Uncertain Times in the Bible: Noah and the flood

We all know the story of Noah’s ark, but why did God destroy the earth?

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”  {Genesis 6:5}

Noah and his family loaded the ark with enough food for them and the animals

Seeing the evil in the world, not unlike the evil around us today, God regretted making humans and decided to destroy mankind.

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”  {Genesis 6:8}   Noah was a man who loved God and walked with him. Then again he was the grandson of Methuselah, who lived longer than anyone {969 years} and great-grandson to Enoch who “walked faithfully with God and was no more, because God took him away.”  {Genesis 5:24}

Noah’s heart may have broken at the wickedness in the world, the way ours does. We know God’s heart broke at it. But imagine he’s going about his business, when God speaks to him and tells him to build an ark. {Genesis 6:11-21}

The animals began arriving two by two

We don’t know how Noah reacted at first. I’d probably have asked “Really?”

But, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”  {Genesis 6:22}

Imagine the uncertainty as Noah is building this ark. His neighbors must have thought he was crazy and taunted him. Did his wife and sons question him?

We don’t know how long it took to build the ark, but it didn’t happen overnight.  It would have taken time to cut and prepare the wood and build the ark.

An online search provides varied answers but the consensus seems to be somewhere between 60-120 years.

Noah had his purpose and he set about fulfilling it, all while putting food on the table for his family and tending to his work and daily chores.

Noah and his family waited for the water to subside

The Lord told Noah, to take seven pairs of clean animals and a pair of unclean animals. He had another chore of rounding up the animals and putting them in the ark.

He’d never seen rain. Maybe he didn’t understand why he needed to do this {we don’t know}, as his neighbors taunted and called him names.

Again, “And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.” {Genesis 7:5}

Noah and his family entered the ark, shutting it tight. The rains began and as they rose the people who once taunted probably pounded on the ark, begging to be let in. 

“The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” {Genesis 7:24}

Noah and his family could only wait while the rain came down.  Then another time of waiting came for the water to subside and dry land to be found.

The dove brought an olive branch and the next time did not return

The smell probably got intense at times and nerves became frayed given their tight quarters. Noah and his family would have stayed buy caring for the animals and their needs.

Finally, after several attempts the dove returned with an olive branch and Noah realized the ground was dry. {Genesis 8}

God told Noah “Come out of the ark.” {Genesis 8:16}

The first thing Noah did was to build an altar to the Lord. He was so pleased he promised never to destroy all living creatures. {Genesis 8:20-22}

The Lord then made a covenant with Noah and his family. {Genesis  9:1-12}

God sent a rainbow as a reminder of his promise

Uncertainty turned to hope, and God sent a lasting reminder, even to today. The rainbow.

“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” {Genesis 9:16-17}

Noah proves we may not always understand, but when we remain faithful, hope comes out of the uncertainty. That hope is a lasting reminder to all of us. The rainbow

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