Category Archives: Obedience

Ten Commandments

Joke: A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Text: Exodus 20:1-17; 1 John 3:23

Prop: a poster of Moses with tablets of law or picture of stone tablets to color

Summary: We should obey God’s commands out of love for Him and our fellowman.

How many of you know what a law is? It is a rule. Do you have rules at your house? I have rules at my house such as “always say the blessing before you start eating” and “don’t spit your food out even if you don’t like the way it tastes.” We have other rules like “Don’t hit your sister” and “Look both ways before crossing the street.” Most rules are meant to keep us safe from harm; others are to help us have good manners. Rules have to do with how we behave. Today I want to tell you about God’s rules.

After three months in the wilderness the children of Israel came to Mount Sinai. This was where God told Moses to come so he could give them rules to live by. We call those rules the Ten Commandments. The rules were meant for our own good. They teach us how to behave towards God and each other. God wrote these commandments on tablets of stone.

The first four commandments tell us how to behave toward God. The first rule tells us that there is only one God and we should serve only Him. The second rule says we should not make idols, which are images of other gods. He doesn’t want us to make anything or anybody more important in our lives than Him. The third rule says we should not use God’s name as a swear word. The fourth rule says to keep the seventh day holy. God made all the world in six days and on the seventh day he rested. He wants us to use one day a week for resting and thanking God.

The next six rules tell us how to behave toward each other. The fifth rule says we should honor our parents. That means we need to obey our parents. The sixth rule says do not kill. The seventh rule says married couples should be faithful to each other. The eighth rule says do not steal. The ninth rule says don’t tell lies about others. The tenth rule says don’t want something that belongs to someone else.

God gave us these rules to live by because he loves us and wants what is best for us. Your parents have rules at your house because they love you and want what is best for you. The children of Israel found it hard to live by all the rules at first, but after a while they realized that things worked better when they obeyed the rules. After many years (and lots more rules) Jesus came to explain the rules. He said we should love God first with all that we are and love our neighbor as ourselves.

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 John 3:23) If we are going to love God, we must love Jesus, His Son. Once we love Jesus, we will be able to love each other. That is what God wants us to do.

©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Jonah and the Great Fish

Text: Jonah 1:17-2:1,10; Matthew 12:39,40

Props: a pair of dice or a poster of Jonah and the great fish

Summary: The story of Jonah demonstrates God’s love for people of all lands. Jesus compared his three days in the earth to Jonah’s three days in the great fish.

Today I want to talk to you about foreign missions. A foreign mission is when God gets someone to go to a different country to tell others about Jesus. The Bible has a story about foreign missions called the Book of Jonah. Jonah was called by God to be a foreign missionary. Jonah reacted with disbelief. Instead of going to Nineveh to preach to the sinners there, he ignored God and went in the opposite direction to a coastal town called Joppa. He must have felt he needed a vacation because he decided to take a cruise to Tarshish, a resort town on the Mediterranean Sea. He may have figured “out of sight, out of mind” and a little rest and relaxation would take his mind off God’s call to mission work. But God had other plans for Jonah.

Shortly after setting sail, a storm arose. The wind was blowing waves into the ship and the crew feared for their lives. They knew it was the handiwork of God. All cruise ships have dice, so they threw dice (cast lots) and decided that Jonah was to blame for their troubles. Jonah confessed that he had fled from the presence of the Lord and told them they would be alright if they threw him overboard. So they did. One thing we can tell right here is that we can never run away from God or his calling on our lives because God is everywhere. As soon as they threw him out of the ship the sea became calm again. This was a great witness to the men on board because the Bible says the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows. 

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly… And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Can you imagine that? God had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. Some people think the great fish could have been a whale. It didn’t chew up Jonah because God had him swallow him whole. Jonah must have been scared out of his wits. The belly of a fish didn’t have a luxury cabin that Jonah had been hoping to find on board the ship.

