But God was watching.
He saw what a terrible place the world had become.
He saw that everyone was lying, and cheating, and killing. He saw that no one cared about doing what was good and right anymore. And God knew that in their hearts all they wanted to do was evil and bad.
But... God saw one good man.
His name was Noah.
Noah still cared about God. He listened to God, and he always tried to do what God said. And God was pleased with Noah.
God said to Noah, "Noah, I have decided to put an end to this mess people have made of my world, and start all over."
So God said to Noah, "I want you to build an ark."
"What's an ark?" Noah asked.
"It's a box to keep special things safe in," God said. "But your ark is going to be a boat too!"
"What's a boat?"
"You'll see!" God said. It was going to be a very BIG boat. God told Noah exactly how to make it. It was going to be longer than a football field, and higher than a three story house. It was going to have one door, and a window all around beneath the roof.
God called the boat an "ark."
This was going to be a big job for a 500 year old man!
That's how old Noah was when God gave him his little project to do. Now, Noah might have thought, "This job is too big, and I am too old!" And he didn't even have any power tools out back in his shed. But he did have God, and with God on your side, anything is possible.
So Noah went right to work. He did everything just as God had told him to.
His neighbors must have thought he was crazy. While they were spending all their time doing wicked things just to please themselves, Noah was hard at work, pleasing God. Noah kept on working, day after day, year after year. And day after day, year after year, people laughed at him.
And then one day Noah put down his hammer.
The ark was finished.
There it was, this giant boat, resting on dry land - and no lake in sight!
What was God thinking?
He was thinking he had another job for Noah!
A really BIG job.
God said to Noah, "Now I want you to find two of every kind of animal, a male and a female, and bring them into the ark. And bring enough food for them all too." (God also told Noah to bring extra pairs of some animals, some for food, and some for sacrifices.)
Just think what a noise that must have been. Cows mooing. Lions roaring. Dogs barking. Elephants trumpeting - all at once. What a noise!
And what a mess! (It must have smelled pretty bad too...)
And how do you keep the tigers from eating the little lambs?
Still, with God's help, Noah did it all, just as God told him to.
Until finally there was just one more animal to get up onto the ark.
Noah was pushing on the wrinkly behind of a big grumpy elephant - an elephant who really didn't want to go on a cruise - when Noah felt a drop of rain hit his head.