Several hundred years after Adam and Eve, God speaks to Noah.
“Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. . . .”
“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”
Noah got right to work when God told him to build the huge boat. Other people must have been warned about the coming disaster (1 Peter 3:20), but apparently they did not expect it to happen. Today things haven’t changed much. Each day thousands of people are warned of God’s inevitable judgment, yet most of them don’t really believe it will happen.
Does the flood mean that God regretted creating humanity? Was he admitting he made a mistake? No, God does not change his mind (1 Samuel 15:29). Instead, he was expressing sorrow for what the people had done to themselves, as a parent might express sorrow over a rebellious child. God was sorry that the people he created had chosen sin and death instead of a relationship with him. Still, God did not abandon them. He chose to preserve humanity through Noah.
The boat Noah built was no canoe! Picture yourself building a boat as long as one and a half football fields and as high as a four-story building. The boat was exactly six times longer than it was wide—the same ratio used by modern shipbuilders. This huge boat was probably built miles from any significant body of water by the few faithful men who believed God’s promises and obeyed his commands.
Don’t expect people to welcome or accept your message of God’s judgment against sin. Those who don’t believe in God will deny his judgment. But remember God’s promise to Noah to keep him safe. This can inspire you to trust God for deliverance in the judgment that we will all face.