Summary: God delivers everyone as promised and points us again to the Redeemer.
Noah and his family are inside the ark with all the animals. God has sent rain for 40 days and nights onto the earth killing every other living thing:
God Keeps Noah in Mind
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark:
The verb is in the Imperfect tense which means it’s incomplete. It’s not saying “God forgot, but then He remembered;” that would be “perfect” tense. Instead this is an incomplete action so it’s saying, “God kept Noah in mind.”
We’re told that when God destroyed Sodom He remembered Abraham and so rescued Lot (Gen. 19:29). He kept Abraham in mind!
In another place He tells the Israelites: “And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies” (Num. 10:9).
Did God forget about His people from time-to-time and that’s why the oppressors snuck into the land? Did they startle Him by blowing their trumpets? No. That trumpet was a call for help and those enemies were reminders that they needed God. And the fact that He kept them on His mind was proven when He answered their call.
And you can see how this ties into Noah inside the ark and how it helps us too. The ark must have been a hard place to live for so long, but God kept Noah in mind. He hadn’t forgotten about Him, and He would see him through the storm and out of the ark. Life here can be difficult, but God remembers us. When the enemies draw near and when the oppressors invade we cry out to Him and He shows us that.
God Delivers Everyone as Promised
and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; 2The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
This word for “assuaged” is elsewhere translated as “cease” (Num. 17:5), “appeased” (Est. 2:1), and “pacified” (Est. 7:10). It immediately made me think of Matthew 8:27: “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” All the water pouring out of the ground and falling from above suddenly quit. They evaporate and after 150 days they were back far enough that the ark could rest on some dry ground.
Again we see the sovereignty of God in this—He starts the flood and kills every living being on earth through it; He could have stopped it at any time. But when does He decide to do it? When He’s good and ready! His purpose is to wipe out the wicked and to save the righteous, and that’s exactly what He does.
4And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
No one really knows where this is (it looks like it’s somewhere in eastern Turkey), but the point of telling us isn’t so that we can go and find it. The point is that the ark rested on a high place while waters continued to evaporate.
5And 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. 6And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9But 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. 10And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11And 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. 12And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
He sent out a raven and a dove to see whether the waters were gone. Apparently the raven came back and forth without actually going back into the ark, but the dove went back to Noah. There’s plenty of speculation about what all this means, but it seems to arbitrary to me. I think Ravens eat dead meat and doves eat seeds; after they find plenty of food and a place to land they don’t come back to the ark. That’s the point.