The Significance of Genesis: Exiting the Ark (Genesis 8:15-19)
Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, May 22, 2022
I enjoy watching shows about the possible end of the earth. I like to see the special effects and the ideas they come up with. Some like to talk about the earth ending through the sun going into a supernova. Others say eventually the oceans will dry up. Others talk about a huge asteroid hitting the earth. Likewise, I like to watch and read about what they say about the past. Regardless of what they say, I believe the Bible is accurate. John MacArthur writes: A new book has been written by a friend of mine, John Blanchard, an English preacher. And John wrote a book called Does God Believe in Atheists? And it’s a – it’s a very interesting book. It’s a big, thick book, fascinating. And John, in this book, notes that Roger Penrose, who helped to develop black-hole theories, estimated as 1 in 100 billion to the 123rd power the odds of a big bang producing by accident an orderly universe. It’s just absurd. One chance in 100 billion to the 123rd power that it could happen by a big bang accident. Wow!
MacArthur continues: “Big bang theorists argue,” says Blanchard, “that the universe one second after its purported start had to expand at a rate rapid enough to keep in check the gravitational attraction of galaxies.” Stephen Hawking, the famous mathematician, has noted “that if the rate of expansion had been smaller by an infinitesimal amount, the universe would have collapsed on itself.”
Further: And Blanchard has some interesting analogies about the likelihood of this happening. He said “the likelihood of the universe banging itself into existence in the order that it is currently in would be the odds of hitting a target an inch wide on the other side of the observable universe or expecting a pole vaulter’s pole to remain standing, poised on its tip for centuries following the vault. Earth’s size, earth’s distance from the sun and rotational speed had to be just right. We need the air above, not only for breathing, but to protect us from causing – cosmic rays and meteorites. We need light, but not too much ultraviolet. Heat, but not too much. And so on. And all of these are in perfect balance.”
And Blanchard goes on to ask the question, “What about the origin of life?” A chance of one out of” – whatever one comma, fifteen zeroes is. “Anything that is one comma, fifteen zeroes is considered by scientists a virtual impossibility. Fifteen zeroes makes it a virtual impossibility. DNA code discoverer, Francis Crick, calculated the possibility of a simple protein sequence of 200 amino acids, much simpler than a DNA molecule, originating spontaneously, his figure was ten commas, 260 zeroes. Not going to happen.
Another quote by MacArthur: Three decades ago, Frank Salisbury of Utah State University described the odds this way. Imagine 100 million trillion planets, each with an ocean, with lots of DNA fragments that reproduce one million times per second with a mutation occurring each time. In four billion years, it would still take trillions of universes to produce a single gene if they got lucky. I mean it’s just staggering impossibilities.
God is in control.
We see this continue as we continue the flood narrative.
Now, my theme today is:
Noah is obedient to the Lord, he does not exit the ark until the Lord tells him to.
- God is sovereign.
- An article by Marshall Segal reads: Where might we look to see the providence of God in the Bible? We could wrestle with how God “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). We could travel the heights and depths of the world with the psalmist: “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6). We could visit the rulers and governments on every continent: “He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away” (Job 12:23; see also Proverbs 21:1).
- We could watch the womb, that most wondrous and fragile of homes, where God weaves together every son and every daughter, forming each of their days before they are born (Psalm 139:13–16). We could contemplate how Christ “upholds the universe” — galaxies and goldfish, oceans and sunflowers, mountain ranges and mosquitoes — “by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3; see also Colossians 1:17). We could even study a simple blade of grass: “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate” (Psalm 104:14). All of this might leave us wondering what God does not do.
- As we have already seen, though, it is one thing to observe and acknowledge the providence of God, and quite another to embrace providence and cherish providence — to let it have its full emotional effect on our hearts. John Piper writes, “God has revealed his purposeful sovereignty over good and evil in order to humble human pride, intensify human worship, shatter human hopelessness, and put ballast in the battered boat of human faith, steel in the spine of human courage, gladness in the groans of affliction, and love in the heart that sees no way forward” (Providence, 13).
