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What is the lesson of Noah and the ark?

BY CAREY KINSOLVING Published: July 9, 2012

Noah and the ark, according to Nicole, 8: "Noah had built an ark, and other people did not believe him. He got two of each animal, and then he loaded all of his stuff. It flooded, and he lived."

A child who once appeared on Art Linkletter's TV show thought the lesson of loading all the animals two-by-two was obvious: "If you don't get married, you get left behind."

Well, that's one lesson, but not the one Noah or the Lord had in mind.

"We should be more like Noah," says Jenna, 10.

Why? Noah was the only one in his generation who obeyed the Lord. Even though Noah lived in a generation described as "corrupt" and "violent," he "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6). Corruption and violence — does this sound like the evening news or the morning newspaper?

"Everyone except Noah was wicked," says Maria, 11. "He probably had a lot of peer pressure." I'm sure he did, Maria. Imagine being the only person in the world following God.

If Noah lived in our day, late night comedians would never run out of material for jokes. Right up until the day Noah closed the door to the ark, I'm sure people were telling the latest Noah jokes. Who but a crackpot would build a gigantic ship with no water around?

Brittany, 11, says we learn from Noah to resist peer pressure and ridicule by doing what God says: "Even if people doubt you and say you're crazy, just ignore them. Remember, you're doing it for God."

Brittany, your advice sounds like something the apostle Paul wrote, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23).

Noah is described as a just man who walked with God.

Anyone who walks with God can resist the temptation to go along with the crowd, even when the crowd resorts to ridicule.

Another lesson we could learn is "Don't laugh at your neighbor 'cause they might be right," says Rebekah, 10.

The laughter of Noah's peers stopped the day it began to rain. The good news is that God made a covenant (symbolized by the rainbow) that he would never again destroy the world by water. The bad news for the scoffers of this generation is that the flood is only a token of a greater judgment to come.

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