Go forth – A family affair


When the earth was dried, and all who were in the ark were saved, from God’s inundating judgment, God told Noah to leave the ark. The King James Version renders it as “Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” (Genesis 8:16). In this one verse are two hidden treasures that we must not miss. First it is the command of God to “Go forth.” Second, God includes Noah’s family (his wife, his son and their wives) to be part of this commission.

God wants us, who are saved by being in Jesus Christ – The Ark of our salvation, to Go forth. Jesus himself said, “Go ye (forth) therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever that he has commanded us” and yes, he promised to be with us, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20). And this commission is not just for an individual, but for the family as well. Noah was to lead his family safely to the new world, just as it is expected of each of us, who are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus to lead our families safely into the new world, God has provisioned for us.

Points to ponder:
The Triune God in one, introspects, “Who will go for us? Whom shall I send?” (Isaiah 6:8). Are you and I willing to say “Here I am Lord, send me” (as did prophet Isaiah – Isaiah 6:8) and are we willing to “Go forth (of the ark i.e., with the Salvation of Jesus Christ) and is our family also part of this journey?” God wants us to “Go forth (of the ark), as a family!” and we can be assured that Jesus will go with us, even unto the end of the world.

Genesis 8:16 (KJV)
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Opening Up (to God first)


Genesis 8: 13 reads “And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.

What caught my attention was that Noah removed the covering of the ark and I wondered as to why this was the case. Obviously the Lord had shut the one door (Genesis 7:16) which means that Noah did not have the key to open the door, but would it not have been easier for Noah to open a side of the ark, for the ark had already rested on top of a mountain (Genesis 8:4), and the waters were dried up from the earth (Genesis 8:13-14)? What could be the reasons why Noah opened the top (covering) of the ark, before seeing the dry ground (firm foundation) on which he could stand? Your guess is as best as mine and we would never know until we see him in the city built by God and possibly ask him (Hebrews 11:7,10). 

Although we do not know the reason why Noah opened the covering on top, there is a lesson, I believe, we could extrapolate from this incident. We must first open up to God, to the maker of the heavens and the earth, when we are in the ark. God first, then comes our mission of going forth of the ark.

Points to ponder:
We must open up to God for guidance and direction, first, when we are in Christ Jesus, the Ark, before looking around and seeing the firm foundation on which we can stand, and going forth with Christ in us. This not only applies for full time or part time missionaries, but to each Christ follower. Have you opened up (to God first)?

Genesis 8:13-14 (KJV)
13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

Reach out, Take, Pull In (the Holy Spirit)


Being raised as a missionary kid, in a home, in the village of Malkangiri, in Orissa, India, the sight of birds (usually sparrows), flying in and out of the house at their own free will, was a common thing. Now hold on to that thought, please.

Genesis 8:9 reads that when the dove that Noah had sent out from the ark to see if the universal and global flood waters had abated from off the face of the earth, she returned to the ark and Noah reached out (put forth his hand), took her and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

It is interesting to see the level of detail in this verse that can be easily missed by someone who is cursorily reading through the Scripture. Notice, how the Bible says, that Noah first reached out (put forth his hand), he then took the dove, and then he pulled her in, not just into the ark, but unto him. This implies that the dove did not just fly back into the ark, which would seem to be the natural thing for her to have done, since there was no place outside the ark for her to rest the sole of her foot. What could be the significance of such detail that is revealed in the Bible?

It makes me wonder if the Scripture is symbolically revealing to us this hidden treasure of how the Holy Spirit of God (symbolically represented as a dove at the baptism of Jesus) operates. Unlike the birds (sparrows) of Malkangiri, he does not simply barge in, but waits patiently outside our lives (Revelation 3:20) to find rest in our lives. Like Noah, he wants us to reach out to him (put forth our hand to him), to take him, and pull him into our lives, unto ourselves. He will not force himself on anyone!

Points to ponder:
The Holy Spirit of God is waiting to rest in your life. He reaches out to you so that you can reach out to him. He takes you as you are so that you can take him into your life. He pulls us from sin unto Salvation so that we can pull him into our lives to live as sanctified people and not as slaves to sin. Have you reached out, taken and pulled the Holy Spirit of God into your life, unto yourself?

Genesis 8:8-9 (KJV)
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

The Ark rested upon a mountain top


Genesis 8:4 reads that after it had stopped raining for a hundred and fifty days, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. We do not know for sure if it was on mount Ararat or upon one of the mountains in that region, where the ark rested. However, that detail is not as significant as recognizing that the ark did rest upon a mountain top and from within it, came out life to worship God first (Genesis 8:20) and be entered into a new covenant relationship with God (Genesis 8:21-22).