- Now, the flood:
- Psalm 104:8: The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.
- People debate about the water on the earth and how this worked out. The verse I just read says exactly how it worked out. After the flood, the mountains rose.
- Some believe also the earth had a canopy of water above it and that collapsed during the flood. This created the oceans as we know them today.
- Now, let’s look at our text for today.
- Noah’s summons (8:15–19): God orders Noah, his family, and all the animals to leave the ark.
Verses 15-16 read, Genesis 8:15-16: Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
God speaks again. He has not spoken that we know of since God told them to enter the ark (Gen 7:1-4).
Verses 17-18, Genesis 8:17-18, read: Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.
- Moody: In this section, as in its thematic counterpart, “Entering the Ark” (7:1–9), Noah’s obedience is emphasized by virtue of what he does not do. He does not leave the ark, even though he has been in it for 320 days (313 days [7:11; 8:13 and assuming the usual biblical lunar year] plus the initial seven days of waiting [7:4, 10]). The ground was perfectly dry and ready for occupation (8:13–14), but not until 56 days later, on the 27th of the second month, did God command him, Go out of the ark (v. 15). This is truly a profound example of “waiting on the Lord”! The reason God has Noah and his family wait 56 more days until they set foot onto the new/renewed land underscores that humanity is truly being given a “second chance” to attain the original, prefall ideal.
- God gives detail telling them to leave the ark. All of the animals leave too.
- Every creeping thing,
- God wants them all to be fruitful and multiply.
- Verse 18 shows Noah and his family being obedient.
Verse 19, Genesis 8:19, shows this happen: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.
- Notice they went out by families. Literally this would be “according to their kind.”
- They went out according to their “kind.”
- God is sovereign and Noah obeys.
- God is sovereign. God is in control.
- Do we doubt God’s power?
- Do we question the flood, even though we trust Him to make the sun rise tomorrow morning?
- Do we doubt the flood even though we trust His promises about Heaven?
- Do we doubt the flood even though we pray to Him about other things?
- Do we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead? Do we believe that God still does miracles? Do we believe the rapture?
- God has created things perfectly for life and that is because He knew what was needed and He set it up that way.
- God is amazing and He is sovereign and He is in control.
- Noah did not disembark until God told him to do so.
- We must be obedient to the Lord as well.
- We must be willing to wait on the Lord.
- We must be willing to act when the Lord says to act.
- Noah waited for maybe a whole year without hearing from the Lord, but he patiently waited on the Lord. It is thought that it may have been 320 days: [7:11; 8:13 and assuming the usual biblical lunar year] plus the initial seven days of waiting [7:4, 10]). The ground was perfectly dry and ready for occupation (8:13–14), but not until 56 days later, on the 27th of the second month, did God command him, Go out of the ark (v. 15).
- Can we trust the Lord?
- God’s way is right, don’t take matters into your own hands. It would have been easy for Noah to say, “Okay, let’s disembark…” However, he waited until God told him to leave the ark. He waited.
- Think of the ways we take matters into our own hands instead of obeying the Lord:
- Co-habitating outside of the bond of marriage.
- Having a sexual relationship outside of marriage: we say, “try on a shoe before you buy it!” However, marriage is not a commercial product.
- Marrying an unbeliever, see 2 Cor. 6:14. Instead of obeying the Lord we take matters into our own hands.
- Maybe you have an addiction but will not get help. You think no one knows about the pornography that you look at occasionally. God is calling you to get help.
- Placing things in front of God… “I am too busy, I will read my Bible tomorrow.” (check out Psalm 4:4 and 119)
- Placing things in front of the church, for example, we say our family will only miss church occasionally for sporting events.
- Maybe the Lord has called you to be involved in ministry. I actually believe you are all called to support the church in ministry with your gifts.
- Will we obey the Lord?
- God is sovereign and Noah obeys.
Do we recognize that God is in control? Do you know that there is no maverick molecule (as R.C. Sproul used to say)?
God is in control and if God is in control we can trust Him. We can trust that nothing comes across our path that He has not allowed.