Wednesday, June 20: Noah

Noah and the ark makes it on everyone’s list of top ten Bible stories. But what do we really know about Noah? Most of what we know about Noah we learned in Sunday School or more recently from a blockbuster Hollywood movie. You might not think of Noah so much as a caregiver, but he did take care of and was responsible for his immediate family and almost all animals we are familiar with these days.

If the story is true and not a legend, Noah was about 950 years old when he died. He built a huge ark that housed all living animals known to man and he saved the lives of about seven other family members. You might say we all have descended from Noah or Noah’s children.

Noah’s world was not a happy or good place to live. There was much evil in the world, as the story goes, and God calls upon Noah at the height of the depravity to build an ark. He warns Noah that He is going to destroy the world with a giant flood. He instructs Noah to gather his family and two of each animal that inhabits the earth. God gives Noah very precise directions for building the ark and how to choose the animals, and Noah follows God’s directions very carefully.

Noah’s friends and sometimes his family believed he was crazy to follow God’s directions; they did not believe that God would destroy the world with a flood. As the rain came and water began to rise, many of the same people who questioned Noah’s sanity now wanted access to the ark. Noah was forced to take up arms against his own people to protect his family and fulfill God’s request.

In the end, Noah and his family, along with the contents of the ark, survived the Flood. Thanks to Noah and his family, the earth was able to be repopulated with the animals Noah had taken on board the ark. Many theologians and historians believe that the human race may have been repopulated from the family lineage of Noah’s children.

No matter what the outcome, Noah and his family played a huge role in helping to save the world as we know it today. I must also mention here that the story of Noah and the ark is believed by some to be just that, a story. Whether or not it is true depends on your beliefs and how you read and interpret the Bible.

Noah may have been the greatest caretaker of all time. He not only collected, planned, housed, and fed two animals of each species—he cared for his family and was a father figure to the entire ark. What a legacy for Noah and his family to leave behind. What an amazing example of caregiving to model to a world seen by God as evil with no hope of redemption. In a world that deserved destruction, God gave Noah a voice and a mission to care for his fellow man and, in the end, us too.

Terri DeAngelis