Water was sloshing around everywhere and seaweed was wrapped around his head. Maybe Jonah ate the seaweed? Yuck! There were no lights down in the tummy of the fish. It was cold, dark, and scary. So Jonah did what most folks do when they are scared: he prayed to God. Jonah didn’t give up. God heard Jonah’s prayer and after three days the fish coughed up Jonah on to the dry land.

Jonah was tired and smelly. And then God spoke to him again and said Arise, go to Nineveh. God cares about all people from every land. He wants everyone to know about Him. By this time Jonah had learned a hard lesson and he obeyed God. Jonah didn’t really care about the people he was sent to save, but God did. The king of Nineveh heard the message to repent and told everyone to pray to God for forgiveness. So God spared the people of Nineveh.

Jesus spoke of Jonah as a historically accurate account. Jesus told the people of his day they were given the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Jesus was telling the people that he would die and be three days in the grave, and then he would rise from the dead. We can be thankful that God still calls us to be missionaries. He loves all people and wants everyone to come to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Isaac and Rebekah

The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. – Abraham speaking to his servant, Genesis 24:7

Text: Genesis 24:14, 34-67

Prop: a gold bracelet or a poster of camels

Summary: The story of how Rebekah became Isaac’s wife. We learn to trust Jesus by trusting our parents when they make decisions for us.

Today I want to tell you the Bible story of Isaac and Rebekah. It is a love story of promises made and promises kept, a story of trust and patience, and a story of how Jesus works in your life in ways you may not realize. Sometimes your parents make decisions for you. If you go to buy clothes, they help you choose the right clothes to wear. If you need to be in bed at a certain time, they decide what time is best. You may not always agree with their decision, but they love you and try to do what is best for you. You show Jesus that you love him when you obey your parents. You learn to trust Jesus by trusting your parents when they make decisions for you. But what if your parents decided whom you would marry? Would you trust them for that? Today young men and women choose whom they will marry. A long time ago that was not how it was done. The parents would choose for them. That doesn’t sound very romantic, does it?

A very long time ago, God made a promise to Abraham. God kept his promise by giving Abraham a son named Isaac. When Isaac was forty years old, Abraham decided it was time for Isaac to marry. Abraham kept Isaac at home and sent his oldest servant to find a wife for Isaac and bring her back. He wanted a wife for Isaac that knew the true God, that was from his own people. The servant left Hebron and traveled over 500 miles to Abraham’s home city of Nahor. He took ten camels and everything he needed for the long journey. It probably took two months to get there. When he arrived it was late in the day. He stopped at a well just outside the city. He prayed and asked God to show him whom to choose. (Read Genesis 24:14.)

Abraham’s servant had not even finished praying when a beautiful young woman named Rebekah came to the well. Rebekah gave him water to drink after he asked. Then she offered to fill the trough with water for his camels. Whew! Rebekah was not only kind but also a hard worker because ten camels can drink a lot of water! God had prepared her heart for this day. She had no way of knowing that she was an answer to prayer. Then the servant gave her a gold nose ring and two gold arm bracelets for her kindness and asked for a place to stay the night. (Show children the gold bracelet. Explain that women wore nose rings instead of earrings and gold bands on their arms.) Rebekah ran home and got her brother Laban to come back with her to the well. Then they invited Abraham’s servant home to meet her father Bethuel. They all sat down to eat and the servant told what happened and how God answered his prayer (see Genesis 24:34-49).

Rebekah listened as Abraham’s servant explained he was on a mission to find a wife for his master’s son, who was a wealthy man, blessed by God. He asked Rebekah’s father and brother for permission for Isaac to marry Rebekah. By the way, Rebekah and Isaac had never even seen each other!* Bethuel and Laban said the thing proceedeth from the Lord and gave their approval. Then the servant gave Rebekah gold jewelry, silver jewelry, and expensive clothes; he also gave her brother and mother precious things. In those days it was a custom for the father of the groom to give presents to the bride’s family. It took a lot of faith for both Rebekah and Isaac to trust their parents to make this decision. The next day Rebekah left to return with the servant and meet the man she would marry.

