No. 71
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
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Getting to know God together.

It is raining every day on the Sunshine Coast, where we live! No sunshine at the present time.There are floods on the roads and the creeks are swollen with water. I am glad God promised never to bring a great world-wide flood on the earth again. I don’t like so much rain. The great flood would have been a billion times worse. I promised I would tell you about the flood in Noah’s day, and about the amazing big boat Noah and his sons built. I will keep my promise. For the next few days we will investigate the great flood and the wonders of Noah’s Ark, and God’s loving protection of His people.

After Adam and Eve were forced to leave the paradise of the Garden of Eden, things changed horribly on the earth. It took quite a long time, but the earth became utterly filled with violence. The Bible records this in Genesis 6:13. People were killers of each other, and brawlers, always punching up and injuring others. If God hadn’t done something about the dreadful sinfulness and murder, no one would have lived anyway. Even the very few dear people who still loved and obeyed the Lord would have been lost! And you know we would never have lived ourselves, if God had not brought about the great flood. We would never have been born at all! And Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world would never have come to be born or die for our sin either. God always cares about those who trust Him. So He warned Noah and His family of His plan to destroy the surface of the earth with the great flood.

God told Noah to build an ARK! A huge boat, nearly as big as the one we went to Tasmania on. It had to be big enough to give safety for Noah, his wife and his three sons and their wives. It had to big enough to carry animals from every kind that were on earth at that time. It was planned by the Lord Himself. What a project it was. It took Noah and his sons 120 years to build that Ark. But how could they live that long? Well, people lived a long time in those days. Noah lived before the flood and after the flood, and he was alive 950 years. Almost one thousand years. Noah and his sons preached to everyone around to tell them to trust God and be safe. But in 120 years no other person, not even one, came to God and changed their minds about being good and serving God. Poor Noah just had to keep on building the Ark, and preaching.

How big was that Ark? The Bible tells us in Genesis 6:15. If we changed the measurements to feet or meters we can see how HUGE it was! So lots of animals could certainly fit in it. (More about the animals another day). The Ark was 450 feet long (135 meters). 75 feet wide (23 meters). And 45 feet tall (13 meters). Some silly people imagine that the Ark would be too small to carry lots of animals. But  this is maybe because they have seen drawings of the Ark showing it to be a sort of funny houseboat. Kids have picture books with the Ark being shown with cartoon animals hanging out everywhere. No, the real Ark was nothing like that. The Ark’s “tonnage” was nearly forty million pounds (fifteen thousand tonnes!) That is how much it could carry. COOL! It was like a container ship, a giant one, all enclosed so that the tre-mungus storms outside could not sink it.

How did Noah and his sons build such a ship? Well, they were instructed by God Himself. They would have been good carpenters. Lots of people in those days were very skilled at their work. They had 120 years to get better at their job of building the Ark. And there was plenty of timber from trees so they had masses of supplies. The Ark had three decks with rooms for animals and food to be stored (Genesis 614,16). The Lord instructed them to put “pitch” on the Ark inside and out. This was to make it water-proof. It was like bitumen on the roads, I guess. Or like the tar used to repair roofs today. Remember that God will never bring a flood on the earth like that again. But He is going to judge and punish evil-doers on the earth. So, trust God now, while you can do so. Be safe in the Ark which is Jesus Christ our Saviour.
MORE tomorrow about the Ark in Noah’s day.

“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever
with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations
( all people in history).” (Psalm 89:1).

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