6. NOAH STEPS OUT OF THE ARK
Noah and his family and all the animals and birds remained in the ark for more than a year. No complains have been recorded. They were being transport from death to a new life. This thought keep them patiently waiting for God tell them to come out of the ark.
Verse 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
This statement has been viewed by some commentators as implying that God had restrained the reproductive power of the animals during the year they spent in the cramped quarters of the ark.
Now the original blessing upon animals to multiply and fill the earth (1:22) is repeated.
Verse 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.
As an angel descended from heaven and swung open the door that had been closed a year earlier by similar means, Noah and his family came forth.
The animals followed Noah’s example, leaving the ark in orderly fashion, each after its own kind. This instinct to associate with other members of their own kind is generally characteristic of the animal world to the present day.
Verse 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
Verse 20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
His stock of cattle was small, and had been preserved at great expense; yet he cheerfully gave a part to the Lord as an acknowledgment that all was His. In like manner it should be our first care to render our freewill offerings to God.
Every manifestation of His mercy and love toward us should be gratefully acknowledged, both by acts of devotion and by gifts to His cause.
Verse 21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
The Lord smelled a southing aroma.
God’s satisfaction with Noah’s conduct and His acceptance of Noah’s gift are presented in very human language. When we build an altar of family worship the Lord will also smell a soothing aroma. Let us continue with this aroma and bring happiness to God’s heart.
The divine response to Noah’s devoted worship was a resolve that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood. This promise was not communicated to Noah until a little later (see 9:8–17).
The words “I will not again curse the ground” did not remove the curse of 3:17.
They simply refer to the fact that a universal catastrophe such as the Deluge would not overtake the human race again. Localized floods were not included.
Although the imagination of man’s heart.
Some commentators have seen a contradiction between this verse and 6:5–7. God had ordained the Flood because “every imagination of the thoughts” of man’s heart was “only evil continually,” and here, for the very same reason, He promised never to send another.
It must be that in the first case “imagination” refers to a fixed pattern of thought as translated into action (6:5), and that here it refers to man’s inherent tendencies.
Verse 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night shall not cease.”
While the earth remains
Man’s ordinary seasonal pursuits had been completely and universally interrupted by the Flood.
God now assured Noah that not only would there never be another flood but also no other comparable interruption of the seasonal cycle would occur.
Seasons had been ordained at creation (Gen. 1:14); these were to continue. The most remarkable account of the Deluge outside of the Bible occurs in the ancient Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.
Although that section of the epic which deals with the Flood exhibits surprising similarities to the Genesis record, differences between the two accounts constitute convincing evidence of the inspiration and accuracy of the Biblical record.
Polytheism and other heathen religious ideas give the Epic of Gilgamesh a definitely pagan flavor. Although similar Flood stories persist today among all branches of the human race, it is only natural to find the Babylonian account more nearly accurate than the others because of the proximity of Babylon to the mountains of Ararat.
For further information on the Epic of Gilgamesh, see “Archeology and the Recovery of Ancient History,” What did the world look like that Noah saw when he came out of the ark?
The entire surface of the earth was changed at the Flood. A third dreadful curse rested upon it in consequence of sin. As the water began to subside, the hills and mountains were
surrounded by a vast, turbid sea. Everywhere were strewn the dead bodies of men and beasts.
Looking over the landscape where this happened, I thought:
The Lord would not permit the carcasses to remain to decompose and pollute the air, therefore He made of the earth a vast burial ground.
A violent wind which was caused to blow for the purpose of drying up the waters, moved them with great force. in some instances even carrying away the tops of the mountains and heaping up trees, rocks, and earth above the bodies of the dead.
By the same means the silver and gold, the choice wood and precious stones, which had enriched and adorned the world before the Flood, and which the inhabitants had idolized, were concealed from the sight and search of men.
The violent action of the waters piling earth and rocks upon these treasures, and in some cases even forming mountains above them. God saw that the more He enriched and prospered sinful men, the more they would corrupt their ways before Him.
The treasures that should have led them to glorify the bountiful Giver had been worshiped, while God had been dishonored and despised. The earth presented an appearance of confusion and desolation impossible to describe. The mountains, once so beautiful in their perfect symmetry, had become broken and irregular.
