Thursday, February 10, 2011

Genesis 8:1-15

Good morning, all!

The first verse of chapter 8 is wonderful! But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark... These verses that start with conjunctions are interesting. I had a friend who once studied all of the "buts" of the Bible, because they always indicate some kind of contrast. This "but" refers us back to the complete destruction and the fact that the flood lasted so long. So, while Noah and his family and the animals were floating along in the darkness of the ark, not knowing what was happening outside of the ark (they had no Internet or Fox News Alerts), God had never forgotten them. He had been thinking of them constantly (Psalm 139: 17-18). Jon Courson writes in his commentary here that in times of darkness, when we feel like God is silent, we need to trust in the fact that He sees and remembers us - and WE need to remember that, even if He seems silent now, "He spoke loudly and clearly for all eternity when He laid down His life for me."

What really struck me this morning as I read this section was the fact that Noah so completely waited on God! Look at the slow process of waiting while the earth was drying out. Verses 3-5 say:

The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

Just reading these verses makes me antsy. Verse 6 says he waited another 40 days and sent forth first a raven, then the first dove. No luck. He waited seven more days, then sent out the dove that had the olive branch, our symbol of peace ever since. I'm imagining by this time they all were soooooo wanting off that boat! But look at verses 12-14:

He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

So, Noah and his family ran skipping an jumping out of the ark, right? No! Oh my goodness! He WAITED! It's not until verses 15 & 16 that we finally read, Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives."

AMAZING!!! We always hear about the patience of Job, but I'm flabbergasted by the patience of Noah here. What an example to us of complete obedience and trust! He did not take a step out of that ark until the LORD called Him out! How often do we mess things up by running ahead of God??? God's timing is certainly not ours, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. God is God and we are not! He could have sent any number of judgments to destroy the earth within seconds, yet He took what seems to be a very long time to accomplish this one. God had a reason for keeping Noah and His family in that ark for so long. God was doing something in them. He needed to make sure that they learned to trust in Him alone, because He was starting over with mankind. Noah and his family would be the ones to lead. Oh, that we would trust Him in our dark times; that we would wait patiently for His call; that we would allow Him to do the work He wants to do in us for His purposes in HIS time.

I will never again look at a picture of Noah and the ark, with the two giraffes sticking their heads out of the window, in the same way again! :)

Love you all!

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