The people that lived in the city in the valley thought his warnings about God destroying the earth were the ravings of a crazy old man. One day I was in town with Pop getting some supplies and I heard Grampa’s voice from down the street.
I walked down the street to see what was going on. Grampa was standing up in the back of his wagon speaking loudly. “Turn from your wicked ways, my friends, before it is too late!”
The crowd laughed and one man shouted back to him, “Oh yeah, what’s going to happen to us. Is your God going to wag his finger at us?” Then the whole crowd laughed some more.
Grampa kept talking, “The Lord God has told me that if you all do not repent of your sins and change your ways, He is going to destroy you all!”
That same man shouted back at him, “I don’t like your tone, old man. You better stop your preaching or something bad will happen to you.”
Grampa looked straight at him and said, “I can’t stop preaching. God has appointed me to warn you.”
The man stooped down and picked up a rock, “Well, I’m appointing myself to warn you, old man. Knock off your preaching!” And he threw the rock at Grampa hitting him on the arm. Then the others started picking up things to throw at him too.
Grampa grabbed the reins of the animals pulling his wagon and had to drive away as fast as he could. People still ran after him and threw things at him. One of them hit him in the back of his head.
Grampa told me later that part of believing in the Lord was obeying what He asked you to do even when it was hard or crazy or maybe even dangerous.
One time when it was late at night, we were all asleep, and Grammie Naamah came to our house and pounded on our door yelling, “Fire! Fire! The ark is on fire!” We all jumped up out of our beds and ran toward the west meadow. We could see the glow in the sky and the flames as soon as we passed our gate. When we got there, we could see all of the lumber and supplies were on fire and some flames were moving up the side of the ark.
Pop sent me down to the creek that ran through the meadow and told me to stay there, fill buckets with water, and keep filling them until the fire was out.
My cousins grabbed the empty buckets and brought them back to me to re-fill.
I filled them over and over and over again. I began to get so hot and tired I thought I was going to die. I wanted to quit so bad. But I knew I had to keep going. I couldn’t disappoint Pop or Grampa again.
We kept it up for what seemed like hours and hours. I must have filled more than a thousand buckets.
Each time I thought the fire was finally out it would shoot up again somewhere else. I could see my Pop up at the top of the ark, pouring bucket after bucket of water down the side.
I knew I had to keep filling those buckets. Everyone was depending on me to keep them filled.
It was a long time before the fire was out. We all gathered around the ark to see if there was much damage, and fortunately, there wasn’t much. It was mostly the scaffolding and supplies that were destroyed. The side of the ark looked worse than it actually was.
We gathered around and prayed for a while, but I couldn’t help wondering why the Lord would allow this kind of thing to happen if this was really His project.
Now I knew that the people around us not only thought we were crazy, they were frightened enough of us to try to keep us from building the ark. But we just kept on building anyway. “God is faithful,” Grampa said, “just you wait and see.”
Grampa has always been like a special friend to me. We’ve done a lot of stuff together and he also likes to tell me about the Lord.
He and the Lord seem to be pretty good friends. Grampa says that he talks to God a lot. He says that God talks to him too. He said the Lord told him that the whole world was going to be destroyed because it was so bad.
He doesn’t tell me a lot about all of that badness. He says I’m better off not knowing about it. He says we can talk more about it when I get older.
Some of the boys I know have told me some stuff though, and it is pretty disgusting. Yuck! I don’t even like thinking about it!
Then came the day Grampa told us that the Lord had told him we would be loading up the ark soon for our trip in it. Wow! He and Pop and my uncles have been working on this thing for over a hundred years, and it’s really weird to think about it being finished.
When Grampa was talking to everyone about it yesterday, he told me my job would still be taking care of the chickens and “a few more birds.” That’s when he told me about all the different kinds of animals that were going to be coming with us.
I almost laughed because there weren’t any of those animals up here in the high desert. He told me not to worry about that. The other animals would come and it was my job…our job to take care of them. “God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”
Evidently the animals won’t tell God no, either.