I think the answer lies in Genesis 5:24 and Genesis 6:9. If you know anything of this passage, you know that Enoch was the father of Methuselah. We all know that Methuselah was the oldest reported man to walk the face of the earth. The Bible says that he died when he was 969 years old. Methuselah went on to have a son named Lamech, who went on to have a son named Noah. I would like to pay special attention to a relationship that is not brought very often to the light. This is the relationship that Enoch had with God, and the relationship that Noah had with God.
If you recall in Genesis 5:24 it says, "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." Every other passage before and after this talks about the men dying, but not Enoch. He had a special relationship with God. He WALKED with God. WOW... Enough said. He and Elijah were the only two men that are reported to never die. God took them both home and spaired them the agony of death.
If we read further in Genesis 6:9 it says, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." I find it sobering that Noah followed in the footsteps of his Great-Grandfather Enoch as a man who "Walked with God." Previously in verse 6 of chapter 6, God states how grieved He is that He even made man. He goes on to state that He is going to wipe them off the face of the earth. Not just man, but the animals that move on the face of the earth, and the birds of the air.
Who do you think God is telling this to? He is relaying his disappointment to Noah. Not for anything that Noah or his family has done, but rather all mankind around him. It says in Genesis that man's actions and thoughts were only evil, and therefore God was going to judge and cleanse the earth.
I love how verse 9 says that Noah was a Righteous and Blameless man. He did not succumb to the things of the world or the lustful desires of the flesh. Rather, he WALKED with God. He obviously had God's ear, as Noah was able to find favor in the eyes of the Lord, who in turn spared his family.
How many times have we heard the story about Noah and pictured him pleading and preaching to those around him? We tend to think that there is a crowd of people around the ark throwing rotten cabbage at Noah and his three sons. There is no mention of interaction with others in the Bible, or the option for those to even turn from their wicked ways. God had his mind made up to destroy the earth and all in it by water. Noah and his family were saved from the cleansing power of the Almighty God.
The Bible does not give an exact account of how many years it took to build the ark. We know that when Noah is first mentioned in chapter 5, he is 500 years old. We also know that when the flood came, Noah was 600 years old. Many people have no idea of what transpired, but rather are told elementary stories that are twisted and slanted. Did you know that it wasn't just two of every kind of animal that entered the ark? There were two of every kind of unclean animal, but there were seven pairs of every clean animal. They needed to have some clean animals to sacrifice.
Here is a timeline that Genesis 6 & 7 lays out on the events of the Flood:
February 17th: The Floodgates of Heaven and the Springs of the Deep are opened up for 40 Days.
The Earth is flooded for 150 days.
July 17th: The Ark rested on Mr. Ararat.
October 1st: The tops of Mountains become visible.
November 9th: A raven is sent out. It comes back empty.
A dove is sent out. It also comes back empty.
November 16th: A dove is sent out a second time. It comes back with an olive branch.
November 23rd: A dove is sent out a third time. It doesn't return.
January 1st: Noah removed the covering from the ark, and saw that the ground was dry.
February 27th: Noah and his family exited the ark, as the earth was completely dry.