(Genesis 8.1-19)

Noah and his family waited in the ark.

Up and down, and up and down, they tossed on the waves.

Everywhere they looked, they saw nothing but water. 

For 150 days the ark tossed on those waves.

That’s longer than a whole summer vacation. A lot longer. Only this couldn’t have been much of a vacation. 

What do you suppose they did all day? There wasn’t cable TV to watch. No portable CD players to listen to. No video games to play. Maybe that’s when Shuffleboard and “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” were invented.

I’ll bet the donkey wasn’t too happy about that.

But there was probably enough work to do every day, just trying to keep all those animals fed and the ark cleaned up. 

And maybe at the end of a long day, they sat around the kitchen fire and told stories, and tried to remember what it was like to take a walk through the trees on a warm summer evening.

But with the racket of all those animals, and the creaking of the heavy wooden beams of the ark, how did they get to sleep at night?

And how did they keep from rolling out of their beds? Maybe they didn’t even HAVE beds.

But God hadn’t forgotten about them.

One day God caused a warm wind to blow. The rain stopped, and the water began to go down.

It was another 150 days before the ark came to rest on the very top of a mountain called Ararat. 

Noah and his family and all those animals had all been together in that ark for almost a year!

After 40 more days, Noah opened the window of the ark and let a raven fly out. He wanted to see whether it could find some dry ground. Noah waited and waited, but the raven never came back.

So Noah tried again. This time he sent out a dove. The dove flew around and around. But it couldn't find any dry ground, and it had to come back.

Noah waited seven more days, and then he let the dove fly out again. 

That evening the dove came back with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. That was a sign for Noah. Now he knew the water had gone down, because the dove had found an olive bush growing on dry land.

Noah waited another seven days, and then he sent the dove out again. This time it didn’t come back. It had found a new place to live. 

Finally, God told Noah it was all right to leave the ark. Noah opened the door, and all those animals rushed out! 

They found new homes in the world God had washed clean. 

God had saved them!

God provided the ark, and it had brought them all safely through the water. It carried them to a new life.

Noah was 601 years old when he left the ark. And was he ever glad to be walking on dry ground again!

Next time...

The Rainbow & A Promise


freely translated by
Paul Dallgas-Frey


All pictures and story © Paul Dallgas-Frey