It is the end of the day. The women wait in expectation. It would be unusual to see the men come back to the tents until later in the night, but there is something different in the air. The four wives, drawn together by a common faith, gather by Noah’s tent, waiting for something to happen, though they know not what.
Before them stands a majestic sight. The ark, now in the final stages of construction, is overwhelming. None of them had ever seen something so large. New tools had been invented to build something of this size. It was incomprehensible to them that this monstrous object could ever float, but they had learned much about trusting the Lord over the past century. As they stand staring up at the ark, the four men walk up to them. Noah speaks, and though his exhaustion is clear, there is a new glimmer of excitement in his eyes.
“My wife, my daughters. We have news. It is finished.”
The eyes of all four women widen in disbelief. Finished? Actually finished? After all this time, it is hard to believe that the end has come at last…and the implications of a finished ark were almost too much to comprehend. If the ark is complete, then the time of judgment must be near.
Noah continues speaking. “I have heard again from the Lord. It is time to begin gathering the animals. We must gather two of every animal on earth, one male and one female. Shem, Ham, Japheth and I will take care of gathering the creatures. You four must go into the ark and prepare it for a long journey. Make enough food for all of us and for the animals for a long, long time. The floodwaters will come for forty days and forty nights, but I do not know how long after that we will be able to leave the ark. We must be prepared. Go and prepare a place for the food, the animals, and for us. We will begin bringing the animals aboard almost immediately. We have only seven days.”
Japheth’s wife gasps. “Seven days?! How are we to get everything ready in seven days? How are you going to be able to gather every living creature there is in just seven days? Are you sure you heard right?”
Noah gives his daughter-in-law a weary smile. “If I don’t know how to hear from the Lord by this point, we are all in a great deal of trouble. He has given us seven days. This means all can be done in seven days. Have faith, daughter.”
Ham’s wife bursts into tears. “So this is really, truly happening? Everyone we know is going to die? My brothers? My sisters? My childhood friends?”
Noah looks upon her sadly. “Yes, my dear, I am afraid so. Every man has had the same opportunity that we have had to follow the Lord. Every man has chosen to turn away. We are the remnant, the hope of mankind.”
Shem speaks up. “We knew this day would come. Dwelling on it won’t help us. We must start working right away. Father, don’t forget to tell them to prepare the place of sacrifice.”
“Yes, Shem, thank you. I nearly forgot. There must be space and food for two of every kind of unclean creature. For the clean creatures, there must be enough for seven of each kind. We are to take seven of each of the clean animals, a male and its mate. We will need more of these, for we are to continue sacrifices in the ark.”Noah’s wife, recovering from the initial shock of realizing the time has come, snaps into action. “We had better get started. Daughters, gather everything from the tents. We are moving into the ark.”