Reader Thoughts and Questions
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This chapter details the abating of the flood waters, the ark coming to rest, Noah leaving the ark, and his worship of God. It is likely that major geological changes have taken place and are taking place leading to deeper oceans and higher mountains.
It also details God’s promise never again to destroy the world in the fashion as had been witnessed by Noah, and the reassurance of seasonal weather to provide for man.
I am sure there were some long nights and difficult days on the ark, and yet through them all Noah was preserved. In total, they spent 371 days on the ark.
v. 1 - the language of God’s remembrance is not to suggest that God ever forgets, but is a way of expressing the timely evidences that God gives men which prove that He has not forgotten about them. Such tokens are over and above what any of us deserve. Also, just as God preserved that which was with Noah, it points to union with Christ as the grounds of preservation and salvation.
v. 4 - the ark rests on the mountains of Ararat. Claims have been made by people that they have found the ark in the region where today there is a mountain called Ararat. Personally, I believe the devastation of the flood would have required Noah to make use of the ark for materials. Dismantling it for building, burning, tool making, etc. I still believe that is the most plausible
v. 5 - the slow subsiding of the waters functions as a reminder that, though we are tempted to desire God to act instantaneously, He usually works gradually, which works patience in us.
vv. 7–12 - the depictions of the raven and dove describe to us the different natures of these birds. The raven never returned, no doubt finding carcasses to feed on to keep it alive. The dove, however, found no home but the ark, until it could finally set foot upon the new world. This typifies two kinds of people; those at home in the world that walk according to the flesh, and those that live as pilgrims until they set foot in a new world. Until then, they keep returning to their ark, even Christ.
v. 20 - Noah steps forth from the ark and his first act is one of worship. This is the first explicit mention of an altar.
v. 21 - according to Eph. 5:2, Christ is the offering that arises was a sweet savor before God. Note therefore, that it was not judgment upon the world that satisfied God, but judgment upon the sacrifice. This indicates why hell has no end, and why Christ is the only sacrifice that truly appeases the wrath of God and brings peace and blessing.
Children, just as Noah’s sons followed him into the ark, you need to learn to follow your parents into the ark if you are to be spared the consequences of God’s judgment. The ark I speak of is Jesus Christ. You need to follow your parents and personally repent of your sins and trust Christ to save you. The end of the chapter says that “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” A flood cannot wash that away, but the blood of Jesus can.
v. 16 provides a lesson on waiting on the Lord before proceeding in life. In seasons when you need guidance, pray over Psalm 25.
The gradual receding of the waters was a test of patience for Noah. But they illustrate to every Christian that our victory over sin is like the receding of the waters. We do not get instantaneous success. It is a gradual work until we step foot in the new world.
I have met too many people that desire to hold back their material earnings until they gauge they can afford to give to God. The reality is, you can’t afford not to give to God. “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:” (Prov. 3:9). We cannot underestimate the importance of every single creature for the replenishing of the earth. Yet, Noah sacrifices some of them to God.
Another take away is that with every new beginning we should begin by worshipping the Lord (v. 20). The beginning of each day, the beginning of each week, the beginning of each year, the beginning of a new marriage, a new job, etc. Begin everything new in a spirit of worshipping God who only can make that which is new to prosper.
Remember, Noah means rest, and in his day God brought salvation through judgment. This is what we see in the cross of Christ. God hates sin, but Christ swallows up the judgment of His people bringing them into a new world of rest.
This entire experience was a huge test of faith. Can you imagine decades of preparation and a year spent on the water, only to step into a new world and no one is there but you, your family, and the biggest mess the world has ever seen? You think your life is unpredictable and you’re wondering if you can trust God? You can trust Him. He is bringing you through.