Jesus was crucified upon a hill (mountain top) called Calvary, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha (Luke 23:33; John 19:17) and on the Cross, he commended his spirit into the hands of God the Father (Luke 23:46) and rested in the Father’s hands. From him came out life for all who believe in him, shall not die but have passed over from death to life (John 5:24), a life that is not only abundant (John 10:10) but eternal as well, to worship God (Matthew 4:10) and be restored into a new covenant relationship with God. Jesus is The Ark who rested upon a mountain top!

Points to ponder:
Has Jesus Christ, The Ark of God, rested upon your life and soul? In other words, have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, to find rest, upon the mountain top of your heart/life?

Genesis 8:4, 20-22 (KJV)
4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Every living thing (in the Ark) – not forgotten!


Genesis 8:1 reads “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

Did you notice, that God not only remembered the living things in the ark, but he remembered each and every one of them? What is of importance, is to recognize, that there was life in the ark and they were in the thoughts of God. In fact, it is only in the ark that you could find life for all those who were not in it, perished in the flood.

Points to ponder:
Anyone who is in Jesus Christ, The Ark of God, given for man’s Salvation is passed from death to life (John 5:24) and those who abide in him have life, not just abundantly (John 10:10), but everlasting as well (John 5:24; John 3:16). The question is “Are you of the living?” i.e., “Do you have life?” i.e., “Are you abiding in the Ark (in Jesus Christ), having believed in him? If you have, you can be certain that even if the world has forsaken and forgotten you, and you feel lonely, you are not alone for you are not forgotten by God and his thoughts toward you is indeed wonderful and previous (Psalm 40:5; Psalm 139:17). Not only do we, who have believed in Jesus Christ, have life, but we are in the very thoughts of God – and that is wonderful and precious.

Genesis 8:1 (KJV)
1. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

John 5:24 (KJV)
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 10:10 (KJV)
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Psalm 40:5 (KJV)
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Psalm 139:17 (KJV)
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

And God remembered Noah


After it started to rain for forty days and forty nights, during the time of Noah, the waters prevailed for a little less than half an year (hundred and fifty days) when Noah and his family were in the ark along with the creatures that Noah had taken into it. Genesis 8:1 says that “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him [Noah] in the ark …” What does this mean?

Close scrutiny of this text bring to surface certain treasures hidden in it — about the very nature of God.

First and foremost, it tells us of the unforgetting nature of God. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, does not imply that God had forgotten about Noah or any of the living residents in the ark, for God does not forget his people, let alone even a small bird like a sparrow (Luke 12:6).
Second, God’s righteous nature is demonstrated in this, for God not only cares for his people but also for his creation (all living creatures) as the Bible says that a righteous man (who is made in God’s image) regards the life of his beast (Proverbs 12:10).

Points to ponder:
Life may seem tumultuous and waves of despair and discouragement may buffet against our lives, but if you are feeling lonely and desolate, you can be assured of one thing … that you are not forgotten nor forsaken … for God remembers you. You may feel lonely, but you are not alone. Infact, even a mother can forget her child, but God will not forget you (Isaiah 49:15). God is righteous and kind toward his creatures and so we can be assured that he is righteous and is kind towards you and me. When we have to tide over the waves of life, as long as we are in Christ (The Ark), we can be assured that God will not forget us.  Just as it is written, “And God remembered Noah …”, since God’s people are engraved in the palms of his hands (Isaiah 49:16), you can be assured and say, “And God remembered [insert your name here].” The question that remains, which demands an answer is “Do you/I remember God?” (Deuteronomy 8:18; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Proverbs 3:5-6)

Genesis 8:1 (KJV)
1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

Luke 12:6 (KJV)
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

Isaiah 49:15-16 (KJV)
15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

The Ark lifted up (above all the earth)


Genesis 7:27 states that during the flood in Noah’s time, the waters increased (filled the whole earth covering the highest of mountains) and bore the ark up and lifted it above the earth.

The Bible says that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover (fills) the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Jesus Christ is the Ark of salvation for all of mankind, for whoever is/abides in him, by faith, shall not perish like those who were outside the ark that Noah built for God (John 3:16, Genesis 7:23). Jesus willing chose and submitted himself to the will of God and became obedient, even unto death (Philippians 2:8). So, God exalted (lifted) him up and gave him a Name that is above all names – at whose name the entire world shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).

Points to ponder:
The waters bore the ark up and lifted it above all the earth. With the knowledge of the glory of God, evident in Jesus Christ, do we lift him up above all other things in our life?

Genesis 7:17-24 (KJV)
17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.