Understanding Genesis 8: God Remembers Us
Read the entire chapter 8 of Genesis on your own. You can read a variety of versions, from contemporary English to literal translations. You can download bible apps, websites (blueletterbible.org or biblegateway.com) or buy one from your local bookstore. I will use King James Version because some of the nuances are missing from other translations. When you read the chapter, don’t just read it—study it with questions and try to make sense of it.
God Remembers Noah
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 asswaged; Genesis 8:1
Did God really forget Noah? Did he walk away from what was happening on earth, to take care of a heavenly business? God sees us, knows us, and he cares about everything that happens to us. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31 While Noah and his family was in the ark, God was in the ark with them. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20
This was the end of the world as they knew it, and God was thinking of his lost children and the innocent animals that died in the flood. How painful for a parent to lose a child. God was grieving for His sinful children, as much as pleased that Noah had remained faithful to Him. Whether they are sinful or Godly, they are still His creatures. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
The Meaning of Sacrifice
And Noah built an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:20-22
Even before building a shelter for his family or planting vegetation for food, Noah builds an altar and makes an offering to God. He places his trust in God and submits his future to God. God isn’t pleased by the smell of burning animals; God is pleased that Noah has shown faith in Him. Noah remembers that the sacrifice signifies Christ. Noah believes in God’s promise of a redeemer. "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29 Noah knows that without the check of the flood, ALL people may have succumbed to selfishness, and he thanks God that his family was saved. Noah understands that through his descendants, a Messiah would be born.
God savors our faith and obedience, rather than what we consider a “sacrifice.” "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22 Our salvation is a gift that is given by God. You don't have to do anything except obey and walk into the ark. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8 God is giving us our lifetime to know Him. "That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else." 1 Kings 8:60 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1 John 5:13
Get to know God. Let Him love you.
- Understanding Genesis 9: the 2nd First Family
A Bible study of Genesis 9.