A few months later back in Hebron, Isaac was in the field at sunset spending some quiet time with God. He had waited patiently for nearly four months while the servant was gone. He must have been happy to see the caravan of camels coming home, hoping to meet his bride! Rebekah saw a man waiting across the field. She was so excited that she slid down off her camel. Somehow I think she knew it was Isaac even before she asked who it was. She covered her face with a veil so he would be surprised how pretty she was later on their wedding day. That is how God brought them together in an amazing way, even though they grew up miles apart. They fell in love and lived happily ever after.

This story has some similarities in how God works in our lives today. The descendant of Isaac was our Lord Jesus. God the Father sends the Holy Spirit, asking us to accept Jesus as Lord, and become the bride of Christ. When he finds us he asks us to leave behind our old life and come join him in a new life as a Christian. We have to decide if we will follow him or not. It is our choice.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. Help me to trust my parents when they decide things for me. Help me to trust you more each day. Amen.

* Although Rebekah was a granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, she may have been close in age to Isaac because he was born when Abraham was 100 years old.

©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Labor Day

Six days shall thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God… Exodus 20:9,10a

Text: Exodus 20:9,10

Summary: God created the Sabbath so man would have a day to rest from working.

Labor DayDoes anyone know which holiday we will have tomorrow? Labor Day. Yes, that’s right. God made the heavens and the earth in six days, but on the seventh day he rested. He gave us one day out of seven as a day of rest. He did this so we would not get too tired or sick from working all the time. It is important for us to take time to rest. It gives us a time to thank Jesus for all He does for us. It gives our bodies a chance to rest, so that we can stay healthy.

Labor Day is a national holiday that Congress started to honor the men and women who work every day in America. When they work, they earn money to support their families. They also pay taxes. The money taken in taxes is used to buy things that everyone uses. Can you think of some things that taxes pay for?

Here are some: roads and bridges, schools, government buildings, police and armed forces, and many other things. We can all be thankful that Jesus has given us our health and allowed us to have meaningful work. One day you will be older and will start to work. Then you will join the many millions of people who work hard to pay taxes so we may enjoy these services.

Let us pray: Dear God, thank you for working people. Thank you for giving us a day of rest, so we can remain strong and healthy. We love you. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Obey Your Parents

Joke: There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone to do it, or forbid your children to do it.

Text: Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1; Genesis 2:24

Summary: Children are instructed by God to obey their parents.

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. – Exodus 20:12

This is the first of God’s commandments with a promise. If we honor our parents, God says we will have a long life and it will be well with us. But how do we honor our parents? One way is to obey them.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. – Ephesians 6:1

This is another time in the Bible when God instructs us to obey our parents. Notice that it is plural, saying parents, not just the father or the mother. Whew! What a job! We have to obey not just one parent, but both of them.

Family picnicHave you ever wondered why God gave children such an impossible task? It is because he knows that it is hard for children to do it without asking Jesus to help them. Jesus wants us to pray and talk to him all the time, and this is one of the ways he gets us to do that. And what about the parents? In all the organizations in the world, especially the military, they never give anyone two bosses. They only have one commander, one chain of command. It would be hard for a soldier to follow orders if he had two people telling him what to do.

But Jesus, in his infinite wisdom, put two parents in charge of the kids. He knew they would have to be talking to each other all the time to keep things straight. For example, have you ever asked Mom to let you do something, and she said no. So then you went and asked Dad, hoping he would say yes without talking it over with Mom first? Hmmm? Well, the answer is because Jesus sees parents as if they are one person, not two. When your parents got married, Jesus stopped seeing them as two people, and he sees them as one. He knows the only way that they can keep up with the kids is to pray to him for help!

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

Wow! Jesus thought of everything! He knew that children would have a hard time obeying their parents without asking Jesus to help them, and that parents would never be able to rear children without praying for help. So a long time ago when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he made this the fifth rule. And the wonderful thing is, he made a promise when he gave it.

