The Significance of Genesis: God’s Remembrance and Rescue of Noah (Genesis 8:1-14)

The Significance of Genesis: God’s Remembrance and Rescue of Noah (Genesis 8:1-14)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Pittsburgh Steelers were founded as a football team in 1933. For their first 40 or so years, they were horrible. Then in 1974, they won their first Super Bowl. They had to wait a long time to be a good team.

What is it like to wait on something? How many of you really appreciate waiting? Do you ever want something and want it now?

As I was preparing this message one of my daughters wanted to learn how to sew. Meagan began to teach her but then thought that she needed someone more experienced to teach her. Our daughter was very disappointed. She wanted to learn how to sew on that very day. We told her we will make sure she is taught to sew but now is not the time. She had to wait.

We are going to look at a passage in which Noah has been waiting for a long time. No, he has not been waiting for years, but he has been on the ark for at least 150 days. In total he will be on the ark for close to a year.

My theme is: God remembers and rescues Noah and his family.

  1. Noah’s security (8:1–5): “But God remembered Noah.” Verse 1 read: But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
  1. But God remembered Noah.
    1. A few other sources help us with this: ESV Study Bible: God remembered Noah. This marks the turning point in the flood story. When the Bible says that God “remembers” someone or his covenant with someone, it indicates that he is about to take action for that person’s welfare (cf. 9:15; 19:29; 30:22; Ex. 2:24; 32:13; Ps. 25:6–7; 74:2). All life on the land having been destroyed, God now proceeds to renew everything, echoing what he did in Genesis 1. God made a wind blow over the earth. The Hebrew word for wind, ruakh, is also sometimes translated “Spirit” (e.g., 1:2; 6:3). While the context normally enables the reader to distinguish ruakh meaning “wind” from ruakh meaning “Spirit,” the present verse intentionally echoes 1:2.[1]
    2. CSB: Remembered does not suggest that God had ever forgotten about Noah; when used of God, “remember” suggests the initiation of a miraculous, saving act of God. Other instances of God “remembering” as the first step in providing divine help for his people include his intervention in the lives of Lot (19:29), Rachel (30:22), and the Israelites in Egypt (Ex 2:24). Using language that reflects God’s initial act of creating the universe (Gn 1:2), God caused (Hb) ruach—“Spirit” or wind—to pass over the waters of the earth. Immediately the water began to subside.[2]
    3. In v. 2 God puts into reverse the process started in 7:11. The waters both rose and abated during the period of 150 days. Mountains of Ararat indicates a range of mountains of which Mount Ararat (in modern Turkey) is the highest. The text does not name the specific mountain on which the ark came to rest.[3]
    4. Remember the end of Genesis 7. In the end every living thing that breathes oxygen had died. Only Noah and his family on the ark were left.
    5. Verse 1 says that God remembered Noah and
    6. All the beasts and all the livestock that were with Him in the ark.
    7. God was faithful to them.
    8. There are other passages about God remembering:
    9. Gen 19:29 (Abraham); Ex 2:24 (the Israelites and His covenants); 1 Sam 1:19 (Hannah); Ps 105:42 (His promises)[4]
    10. Then, verse 1 further says: God made a wind blow over the earth and the waters subsided.

Verses 2-4: The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 

  • The waters stopped coming. Remember the water had come out from underground as well as the sky (Gen 7:11).
    • The rain has now stopped. In Gen 7:24 it said the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
    • The waters receded from the earth continually.
    • At the end of 150 days the waters had “abated,” or other translations read “decreased.”
    •  The seventh day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, notice it does say “mountains.” That is plural. It is one of the mountains in that range.
    • Verse 5 shares that the waters continue to “abate” or “decrease.” Then, the tops of the mountains are seen. Remember the waters had covered the mountains (Gen 7:20).
  • Noah’s search (8:6–12)
    • Noah is now going to search for life.

Verses 6-7: At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.

  • 40 days later.
    • Notice the process.
    • Noah opens the window.
    • Rabbis have suggested that Noah first sent out a raven, a ritually unclean bird, because it was expendable. The fact that it went back and forth from the ark means that it could find no suitable habitat.[5]
      • The unsuccessful attempt by the raven (8:6–7): It cannot find dry ground.
      • It went to and fro, in other words, it was coming and going.
      • The successful attempt by the dove (8:8–12): After one earlier attempt, the dove finds dry ground, returning with a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak.

Verses 8-12: Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.

