A New Earth
This chapter begins with a simple, profound, and beautiful phrase, "But God remembered Noah." After 150 days, things were about to change. God did not remember Noah because the all-knowing God had a memory lapse. God continues to preserve his creation, and he commands the wind to blow over the earth and the waters begin to subside. God closes the fountains of the deep, the windows of heaven, and restrains the rain. The Ark finds a resting place on the mountains of Ararat and about seventy days later the mountain tops were visible. Noah waits for another forty days and then releases a raven. Noah then dispatched a dove, but it returned to him. After another seven days, Noah sent the dove out again, and this time, it returned to him with an olive branch. The earth was drying out. The third and final time the dove was sent out, it did not return. The covering was removed from the ark and after about a year, the passengers on board as well as their animal cargo left their ark and set foot on a new earth for the former things had been washed away. Imagine the joy of this family as they are finally released from the safe but contained confines of the ark.
Death was needed for new life. The old world had been buried in the flood so that the new world might rise from its watery grave. God in grace would both judge and save his creation. God repeats his command to be fruitful and multiply. Noah's first act in recognition of God's grace was worship. Noah built an altar and sacrifices of clean animals were made. Noah's worship was not merely gratitude; this was consecration and reverence to the God who saves. Noah followed the example of Abel and offered a sacrifice that pleased the Lord. God initiates a covenant with Noah and resolves not to curse the earth in the same way again. God determined not to display his wrath in the same way in spite of humanity's universal sinfulness. God would have to schedule catastrophes in every generation if he were to respond to human corruption as he did at that time. By demonstrating his wrath against sin in the days of Noah, God had accomplished his purpose and continued the theme of the story; God rescues sinners.
Things To Consider:
- Why does God remember Noah?
- Where do you see God's sovereignty over creation in this chapter?
- How difficult do you think it was for Noah and his family to be patient after the ark came to rest?
- Why is it important to remember that God led them in as well as out of the ark?
- Why did God repeat his command to Noah?
- How does grace lead to worship?
- Why must God initiate and keep his covenant?
- How many gospel metaphors do you see in this chapter?