Genesis chapters 6-9 takes us on a dramatic journey through time starting with God’s broken heart over humanity’s wickedness, continuing through God’s choice to work through a small but righteous remnant in Noah, and God’s confirmation of His covenant with His people.
I encourage each of you to take time and read the entire scripture by clicking through the link at the top of this devotional.
1- God observes the wickedness of man and it breaks His heart. He is disappointed with the choices man has made given their free will to choose or reject God. But He also observed one righteous man in Noah.
[Genesis 6:5-7] 5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with the Lord.
2- Starting in Genesis 6:13, God speaks directly to Noah, who walked in close fellowship with God. God explains His plans to send the flood and provides Noah with detailed plans for how to carry out God’s will and save his immediate family in the process.
Noah did not complain. Noah did not say what God was doing was too harsh. Noah did not say what God was asking was too hard. Noah simply obeyed. Noah showed how obedience allows us to fulfill the plans God has for us and others.
I am sure many mocked Noah as he build the boat. He listened to God instead of to men.
[Genesis 6:22] 22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
3- Again when God told Noah it was time to get in the boat with all the animals, Noah did not complain or say it was too crowded, or too smelly, or He did not want to get in yet. Noah obeyed God. He did not just obey some of God’s instructions, but all of them.
[Genesis 7:5] 5 So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.
4- The rain lasted 40 days. The flood waters took much longer to recede. It was not until five months after the flood began that the boat came to rest on a mountain. It took 2-1/2 more months for the waters to recede enough to reveal other mountain peaks. All told, it took more than a year for Noah and family to get off the boat. This was not an easy task God had laid out for Noah.
[Genesis 8:13-14] 13 Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!
Noah’s consistent response to this time of great adversity and difficulty was to obey God carefully and consistently. Noah trusted God.
5- Once they left the boat and released the animals, Noah did not take time for himself… which would seem well deserved. Noah first built an altar to the Lord and honored God. This was pleasing to God.
[Genesis 8:18-22] 18 So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 19 And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
6- God confirmed His covenant with Noah and his sons.
[Genesis 9: 8-17] 8 Then God told Noah and his sons, 9 “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, 10 and with all the animals that were on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals—every living creature on earth. 11 Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” 17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”
The rainbow has great significance to remind us of our covenant with God. This is what the rainbow represents.
The scripture of “Noah’s Ark” is so simple a child can understand and remember. We as adults should be careful not to overlook the details because we feel it is such a familiar story. It is a dramatic journey that demonstrates God’s love and God’s desire to have personal relationship with those of us that walk closely with the Lord. It also clearly shows us the behavior and attitude of righteous men in the midst of great adversity.
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