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Remembering God

In Genesis 8 we see Noah remembered the God that remembered him.

Noah Remembered God’s Timing

It probably took Noah between 50 and 100 years to build the ark. But Noah walked each step with God, trusting in His timing. And after the thing was built, they went into the ark and were in there 7 days before the flood came. Those 7 days might have felt longer than 7 years!

We also see God’s perfect timing in the flood’s aftermath. Notice this pattern found in the text:

  • 7 days of waiting for flood (Genesis 7:4)
  • 7 days of waiting for the flood repeated (Genesis 7:10)
  • 40 days of the flood (Genesis 7:17)
  • 150 days of the waters prevailing (Genesis 7:24)
  • 150 days of the waters receding (Genesis 8:3)
  • 40 days of waiting (Genesis 8:6)
  • 7 days of waiting after the first dove (Genesis 8:10) 
  • 7 days of waiting after the second sending of the dove (Genesis 8:12)

As we pray and hope and struggle and fear, we have to remember that God’s timing is not our timing—His timing is perfect. When He says “No” or “Wait,” He has reasons based in His love for us, even if we don’t understand them.

Noah Remembered God’s Priorities

A curious thing here. Why did he send out a raven first, then a dove? Commentator Kent Hughes writes, “Noah released the raven first because as an unclean bird it was expendable, since it was good for neither food nor sacrifice.” The first thing Noah was willing to give up was something God considered unclean and unsuitable.

Is there not a valuable lesson for us in that? So often we protect things in our lives that God has actually called us to let go of. This might be our pride, our comfort, our schedules, our dreams—anything that gets in the way of trusting God and doing what He has called us to do. Maybe you’re caught in a habit or in a relationship that you know doesn’t honor God, and it’s a huge area of compromise for you in your spiritual life. Follow the example of Noah, who was ready to part with what was unclean in God’s eyes.

Noah Remembered God’s Purpose

One thing Noah had to be counting on was that God wasn’t saving him and his family for some post apocalyptic wasteland. Noah was trusting in God’s unchanging plan for His beloved— restoration, not annihilation. If He takes much away, it is only because He wants us to treasure Him only, and if we will treasure Him only, how will He not also in the end give us all things besides (Romans 8:32)?

Christian, when you were at your moment of deepest danger—sinful and deserving of Hell and eternal death—God remembered you (Romans 5:6). Look to the cross. It is all the proof you need that God has remembered you and knows what is best. His timing, His priorities, and His purposes are all revealed in Christ’s death and resurrection. He has not forgotten you. Remember that.

—Jared C. Wilson, condensed