He said to honor our parents so we would live long on the earth. Have you ever wondered about that? I have. Now how does God keep that promise? I am not totally sure about that, but I think I know one thing. Who loves you more than anyone else? God. Who loves you more than anyone else on earth? Your parents. God knows that if we obey our parents, our parents will always be watching out for us here on the earth. They will tell us things like ‘look both ways before you cross the street’ and ‘brush your teeth so they will not rot out.’ You see, our parents are telling us these things because they love us, just like Jesus does. And if we do these things, we will likely live a long and healthy life.

Adapted from a “Christian Home Seminar” as told by Rev. Lewis Shaffer of Son Shine Ministries International Inc. Used by permission.

Home Alone

Joke: A Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: “They couldn’t get a baby sitter.”

Text: Luke 2: 40-52

Prop: a poster of Jesus in the Temple

Summary: The story of Jesus being left behind in Jerusalem shows that his parents observed the feasts and took him to worship services. Jesus gives children an example to obey your parents.

Jesus!How many of you have ever seen the movie titled Home Alone? [show of hands] Well did you know the idea for that movie is in the Bible? It is recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2 about Jesus. Here is how it happened.

It is important for a Jewish male to go to Jerusalem for three feasts every year, one of which is the Passover. This is a remarkable feast which celebrates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. When Jesus was twelve years old, Mary and Joseph took him to Jerusalem for the feast. Now they must have gone with friends from Nazareth where they lived because after the feast was over, they somehow missed counting Jesus among the group. They traveled one day’s journey away from Jerusalem when Mary realized he was missing. She may have sat up and put her hands to her face and said “Jesus!” [make a face like they did in the movie]

Mary and Joseph spent the next three days going back over their steps to find Jesus. They were worried sick about what may have happened to him. They must have searched everywhere. Finally, they found him in the temple. Jesus had spent time listening to and asking questions of the temple teachers, which were called doctors. They were quite impressed with his understanding of the scriptures and the answers he gave. His mother was upset and wanted to know why he did not realize how much they had worried about him. Jesus replied, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Mary and Joseph did not understand what Jesus said. Like any parent, they worried over a lost child. He did not feel lost but was at home in the temple where the Father God was worshipped. The Bible says that Jesus left with them to return to Nazareth and obeyed them. Jesus was an example for all children to obey your parents. I hope you will always let your parents know where you are so you will not be lost and or left home alone.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Pain and Able

Text: Genesis 4:3-12; Hebrews 11:4

SheepProp: picture of sheep

Summary: The story of Cain and Abel demonstrates God’s requirement for sacrifice and how we respond to it.

Today I want to tell you about the story of Cain and Abel. It comes from Genesis, the first book in the Bible. Cain was the older brother. He was a gardener or farmer (a tiller of the ground). Abel was the younger brother. He was a shepherd. The Bible says that Cain brought a fruit offering. Perhaps these were the finest fruits that Cain had grown. He was probably very proud of the work he had done to grow them and considered them worthy to be a sacrifice. Abel brought a sheep for the sacrifice. He raised the sheep from his work in the field also.

It is God that establishes a requirement for a sacrifice that causes the loss of life of the sheep or animal. God was setting an early example of what would lead to the ultimate sacrifice: Jesus, the Lamb of God, and his sacrifice on the cross.

As we learn later in Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. God was showing us that sin has an extremely high price to be paid to bring us back into relationship with God. It required that a life be paid.

Now how we respond to God’s requirements is called obedience. If we obey God, we are showing that we are ABLE to be called his children. The younger brother Abel was “righteous” because he obeyed God. If we disobey God, we cause Him and ourselves much PAIN. That pain is the sin we continue in for not following his rules. If we do not obey our parents, we usually get into trouble. That trouble is usually followed by some sort of discipline, such as a spanking. And that is very painful.

Cain did not obey God and it got him in trouble. He became angry that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted but his sacrifice was not. He was so mad that he killed his own brother. God punished him by driving him into the land of Nod, meaning that he was left to wander the earth. He cursed him and made it hard for him to farm. That was very painful for Cain to live with.

