In reading today’s passages I was impressed by how long Noah and his family were on the Ark. I typically think of the flood as taking 40 days and 40 nights and then over a few weeks the water goes away and Noah and family begin to repopulate the Earth. As I was reminded today, it took a lot longer than that.
Genesis 8:1-5 ESV
“But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.”
It was eleven months before Noah even began sending the raven and the dove out to find dry land. These folks were on this ark for almost a full year! Can you imagine what that must have been like? First you see all your neighbors, and everyone else on the planet, drown. Then you spend 40 days being tossed about in dark, overcast, rainy weather closed up with a bunch of smelly animals and your family members who can’t bathe. Then you spend month after month after month looking out at nothing but water for as far as the eye can see. I can’t imagine a lonelier place than the middle of the ocean.
When would you begin to think God had forgotten you – the 3rd month, the 6th month, the 9th month? Genesis chapter eight begins with “But God remembered Noah…” Do you think this means God forgot about him? God is omniscient; He can’t forget. God had a plan and that plan took time. God has a plan for all of creation and it is taking thousands of years to play out. Noah may have thought God had forgotten him but God remembered Noah.
So let me ask you. Do you feel at times like you are stuck? Do you feel like maybe God has forgotten you? Have you prayed and prayed for God to give you guidance, to show you His will only to wait and wait and wait for an answer? Well, here in Genesis God gives you part of His answer – be patient, keep on keeping on. God has a plan for you and that plan will take time. God provides us these stories in the Bible to teach us the fact that He hasn’t and won’t forget about us. These stories show us that God is in control and in His time He will bring His children to where He intends them to be. Your job is to persevere in faithful obedience with what He has already shown you while you wait for Him to show you something new. God will act when the time is right to act. Trust Him. Obey Him. Know that He has not forgotten you.