After people disobeyed God and went into sin, they became extremely wicked. All of their thoughts and actions were evil. God knew he had to destroy the people he created.
Yet, a man named Noah walked with God. The Lord said to him, “I’m going to destroy the entire earth with a flood because the people are wicked. Therefore, I’m making an agreement with you to preserve life on the earth. Build an ark. I’ll give you the exact dimensions I want you to use. After you’re done, a flood will kill all the people and animals on the earth. You and your family will be saved, as well as the animals you take with you.”
God gave him building instructions, and Noah did exactly as God said. He and his three sons built the ark. When it was done, God said, “Noah, go into the ark with your family. After seven days, water will fall upon the earth and every person and animal will be destroyed except those inside the ark.”
So Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives moved into the ark. Once they were there, animals and birds started coming in pairs, male and female. There were seven pairs of clean animals, seven pairs of birds, and only one pair of all the rest. When they had every kind of animal and bird, God closed the door.
On the seventh day, the waters that were above the sky started falling to the earth. At the same time, the earth erupted, sending fountains of water shooting up from beneath the ground. Waters flowed down the hills and filled the valleys. Eventually it covered the entire earth. All the people and animals were destroyed.
Those same waters lifted Noah’s ark above the destruction. The people, animals, and birds that were in the ark were safe while the whole earth was being destroyed. This deluge of water lasted forty days and covered the entire world.
And then...it stopped.
Noah’s ark floated on the water for 110 days after it stopped raining. There were winds that moved across the earth to dry it off.
Finally, the ark landed on a mountain called Ararat. Noah waited for another four months and then opened the window to see what was on the earth.
He sent out a raven, but it never came back. Next he sent out a dove, which flew around but couldn’t find a place to nest. Soon she returned to the ark and Noah took her in.
After seven days, he sent out the dove again. She came back that night with an olive leaf in her beak. Noah then knew that plants were growing once again. He waited seven more days and sent out the dove again. This time, she didn’t come back.
A month later, Noah removed the hatch from the ark and saw that the earth was dry. God said, “Your family and the animals may leave the ark.”
Once they were out of the ark, Noah built an altar so they could worship God. The Lord smelled the sacrifice and said, “Never again will I destroy the earth with a flood. There will always be planting and harvest, hot and cold, summer and winter, day and night.
“From now on, animals will fear you, yet you are still responsible for them.
“You may now eat animals as well as plants. But you’re not to kill people, because they are made in the image of God.
“You’re to multiply and once again fill the earth with people.”
God said to Noah and his family, “Look into the clouds and see the rainbow. When I look at it and when you look at it, we’ll remember this promise. A flood will never again destroy the entire earth. This is my promise to you.”