Summary: 1) Looking for Peace (Genesis 8:6), 2) Lacking of Peace (Genesis 8:7), and the 3) Locating of Peace (Genesis 8:8-11)
It has been painful to consider the gruesome details this week in the murder trial of Victoria Stafford. Her father has been particularly vocal with the media in his natural desire for justice. Although nothing will bring his daughter back, after much waiting, he expects to find some degree of peace following a just sentence for the murder of his daughter.
Following the death of the majority of humanity in the flood, Genesis 8 recounts the end of waiting by Noah and his family. Justice had been executed against a guilty humanity and there is now a sense of peace in moving on with life.
How does one comprehend death? Every day we experience either first hand or through the stories of war and famine, someone suffering, often violently. Death and violence is the natural result of living in a world in rebellion to God. Dealing with traumatic events and the emotional turmoil that follows is an often slow, arduous process. The place that we turn to find comfort in these times makes all the difference.
Genesis 8:6-11 presents the aftermath of cataclysmic events of the flood. Noah, a man of faith, leads his family into a new world. After a period of great waiting, God offers hope and peace. In this narrative, we see the 1) Looking for Peace (Genesis 8:6), 2) Lacking of Peace (Genesis 8:7), and the 3) Locating of Peace (Genesis 8:8-11)
1) Looking for Peace (Genesis 8:6)
Genesis 8:6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made (ESV)
The whole planet was under water. This is a universal global flood. It covers the entire earth. We learn from the first five verses of the eighth chapter that when it was time for the flood to be over, God began to remove the water. And He did it, first of all, verse 1, by a great wind. "He caused a wind to pass over the earth," and this wind began to blow the water away. And, certainly, the breakup of the canopy exposed the sun and its full, blazing brightness to the planet earth. And there, of course, was an evaporation going on, as well. As the water in verse 3 and 5 steadily is decreasing. The wind blows it. The sun evaporates it, and the great sea basins are created. The mountains are pushed up, and they force the water by gravity down into these great basins. The rain falls on the top of the mountain. It runs down. It forms snow, and then it runs down in little rivulets and finally becomes rivers, and the rivers run into the sea. And that’s the hydrological cycle. The water in the sea evaporates into the clouds. The cloud goes over the mountain, drops the rain, drops the snow again, and the cycle goes on all the time.
Please turn to Psalm 104
The earth that appeared after the flood was very different from before the flood. It had these massive high mountains, and it had these deep, deep ocean basins. There were mountains that go as high as 30,000 feet, and oceans that go as deep as 35,000 feet. It was extreme from the comparison to the earth before the flood.
Psalm 104:1-8 [104:1]Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. (ESV)