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Long-range Weather Forecast

Key References: Genesis 6:13-22; Patriarchs and Prophets, chap. 7, pp. 90-97; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 1, pp. 101-104; Our Beliefs nos. 14, 11, 7

Power Text

“Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).

Power Point

Together we are part of God’s plan.

Have you ever tried to make a model or follow a pattern and the instructions have not been very clear? How did you feel? When God asked Noah to build an ark, Noah didn’t have any problem following God’s plan.

Noah sighed as he walked into the house. He had just been talking to his neighbor. It seemed that there was no end to the wickedness around. Almost every day there was a new robbery or murder. People seemed indifferent. When Noah tried to point out that these things went against God’s law, they just laughed. Why should they worry about God’s law? They had a good life the way it was.

Noah knelt down and gave the problem to God. One night God spoke to Noah:

“I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood” (Genesis 6:13, 14).

“An ark? What is an ark?” Noah may have asked, sounding puzzled.

So God explained to Noah His plan. This big boat would serve as a home for people as well as for many animals. God gave important instructions for how to build the ark. He asked Noah to use the best cypress trees he could find and make an ark with the following dimensions: 450 feet (130 meters) long, 75 feet (22 meters) wide, and 45 feet (13 meters) high. Further, Noah was instructed to make a roof that would allow for the inflow of fresh air. He then asked Noah to coat the completed structure inside and out with tar.

God continued giving instructions: “Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks” (verse 16).

Noah thought of the time when the ark would be built. He may have wondered, How will I know when it is the right time?

Then God offered His friend Noah a glimpse into the future and gave him further instructions:

“I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them” (verses 17-21).

Noah probably looked surprised. He knew that this was not God’s original plan. God did not want to destroy the world by flood, but He could not let the wickedness continue.

Noah determined to do everything that God had told him. He wasted no time. He made plans to start building right away. He told his family what God had said.

At first everyone was silent. Then everyone started talking at once. What should they bring? What was rain? How would they get the animals to enter? What would the animals eat?

Noah did not know the answers to all of their questions. But he did know that God would be with them. Noah believed that at the right time God would show them how to gather the animals and what food they would eat. But first they needed to gather wood, find people to help them, and buy some tools. However, before they started to work they asked God to bless them and lead them to the right people and places.

Noah got his sons and others to help him. People were curious about what he was doing. So Noah warned them. He told them what was going to happen. He told them that God loves them. Then he invited them to go into the ark and be safe.

Noah and his sons worked together to build the boat. While they worked Noah preached, telling others of God’s love and giving everyone the opportunity to accept God’s plan.