First: According to the Bible the Food really happened. Even Jesus spoke about it. Geneticists talk about a “bottleneck” of the mankind. The population of the humankind turned down radically. We assume here that Noah built the ark for about one or two hundred years.
Verses 1-5. At that time animals were tame because they were not hunted and eaten. Lord had already talked to Noah about the Flood (6:17).
• What were Noah’s thoughts like when he finally heard Lord speaking after more than hundred years?
• What does it tell about Noah that he did not start arguing with God?
• How would you react if you heard a terrible catastrophe to come in a week?
• In verse one God calls Noah again the only righteous. In Hebrews the Bible explains why he really was like that. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and become heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Heb 11:7). Once again, by what reason was Noah righteous? (What did Noah believe in according to verse 7? How do faith and righteous belong together?)
• Even before the Law of Moses Noah knew which animals were clean and which were not. What does that say about his relationship with God?
• According to verse 4 what would you say to people who think God is not responsible for natural catastrophes (like tsunamis)? Do they happen just by accident or Satan’s work?
• Why does God send natural catastrophes on the Earth?
• What was weird and special in the way the animals entered the ark?
• How did Noah make the animals walk into the ark during that week (8-9 and 15)?
• What did people think when they saw the animals walking in like that?
Verses 10-16. (Read 10-13) Noah and his wife had siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. None of them entered the ark. No relatives of Noah’s daughters-in- law’s were saved. At that time Noah’s sons were about a hundred years old and still childless.
• When did Noah stop preaching? (Peter calls him a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:5).
• The Fall started on the seventeenth day of the second month. In the old Jewish calendar a year begins in autumn and in the new one it starts in spring. We do not know which one was intended here. Why was the start of the Fall mentioned that accurately in the Bible?
• On which day did Noah’s family enter the ark?
• Compare Noah’s strength of faith with his daughters-in-the law’s faith while they were entering the ark. (Whose faith led them, Noah’s or the daughters’? How much faith was needed to save the daughters-of-the-law?)
• Why didn’t God give Noah any grandchildren before the Fall?
• Why didn’t God let Noah himself shut them in the ark(16b)?
• Jesus said that the last days would be like Noah’s time. For in the days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man (Mat. 24:38-39). How are people similar at Noah’s time and at the last days?
• Why did the catastrophe surprise the people though Noah had warned about it for a hundred of years?
• Do people today know what the Bible says about the destruction in the last days?
Verses 17-20. In verse 11 it was already told that all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. The earth was probably surrounded by a thick cloud layer, and it ruptured in the Fall. (Compare that with Genesis 2:5-6, the old version). Some studies nowadays have revealed that there is three times more water existing deep down in the ground of the earth than there is water now in all the oceans.
• What was it like when all the springs of the great deep burst forth?
• How heavy must the rain have been the rain as the earth was covered with water in 40 days?
• How can we notice that it was not only a local flood?
• How did people try to save themselves and their families during the first weeks of the Flood?
• What did people think about Noah’s preaches before their death, and about their own reaction to it?
• What will our relatives and friends think about our preaches on the last judgment?
• What were Noah and his family thinking during the 40 days when the waters rose on the earth?
• Noah and his family were in the ark for five months. What did they do there?
• Why didn’t God talk to Noah while they were in the ark?
1 Pet. 3:21. Peter says in his letter that the ark symbolizes the baptism. Only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water in the ark. And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you all – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Crist.
• What does the Christian baptism have in common with the ark?
• What is the purpose of baptism according to Peter? And what is it not? Finally: The baptism is the ark which will save us from the fiery lake of burning sulphur. It does not mean that we become sinless but we establish a covenant with God. In other words our sins are forgiven and we get a good conscience before God because of Jesus’s death and His rise from the death.