole day for its return, but it never came back. Noah knew the waters were finally gone.

Thump! The large door of the ark fell to the ground below. A symphony of sounds filled the air as the animals rushed out onto the dry land. After a whole year on the ark, they were finally free!

Noah built an altar to the Lord, a symbol of thanks for keeping them safe in the flood. Then once again, he heard God’s voice.

“Never again will a flood destroy the earth.” God said. “This is the sign of my promise to you and the generations to come. When I send clouds of rain, I will put My rainbow in the cloud. Then you will know that the earth shall never again be destroyed by flood.”

The next time rain clouds appeared in the sky, there, arching above the earth were the most brilliant colours Noah and his family had ever seen. Even today, thousands of years later, you too can see a rainbow.

A constant reminder that God always keeps His promises.

Picture Credits: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.

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