Today: Genesis 8 – God Remembers Noah. After the challenge to build the Ark and being witnesses to the destruction of all life God now remembers Noah and makes preparation for his departure from the Ark. Do you think Noah was impatient? What about you? It may seem at times you are in the stuck place and nothing is changing but be mindful that God will always remember you and will never leave you behind.
In v. 1, we see that God remembers Noah and causes a wind to blow over the earth causing the waters to begin to recede. Depending on how you reckon it, after Cain and Abel, Noah is spoken of as the 8th from Adam. 8 is the number of new beginnings. Did you know that Noah was alive at the same time as Abraham? It is interesting to note that according to the chronology Noah was contemporary with Abram before he left Ur of the Chaldees. What about the story of the flood? There are many flood myths in different cultures and scholars claim the Noah story originated in the Babylonian legend of Gilgamesh which bears a striking resemblance to the Noah story and is in the same general geography where the Noah story took place.
[Gen 8:1-14 KJV] 1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the Ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. 4 And the Ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth [month], on the first [day] of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. 6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the Ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the Ark, for the waters [were] on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the Ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the Ark; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth [was] an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. 13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the Ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
God is faithful to remember Noah, and He will be faithful to remember you. Regardless of what you are going through, God is not a forgetful God:
[Heb 6:10 KJV] 10 For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Sometimes we feel like God forgets us, but He is ever mindful. Remember He was in the Ark with Noah. He never subjects us to anything He does not participate with us in. The enemy wants us to feel isolated and left to ourselves, but that is not the case. The temptation is to think that no one – even God understands what we are going through but remember the words of the writer of Hebrews:
[Hbr 4:15 KJV] 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh, vulnerable to weakness and even temptation. This was necessary for the work of redemption that He came to do. When you are up against the wall and wondering where God is in the situation you are facing remember that Jesus is not only able to save but that there is ongoing intercession being made for you direct from the throne.
[Hbr 7:25 KJV] 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
The story of Noah is filled with numbers that are significant to our understanding of how these events apply to us. In v. 2-4, we read from the time the rain began (which went for 40 days) to the time the waters began to subside was 150 days. 100 is a number of fullness and 50 is a number connected with Jubilee and liberation. The Ark after all this time finally comes to rest on the seventh month on the seventeenth day of the month. God is called the Great Mathematician. The number 17 is important to note as well – they boarded the Ark on the 17th day of the 2nd month, and the Ark rested on Mt. Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month. 7 is a number of spiritual perfection, and 10 is a number connected with testing. Seventeen is the 7th prime number. The next prime is nineteen, with which it forms a twin prime. 17 is the sum of the first four primes. Many who have done the math say that Jesus was raised from the dead on the 17th day of the month so this connects the number 17 with resurrection. It is a number denoting (7) spiritual perfection and (10) ordinal perfection thus connected with divine order and government. When Jesus told Peter to cast his net on the other side the 153 fish that were taken are a multiple of 17 as well.
In v. 5-12, we find out why God put a window in the Ark. Noah sent out a raven, and it didn’t return to him. A raven is a carrion eater. The Jewish Encyclopedia quotes the book of Jubilees saying that while the raven is an unclean bird, God spared it for the specific purpose of feeding Elijah. When you are in need of provision, don’t gainsay how the Father intends to feed and supply you. Don’t overlook what God is purposing to do merely because His process may offend your religious sensibility. What does Noah do next? He sends forth a dove. When Noah sent forth the dove, it came back. He sends it out again. Then it came back with an olive branch. Finally, he knew the end of the trial was near when it didn’t come back at all. What was Noah seeking? God’s timing. A dove is a symbol of peace and a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The peace of God is connected here with the issue of timing and guidance. When you are seeking God for answers or for a specific plan, remember the words of Paul:
[Col 3:15 KJV] 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
What does this mean, and how do we apply it? Learn to send your peace out in the Spirit and see how it returns to you. If you are seeking to move into a situation and you send forth God’s peace is there a return of peace or no peace? Always keep in mind the words of Isaiah:
[Isa 55:12 KJV] 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace…
Joy establishes the direction and peace determines the timing. We need to pay attention to the signals God gives us in our hearts. Listen to the first witness. Listen for the still small voice. Noah (meaning rest and stillness) followed the witness of the dove (meaning peace).
In v. 13 Noah takes the covering off the Ark, but he doesn’t leave the Ark yet. Commentators have pointed out that Noah didn’t go into the Ark until God told him to and didn’t come out of the Ark until God told him to. It wasn’t complicated for Noah. His hesitancy is because he only did according to all that God told him to do. He remained obedient even when the dove didn’t return anymore. The dove represents peace. Even when Noah lost his peace (signified by the departure of the dove), he yet waited for instructions. Many people lose their peace and move prematurely.