Hebrews 11:4 says By faith Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it, he being dead yet speaketh. The death of Abel was awful, but through his death he was ABLE to show us that God judged his sacrifice of the lamb to be acceptable for covering sins.

You may show that you love and obey God by obeying your parents (Ephesians 6:1). Today, when they tell you to do something, remember that if you obey them, you are obeying God. If you obey God, you are showing that you are ABLE to be called God’s children. But if you don’t obey God or your parents, then you will get into trouble and that will cause PAIN.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.


Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10

Text: Matthew 6:10

Prop: a large jar of water and a small pebble

Summary: Our goal is to align our will with God’s will, doing his work on earth. When we do that, our efforts have a ripple effect, starting with us and affecting everyone around us.

Sometimes I like to read the comic strips in the newspaper. If the printer does not line up the colors exactly, then it causes the image to blur and looks messy. If all four colors are aligned properly, then the result is a clear image of what the artist wanted us to see. That is a good way to think about how God wants us to line up what we want to do with what he wants to do in the world. The Lord Jesus taught us this in the Lord’s prayer: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10

I have often wondered why the words “in earth” were used instead of “on earth.” Then I remembered that God said he formed Adam from the dust of the ground. We were made from the earth! (Genesis 2:7) So when we are seeking for God’s kingdom to come, it must start with us first. There are two realms that must line up: the physical realm of things in earth, and the spiritual realm of things in heaven. When the two realms are in alignment, then we have our spirit lined up with God’s Holy Spirit. Then God’s will gets done “in earth” because he is working through us to accomplish his will here.

One way to know God’s will is to pray. So the Lord taught us to pray and seek His will. The result of doing that will make a big difference to everyone around us. It will have a ripple effect. Take a look at this jar of water. (Show the jar of water.) Watch what happens when I drop this tiny pebble in the middle of it. (Drop the pebble in the center to create a ripple.) That is what I mean by a “ripple effect.” It starts in the middle with you, just one tiny pebble in the grand scheme of things. But when your will is in line with God’s will, it has a very big effect. It spreads out in all directions for as far as you have a reach.

Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, help me to pray and seek what you want me to do so you will have a ripple effect on everyone around me. Amen.

©2005 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Here I Am

That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. – 1 Samuel 3:4

Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-10

Prop: the Dr. Seuss children’s book Green Eggs and Ham

Summary: The young boy Samuel learns to listen to God.

One of my favorite books for children is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. The main character in the book is Sam-I-Am. He tries to convince another person to eat green eggs and ham. Green eggs are a breakfast item made of eggs with spinach or another green vegetable. Do you like to try new green vegetables? (Listen to answers.) No? Neither did the character in the book, who replied:

I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE
I do not like green eggs and ham
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

You will have to read the book to find out if he ever does try the green eggs and ham and whether or not he likes them. Today’s story from the book of Samuel is about the young boy Samuel. Samuel is being called to serve God. In the story, at first Sam thinks his teacher Eli is the one calling his name aloud. After three times of answering Eli, “Here I am,” Eli realizes that God is calling young Samuel. So Eli tells Samuel to listen to God the next time he calls.

I would like to share this story in a rhyme (in English) as a tribute to God, who gives us our gifts.

Young boy Sam was lying down
His teacher Eli was in his gown
Eli’s eyes were growing dim
He could not see that it was Him

The Lord called out, “Samuel, Sam!”
And Samuel answered, “Here I am!”
Sam said to Eli, “Did you call?”
And Eli said, “I don’t recall.

Lie down again. I did not call.
No I did not, not at all.”
Sam went back into the house
Where things were quiet as a mouse.

Soon the Lord called out to Sam
Sam said to Eli, “Here I am!”
“Lie down,” said Eli, “I did not call.
No I did not, not at all.”

Yet a third time God called Sam
And Samuel answered, “Here I am!”
Then Eli realized Who it was
That called to Sam. But for what cause?

