It took a long, long time, but finally Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, finished building the ark. Then God told Noah to load a male and female of each kind of animal onto the ark. God also told Noah to gather food for all the animals, and for his family, too. Enough for many, many days. That was a lot of food! Finally the ark was loaded.
And then it began to rain. And rain . . . and rain! For forty long days it rained. It was as if all of God's sorrow was pouring down in raindrop tears.
Soon the flood water began to swallow the ground, the trees, and even the hills. And as the waters rose, the ark began to float!
Every living thing was wiped from the earth. All except for Noah and his family and the animals on the ark. They floated on the flood waters for more than one hundred and fifty days! Finally God began to dry the land. And before long, the ark came to rest on a mountain.
But still Noah waited and waited. And slowly the waters went down. And finally, God said, "Come out!"
Noah and his family and all the animals spilled from the ark, rejoicing and thanking God. And when they looked up, they saw that God had put a promise across the sky—a rainbow! God said, "Never again will I destroy the earth."
Rainbows in the Sky
The rainbow is a sign of God's promise that he will never again destroy the world by a flood. The next time you see a rainbow in the sky, ley it remind you that of God's mercy. Mercy means that God does not always give us the punishment as we deserve.
Let the rainbow also remind you of God's grace - the favor he gives us, even though we have not earned it.