Check out this powerful opening in Genesis 8:1: “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark.” Wow…….soooooo powerful!!!! Not just Noah, but the animals! It reminds me of Jesus’ words that the Heavenly Father’s eyes are on each sparrow, so you know that He cares for you. And while the Lord remembered Noah, we see Noah waiting patiently and obediently in the ark until God tells him to go out. Then Noah offered a sacrifice to the Lord. So the two themes of Genesis 8 are that God remembers Noah and Noah remembers God. This statement is heavy and important so let me break it down for you. When the text says, “God remembered Noah,” it does not imply that somehow He got busy with other things and Noah slipped from His mind for a while. Rather, in the Bible the word is used often of God in the sense of God taking action on His promises. When God was about to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:29, He “remembered Abraham” and spared Lot on his behalf. When Rachel wanted to bear children, but could not, we read in Genesis 30:22 that “God remembered Rachel” and she conceived. When Israel was in bondage in Egypt, we read in Exodus 2:24 that “God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” In every case, notice the idea is the same: God remembers in the sense of taking action on His promises!
Often when God is silent in our lives, it’s because He wants to bring us into a situation where He makes ALL THINGS NEW. Sometimes He has to destroy the old before He can remake the new. But we can count on His faithfulness during the silence, knowing that He has saved us in the past, He has promised to preserve us in the future, and He is providing for us in the present. Hallelujah! Praise God! The hardest lesson for me to learn was; God shapes us by making us learn to wait on Him. After a year in a crowded, dark, smelly ark, Noah must have had a bad case of cabin fever ha ha. But we find him patiently and obediently waiting for the Lord to give the word. Notice, God didn’t dry up the water instantly, but used the wind and other natural processes. It took time. My friend, that’s usually how God works!
Follow the pattern between God and Noah. Finally Noah sent out a raven. Ravens will alight on anything, no matter how foul. Perhaps it landed on carcasses floating on the water, and fed off them, but it never returned to the ark. Next Noah released the dove. Doves want a clean, dry place to land. Not finding such a place, the dove returned. Noah kept waiting. Seven days later, he tried again. This time the dove returned with an olive leaf. Noah waited seven more days. This time the dove did not return. Still Noah waited. In the 601st year of his life, on the first day of the first month, the water was dried up (8:13). Still Noah waited. Finally, on the 27th day of the second month, God told Noah to disembark (8:14-16). Only then did Noah leave the ark. God had shut Noah in; God must bring Noah out by His command. Noah kept waiting on God even when God was apparently silent. Obedience during the silent times is the best guarantee that you’ll obey God in those critical moments which determine the course of your life. If God has shut you in to some difficulty, PLEASE wait patiently and obediently upon Him to bring you out in His way and time.
I am literally shedding tears as I close this letter because of what I see in this story. Noah got off the ark and offered a sacrifice to the Lord. You see,Noah’s sacrifice showed that he still must approach God through shed blood. Noah wasn’t presuming on some new privileged relationship with God since he had survived the flood. He still knew himself to be a sinner, and he offered sacrifices as the only way he could approach a Holy God. Noah’s sacrifice also was an expression of gratitude for God’s salvation. Noah knew his own heart. There was no reason God should have spared him, but He did. And so Noah expressed his thankfulness with this sacrifice. WE must also guard against thankless hearts by regularly setting aside time in our busy schedules to remember the Lord and the great salvation He has granted us. Since God in faithfulness has remembered us, we by faith must remember Him!
Let’s pray: “Heavenly Father, I ask for courage and strength to stand in difficult times. Empower me with Your Holy Spirit that I might resist any temptations in the ordinary circumstances of my daily life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
One Simple Nugget: “Patience is passion tamed!”