One of the most famous events in the Bible is the great flood that God sent on the earth in the days of Noah. You can read about Noah and the flood in the book of Genesis chapters 6 to 9. You may like to turn to these chapters and read the story there.
The state of the world after Adam
In a past lesson, we looked at Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were the first people that God made on the earth. They disobeyed God, so they had to leave the place where they lived. They settled in another part of the country and soon had many children.
The years went by, and there were many people. However, a sad thing was happening. People were forgetting about God. They were becoming more and more wicked. The people spent all their time doing selfish, cruel and violent things. The Bible tells us that everyone only thought about doing the wrong thing (Genesis 6:5). We find that God was very sad because He had made a beautiful earth for people to live in. Now, life was hard. People were hurting each other and no one was happy. So God decided that He would destroy men and women from the earth, and would begin again.(6:7)
Preparing for the great flood
There was one man and his family who did follow God. This man was Noah, with his wife, and his sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. God decided to save Noah and his family, and start a new group from them. God also decided to save some of the animal types that lived on the earth. (6:20)
God told Noah that He was going to send a flood of water on the whole earth to destroy all living things (6:17). God told Noah to build a large boat (called in the Bible, an “ark”) that could fit his family and two of every kind of animal.
Noah believed what God told him, and started to build the boat (or ark) with the help of his sons. It may have taken Noah many years to build the ark. People must have thought he was mad, and must have laughed at him building a boat on dry land. Noah trusted God that the flood would come. (7:5)
The ark was made of cypress wood, and was about 137 metres long, 23 metres wide and 14 metres high. It had three floors (decks), many rooms, a roof, and a window and a door in the side. (6:14-16)
In the New Testament of the Bible, we are told that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness”. (2 Peter 2:5) Noah warned the people about the flood that was coming, and told them to obey God. God could save them. But no one listened to Noah.
The great flood
Finally the ark was finished, and it had plenty of food on board. Animals of every kind also came on board. God shut the door of the ark, and it began to rain. Not only did it rain from the sky, the Bible tells us that the water underground also came up. It rained for 40 days and nights until the water covered the highest mountain. All life on earth was destroyed. Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, and the animals were safe in the ark.
After the rain had stopped, the floodwaters covered the earth for 6 months. The ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat in Turkey (8:3-4). The earth was now dry, and so Noah, his family, and the animals could leave the ark and find places to live.
God promised that He would never again send a great flood to destroy all things. We often see a rainbow in the sky after it has rained. The rainbow is God’s promise that He will not send another world flood. (9:12-17)
The story of Noah and the flood shows how kind God is. He judged that all the people of the world were too wicked to stay alive. Only Noah and his family followed God. God was merciful, and He protected Noah and his family.
The New Testament part of the Bible talks about Noah and the flood in a few places. It talks about the time when God will again judge the world because of the wickedness of men and women. God’s judgement will come on the world suddenly.
We believe that the time of God’s judgement is very near. Our world is just the same as it was before the flood came. People are selfish, and there is evil and violence everywhere. If we follow God, and His Son Jesus, God will protect us, just like Noah. He will bring us to a new world of peace and happiness.