Summary: Series examines several mountain top experiences from scripture: This one is Noah's post-flood experience on the mountains of Ararat.
“Noah’s New Beginning”
Scripture reading: Genesis 8:1-5
I’ve been thinking of a series of lessons on mountain top experiences for some time. There will be eight to ten of these spread out between the two testaments but I believe they can have some very real applications for us today. This morning I want us to begin this series with a lesson from the mountains of Ararat. The scripture reading from Genesis 8 tells of the ending of the great flood in which God destroyed all flesh that moved on the earth except what was preserved in the ark. You may recall that God brought the destructive flood because He had seen that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and was commanded to build an ark. We know Noah did as the Lord commanded him and then entered the ark before the rain began. While there are so many lessons to gain from the sixth and seventh chapters of Genesis, I want us to focus on the post-flood experience of Noah in a sermon entitled “Noah’s New Beginning”. Suffice it to say that it rained for forty days and nights and water covered the earth. Then our reading told how the rain stopped, the waters receded and God let the earth dry out as Noah landed on the mountains of Ararat. As always, I hope you’ll open your Bibles as we study together for the next few minutes.
Noah’s mountain top experience on Ararat signaled a new beginning not only for Noah but for all creation. The post-flood world was very different from the pre-flood world. For example, it had never rained upon the earth until the flood came. The entire atmosphere was changed since God opened the windows of heaven as one of the sources of water for the flood. We also observe that life spans drastically reduced after the flood. Prior to the flood, everyone was a vegetarian (Genesis 1:29-30) and seemingly lived in harmony with the animals. That changed as we read from Genesis 9:2-3 – And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. These are just some of the changes in the earth brought about by the flood. The apostle Peter addressed this in 2 Peter 3:5-7 in response to scoffers about the Lord’s return who claimed all things were continuing as they were from the beginning of creation: For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. Just as Adam had taken his first steps in the pristine Garden of Eden, Noah stepped out of the ark onto the pristine mountains of Ararat – a new beginning for Noah and his family. The first thing we notice from our text is Noah’s salvation – specifically his life: Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. The key phrase is that God remembered Noah. This doesn’t mean that our omniscient creator forgot Noah. Rather, it means that God extended mercy to someone by saving that person from death. Another example of this is found in Genesis 19:29 with regard to saving Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We also notice that, when God remembers, it implies His movement towards the object of His memory as he did after Exodus 2:24-25 with the enslaved children of Israel. He heard their groaning and set out to deliver them by the hand of Moses. Not only did Noah experience salvation from the flood on the mountains of Ararat as he stepped out of the ark, he made sacrifice to the Lord. Let’s read the last three verses of Genesis 8 together: Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.