God’s Plan for Christmas
The Tale of Noah and the Ark – Part 4
“Are you guys coming? Grampa says that he can’t eat his cookies without milk to wash them down with.”
“We’re on our way, we couldn’t find the tray right away,” said Jon.
Sue turned and looked at Stanley and took a step toward him.
“Little brother, I want you to know how proud I am of you. You’ve really shown that you can sit through a long story and pay attention.”
“You’re not gonna hug me, are you?”
Sue backed up a step.
“Nope, not a chance. Go tell Grampa we’ll be there in a minute.”
Jon laughed, “You almost did know.”
“Yeah, I wanted to but—”
“Well, he’d get all embarrassed and act up, and we’d never hear the end of the story.’
They took the tray into the living room, and once everyone was all settled in, Grampa began …
# # #
“Enoch … Enoch … come on son, it’s time to get up.”
“Okay Mom, just five more minutes …”
“I had one more stone to roll before I would beat those town boys at their own game. I lined up my shot and just as I was about to make it—”
“Enoch, you need to get up and do your chores. Come on, son.”
“Okay, okay …” Realizing the game was just a dream; I stretched my arms and legs, and then opened my eyes and tried to focus.
The room was pretty dark, “Where was my window, my furniture…my stuff?”
Then suddenly I felt my bed lift up from behind me and tilt to my left. I quickly looked around, “What is going on? My whole room moved!”
“Huh? Wha … where am I?” I said out loud.
“It’s alright, this is your first time waking up on the ark,” my Mom’s voice again filtered through the morning fog in my head.
Then things began to look familiar, “Oh, yeah, that’s right…”
Memories of the last days, weeks and months began to flood back into my mind, the work on the ark, the fire, the townspeople attacking Grampa, the animals arriving, the rains and flooding and finally the door of the ark closing on the outside world the Lord had decided to destroy.
“Ok Mom, I’m going.”
I got up, dressed, washed, grabbed a chunk of bread from the table and headed up toward the large pen with the netting containing all the birds that came with us on the ark. I have to feed them and clean out their pen.
There was singing and wild calls coming from the top of the ladder I had to climb to get to the upper level. I really like all the birds, feeding them isn’t too bad. It’s the cleaning up after them that’s yucky.
I grabbed a couple of buckets and filled them with the different kinds of food the birds liked and went into the pen. When they saw me with the food, the sound of all the birds got so loud I nearly had to cover my ears.
Looking up into the branches of the trees my Pop and uncles had brought in and mounted to the walls of the pen, I saw many of the birds moving to the lower branches. They seemed eager to eat.
It’s a good thing I looked up because one of the birds was dropping something yucky. I just barely got out of the way in time.
After cleaning out the pen and putting out the food, I sat on the bench inside the enclosure and thought for a while. “This is going to get real boring fast if this is all I have to do every day,” I said to myself.
I had asked Grampa how long we were going to be on this trip. But, the only answer I could get from him was “The Lord will let us know when He is done out there. Just be patient, Enoch.”
So, I decided to explore the ark.
The first thing I did was to walk all the way from end to end on the deck my birds were on. I had already done that topside (that’s what we call the top deck of the ark where you could go outside) but, I didn’t want to stay out there because it was still raining.
But I wanted to see everything.
So, I walked and walked and walked, each day I went to a new and lower level.
I looked and looked and looked. I had never seen so many different kinds of animals in all my life. A lot of the animals were new to all of us, and we didn’t know what to call them. Many had come from very far away, and many were very strange.
I wanted to see them all, even all the creepy, creeping things, no matter how long it took.
One night at supper, we talked about what I was doing.
“What did you see today, Enoch,” Mama asked.
“I saw the monkeys and the antelope and the … um … striped horses,” I said.
Papa laughed and said, “Those are called zebras son.”
Then he spoke up in his stern voice, “I don’t want you going down to the lowest levels son. The big cats and other very large, dangerous animals are down there. They may be safe enough but, I don’t want you to take any chances. Do you understand me?”
“Yes Papa,” I said.
There were still lots of other parts to explore that I hadn’t seen yet. And, there were lots of animals yet to see.
