Source: Genesis 6-9
After Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden, they and their children started to spread out across the earth. Soon men and women and boys and girls filled the whole earth. However, as time went on, people became more evil and more wicked. Finally, things got so bad that the only good and decent people left in the entire world were Noah and his family.
God was grieved that there was so much wickedness, and He decided to destroy all the evil in the world with a great Flood. However, God did not want to completely destroy mankind. He wanted to save the good people (Noah and his family), and He told Noah to make a great ship called an ark. He gave Noah very precise instructions on how to build the ark. The ark would be big enough to hold Noah and his family and also a male and a female of all the different animals in the world.
Noah obeyed God, and started building the ark. It took Noah and his sons many years to build the ark, but at last they finished it. When the ark was completed, God directed a male and a female of each animal species to board the ark. Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wifes, eight people total, entered the ark also. Then God caused the Flood to begin.
The fountains of water deep under the earth burst and the water spilled onto the earth. The great vapor canopy that covered the earth collapsed also, and it rained on the earth forty days and forty nights. The water level kept increasing until all the land on the earth was covered. All life that was on the earth died, but all those on board the ark were alive and well. The Flood prevailed on the earth for one hundred fifty days.
Seven months and seventeen days after the Flood began, the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat. The waters kept receding, and on the first day of the tenth month, the tops of other mountains were seen. Forty days after this, Noah released a raven and a dove. The raven, a strong bird that could survive in a harsh environment better than the dove, did not return. However, the dove did return.
Noah waited another seven days and sent the dove forth again. The dove returned in the evening, with an olive branch in her mouth. Noah then knew that the Flood waters were almost gone. Noah waited another seven days and released the dove again. This time the dove did not return. Much of the land was now dry. God told Noah that Noah and his family, along with all the animals, could leave the ark.
God commanded Noah and his family, and the animals as well, to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. God blessed Noah and his sons and promised that never again would a flood destroy the earth. As a reminder of this promise, God placed a rainbow in the sky. Today, whenever we see a rainbow in the sky, we are reminded of God's promise.