Summary: Did God need a mulligan? No but he is generous in giving them.
Today we’re looking at what us golfers and those on Planet Shamrock might call God’s mulligan or do over. Of course he doesn’t need a mulligan, but when we look at how He created, then destroyed, then created again, it sure does look like even he thought He made a mistake. And where was he during the voyage on the Ark, and when they finally came to rest and the waters receded, and they sat on the Ark waiting? Surely these things must have been going through the minds of Noah’s family at the time.
But we have the luxury of seeing the whole story because of the Bible, and we know that God can’t make mistakes, and he is always there. This whole story is just one of the many throughout Scripture that emphasizes how merciful God really is and how He gives humanity so many chances to get it right, to keep starting over. All he has ever asked for is our allegiance.
It’s also about the war between Him and Satan. A war that God had already won from the beginning of time, but it shows the tactics Satan has used throughout history in an attempt to destroy people and prevent God’s ultimate plan of salvation. Satan may know his final destiny, but he’s not going down easy or alone.
So there they are sitting on the Ark going nowhere and:
I. God Remembers
Did God forget about Noah and his family? I know that’s how it sounds, but this word really means to consider, or even act upon. Kind of like when we say we remember a person’s birthday by throwing them a party. We already knew when the birthday was, we didn’t forget, but we are doing something to remember it by. So it really means God moved in the life of Noah and his family by picking up the wind so things would dry out faster.
This wind is the same word used for Spirit, and some want to infer that the same Spirit of God that hovered over the earth in Genesis 1 at creation is being referred to here. That’s not an impossible interpretation, but given the context, it’s more likely that it just mean wind here.
So this, “But God remembered” is a very important statement that we will hear again. It usually reflects a turning point in the history of God’s people, and a remembering of the covenant he has made with mankind. He’s about to take action for the welfare of His people.
God is always considering us and His covenant with us, and using this knowledge, he is constantly determining what is best for us. He never acts out of impulse, but when he goes into action, it’s always with His overall plan in mind.
How many times in your life, could you say that God remembered you? Have there been times in your life where you sure thought God had abandoned you, only to find that at the very right time, when you needed Him most, he seemed to remember you? Well:
II. Noah Waits for this remembrance
Notice that there was three months from the time the Ark came to rest on the mountains until the tops of the mountains were seen. Then after 40 more days Noah releases the raven, who eats dead carrion, so he has lots to eat out there and doesn’t come back. Then another two weeks as he keeps sending out the dove until it doesn’t come back, meaning there is now vegetation fully exposed.
Noah trusts that God will speak to him again. Finally on the 27th day of the second month God gave the orders to leave the Ark. Remember they got on a year earlier on the seventeenth day of the second month, for a grand total of 370 days. They didn’t have any 31 or 28 day months back then.
Noah not only waits in trust, but him and his family also resist what must have been great temptation to leave the Ark earlier. How tempting it must have been to get off that stinky boat as soon as they saw pieces of land. Honestly I think this is one of the most superhuman feats in the Bible. There are these eight people on this boat for a year, they can see the mountains emerging and no doubt each day more and more dry ground was showing. I would have been ripping pieces of wood off the Ark to make a raft and go find some land if I was them.
If that wasn’t enough, the dove doesn’t come back and they now know that the waters have subsided, Noah even looks out on New Years Day and sees that the face of the ground was dry, not even muddy, what a great way to celebrate New Years by getting off the boat. But no, 57 more days they stay on the Ark because God has not spoken yet. Those days must have seemed like forever. Like when we were driving back from BC for only three days.