By Toni Ford
Watching earlier this week as Hurricane Ian passed through Florida and headed towards the Carolinas, I was drawn to Genesis 8, which is a chapter of hope, encouragement and rest after tribulation. We read about Noah, his family and the animals who have been on an ark for over a year due to a flood which had destroyed the entire earth and everything living on the planet. These were dark times for Noah and his family, but as Warren Wiersbe observed, “When the night is the darkest, the stars shine the brightest, and when the outlook is grim, the uplook is encouraging.”
Wiersbe’s description is exactly what we begin to see as we read this chapter in Genesis. The flood is now receding, and as a result, we see a beautiful example of God’s faithfulness to restore the earth, renew the life of Noah and his family and begin a new life of hope for God’s people and creation.
Here are just a few examples of God’s hope and encouragement from Genesis Chapter 8.
God remembers His children. Genesis 8:1 begins by saying, “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat.” This word “remember” does not mean to call something to mind that may have been forgotten, because God cannot forget anything. He is omniscient, which means all knowing. Instead, “remember” means, “to pay attention to, to fulfill a promise and act on behalf of somebody.” God had made a previous commitment to Noah of protecting him and his family and all the animals with him on the boat. God is now fulfilling that commitment! We can be assured and rest in the fact that God never forgets or forsakes His people, not only because of His promises but because of His character. God is a god of love and that is His character. Therefore, He can never deny Himself or His Word, for He is a faithful God!
God rewards faith. Genesis 8:15-16 says, “Then God said to Noah, ‘Leave the boat, all of you – you and your wife, and your sons and their wives.” Noah and his family had been confined to the ark for over a year due to the flood. Although they longed to get back on dry land, Noah understood the importance of waiting on God and trusting His plan. Noah was a man of faith. Before the flood, he exercised that faith by walking with God when the people of the world were ignoring and disobeying God. Now that the flood was over, Noah exercised faith to wait on God before leaving the ark.
God receives worship. Genesis 8:20 says, “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord….” The very first thing Noah did when he stepped out of the ark and onto dry ground was to lead his family in worship. He was overwhelmed with gratitude toward the Lord, and Noah gave God his first and his best in worship, thus returning and restoring true worship of the Lord on the earth. Noah loved the Lord, which was evident by his trust in the Lord, his faith in waiting on God’s timing for his life and his giving his first to the Lord in worship. As a result, we see that God remembered Noah and fulfilled His commitment and promise to Noah. God rewarded Noah by making his family fruitful and multiplying the earth through him. God also received Noah’s worship, and as a result, not only blessed Noah but restored worship to the people of the earth.
Lord, even in the difficult times of life, I know You are faithful to see me and remember me. We pray especially for all those affected by the storms and ask You to be especially near to each person. Please protect them and restore back to them their homes. May we all be drawn to You, even during the hard times, and continue standing on Your promises, knowing You will never leave us.
If you would like continued prayer, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would love to pray for you!