15 And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16 Go forth of the Ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. 17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that [is] with thee, of all flesh, [both] of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, [and] whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the Ark. 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
In v. 14, we read that the earth dried up on the 27th day of the second month. The number 27 is 20 + 7. It speaks of double witness and spiritual perfection, including the fact that it is the second month. The bible mentions six times (a double witness in itself) that we should never act without confirmation. This is not only an Old Testament principle but a New Testament instruction as well:
[2Cr 13:1 KJV] 1 This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
God never expects you to move out in speculation. Ask for and wait for second and if necessary the third witness. Pay attention to your dreams, to outward portents, to anything that makes you do a double-take. God speaks in diverse and different ways to ratify and confirm the leading of the Holy Spirit in your heart. Don’t run ahead and don’t stay behind after the witness has been attained. Always move out in God’s timing.
In v. 15-19, the Father finally sends Noah out of the Ark. Notice that God initially brought the animals to Noah, and when the time came, God caused the animals to go into the Ark. Now it is Noah’s responsibility to move the animals out. God promised Noah salvation, but it was Noah’s job to build the Ark. God gave Noah favor and brought all the animals to him, but Noah had to gather all the food for them. God brought Noah into the Ark and then afterward caused the animals to go into Noah and his family. But it was Noah’s job now to offload the animals. There is always our part to play. The Holy Spirit is called Comforter by Jesus. The Greek word is “Paraclete,” which means “one brought alongside together against.” God told the Israelites he would bless everything they put their hand to. Jesus said the kingdom doesn’t come with observation – you have to do something. Finally, James said faith without works is dead. Breakthrough doesn’t happen all by itself. That is idolatry and superstition. We must act, and God comes alongside and takes our pathetic attempts at obedience and turns them supernaturally into exploits of faith.
In v. 20-22, we observe that Noah was an altar builder. There are two things that have come out of popular Christian culture: the altar bench and the prayer bench. We have kept the pew and pulpit which are observational in nature, but we have taken out the altar and prayer benches which are participatory in nature. We are moving then in the wrong direction. When Noah built the altar, God responded. If you long for a response from heaven build and altar and He will meet you there. Why? Because there was blood on the altar. I went to see Passion of the Christ when it came out. I was stunned to see all the Christians crunching on popcorn, drinking their 64-ounce soft drinks while the film depicted the crucifixion of their Savior. It felt like I was at the gladiatorial games watching a blood sport with the pagans. When we took the altar out of our churches, we lost connection with the witness of the Blood of Christ in our behalf. We have lost our connection with the blood of Christ, and our prayer life has become anemic as a result. God receives our prayer over a blood-spattered altar. When Jesus rose again, he took his own blood and sprinkled it on the altar where for 2000 years the saints have offered prayers. Noah built this altar, and human history was forever changed as a result.
The worship of Noah at this altar provoked God to change his policies toward mankind. He was willing to destroy all humanity if necessary before this point. After he received Noah’s offering, he vowed within himself never to do this again. Remember that it was God himself that told Noah to keep seven pairs of clean animals while only two of the unclean. So God himself prepared Noah to be able to make the sacrifices by which God himself was entreated. It was like buying your own birthday cake and candles so your family will remember to make it for your birthday. Notice the pity and tender heart God has toward Noah. If God hadn’t put it in his mind ahead of time, Noah might have come out of the Ark and got right to winemaking as he later did. We need to keep stock of our lives when God puts a surplus in our hands; it doesn’t mean it is for spending on ourselves. God puts a surplus in our hands that we might offer it back to him and receive the benefit of his response.
Seedtime and harvest are a powerful principle in the earth. When you release a seed, God responds with a harvest. When a harvest is gathered, you can’t just grind all the grain for bread. You have to decide how much of the harvest is grain for grinding into bread and how much is seed to sow again for the next harvest. This goes far beyond the concept of mere tithing. Tithing was established for a gainsaying people who had to be TOLD what to do rather than learning God’s ways and walking in them as entitled sons and daughters. You should always ask the Father how much of your goods and your gold is seed for sowing and how much is bread for eating. Many times people consume everything on their own needs and then stand empty-handed in a furrowed field crying out to God for financial problems. If you are in poverty, you can walk yourself out of poverty using nothing more than what is at your disposal. Prosperity does not consist of what you do not have it consists of what you do have and what you are willing to do with it.
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