Summary: Feeling desolate is nothing new for the people of God, but when we do, we may recall this song: The next time you find yourself in a storm, Genesis 8 can give you new hope and encouragement, because the major theme of the chapter is renewal and rest after tribulation.
November 14, 2013
Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe
Lesson I.D.7: Subsidence of the Waters. Gen. 8:1-14
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 assuaged;
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.
When anxious believers are searching the Bible for something to encourage them, they’re more likely to turn to Romans 8 than to Genesis 8. After all, Romans 8 is one of the most encouraging chapters in scripture, while Genesis 8 describes God’s “mop up” operation after the Flood.
But the next time you find yourself in a storm, Genesis 8 can give you new hope and encouragement, because the major theme of the chapter is renewal and rest after tribulation. The chapter records the end of a storm and the beginning of a new life and hope for God’s people and God’s creation. Just consider what God does in Genesis 8 and take courage!
“And God remembered Noah” is a phrase we should remember when we are going through a storm because that is a time when it’s easy to feel forsaken. Feeling forsaken is a normal human emotion that most of us have experienced, whether we admit it or not. “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD?” asked the psalmist, “Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10.1). Paul confessed that his troubles in Asia had been so severe that he almost gave up on life (2 Cor. 1.8); and Jesus, who experienced all our human trials, spoke from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Matt. 27.46; NKJV). Feeling desolate is nothing new for the people of God, but when we do, we may recall this song:
God is still on the throne,
And He will remember His own!
Whittier wrote: “I only know I cannot drift beyond His love and care.” And William Cowper’s hymn has this beautiful sentiment: “I may forgetful be, yet will [He] remember me.”
The word “remembered” in Genesis 8.1 doesn’t mean to recall something that may have been forgotten. God can’t forget anything because He knows the end from the beginning. Instead, it means, “to pay attention to, to fulfill a promise and act on behalf of somebody.” For example, God’s promise, “and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10.17) means that God doesn’t hold our sins against us and treat us as sinners. Certainly, God knows what we have done, but because of our faith in Jesus Christ our sins are “forgotten.” God deals with us as if our sins had never been committed! The Lord remembers them against us no more.