Every day for several weeks I went out and looked and explored. I was having a great time until one day when I was going down to one of the lower levels where we kept, the larger animals…
“Hmm, here’s another ladder going down, I don’t remember seeing this one before.” I thought to myself. Down at this level, the cages were much larger than the ones higher up.
“Wow! I bet the really big animals are down here. One more level won’t hurt…”
I was frightened by the big cats at first, but they turned out to be pretty friendly as long as I didn’t get too close.
Then I saw another ladder leading even farther down.
“Hmm, I’m pretty sure that this is where Papa told me not to go. But I wonder what it looks like down there”.
Just then I heard some strange rustling around noises and noticed that the lamps that lit up each of the lower levels seemed to be out. I began to get very curious. I looked around to see if anyone was around.
“Papa will never know if I look just once.”
So, I began climbing down the ladder, and I was turning and twisting around trying to see what was there when suddenly the ark lurched, and my foot slipped. I lost my grip on the ladder and began flailing around trying to grab onto something when my left leg got caught in one of the steps of the ladder.
There was excruciating pain, a horrible snapping sound and then I landed hard on my back, flat on the deck. The next thing to hit must have been my head because I blacked out for a while.
When I awoke, I was in more pain than I had ever imagined in my whole life. I realized I had broken my leg badly. I couldn’t keep from yelling and crying it hurt so badly, but no one came. I was down there all alone.
I realized that my father and uncles were cleaning out stalls at least two decks above me and couldn’t hear me.
“Where is Grampa’s God when I need Him?”
I immediately felt completely alone and in the dark. Then I began to feel afraid. I didn’t know how often they came down to this level to care for the animals.
My eyes began to gradually get used to the dim light.
I began to yell again.
“Help,” I yelled as loud as I could.
After the second or third yell, there was this really weird echo. It sounded a lot like a horn of some sort.
Every time I hollered help, that strange horn echoed back to me.
After about five or six times, I tried to sit up and look around.
Through the tears in my eyes and into the dim light, coming toward me was the biggest animal I had ever seen.
It was sort of a brownish gray with big floppy ears and a huge, long nose, an absolutely monstrous, gray, wrinkly body, and legs twice as big around as my Uncle Ham. Just as I started to get a good look at it, it raised up to its nose and made that horn sound I had been hearing.
It walked slowly over to me with its nose pointed at me sniffing me and then touching me. I was scared at first, but its touch was so gentle I stopped being afraid. It pushed at me a little bit like it was trying to help me stand up. I reached up to feel its long nose, and it began to pick me up and cradle me with it. I felt the pressure on my leg get less, and the pain got easier to handle.
I wasn’t sure what was going on or why this animal was doing this. I looked up, and I could tell the big thing was also looking down at me. I began to feel very relaxed and very tired. My eyes had trouble staying open, and I must have fallen asleep for a while.
When I woke up, the animal was still holding me up. I began to call out for my father. “Papa,” I would call out. I was not very loud at first. I did not want to frighten my protector.
I would repeat a little louder each time.
After a while, I stopped because I wasn’t getting any answers. The pain was still pretty strong, and I was getting tired again. I was also very thirsty and starting to get more afraid that no one was answering me.
I was getting scared, and I didn’t know what to do.
I thought about what Grampa might do and, just as clear as day, I could hear his voice talking to me. “Enoch,” he said “you just tell the Lord what you need when you need His help. He will help you. God is faithful, just you wait and see.”
I was not sure about this whole prayer thing at all. But, I was alone (sort of), in a lot of pain and very scared. Trying to pray has always been kind of scary too. What if I said the wrong thing and made God mad at me? What if He didn’t really exist?
Grampa’s voice came back into my head again.
“You just tell the Lord what you need when you need His help. He will help you. God is faithful, just you wait and see.”
I knew then what I needed to do. I took a deep breath and looked up (cause I figure God is up in His heavens) and said “Lord, God, creator of the whole world and everything in it, this is Enoch. I am in trouble down here and sure could use your help. You see, I’m pretty sure I have broken my leg because it hurts really badly and I need someone to find me and help me.”
I remembered that Grampa always thanked the Lord for something whenever he prayed, so I did the same thing.
“By the way Lord, thank you for this big boat Grampa calls an ark. Thank you for saving our lives. Please send someone to find me real soon. Amen.”
