Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Things I Learned from Reading the Story of Noah

Many times when I read the Bible I get out my commentaries and learn even more. Such is the case of the story of Noah. I used the Matthew Henry Commentary. These are my thoughts interchanged with his, based on the biblical account.

Noah was a descendant of Seth.

He was very old when God called him to build the Ark. He was 600 years old when the flood began.

Noah needed to apply pitch on the outside to keep off the rain and seal the boat, and on the inside to take away the bad smell of the animals when kept near to each other. (God thinks of our comfort because He cares for us. What a good, kind, and sweet God we serve.)

God told Noah to "come into the ark", not to 'go' into it. Not all versions use the word 'come,' however. The reason to 'come' implies that God would go with Noah and his family. God would lead Noah into the ark, travel with him, and bring him safely out of it. This changed the ark from being Noah's prison to not only a refuge, but a palace. This call to Noah was a type of the call which the Gospel gives to humble sinners.

All the animals and birds were under Noah's power and his protection. What a great task--to be responsible for the future re-population of the earth!

The sky was probably lovely with no sign of what was to come when Noah and his family entered the boat seven days before the flood began. 

Noah have the people the warning that the flood would come in seven days. If anyone had changed their ways, they would have been able to board.

Noah had to walk in faith.

It had never rained before this.

God closed the door, keeping Noah safe and disallowing anyone else to get in.

It didn't start raining until 7 days after the animals and Noah and his family entered the Ark.
The waters became geysers from the earth and met with the rain, which didn't pour in drops, but in streams to flood the earth. We have not seen anything comparable since.

(Matthew Henry note: None of us are destroyed by the justice of God except those who hate to be reformed by the grace of God. (I say, good word!))

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights without diminishing. The ark floated for quite some time after the rain stopped.

At the end of 150 days the waters decreased. The ark rested on Mount Ararat in the seventh month on the seventeenth day. The waters continued to decrease until the tenth month.  On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains were seen. Forty days later Noah sent out a raven. Then he sent a dove.

The dove returned because there was no place for her to rest. He waited another seven days and sent her out again. She returned with an olive leaf in her mouth. This is how Noah knew the waters had receded from the earth.

He waited another seven days and sent the dove out again. This time she did not return. 

Noah was 601 years old when he was able to see dry ground. Almost two months later the earth was dried and God told Noah he and his family could leave the ark. All the animals came out of the ark. 

Noah built an alter to God and offered a burnt offering on it with every clean animal and every clean bird he had with him specifically for this purpose on the ark.

Noah's sacrifice touched God's heart and in His heart he said that He would never again curse the ground for man's sake, nor would He destroy every living thing as He had done. The sign of the covenant God made with the earth was a rainbow.

Noah lived another 350 years. So he lived 950 years and then he died.

I hope the story of Noah helps you to see how much God loves His creation. He didn't destroy mankind, He knew of a righteous man, the only one He could find and kept him and his family safe from His judgment. He had them be fruitful and multiply. Noah had a wife and three married sons when they went into the ark. So we all come from Noah's family.

The story of Noah can be found in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, chapters 6 through 9. 

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