I have a deep love of this story in Genesis 6-9.
GOD instructed Noah and Noah was obedient – even at the expense of ridicule from others. He told Noah to build, and Noah did. Taking into account that this would have been done by hand, it really was a monumental task. GOD gave Noah the blueprints and was then silent … yet Noah started and continued to build, he didn’t give up but trusted GOD.
Then seven days before the flood, GOD spoke again. “Go into the ark.” GOD declares again that He has found Noah to be righteous in this generation, and we can all see that by the massive boat in the middle of nowhere. Noah went in with his family, the provisions and animals that would re-populate the Earth. Again, Noah is not hesitant in being obedient. He was 600 years old when he entered the ark.
It is at this point that we see action from GOD. Before the rain began, GOD shut Noah in. He purposefully sealed His chosen people inside the ark. He made them safe, He took care of them, He kept this remnant alive.
Now we have the rain … but also springs of the great deep burst forth. So much water fell and rose that all the land was covered.
This is not a children’s story. It is not a cartoon boat with a giraffe sticking his head out the roof, a pretty rainbow over the ark floating on calm waters … this is a horrendous story of mass destruction, a very dark time indeed. Everything was wiped from the earth.
It rained for forty days and then it stopped. Then there was this gap of 110 days of nothing – no rain, no land, no instruction from GOD. Noah was well practiced in trusting GOD. He had built the ark and trusted GOD to keep him safe during the turbulent time in the flood. But now he just waited for GOD’s next instruction. If it had been me, I wonder if I would have been so patient, I wonder if I would have complained by now, I wonder if I would be heading down the worry route because I couldn’t see land. Realistically, is this what we do? When the answer to our questions is not right there, right when we want them, it is difficult to trust. But Noah had learned how to trust GOD. He had years of experience, training himself in believing the word he had been given and he had at least one story of GOD’s faithfulness, he was safe at this moment in time.
I am so grateful for chapter 8 verse 1. But GOD remembered Noah.
GOD remembering is a gracious call for action. He would not leave mankind to themselves. He remembered Noah’s righteousness and His plan to give mankind another chance. GOD sends a mighty wind and the waters begin to recede.
GOD remembers me. He remembers that I am floating in a sea of judgement, that should rightly drown me, but He has placed me within the ark that is His Son. I could not build my own salvation so He sent Jesus to become become my salvation. I trust that Jesus took all the battering and storm of wrath that his Father had against sin … for me. When GOD looks out, He sees a lone feature, a single vessel that withstood the flood. He sees His perfect Son and I am kept safe inside.