  • Noah sends a dove to see if the waters were abated, that would mean the waters had receded.
    • Verse 9 gives a description. The water was over the whole earth, Noah takes out his hand and takes the dove back in.
    • Verse 10: He waited another seven days and again sends out the dove.
    • Verse 11: the dove came back to him with a freshly plucked olive leaf.
    • Noah knows that the waters had abated, that is receded.
    • This also shows that the waters did not only recede, but there was also life, plant life.
    • Then, verse 12: 7 days later he sends out the dove and she does not return.
  • Noah’s surveillance (8:13–14): Noah removes the ark’s covering and surveys the new world after the Flood!
    • Think about how neat this would be.

Verse 13: 13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 

  • We see the time marker. This is the 601st year of Noah’s life, the first month, the first day of the month. Gen 7:6 says that Noah was 600 years old when they entered the ark and the flood waters came. Gen 7:11 says that Noah was 600 years old and in the second month, on the seventh day of the month the flood began.
    • The waters are now dried from the earth.
    • Noah removes the covering.
    • He sees the dry ground.
    • ESV Study Bible: The emerging of a new world prefigures the creation of the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1–4; see 2 Pet. 3:5–7).[6]

Verse 14: In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 

So, now, the earth is dry. This is now 1 month later.

  1. Applications:
    1. This passage is all about God’s care for Noah. We must patiently wait, and trust God as Noah did.
    2. We can trust God, God continues to be faithful to His covenant with Noah.
    3. Noah obeyed, Noah waited, God was faithful.
    4. He also gave us marching orders to do as we wait:
    5. We must share the gospel (Matthew 28:18-19).
    6. We must not be anxious but pray (Phil 4:6-7).
    7. We must rejoice (Phil 4:4).
    8. We must be different (Gal 5:22-23).
    9. We must love Him and others (Matthew 22:37-39).
    10. We must trust God’s promises, His promises are in His Word.
    11. He promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20).
    12. He promised to come again (2 Peter 3:8-10).
    13. We must trust Romans 8:28: all things work together for good for those who loved God, for those who are called according to His purpose.

What is like to wait? The Steelers had 40 very horrible football seasons and then they had some good seasons. But then what happened? Their quarterback, Terry Bradshaw retired. Many of the other players retired and they struggled again. It took them another 21 years to get another hall of fame quarterback. They had some years of waiting. Now, they may be waiting again.

In this Scripture passage, Noah was patient and God was faithful. There would be more waiting in the Old Testament. Abraham had to wait on God, the Israelites in Egypt had to wait on God, and everyone had to wait until God sent the Messiah (Gal. 4:4-5). Now, we are waiting until Jesus comes back (2 Peter 3:8-9). We can be sure that God is faithful. In His time He will come again. Trust Him.

Prayer


[1] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 64.

Hb Hebrew

[2] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 19.

[3] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 64.

[4] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995).

[5] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 19.

[6] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 64.

Listen to Your Mother (Proverbs 1:8)

Sunday, May 8, 2022

What is in a name? A name can be powerful:

Set in A.D. 180, Gladiator tells the story of General Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Russell Crowe), who was about to be given reigning authority in Rome by the aging emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before this could take place, however, the emperor’s son, Commodus, killed his father in order to establish himself on the throne. He then ordered the murder of Maximus and his family. Maximus escaped, and the movie follows him as he is sold into slavery, becomes a nameless gladiator, and finally seeks justice against wicked Emperor Commodus.

The turning point comes late in the movie. After Maximus wins a great battle in the Coliseum, Emperor Commodus decides to meet this unknown gladiator face to face. The crowd watches as the emperor in full pomp strides with his soldiers onto the sands of the Coliseum.

The emperor asks the simple question: “What is your name?”

Maximus, streaked with blood and dirt from the battle, takes off his helmet and says: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, general of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius, father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

The crowd erupts with a deafening roar, while the emperor visibly shakes under the weight of the true identity of a man he thought was a mere slave. The emperor flees the Coliseum, only to face defeat and death later at the hands of Maximus.[1]

Okay, that clip does not come from a chick flick, but an action movie, but it does make my point. The name. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow (Phil. 2:5-11). That is the most important thought on a name. But mothers have always had such an impact on a child’s life. Mothers have always had such an impact on an adult’s life.

My theme: Listen to your mother’s teaching.