I just lay there suspended in air by the creature’s long nose, and I think I fell asleep again for a while.
I was jarred back awake when I began to hear voices.
“Enoch, are you down there?” I heard my Papa’s voice.
I yelled back, “I’m down here, Papa! I broke my leg”.
The large animal didn’t move – he (or she) just stood there holding me up. When my Pop got to the top of the ladder, he stepped back for a second and looked. I think his eyes needed to adjust.
“Enoch is that you?” he asked.
“Yes, Papa, I’m ok. This big animal is very gentle and has been watching over me until you could get here.”
He came slowly down the ladder and walked over to where we were and just looked at the two of us for a minute and then smiled his huge, broad smile.
“It looks like you made a friend here Enoch. This one is called an elephant, and it seems to have taken an interest in you; but, I will take over now.”
Just then Uncle Ham and Grampa got to the top of the ladder and called down to us.
“Is everything all right down there?”
They had never seen a sight like this before and were just as amazed as Pop was at first. Pop took me gently from the elephant and waited a moment while I stroked the animal’s huge nose.
“Thank you, my big friend. I will come back as soon as I can and see you again.”
The elephant touched me again very gently and began to back away from us.
Pop turned and began taking me up the ladder. I turned and waved goodbye as soon as we got to the top. The elephant blew its horn again gently as if to say goodbye, then turned and walked back into the shadows. Pop took me to my room in our cabin.
Gram Naamah and Mama set and bandaged my leg while Grampa, Pop, and my uncles sat in the other room laughing about the elephant that cared for me.
Mama scolded me for exploring where Pop had told me not to go. But, for some reason, she kept hugging me.
After Pop got over being glad to have rescued me, he gave me a stern lecture about my irresponsibility showing up again.
“Enoch, you have been doing so well about being responsible…and now this. How could you just go wandering around down there alone? Especially when I had specifically told you not to do that! There are so many animals aboard the ark that could very easily kill you. What were you thinking?”
I wasn’t even sure what to say. I just stared at the splint on my broken leg and said quietly, “I’m sorry Papa, I was just curious. There are so many animals to see that I have never seen before.”
“Enoch, my son, I remember having a lot of talks with you about getting lost in your daydreams, I thought you were over that. Do not ever go wandering around like that again. Not all of these animals are going to be as gentle with you as that elephant was. You were very lucky.”
I looked at him right in the eyes, “But Papa, doesn’t God watch over us all the time like Grampa says? When I was laying down there with a broken leg not knowing when anyone would come looking for me, I prayed to the Lord just the way Grampa has taught me to do, and He answered my prayer. You came and found me. I know now I should not have been exploring like that, but when I got in trouble, God was faithful just like you and Grampa always say.”
Pop just sat there silently for a second, looked at Mama then got up and walked out.
Mama said, “Don’t worry us like that anymore Enoch. Your father and I were worried sick. I am glad you prayed, and the Lord answered you. But please be more careful in the future.”
# # #
“I don’t remember hearing this part of the story before Grampa,” said Sue.
“Well, I might have made parts of it up to make the story more interesting. Sometimes when you do stuff that you are not proud of, well … it’s good to know that we can grow and learn from our mistakes. Besides, I wanted to talk to you about the fact that sometimes we all make mistakes. We get into a hole and we can’t get ourselves out. That’s why God sent Jesus. Because all of us are deep in hole of sin and we can’t get ourselves out. That’s why God planned Christmas.”
“So, what’s next Grampa?” asked Jon.
“Well, we’ll finish this story tomorrow and then next week, we’re going to see how God planned Christmas through the prophets. I think it will be a fun week.”
What would happen if people decided not to obey rules like Enoch? What if there were no rules at school or on the playground? It may sound like fun, but the rules are there to keep us safe and happy. Once there was a man named Moses. God gave him many rules and then asked him to teach the people to follow them. God knew the rules would be hard to follow, but He wanted them to try. Some people said no to the rules. They said no to God. God promised there would be another man like Moses who would bring new rules. That man is Jesus. If we need help to follow His rules, Jesus promises to help. Jesus always keeps His promises.
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Acts 3:22-23