Minimalist Bible: Noah's Ark – The Flood Recedes

Written by Chad -

God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.

The next poster series comes from a story that we have all heard from our childhood—Noah's Ark. I'm excited today to reveal The Flood Recedespart five of a seven part series.

The Flood Recedes comes from Genesis 8:1-19 (NLT) which says, "But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.  The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped.  So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days,  exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.  Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible.

After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat  and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up.  He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground.  But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside.  After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone.  He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.

Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying.  Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry! Then God said to Noah, 'Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives.  Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.' So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair."

Ever had a mad case of cabin fever? I know that I get it every year during the winter time just around Valentine's Day in February. Winters in Wisconsin can be brutally cold and never-ending. There have also been many times when I have felt stuck in a particular season of life. Sometimes it's really hard to see the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel." When I was working on this poster, I started to wonder what Noah and his family felt like being cooped up on that boat with all those animals. Yeah they had daily chores and things to do on the boat, but it was always gloomy outside and everything inside had hair on it. 

In these times of being cooped up physically, emotionally or spiritually, we start to yearn for the days we can get outside and stretch our legs. For me, after a long winter, I enjoy the tickle of the blades of grass underneath my feet, the sweet smell of the flowers and the pleasant sounds of the birds singing. I believe the day Noah received an olive branch from the dove, he probably jumped for joy, did an impromptu dance that he just invented on the spot and yelled like a wild man. I could see him running from one level of the ark to another shouting and showing every animal that he had an olive branch. Noah understood the deeper meaning of that little victory. A victory that would release him from the physical, spiritual and emotional sense of being cooped up. I wonder if Noah—that night—gathered everyone together and had the biggest party to celebrate the discovery of the little olive branch.

At times in our lives, we forget to celebrate the little things that God has blessed us with. We tend to only focus on the big things like promotions, kids, financial stability, etc. There's nothing wrong with celebrating those things, but what I'm starting to find out is that the smaller victories are where God is really showing off. Yes, God shows off whenever He wants, but think about all the little blessings He lines up for us on a daily basis that we tend to take for granted. Here are some of the things that I tend to take for granted that God has freely given me:

•  Money to pay for bills and food
•  Freedom to worship God
•  Underwear to keep me fresh throughout the day
•  Athletic shoes for comfortable running
•  Grooming kit to take care of those unsightly nose hairs
•  Netflix to watch old school Star Trek episodes
•  Refrigerator to keep my food from spoiling
•  Air to breath  

My list could go on and on. God is all about the details and providing us bread crumbs leading to BIG victories He has in store for us. For Noah, God gave him a little olive branch so that he could celebrate the small victory, leading up to the big victory of the future for humans. God is always racking up little wins for us, we just need to start recognizing them and celebrating them with God.