Genesis 8:1-22 – The Ark
Genesis 8:1-22 – The Ark
Imagine the feelings and emotions of Noah and his family, being caught in the heaviest torrential rain to ever strike the earth, a rain so heavy falling for forty days and forty nights upon the earth. Imagine being caught in the middle of quake after quake—quakes so violent that all the subterranean waters broke loose and shot up from the caverns, rivers, lakes, and springs that lie underneath the crust of the earth for forty days.
There must have also been times when they wondered, “How much longer will the flood last? How much longer will we be cooped up? How much longer before God will deliver us and let us step on the earth again? And, what will it be like: no one left—no man, no woman, no child, no animal—just us, our family, the eight of us?” Imagine the thoughts that crossed their minds and the conversation between them as they sat around together after a long and hard day’s work. Imagine the questions, anxiety, fear. Just four men and four women left on earth. Can you imagine their feelings, emotions, and conversations?
Genesis 8:1-4 That God remembered does not denote that God forgot, but is an Hebraic term meaning that God once again began to work on their behalf, and began preparing the world for them. He caused the wind to pass over the earth (this word in the Hebrew is the same word used for Spirit, ruach) and plugged up the fountains of the deep. It was God’s wind or Spirit that was at work in creating the world. (Psalm 104:6-9). God delivers His people through the trials of this life. Sometimes the journey may be long and hard, even as Noah’s was. But God still delivers us if we just trust Him as Noah did. This is the reason Scripture tells us to rejoice through the trials of life: God delivers and saves us.
Genesis 8:5-12 – Noah and the others waited 7 months for the waters to recede enough for them to leave the Ark. After 2 ½ months they were able to see the tops of nearby mountains. 40 days later Noah released a raven, which was a meat eating, unclean bird. It probably rested and dined on unclean carcasses and never returned to the Ark. He also released a dove and it returned. A week later he sent the dove out again, and it returned with an olive leaf, which was an indication that these trees were beginning to grow.
Genesis 8:13-14 – The flood started on the 17th day of the second month and this was the 27th day of the second month, which made for a total of 371 days, a period of 53 weeks. What an example for us of faith in God and of patience. No matter what confronts us, the apprehension, uneasiness, and fear could never match what Noah suffered. Yet, through it all he trusted and patiently waited on God. He did not rush the will of God. It was God’s will for him to leave the ark, but when? He believed that God would clearly show him when to leave the ark. Here are some of the changes that occurred to the world after the flood: The oceans were more extensive and the land less.
The thermal blanket that protected the earth was now punctured and this brought increased ultra violet rays, temperature differentials and both the northern and southern latitudes became permanently cold. Rugged mountains and steep valleys made even more land uninhabitable. Winds and storms, rain and snow was now made possible. The under-pinions of the earth were now unstable making earthquakes much more likely. Huge masses of fossil life became buried and are now our fuels. Still greater crushing caused coal and diamonds to be made possible.
Genesis 8:15-17 – God spoke to Noah. God had not given any new instructions to Noah since the day He had told Noah to enter the ark (Genesis 7:1f). That had been over a year before. God promised to save Noah through the awful judgment that was to come upon the earth and God was faithful. God’s faithfulness would be proven in the new instructions He was about to give. He was to now go forth from the ark. Their must have been apprehension and fear about what lay outside.
But at God’s command they went out. God did not forsake Noah and his family. We should never despair; never allow a trial or temptation to overcome us. God will always deliver us if we will only trust and patiently wait on God. God is faithful; God is going to complete our redemption. God command the animals to come forth from the ark to begin the process of reproduction and re-population. This means that all the animals that exist today come from the animals that were present on the ark. Similarly all the nations and people of the world are directly related to Noah and his children.
Genesis 8:18-19 Noah obeyed God even though the earth was no longer the same as it was before the flood. The earth Noah stepped out upon was mostly barren land, with uprooted trees and vegetation were lying everywhere. There likely were some remnants of the people and animals that drowned in the flood. When Noah stepped out of the ark onto the earth, he was bound to be gripped with a renewed reverence and respect for God, and a renewed fear and awe of God.
Genesis 8:20 – Noah’s first act was to set up a place for worship. His first concern was not for himself nor for his family, but for God. This is the first time the word altar is mentioned in the Bible. But this was not the first time an offering was made. The first sacrifice of an animal was made by God Himself to clothe Adam and Eve. The second sacrifice and offering was offered by Cain and Abel. Noah worshiped God and offered a sacrifice. Noah loved God, for God had saved him. He sacrificed one of every clean animal in the ark, one of every kind or species of animal. He sacrificed dozens of animals. God has similarly saved us, and our salvation is the first thing for which we should thank God. We must also seek and worship God first and always.
Genesis 8:21-22 God saw Noah’s reverence and awe his re-commitment and re-dedication of his life and was with his faith and sincerity of heart. Note how Scripture describes God’s response: the Lord smelled the pleasing, soothing aroma of Noah’s great sacrifice. God was pleased, His holiness and wrath against sinful man was soothed, propitiated, and satisfied with the sacrificial offering made by Noah. It was not the sacrifice of the animal that pleased and soothed God. What pleased God was what the sacrifice symbolized or pointed to: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross. God promised to never again curse the earth with a flood despite man’s depravity and sinfulness (Genesis 8:21).
1. Has your family or someone in your family ever been in a situation where they had to rely completely on the Lord? What did you learn through it?
2. Have you ever thought that God has forgotten about you? What does that feel like and how are you coping or how have did you cope with that?
3. How has God taught you patience? Has it been through trials like Noah and his family or are you still learning about it.
4. Have you come to trust in the Promises of God? Have you seen Him keep His Word to you as He has with Noah?