Let’s read Proverbs 1:8:

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

  1. Let’s begin by talking about the influence of mothers.
    1. This passage was written in a day when women were not, or seemed to not, have the value of men in society. The society was certainly more male dominated; it was a patriarchy. And though I am for men stepping up in society, that is not to be at the expense of mothers and women.
    2. As I talk about mothers today, understand that I am not only meaning the biological mothers. God has used many maternal influences who were not the actual mothers.
    3. But in this passage, Proverbs 1:8, mothers are included right alongside the father. It seems as if they are really listed as equals. As we read through Proverbs we see the mother’s teaching expressed.
    4. Actually, if we turn to 1 Kings 2:19 we see the influence of the mother: When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.
    5. The mother was very involved in the life of ancient Israel. The mother had a throne and the mighty king Solomon bowed to her.
    6. That is wonderful.
    7. Just think about the influence of your mother, maybe your grandmother.
    8. From a very early age, I noticed my girls using the term, “Mamma.” They would call Meagan, “Mamma.” I don’t know where it came from, I don’t know how it started, but it was the cutest thing to hear Abigail say, “Mama.” It was not “Mommy,” “Mom,” or “Mother,” but “Mamma.”
    9. They also wanted their mother more than anything. When they were younger there were many times when I would pick up Abigail and carry her to bed and she would be saying, “I want “Momma” to carry me.”
    10. About eight years ago, Mercedes was almost two and a half and Abigail was just born and I was taking Mercedes with me to a fish store. Wouldn’t you know as we got out of Alliance, heading towards Canton, she began to cry wanting, “Mamma.”
    11. Mothers are more than important in God’s plan.
  2. Listen to your mother.
    1. This passage is about listening to your mother.
    2. Exodus 20:12: Honor your father and mother.
    3. But I think there is another important thought here.
    4. Teaching and instruction begin at home.
    5. John Piper writes: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” In other words if we ask, what’s the basis and beginning and integrating theme of the father’s instruction and the mother’s teaching—what is it that runs through all their daily modeling and counseling and explaining and correcting and disciplining that give unity and meaning to it all—the answer is “the fear of the Lord.”
    6. The family isn’t just a place where children learn to hold spoons and walk on two feet and say “please” and tie shoes and read and look both ways and cut grass and put on makeup and drive a car. The family is where all of this and more begins in God, is guided by God’s Word, and is shown to be for the glory of God. The fear of God—the reverencing of God, the standing in awe of God, the trusting of God—is what family’s are for.
    7. The family is God’s idea. The family is a school. And the unifying theme in the curriculum of this school is God.[2]
    8. As I think about this, I notice that many times it is the mother who teaches the fear of the Lord, it is the mother who encourages Bible reading and prayer.
    9. I believe there are so many things we learn from our mothers that we really may not even think of.
    10. I remember learning how to spell certain words from my mother.
    11. Interesting thing is that as we look at Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman.
    12. All too often, it is the mother who is there for the children, more even than the father.
    13. So, we are to listen to our mother’s instruction.
    14. I know for many of you your mother has passed away. I would say, listen to your mother’s teaching even when she is in heaven. Remember her sayings. Remember what she would say.
    15. I know that for many mother’s day is a sad day as it reminds you that your mother has passed away. I would encourage you to honor her by listening to her teaching.
  3. So, what’s in a name?
    1. What is in the name: “mom,” “mother,” “mamma”?
    2. I believe that is the most powerful name on earth.
    3. If we see who shapes societies more than any other person, I believe it is the mothers.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:5, I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

Then in 3:14–15 Paul says, You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them [that is, your mother Eunice and through her from your grandmother Lois]; and that from childhood you have known the holy scriptures [because your mother taught them to you] which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now that’s a remarkable testimony. Timothy’s father was a Greek (Acts 16:3). He probably didn’t know the Scriptures. So Paul celebrates the great heritage that Timothy has through his mother and his grandmother. They did what his father could not or would not do. They filled him with the Scriptures, and the Scriptures brought him eventually to faith in Christ, and faith in Christ brought him salvation.

Timothy will live forever and ever because his mother and his grandmother were faithful to Proverbs 1:8.

So, for all of us, respect our mothers, listen to our mothers, honor our mothers, the name “mother” is powerful.

Prayer


[1] Gladiator (Dreamworks, 2000), rated R, written by David Franzoni, directed by Ridley Scott; submitted by Bill White, Paramount,

[2] http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/do-not-forsake-your-mothers-teaching