If Noah Built the Ark Today

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said:

“In six months I’m going to make it rain until the whole earth is covered with water and all the evil people are destroyed. But I want to save a few good people, and two of every kind of living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build Me an Ark.”

And in a flash of lightning He delivered the specifications for an Ark.

“OK,” said Noah, trembling in fear and fumbling with the blueprints.

“Six months, and it starts to rain,” thundered the Lord. “You’d better have the Ark completed, or learn how to swim for a very long time.”

And six months passed. The skies began to cloud up and rain began to fall. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard, weeping. And there was no Ark.

“Noah,” shouted the Lord, “where is My Ark?”

A lightning bolt crashed into the ground next to Noah.

“Lord, please forgive me!” begged Noah. “I did my best. But there were big problems. First I had to get a building permit for the Ark construction project, and your plans didn’t meet code. So I had to hire an engineer to redraw the plans. Then I got into a big fight over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system. My neighbors objected claiming I was violating zoning by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.

Then I had a big problem getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the Spotted Owl. I had to convince U.S. Fish and Wildlife that I needed the wood to save the owls. But they wouldn’t let me catch any owls. So no owls. Then the carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or a hammer. Now we have 16 carpenters going on the boat, and still no owls.

Then I started gathering up animals, and got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me taking only two of each kind. Just when I got the suit dismissed, EPA notified me that I couldn’t complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn’t take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being.

Then the Army Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed new flood plan. I sent them a globe. Right now I’m still trying to resolve a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over how many Croatians I’m supposed to hire, the IRS has seized all my assets claiming I’m trying to avoid paying taxes by leaving the country, and I just got a notice from the state about owing some kind of user tax. I really don’t think I can finish your Ark for at least another five years,” Noah wailed.

The sky began to clear. The sun began to shine. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. “You mean you’re not going to destroy the earth?” Noah asked, hopefully.

“Wrong!” thundered the Lord. “But being Lord of the Universe has its advantages. I fully intend to smite the Earth, but with something far worse than a flood. Something Man invented himself—GOVERNMENT!”

NOTE: I found this material many years ago. I do not know who wrote it or where I found it, so I cannot give credit to its author. I thought the story was funny and that it has a powerful application to present day society.

Claude F. Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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