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Updated on 8/5/19 9:00 AM by Billy Hallowell Billy Hallowell

4 Life-Altering Lessons From Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood

Most people are familiar with Noah’s ark story, as it is one of the most discussed biblical accounts in history. The story of the great flood — found in Genesis 6-9 — explains that the catastrophe was brought about my mankind’s wickedness and violence. 

It’s a story that can teach human beings many important and life-altering lessons.

The Noah’s ark story summary goes as follows: The Earth was filled with wickedness, as intense evil led God to decide to send a flood. We learn in Genesis 6-9 that Noah found favor with God, so the Lord instructed him to build an ark for him, his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives and “two of all living creatures.” 

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Noah listened, the flood came and humanity and animals were restored after the waters receded. This is an oversimplified Noah’s ark story summary, as one can learn a great many lessons upon digging deeper into the text. 

Here are just four lessons we can learn in Genesis 6-9:

Noah’s Ark Story Teaches That God Speaks to Human Beings

Genesis 6-9 tells us that the Earth became wicked and was “full of violence.” Then, we learn that God told Noah that the flood would be coming — and that’s not all. God gave very specific directions about what Noah should do in preparation. 

Genesis 6:14-21 (NIV) has more about Noah’s ark story and the directions that were given:

So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. 

Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Noah in Genesis teaches us that God speaks to human beings — a truth that can be seen throughout the biblical narrative. The interesting element about the Noah story in Genesis 6-9 is the specifics he’s given as to what the ark should look like, and how it should be filled.

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Noah in Genesis Shows: We Can Never Go Wrong When We Listen to God

Noah’s ark story also teaches us something important about obedience. After we learn all of the details about the ark, we are told in Genesis 6:22 that Noah complied and listen to God. The verse reads, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Luckily, Noah listened to God. Many times we know what’s right, yet we choose to do the opposite. In this case, ignoring God would have carried hefty penalties, as the situation unfolded exactly as God said it would. 

Noah's Ark

This leaves us with something to ponder when it comes to our own relationships with God, as Noah in Genesis provides a roadmap for obedience that we can follow in our own lives.

Genesis 6-9 Teaches: In a Chaotic Culture, We Can Find Favor in God

Genesis 6-9 also tells us that Noah “found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” If we think we live in a chaotic culture now, consider how bad it must have been back then. 

Yet Noah is described as being righteous, blameless and faithful. Noah in Genesis is an example to us all when it comes to devotion to the Lord.

The scriptures surrounding Noah’s ark story specifically say that he “walked faithfully with God.” This is a lesson to us all — the idea that it is possible to walk with God even when everything around us seems to be crumbling.

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Noah’s Ark Story Summary: God Keeps His Promises

When one examines Noah’s ark story summary, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that God keeps His promises. After Noah built the ark, filled it with wild animals and livestock and his family, the doors were shut and the waters came. After rain fell for 40 days and nights and the Earth flooded for 150 days, God kept his promise to Noah.

Genesis 8:8 proclaims, “God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”

Over time, the floodwaters receded and the waters went down. We are told in Noah’s ark story that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, and that Noah, his family and the animals left the ark and proceeded to repopulate the Earth.

In the end, the story in Genesis 6-9 of Noah and his ark tells us that God keeps His promises and covenants. All we have to do as humans is trust in the same way Noah did.

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