The Flood

“When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved.” – Genesis 6:5-6

We are studying Ancient History in homeschool this year. As such, we are studying through Genesis this year as well. We are only a few weeks out from studying the single most cataclysmic event in the history of our world: the Great Flood. Sometimes I think, as adults, we can think of this story as a child’s tale. I don’t think it is. There is so much we can learn about God and ourselves through this account of history.

I love verses 5-6 in Genesis Chapter 6. It is obvious that God did not come to the decision to flood the earth lightly, nor did He do so in a fit of rage. He was deeply grieved. The footnote in my Bible says: “grieved to His heart”. Can you imagine our Awesome, Powerful, Holy Creator looking at the thousands of people on the earth whom He had created to be caring, loving people in His image, and seeing nothing but repulsive wickedness everywhere instead? Only one man in the world honored God: Noah.

The Lord had a plan to save this one, righteous man and his family. God instructed Noah to build a giant “Ark”. The original Hebrew word for ark literally means “box”. God instructed Noah to build a giant box (510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet tall). That means 522 railroad cars could be stacked inside of it. Can you imagine being told to build something that enormous?
Our homeschool history book describes the scene beautifully: “It was through this Ark that God would save a remnant that He would use to rebuild the human race. This Ark can be compared to our Savior Jesus Christ. Just like Noah and his family had to enter through the door of the Ark to be saved from the destruction that sin had brought to the world, we must enter through the door of salvation, the Cross of Jesus, to be saved from the destruction that our sin will bring to us.”
Wow. Noah literally had the weight of the world on him. He and his sons spent all of their time, money, energy, and strength building this Ark for the next 55-75 years! That is quite a commitment, especially considering people probably told them they were nuts. And how insane would it seem once hundreds of animals started showing up? I can’t even imagine how arduous and stressful it would be to get them all settled in the Ark, as well as trying to figure out how much food was necessary to feed all of these animals, many Noah probably hadn’t ever seen or heard of. God had to have given Noah’s family wisdom and strength beyond measure for the task He gave them.

Sometimes I look at my life, the 4 chronically ill children in my care with their gut disease, autism, potential PTSD, and the expenditure of finances, energy, and time it takes to care for them and I think my life is hard.

Then I imagine being in Noah’s shoes. He and his family knew, after the flood waters rose, that they were the only humans left in the whole world, because God told Noah He was going to destroy everyone except them. They were in a giant wooden box with only a few windows, filled to the brim with literally thousands of animals, with water all around. It was dark, smelly, and noisy inside. I can only imagine that clinging to God was the only thing that kept them sane. They had to believe they were at the center of God’s will while they rode the horribly bumpy waves, amidst the torrential rain and booming thunder for FORTY days. Yikes. My life is easy compared to that! Can you imagine feeding all of these animals, and still having to make food for yourselves from whatever rations you stored away? There were no Benadryl or air fresheners. I can’t even imagine trying to eat!

This story is not just for kids. It is a history lesson on God’s mercy, justice, and provision. It is a foreshadowing of the coming Savior and His cleansing us of our sins. It is a glimpse into how wicked the world has been and still is, and yet, we can praise, worship, and follow God despite it all, trusting Him in the midst of tremendous trials and hardship. I hope you learn to love this story as much as I do!