The Lockdown in Genesis

On Easter Sunday, Pastor Jason spoke about the “Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday” and what the disciples must have gone through as they mourned the death of Jesus before He was resurrected. PJ said that we are going through a similar “Saturday” period right now during the coronavirus pandemic.

As I reflected on his message, I was reminded of another time in the Bible where a family was in lockdown for an extended period of time.

Genesis 6-9

God told Noah to build the ark. Once Noah, his family, and all the animals entered the ark, God “shut him in”. 

Gen. 7:15-16 (ESV)

15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in. 

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Then the waters lasted another 150 days. A couple of months would pass before the mountaintops would appear again. There was another 40 days that passed along with several weeks of letting birds out and having them return. In all, many estimate the length of time that Noah and the animals remained locked in to be around 364 to 371 days based on the calendar system of the time. Basically, Noah and his family were in the ark for about a year.


Other than sending out different birds to see how much the water had receded, little is known about what Noah and his family did while they were stuck in the ark for a year.

So, what did Noah and his family do during “shelter-in-place” in the ark?

While it’s not completely clear, a further study into Genesis will reveal more.

1. Noah worshiped God
In chapter 6, it says that Noah was righteous, blameless, and he walked with God. Based on that description, I’m pretty sure Noah continued to worship God in the ark. So, we should keep worshiping God while we are at home. Walk with Him.

Gen. 6:9 (ESV)

… Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

2. Noah took care of the ark’s inhabitants
Noah was instructed to store up food for the extended stay. The food that Noah collected was plants… to be used to feed his family and all of the animals. Noah and his family spent time caring for the animals’ needs like cleaning them and nursing any possible injuries. And think of all the animal waste they had to dispose of. This was not a cruise ship with several hundred crew members to handle every need. There were only 8 of them. They had plenty of work to do to ensure that the last of every male and female of every species survived. And there were possibly babies of the animals that were born in the ark.

Gen. 6:19-22 (ESV)

19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

3. Noah and his family anticipated a new beginning
When the waters over the earth started to recede, the ark settled on the mountains of Ararat. Noah would release a raven and a dove at separate times to see if they would return. If they did not return, it meant that they found a place to settle over dry land.

Before boarding the ark, God told Noah that He would destroy every living thing on the earth with the flood waters. So, Noah anticipated a new beginning as they were about to end their confinement in the ark.

Gen. 8:6-7, 12 (ESV)

6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.

Gen. 7:4-5 (ESV)

4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.

4. Noah commemorated God’s protection 
Altars were built in the Old Testament for animal sacrifices, to commemorate an event by God, or as a memorial to God’s provision or protection.

Gen. 8:20 (ESV)

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

So, what should we do during our stay-at-home orders?

While Texas is slowly opening up again, schools will remain closed and some businesses will not be fully opened yet. Let’s look to Noah’s example while he was in the ark for a year on what we can do. And be thankful that we could still leave our homes during the pandemic.

1. Noah worshiped God 
– Continue to worship our Almighty God
– Spend time with Him in prayer and in the Bible
– Sing praises to God

2. Noah took care of the ark’s inhabitants
– Take care of yourself and members of your household (and pets)
– Be patient and kind to each other- Worship God together

3. Noah and his family anticipated a new beginning
– God knew this pandemic was going to happen before it happened, so there is a purpose for this
– Use this time to reflect on what God wants you to learn about yourself
– Ask God how you can use these lessons for His glory

4. Noah commemorated God’s protection
– We don’t have to build an altar, but we should be thankful for God’s provision and protection during the pandemic
– Remember how He took care of you during this time
– Ask God how you can help others who are struggling during the pandemic

Thanks again for your faithfulness to God. I miss seeing all of you and partnering to serve the children together. 

God bless you all!

Teacher Francisco