However the Rabbeinu Bachye is not finished: “And perhaps it is appropriate to ask here that since this matter was a miracle why did [Noach] have to build an ark with this exact material and measurements with three floors? Hashem could have saved them without an ark. They could have walked on water or flown through the air because Hashem can do anything and nothing could stop Him!” (Parenthetically we do see such a precedent, many generations later, when Hashem sent the plagues on Egypt; for example, a Jew could be drinking water out of a cup and an Egyptian drinking out of the same cup of water would swallow blood. Or during the plague of darkness a Jew could be walking in light, while the same location was in darkness for an Egyptian.)
The Rabbeinu Bachye has two answers to this question. The first answer is: “the way of the Torah is to command man to do all he can possibly do within natural means and whatever is missing, Hashem will miraculously fill in the gaps.”
The second answer, which calls for more scrutiny, is: “Our Rabbis of blessed memory have taught us that through the making of the ark, which [Noach] was consistently working on day in and day out with its length and breadth people will see what he is doing and talk about it over and over again and it will arouse them to repent from there evil ways. If they don’t repent then they are definitely wicked and of little faith deserving of Hashem’s exact strict judgement upon them.” (Click here for Hebrew text.)
However, we see from here a very important lesson in communication, and a very ingenious psychological tactic, which is that when people start talking to each other, different perspectives and outlooks start to pop up. It makes no difference if they begin making fun of the situation; as long as they continue talking about it, they will start questioning in their mind whether their preconceive notions are really true and whether they might possibly come to a different conclusion. Of course, everyone has free choice and could choose to ignore the truth. However the potential is there to now arrive at the truth, since due to the fact that everyone is talking about the subject at hand, new ideas are able to be thought of and presented, and, slowly but surely, the truth has the ability come out.
That is why it was worth it to spend all that time and energy building an ark, and why the generation of Noach was held accountable for being of such little faith. They had the potential to arrive at the truth but they chose instead to remain steadfast in their ways and to ignore all the warning signals buzzing in their ears and in front of their faces.
Taking advice from others, bouncing an idea off someone else, or just talking things out can make a great amount of difference in one’s perspective, ultimately impacting the whole entire world.