The world was hurting.
The sin that rushed into the hearts of Adam and Eve back in the garden—it was now everywhere. It had spread like nasty germs into each and every person. It poisoned every heart so that no one trusted God or thought He was important. God was so, so sad as He looked at people throwing punches, screaming ugly words, wearing mean faces, and telling lies. God decided to scrub this world clean with rain, more rain than anyone had ever seen fall from the sky. More than any bathtub, swimming pool, or ocean could ever hold.
But God saw Noah on the earth. He loved Noah and wanted to make him, his family, and all the animals safe so that the flood wouldn’t destroy them along with everything else. So God whispered in Noah’s ear a warning of the rain. He told Noah the one thing that would rescue them from the flood, an ark. Now, Noah was different from all the other people on the earth. While they ignored God and plugged their ears when He spoke, Noah listened carefully because he believed that everything God said was really true. If God said a flood was coming, then it would come. If God said it would be so big that it would wipe out everything and everyone, then it would. And if God said an ark was the only way he and his family would be safe, then it was. So Noah trusted in God and built the ark. Then just as God said, for forty days and forty nights, the rains came. They hammered against the roof and the wood creaked and groaned as the waves crashed against the sides. Only Noah, his family, and the pairs of animals inside the great ark were safe from the water that swallowed up the world.
When Noah and his family came out of the ark, everyone was gone and everything looked clean. But it would soon be discovered that all the water in all the world couldn’t rinse away the sin hiding in the heart of every person. The flood didn’t stop the world from all its hurting. God again needed to deal with sin, and He needed to pour out a more powerful kind of storm to once-and-for-all deal with the sins of His people. So, just as before, He looked at the earth and found children that He loved—that’s us!—and He gave us an ark to protect us. But the ark that God gave us this time wasn’t exactly like Noah’s ark—it wasn’t made out of wood and tar. In fact it wasn’t an “it” at all. The ark that God gave us was a person—God’s own Son, Jesus. In order to protect us, Jesus received all of God’s raging storm that was heading our way. In the ark that is Jesus, we will be safe from everything God will send to get rid of sin for good.
God has given us the gospel. He says if we confess that we disobey Him and trust that Jesus died on the cross for all our sins and then rose from the dead, we will be saved from all the punishment God is sending for sin (Romans 10:9).
We will start to obey the things that God tells us in the Bible (e.g., being kind to others, praying to God, giving things we have to others, and being honest).
Noah believed that what God thought about him was more important than what anyone else thought. Noah trusted that what God said was true. If God said a flood was coming and the ark would save him, it was worth doing, even if people laughed while he did it.
* Corresponding Jesus Storybook Bible story: "A New Beginning"