We continue our “Series in Genesis“
BEFORE READING GENESIS 8, I RECOMMEND READING JOHN GILL’S INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS
Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: In the close of the foregoing chapter we left the world in ruins and the church in straits; but in this chapter, we have the repair of the one and the enlargement of the other. Now the scene alters, and another face of things begins to be presented to us, and the brighter side of that cloud which there appeared so black and dark; for, though God contend long, he will not contend forever, nor be always wrath. We have here, I. The earth made anew, by the recess of the waters, and the appearing of the dry land, now a second time, and both gradual. 1. The increase of the waters is stayed (v. 1, 2). 2. They begin sensibly to abate (v. 3). 3. After sixteen days’ ebbing, the ark rests (v. 4). 4. After sixty days’ ebbing, the tops of the mountains appeared above water (v. 5). 5. After forty days’ ebbing, and twenty days before the mountains appeared, Noah began to send out his spies, a raven and a dove, to gain intelligence (v. 6-12). 6. Two months after the appearing of the tops of the mountains, the waters had gone, and the face of the earth was dry (v. 13), though not dried so as to be fit for man till almost two months after (v. 14). II. Man placed anew upon the earth, in which, 1. Noah’s discharge and departure out of the ark (v. 15-19). 2. His sacrifice of praise, which he offered to God upon his enlargement (v. 20). 3. God’s acceptance of his sacrifice, and the promise he made thereupon not to drown the world again (v. 21, 22). And thus, at length, mercy rejoices against judgment.
|Genesis chapter 8 Simplified Outline|
|Ge 8:1-3.||God remembers Noah and assuages the waters.|
|Ge 8:4-5.||The ark rests on Ararat.|
|Ge 8:6-12.||Noah sends forth a raven and then a dove.|
|Ge 8:13-19.||Noah, being commanded, goes forth from the ark.|
|Ge 8:20-22.||He builds an altar, and offers sacrifice, which God accepts, and promises to curse the earth no more.|
There are some interesting themes in this chapter that one can easily overlook when just reading through our Bible each year. We must remember the context of or the setting of this chapter, the earth has been devastated by a flood that has destroyed all living creatures except those whom Noah has in the Ark. Commentators vary on how long the flood was in effect, how long it took to withdraw from the face of the earth and the dry lands to form once again. Actually, this is not critical for our understanding, what is important (at least to me) are the following:
1. God did not forsake Noah – v.1 is simply amazing, God who had in His sovereign righteous wrath (See previous two devotionals in the series) just wiped out creation, cared enough to save some of it and as important think fondly of it.
2. Noah Obeys God – When the Ark finally comes to rest check out how Noah deals with the realization they are not doomed to float around for the remainder of their lives. 1) he sends out birds to find dry land 2) he waits to uncover or open up the Ark to fresh air, (it had to smell of animal dung) 3) he sees dry land but does not disembark 4) Noah waits for Gods command to leave the Ark, just as he had been obedient in entering.
3. Noah honors God – the first thing Noah does upon leaving the Ark is have a BBQ and celebrate 🥳, well sort of v.20 says he offered a burnt offering unto the LORD. God’s acceptance of his offering brings about one of the greatest Biblical promises recorded in v.21-22. See tomorrow’s Sunday Sermon Series for more on that.
Most folks today can not be couped up for a few days or a week without having to “party hardy” yet after months and months, Noah only thinks of praising God for salvation from the calamity. Maybe you are having some troubles BIG or small in your life, cast them before the throne of God and praise Him who will not forsake His chosen.
THANK GOD FOR THE MANY INSTANCES OF HIS GOODNESS AND KIND PROVIDENCE
You did not leave yourself without witness among the nations, in that you did well by giving them rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying their hearts with food and gladness. Acts 14:17(ESV)
You cover the heavens with clouds, and prepare rain for the earth, and make grass grow on the hills. You give to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. Psalm 147:8-9(ESV)
You bring rain on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land. Job 38:26-27(ESV)
You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks* overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:9-11(ESV)
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; and beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. Psalm 104:10-12(ESV)
You have set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved; Psalm 104:5(ESV) you set a boundary to the waters of the sea so that they might not again cover the earth. Psalm 104:9(ESV) You have shut up the sea with doors, Job 38:8(ESV) and prescribed limits for it, saying, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther; here shall your proud waves be stayed.” Job 38:10-11(ESV) And you have made good what you have sworn, that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth. Isaiah 54:9(ESV)
Your covenant with the day and with the night is not broken; Jeremiah 33:20(ESV) but still you give the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Jeremiah 31:35(ESV) and are faithful to that covenant of providence: That while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer, and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22(ESV)