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Noah's Ark Jesse Tree symbol

A Fresh Start

December 4

Read: A selection from Genesis 6:11–9:13

The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.

Read the full passage.


When God created Adam, he squatted down on the ground, took a bunch of dirt and mud, packed it together, and made it into the shape of a man. Then God leaned over it and breathed God’s own breath into Adam’s nose, and Adam came to life. He lived because he had the breath of life in him.

Now, in this story, God takes the breath of life away.

Everyone in the whole world was doing terrible things, and it broke God’s heart. When God breathed life into Adam, he expected Adam and all the people after him to love each other and care for each other and to respect and love God. But it didn’t take long for people to start hating each other and hurting each other and not loving God, either.

It got to be so bad that God decided just to end it. So he flooded everything so that every animal and every person died, except Noah, his family, and some animals.

The very same breath that he breathed into Adam, God took away from everyone. God wanted to start fresh. And he did—God has given us a new kind of breath, Holy Spirit breath.

In a way, God has breathed into us just like he breathed into Adam. We live because we have the Holy Spirit, the breath of life, in us.


How does it feel to take a deep breath of fresh air? What does Holy Spirit breath feel like inside you?


God, you give the breath of life and you take it away. Would you fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can live in a way that shows our love for you and our love for other people? Amen.

This devotion is part of

The Jesse Tree Story:
A Family Advent Devotional

Each devotion in this family Advent devotional invites you into the story of someone on Jesus’s family tree. These devotions will show young children how God was preparing for Jesus to be born across many generations. Each story pairs with a symbol you can hang on your own Jesse Tree.

Get the devotional
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