First: In many cultures people have some knowledge about a flood covering the earth and about a few people who were saved from that. For example, the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic tells about that. The Chinese letter describing a boat has three parts: a boat + a number eight + a mouth. Some geological surveys also prove the flood. There was no helm in the ark, so it could not be controlled. Nobody knew how long Noah and his family were supposed to be in it.
• Do you know any proofs for the Flood?
• What if we deny the historical truth of the Flood?
Verses 1-4. The end of verse 1 takes a lot after the first words of the Bible: Now the earth was formless and empty and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The Hebrew word “wind” can also be translated “spirit”.
• What were Noah and his family feeling as they watched the open sea for a month after another?
• What was it like to understand that they were the only people in the world?
• The weather was calm at first. Then the wind started to blow. What did that mean to the people and the nature around?
• How long did it take from the start of the rain till the ark coming to rest on the mountains (verse 4, see with 7:11)?
• How did life differ in a floating and in a stranded ark?
• The stay in the ark must have been a school of faith for Noah’s family. Why?
• What gave faith in the future for Noah and his family?
• What kind of schools of faith do we have nowadays?
Verses 5-12. A raven is a carrion eater, good flier and the smartest bird in the world. A pigeon has a radar in its head. With that it can find back home from anywhere. A pigeon has been used as a carrier for over 5000 years.
• Why are all these details mentioned in the Bible?
• How long had Noah been in the ark before he started sending the birds for flights (7:11 and 8:5-6)? Why did he do that?
• How long did the raven fly in the air (4, 6, 14)? Why didn’t it come back?
• An olive tree grows on the lower slope of a mountain. Noah sent three pigeons into the air. What did their coming and going tell him about the dehydration of the soil?
• What does it require for water to come down that fast?
• Why did they have to wait in the ark for two more months after the pigeon had brought the leaf?
Verses 13-19. A new year has arrived. They had already been in the ark for 10½ months.
• On the first day of the first month Noah removed the roof from the ark. Why did Noah want to do that?
• For how long were they in the ark (see 7:11 and 8:14)?
• Why are all these dates written in the Bible?
• What was the best thing the people and animals felt when they finally got out of the ark?
• Why did the animals leave the ark by genus?
• Getting out of the ark was like an access to new creation. How?
Verses 20-22. The mankind or at least Noah already knew about clean animals according to the law of Moses. The clean animals were taken to the ark in pairs, seven pairs of each (7:2). In these verses “altar” and “burnt offerings” are mentioned for the first time in the Bible. The burnt offering brought a reconciliation between man and God.
• The first thing Noah did was build an altar and sacrifice burnt offerings. Why?
• Why did God give his promise when he smelled the pleasing aroma of the offering?
• God promised that He will never destroy all living again, but Peter says in his letter: “ By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Pet. 3:7). According to this, what is the end of the world going to be like?
• Compare verses 6:5b with 8:21. What was mankind like before and after the Flood?
• Where did the evil come from into the hearts of the first eight saved people?
• What does verse 21 tell us about godly Noah who walked with God? ( What does it tell us about his righteousness?)
• Did God succeed with the Flood? Did He achieve what He meant to? Justify your answer.
• What things will be unchanged till the end of the world, regardless of any climate change or wars?
• How is Noah a good example for us what it comes to faith? How about his family?
• What does the Great Flood teach us?
• The mountains of Ararat are situated in Kurdish region on the border of Turkey and Armenia. It has always been hard to get there (see the map). What do you think about the stories that some people have seen a frame of an old boat under the age-old snow in that area? Finally: The original sin never vanished from the hearts of Noah’s family members. Man’s thoughts and plans are still selfish and evil. That is why the blood sacrifice was and is needed. Noah’s sacrifice was a preview of Jesus’s sacrifice. The blood was and is needed to get forgiveness from God. With blood people were and are able to start a new life.