Stones, ledges, and ragged rocks were now scattered upon the surface of the earth. In many places hills and mountains had disappeared, leaving no trace where they once stood; and plains had given place to mountain ranges.
These changes were more marked in some places than in others. Where once had been earth’s richest treasures of gold, silver, and precious stones, were seen the heaviest marks of the curse.
And upon countries that were not inhabited, and those where there had been the least crime, the curse rested more lightly. At this time immense forests were buried. These have since been changed to coal, forming the extensive coal beds that now exist, and also yielding large quantities of oil.
The coal and oil frequently ignite and burn beneath the surface of the earth. Thus rocks are heated, limestone is burned, and iron ore melted. The action of the water upon the lime adds fury to the intense heat, and causes earthquakes, volcanoes, and fiery issues.
As the fire and water come in contact with ledges of rock and ore, there are heavy explosions underground, which sound like muffled thunder. The air is hot and suffocating.
Volcanic eruptions follow; and these often failing to give sufficient vent to the heated elements, the earth itself is convulsed, the ground heaves and swells like the waves of the sea, great fissures appear, and sometimes cities, villages, and burning mountains are swallowed up.
These wonderful manifestations will be more and more frequent and terrible just before the second coming of Christ and the end of the world, as signs of its speedy destruction.
The depths of the earth are the Lord’s arsenal, whence were drawn weapons to be employed in the destruction of the old world. Waters gushing from the earth united with the waters from heaven to accomplish the work of desolation.
Since the Flood, fire as well as water has been God’s agent to destroy very wicked cities. These judgments are sent that those who lightly regard God’s law and trample upon His authority may be led to tremble before His power and to confess His just sovereignty.
As men have beheld burning mountains pouring forth fire and flames and torrents of melted ore, drying up rivers, overwhelming populous cities, and everywhere spreading ruin and desolation, the stoutest heart has been filled with terror and infidels and blasphemers have been constrained to acknowledge the infinite power of God.
Said the prophets of old, referring to scenes like these: “Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence — As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil — To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, The mountains shook at Your presence. Isaiah 64:1-3.
Nahum 1:3,4 The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers.
After this cultural ecological shock, the next beautiful thing happens:
Genesis 9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
Where else did we read these words? Noah and his family received a blessing that was similar to the one pronounced upon Adam and Eve after their creation (1:28).
As Adam had been the progenitor of all members of the human race, Noah became the progenitor of all human beings after the Flood.
The blessing consisted in both instances of a divine commission to “be fruitful” and to fill the earth. One part of the previous blessing, however, was absent from the new one, namely, the charge to “subdue it,” the earth.
This omission doubtless reflects the fact that the world dominion assigned to man at the time of creation had been forfeited by sin. Sin had disturbed the relationship that originally existed between man and the animals, and they were, to a certain extent at least, released from subjection to him.
Verse 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.
Sin with its consequences had loosened the bond of voluntary subjection on the part of the animals to the will of man. It was only by force that henceforth he could rule over them, through that “fear” which God now instilled in the animal creation.
Nature had become estranged from man. The fear that all land, air, and water animals were to have, would not exclude their occasional rebellion against man’s dominion over them.
They would sometimes rise and destroy man. Indeed, God used them, at times, to administer divine justice (see Ex. 8:6, 17, 24; 2 Kings 2:24). However, the normal condition of the lower creatures was to become one of instinctive dread of man, which causes them rather to avoid him than to seek his presence.
It is a fact that animals retreat wherever human civilization advances. Even ferocious wild beasts, unless provoked, usually avoid man and flee from him rather than attack him.
They are given into your hand.
This divine pronouncement has found its fulfillment in the domestication of certain animals whose help man needs, in the taming of wild animals by man’s superior will power, and in the successful reduction to impotency of harmful creatures by his inventiveness and ingenuity.
Verse 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.
In our next presentation we will be looking at a new eating pattern that God introduced. We look at the reasons why.
God cares for us even in the way He provides for as far as our diet is concerned.
I am looking forward the other diet that will soon be introduced. That diet will include eating from the tree of life with its immortal ingredients.