Genesis 8

Genesis 8 Devotional
Pastor Mark Hudson

In Gen 8 when Moses says that God remembered Noah, there is special significance to that word ‘remembered.’  In fact this portion of Scripture points us to another passage in Exodus 2.  In vs. 24, God also remembers.  His remembering means acting on behalf of His people.  In Ex 14:21, God sends a strong east wind  like 8:1. In Ex 14:21-22, the people fleeing Egypt walked on dry ground like Noah’s family walked on dry ground in 8:13-14.  The way that God deals with His people in the past is a paradigm for the people in the Exodus and we can expect help from God now.

Noah is an example of patience.  He is waiting as the ark sits on a mountain surrounded by mud and has to send a raven then a dove a few times, until the dove does not return.  Noah and his family are in the ark for a year, yet the author spends no time describing that year in a stinky ark.  We might wonder how all those animals could stay on the ark and how Noah could have gathered enough food as well as all the issues related to the ark.  The author is not concerned about telling that part of the story.

Use that as a reminder when you are reading the Bible.  Follow the author.  The author does not talk about aspects of a story that almost demand more information.  But follow the author’s story which is the only version of the story that counts.  He is leading to the truths God wants you to know.  This is important for us because we naturally have so many questions.  But like a detective, keep following the clues you have not the clues you wish you had.

What the author stresses is the patience of Noah.  Gen. 7:24 details the long days of rain.  After the rain stops, Noah still has to wait, sending out a raven and a dove multiple times (8:8-12).  This patience is a model for all believers (Is 8:18-18, 40:31, James 5:7-11).  Patience is highly valued by God.  Patience and trust in God are often tied together.  We can wait when we trust.

Noah is also viewed as a godly remnant  in Gen. 7:23 (Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark).  This idea of a godly remnant will take on greater significance during the exiles later in the Bible.  For now, all of mankind save Noah and his family are gone.  This was a massive expression of God’s wrath.   Yet, God saves Noah’s family out of His sheer grace.

The flood is an example of catastrophic and eschatological (end-times) judgment.  In Isaiah 8:7-8, we see this imagery, “Behold, the Lord bringing against them to waters of the River, mighty and many, the kings of Assyria and all his glory.  And will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on . . . .”   Also, Noah’s deliverance is portrayed as God rescuing the godly, “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood cam and swept them all away, so will the coming of the Son of Man.”

God is busy in the first few verses of chapter 8.  He is working. He made a wind blow. “The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually” 8:1-3.  God is active in their  salvation from the flood.  He is the One who prepared Noah for the flood by instructing him to build an ark and God is the One who told Noah when to leave.

When God finally permits Noah to leave, Noah only goes when God says to leave the ark.  Then if you notice the way the author describes the animals and birds departing the ark, the phrases resemble the creation account.  This is almost a second creation.

Noah, upon walking on the ground for the first time, offers God a “pleasing aroma” (v. 21).  This account is similar to Moses’ altar in Ex 24.  Both follow a major act of salvation: Moses for the deliverance from Egypt and Noah from the flood.  Both mark the establishment of a covenant (Gen 9:9; Ex 24:7), the outcome of both covenants result in blessing (Gen 9:1; Ex 23.25).  The protection is from beasts of the field or wild animals (Gen. 9:2; Ex. 23:29) and human enemies (Gen 9:5-6; Ex. 23:22).  The earth will be spared from destruction (Gen. 9:11; Ex 23:29). The visible sign of the establishment of the covenant is the rainbow (Gen 9:13-17; Ex 24:15 where the glory of God is seen).  And in both of these covenants the people are to be obedient (Gen 9:4; Ex. 24:3) (Sailhammer Expositor’s Bible Commentary. p. 93).

So, the covenant at Sinai is not new.  God wants to save His people, to protect them and to provide for them.  He loves His people and longs to give, comfort, protect, and guide them.  Oh, if we were more eager to receive from Him by walking with God.

Our loving heavenly Father, every story You tell in the Bible tells us more about You than we could ever comprehend.  We could study the Bible every day in the original languages and still not understand everything.  As we read and study draw us to Christ and personal holiness.  Help us to live for the glory of God and to sincerely love others.  You are so very good to us and yet we still complain and do not serve You as we should.  Thank You, that we are saved, being saved, we will someday be saved to the uttermost.  We will finally be in Your presence and done with sin.  In Your Perfect Son’s name.  Amen.