Last time we saw how Noah obeyed God by building an Ark. (a really big boat) Did you know that God gave Noah exact instructions about building the ark? He told him what kind of wood to use, how big to make it, where to put the windows and how to make it waterproof. Did your dad ever have to follow the instructions to put something together? Like a bicycle or a swing set? If he followed the instructions, it made putting it together a lot easier. God gives us instructions for our life. It's called the BIBLE! Because He wants our lives to be blessed.
This week we find that Noah has finished building the ark. (It only took him 100 years!) Do you think Noah ever thought it would never be finished? The Bible says that after he finished building the ark, Noah took his whole family into the ark and then God sent the animals in two by two. (Gn 7:6-9)
God shut Noah and his family in the boat with the animals. They were waiting for the rain to start. First day, no rain. Second day, no rain. Third day no rain! Do you think Noah was wondering if he heard God right? Finally on the seventh day it began to rain. (Gn 7:10)
It rained for forty days! When the rain finally stopped, the water was 20 feet above the highest mountain! Have you ever seen a mountain? Imagine a flood higher than that! The water didn't go down right away either. It took 5 months for the water to go down enough to see the tops of the mountains. Do you think that God could have flooded the earth in one day and dried it up the next? He sure could have. Remember we learned that God created the water in one day, then the land the next. Nothing is impossible with God.. (Lk 1:37)
Finally the ark came to rest at the top of a mountain called Mount Arafat. Noah, his family and all the animals stayed in the boat for three more months as the water kept going down. (so far they have been in the boat for over nine months, thats more than one full school year.)
After another forty days, Noah let a dove go. The dove flew away and then came back. Noah was hoping it would bring some kind of proof that the land was drying up, but the dove had nothing in its beak. The next week Noah sent it out again. This time the dove brought back an olive branch. I bet Noah and his family were celebrating! They knew that they would soon be stepping on solid ground. Noah knew that he had to wait for God to say that it was OK. So they waited and waited and waited. Finally 2 months later, God said it was OK for them to come out. God opened the hatch and Noah and his family and all the animals came out. I bet they were so happy to see the ground!
Noah and His family were in that boat for more than a year. They showed patience over and over again. They waited seven days for the rain to begin. They waited for the rain to stop. They waited for the ground to dry and then they waited for God's OK to come out.
The Bible tells us that we should wait for God. (Is 30:18) Why? Because God sees all things. He knows what will happen in the future. So by waiting for Him, we are showing that we trust Him. Being patient is not easy. We always want everything right away.
I remember one time, my mom had baked a cake. She took it out of the oven and put it on top of the stove to cool. I started to take a piece and my mom said to wait. When she left the room, I hurried up and took a piece and shoved it quickly into my mouth before she came back. It was so hot! I burned my mouth. I was screaming and crying. My mom came in. " Couldn't you even wait for it to cool down?" She was just trying to protect me. She knows what is best for me. I couldn't eat anything for two days, my mouth was so sore. By that time, the cake was all gone.
God tells us in the Bible to be patient. (Jas 5:7) He knows what is best for us.