So Eli wisely said to Sam
When you hear, say “Here I am!
Speak, my Lord, I’m listening still
And I am ready to do your will.”

Sam returned as he was told
He was not frightened. He was bold.
The Lord called out, “Samuel, Sam!”
And Samuel answered, “Here I am!”

Young boy Sam had heard the call
He answered bravely, but best of all
Said, “Speak, my Lord, I’m listening still
And I am ready to do your will.”

Let us pray. Dear God, help us hear when you speak and to be ready (as young Sam was) to do your will. Amen.

©2005 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Excerpt from Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1960.

Noah’s Ark – The Great Flood

The Invitation by Tom duBois
The Invitation by Tom duBois courtesy of Christ-Centered Art.

Quote: If Noah had been truly wise, he would have swatted those two flies. – Helen Castle

Text: Genesis 6:14-7:24

Summary: God provided detailed instructions for the Ark, and Noah obeyed God. The flood covered the entire earth and destroyed it. Noah and his family were saved.

In God’s Plan to Save Us we learned that Noah was good. God was going to save him and his family from the flood that would destroy the bad world. God’s plan was for Noah to construct a large vessel that would hold all the different kinds of animals. About 75,000 animals would need to go on the ark. Could it hold that many animals? Could Noah build such a boat? God gave Noah a head start. He told Noah when he was 480 years old that in another 120 years the judgment would come. When Noah was 500 years old he began to have children: three sons. Then the Noah & Sons Ark Supply Company began its task to build the ark. No one had ever seen much rain before. The earth had a mist, daily dew that would come, but that was it. They laughed at Noah and his boat. Sometimes people may laugh at Christians for doing the right thing, but what is important is that Noah obeyed God. We should obey God also, no matter what other people think.

God told Noah exactly how to build the ark: it was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. It would have three decks, and a window for air. It only had one door. Through that door, all who entered would be saved. All who stayed behind would die. Jesus is like that door to us. In John 10:9 Jesus said I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.

This is where most folks miss the boat. They think if they merely believe in God, in some shape, form, or fashion that is good enough. There are many false religions in the world but only one Christ. Some people think if they go to church that God will admit them to heaven. Going to church might make you a churchian, but it takes Jesus in your heart to make you a Christian!

The ark’s size made it six times longer than it was wide. This made it very stable in the water. If a large wave tried to turn it over, it would right itself. It would tend to position itself to face the waves. Even winds blowing three times stronger than a hurricane would not turn the ark over. The ark did not have a rudder to steer it. It only had to float. God was the pilot. Do you have trouble giving the steering wheel to God? Pretend you are in the ark, with nothing to grab hold of except God. The ark had room for 750 railroad cars of cargo. It could have easily held 180,000 sheep. There was room for all the animals, and hay and corn to feed them. Most of the animals would nap and hibernate during the rocky ride. But how did Noah get all the animals on board? God supernaturally directed the animals to come to the ark. He brought them in to save them from the flood.

How was Noah sure it would rain? Did he wash his car that day? No. God had told him in Genesis 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights. So Noah built the ark, then his family went in the ark seven days before the flood when he was 600 years old. God brought in the animals and the Lord shut him in. God has always used the number 40 to signify a period of testing. Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God appeared to him at the burning bush. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before they entered the Promised Land. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness in temptation, and forty days after the resurrection proving he had risen before he ascended to heaven.

The flood was the worst disaster ever recorded in history. The entire earth was covered with water and there were no survivors except those on the ark. The fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11) Noah and the animals were surely frightened. Great earthquakes hurled ash high in the air and it rained as it never has. Even the waters under the earth came out of the ground. The water rose to a height that covered the mountains. The waters rose and the ark floated for 150 days, or five months.

Even when it came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, it was not safe for Noah to leave the ark. Noah obeyed God and stayed in the ark until 375 days after the rain began, or over a year on the ark. God always knows how to keep us safe, and will tell us what to do.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.