The BackDoor Bible Series
The Journey - Lesson 6
(The Tree that made the Arks Door)
Once upon a time in a land far away there grew a small cypress tree named Murray . Now Murray lived in a large forest in the mountains with lots of other cypress trees who were much bigger then he was. Murray liked living in the forest but he did have two problems. The first was that the bigger cypress trees in the forest all used to make fun of Murray’s name just like big kids sometimes do today. You see the name Murray means "sailor" and the big trees all would laugh at Murray because there were no lakes, no rivers and no oceans where they all lived. Murray's second problem was worse, for as far back as he could remember there was only one thing he wanted to do. He wanted to be a sailor.
When the bigger trees would make jokes about Murray, they would say "Hey sailor, when ya goin' sailing? And then they would all laugh. This made Murray very sad for when God had created him as small sapling and named him Murray, God said that his name would have special meaning. It was during times like there that Murray wondered whether God still remembered him at all
Well one day while Murray was trying to ignore the usual sailing jokes, a group of men came into the forest carrying axes and began to cut down some of the larger trees. Now this was not unusual, for from time to time people did come and cut down trees. But what was very interesting this time was that while the men were cutting down a tree, some other men came and started making fun of them. They were saying things like, "Hey stupid - where you goin' to sail that boat of yours, in your bathtub!" Then all the men would laugh.
At first Murray got really angry at those men who were making fun of the others. See he knew what it was like to be laughed at. But as the men continued to make jokes, Murray slowly began to realize that the men were using the trees they cut to build a large boat. Now Murray’s anger changed to curiosity for he saw that he had something in common with these men. They both were being ridiculed about sailing!
During the following years, Murray saw the men with axes often. Sometimes they were laughed at by others and sometimes they simply worked alone. On many occasions Murray found himself almost laughing at the men himself, for their project was clearly foolish. The land they lived in still had no rivers and no lakes. But Murray always caught himself because he always remembered what it was like to be made fun of. Murray also continued to wonder these men had something to do with the meaning of his name. About this he was not sure but one thing was starting to become really clear. So many trees had been cut that the forest was shrinking. In fact there were very few trees bigger than he left. Wow! He thought, that must be a really big boat. I wish I could see it. The following day, Murray's wish came true.
Early the next morning the men with axes came back and this time they stopped in front of Murray. Quietly they measured Murray’s trunk, nodded to one another and began to cut Murray down. Murray had often wondered when he would be cut down and now as he was being dragged out of the forest he was surprised to see that he had been the last cypress tree in the forest standing. While he was being dragged down the nearby road, Murray knew that his life was nearly over for he knew that trees only live a short time after being chopped down. He wondered about the promise God had given him when he had been given his name. Was his name really special? Could God still bring that special meaning into Murray's life? He was still thinking about this as he was dragged out the forest and out onto a road that led down the hillside. As the road came around the last rise in the hillside, the whole valley below came into view and right there in the middle of it was a huge boat. It was so large it made Murray gasp for it was the size of a large building.
The boat was much taller than any trees Murray had known and it was so long that Murray could barely see the other end. It seemed to be finished except for a big hole right in the middle of its side. Murray figured that must be the doorway. And you know, he was right, for within a few minutes the men set to work sawing Murray into boards and nailing them together into a huge door. When they were finished they attached the bottom of the door to the hole in the side of the boat. Before Murray even realized what was happening, he had been made into the ramp which people could use to go up into the boat. This made Murray kind of happy. At least I have become part of a boat he thought, even if it is on dry land. Maybe that’s what God meant when he named me.
Murray was still trying to figure this out, when he was startled by the trumpeting sound of two great elephants. He looked up and there coming towards him was a huge line of animals led by two elephants. Behind the elephants were groups of every other kind of animal Murray had even seen and they all were headed straight for him. Murray braced himself as the first elephant set his foot on the ramo and began to climb into the boat. Murray sagged a little under the elephant's weight but he was a very strong wood so he did not break. All the rest of the animals followed the elephants into the boat. Murray thought it odd that most of the animals came by themselves and even stood in a line two by two, one male the other female. He also found it odd that some animals came in small groups of seven. Well anyway he had plenty of time to think about it for it took many days to get all the animals in. By the time the last animals, the Zebras, had entered in, Murray figured there must be every kind of animal in the world in that boat. And you know what, He was right!
Now while the animals were coming, a lot of people had gathered around and were once again laughing and making fun of the boat. They were also making fun of the people who had built the boat. They were saying things like, "Nice boat Noah, but where's the water" and "Hey Shem, this will make a great zoo". Murray tried to yell, "Stop it", but of course nothing happened because as you know trees can't talk. So once again Murray started feeling sad for he remembered how other trees had made fun of him most of his life. He was just starting to give up hope of ever being a sailor, when a huge bolt of lightning crossed the sky .. KaaaBAMMMM!.
Within minutes the skies were full of clouds and intense rain began to fall. Then there was a huge earthquake and big holes opened in the ground from which huge geysers of water spewed out. The men who had built the boat yelled to their families and all of then ran up Murray into the boat. The people who had been making fun were all screaming and running every which way. Many were trying to climb up on rocks so they would not drown for the water had already risen four feet. Murray started to worry that water would soon enter the boat because in their haste that Noah guy had apparently forgotten to shut the door. But just as the water reached the doorway Murray started to move.
It was as though some giant invisible hand just reached down and swung Murray up into the doorway. Murray tried to see who was doing it but he could not see anything. He started to be afraid, but as he did a quiet voice deep inside him said, Murray, today you have lived up to the meaning of your name. Today you have become a sailor." It was the same voice that had named him years ago. It was the voice of God.
Unlike most cut down trees, Murray continued to live throughout the next year as the huge boat full of animals floated over a watery world. A world on which all life that was not in the boat died. It was a course a miracle that Murray continued to live but then there were many miracles that happened on that boat that year. For thousands of animals all lived there together in peace and harmonyt. As they sailed over the tops of the mountains, Murray knew his name had special meaning.
Once day nearly 6 months later, Murray saw a mountain top sticking out of the water like a tiny island. As the boat came near, it ran aground and stuck there. Over the next 2 months the little island grew larger and larger as the water on the earth went down. The man who built the boat kept sending birds out to look for more dry land. One day the birds did not return and a week later Murray was unlocked and swung down once again to become a ramp and the animals began to depart. A few days later as the last of the animals departed, Murray died. His last memory on earth was of seeing a line of animals stretching out as far as he could see. All walking cautiously and quietly into a new world while above them the sky was filled with beautiful bands of color.
* by David C Klem - Copyright 1998 *
Kids, One of the most important things you need to learn on your journey is to trust God. When God says things will happen, they will. No matter what others might say or how long it might take. Noah was told he would need a giant boat yet he lived in a land where there were no lakes or oceans. It may have taken as many as 100 years for Noah to build the Ark and all the time he was being laughed at. But he believed God and trusted what God said was going to happen. Trusting God is called faith and having faith in what God says is very important to Him.
Today the Bible contains what God has said about a lot of things yet a lot of people don't believe what is says happened because lots of things written there seem impossible. But we should trust what God's said for two reasons. One because He knows a lot more than people do and two because he is powerful enough to make what he wants to happen , happen.
Memory Verse: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he direct your path. Prov 3:5-6