I am old, but I still feel young and pretty good most days. My name is Noah and the Lord has called me to build a boat which will carry two of every animal in the world. Why me?
I have had this feeling that I am special for as long as I can remember. Lamech, my father, told me that when I was born I lit up the room with my beautiful eyes, white hair and rosy colored skin. Even then it seemed I had a special purpose, a strong connection with God which terrified my dad.
He told his dad, Methuselah, that I was way different from any other baby he had ever seen. I began to talk before I could even walk. And I had dreams about animals that weren’t walking, but thrashing in great bodies of water. The animals were always different, but the water was the same…great waves swirling up to the sky and crashing down on the animals causing them to sink. Always, I was above the water looking down into its boiling blackness.
These dreams seemed to be the opposite of what my name means… “peace” While I was growing up, I learned that the people around us were cruel and sneaky. Some of the boys tried to get me to take things that weren’t mine. I knew that was wrong, but they thought it showed how smart I was, that I knew how to trick people who were stupid enough to be outsmarted by a boy. Still, I knew stealing was wrong and not pleasing to God.
I had not thought much about God until a little while ago. I was standing by the shore of Adam’s Lake when I saw a toy boat someone had made. It was a perfect model for a boat, with three floors to it, a side door entrance and eight windows on top of it. It was just bobbing on the water. No one was steering it or moving water to make it go. It was all alone.
I started to shiver and watched as it drifted away from me and finally was out of sight.
The next morning I decided I would like to build a small boat for myself. I began scrounging around for gopher wood and pitch. The only wood I found was much larger than I needed. I thought to myself “all of these are much bigger pieces than I need.” But then I heard a voice (or thought I heard a voice) tell me “this is exactly what you need. I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence. You will build a giant boat for your family and all land animals.”
“What?!” I cried. “I’m not a boat builder. I can’t do that. I’ve never even been on a boat. Drowning ever person will certainly bring peace, but isn’t there a better way to bring peace to the world?
The Voice didn’t answer. But the dreams kept coming to me every night, terrible dreams with black, crushing water tossing people and animals around for there was no land anywhere. What did the dreams mean? Were they showing me the future. Finally, I saw my whole family, my sons and their wives tossed about in the violent waves. Then, they disappeared. I woke up, and fell on my knees, and just shook. I was so scared I couldn’t even talk.
My wife woke too and seeing me on my knees asked “what’s wrong?”
All I could do was mumble over and over “I have to do it. I have to build this giant boat. THE LORD wants me to build it.”
That morning at breakfast, I told my wife and my sons and their families what God wanted me to do. At first, my boys just laughed and said “you’re old and now you want to go to sea. Besides, there is no sea anywhere around here.”
I said “but there will be.”
After breakfast I took them to where I had gathered much wood. They all looked at it and said “how big a boat is it going to be?”
I said “I can’t really say, but it’s going to be huge!” Then I told them why.