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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 8

God remembers Noah, and dries up the waters. (1-3) The ark rests on Ararat, Noah sends forth a raven and a dove. (4-12) Noah being commanded, goes out of the ark. (13-19) Noah offers sacrifice, God promises to curse the earth no more. (20-22)

Verses 1-3: The whole race of mankind, except Noah and his family, were now dead, so that God's remembering Noah, was the return of his mercy to mankind, of whom he would not make a full end. The demands of Divine justice had been answered by the ruin of sinners. God sent his wind to dry the earth, and seal up his waters. The same hand that brings the desolation, must bring the deliverance; to that hand, therefore, we must ever look. When afflictions have done the work for which they are sent, whether killing work or curing work, they will be taken away. As the earth was not drowned in a day, so it was not dried in a day. God usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that the day of small things may not be despised, nor the day of great things despaired of.

Verses 4-12: The ark rested upon a mountain, whither it was directed by the wise and gracious providence of God, that might rest the sooner. God has times and places of rest for his people after their tossing; and many times he provides for their seasonable and comfortable settlement, without their own contrivance, and quite beyond their own foresight. God had told Noah when the flood would come, yet he did not give him an account by revelation, at what times and by what steps it should go away. The knowledge of the former was necessary to his preparing the ark; but the knowledge of the latter would serve only to gratify curiosity; and concealing it from him would exercise his faith and patience. Noah sent forth a raven from the ark, which went flying about, and feeding on the carcasses that floated. Noah then sent forth a dove, which returned the first time without good news; but the second time, she brought an olive leaf in her bill, plucked off, plainly showing that trees, fruit trees, began to appear above water. Noah sent forth the dove the second time, seven days after the first, and the third time was after seven days also; probably on the sabbath day. Having kept the sabbath with his little church, he expected especial blessings from Heaven, and inquired concerning them. The dove is an emblem of a gracious soul, that, finding no solid peace of satisfaction in this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The carnal heart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on the carrion it finds there; but return thou to my rest, O my soul; to thy Noah, so the word is, (Ps 116:7). And as Noah put forth his hand, and took the dove, and pulled her to him, into the ark, so Christ will save, and help, and welcome those that flee to him for rest.

Verses 13-19: God consults our benefit, rather than our desires; he knows what is good for us better than we do for ourselves, and how long it is fit our restraints should continue, and desired mercies should be delayed. We would go out of the ark before the ground is dried; and perhaps, if the door, is shut, are ready to thrust off the covering, and to climb up some other way; but God's time of showing mercy is the best time. As Noah had a command to go into the ark, so, how tedious soever his confinement there was, he would wait for a command to go out of it again. We must in all our ways acknowledge God, and set him before us in all our removals. Those only go under God's protection, who follow God's direction, and submit to him.

Verses 20-22: Noah was now gone out into a desolate world, where, one might have thought, his first care would have been to build a house for himself, but he begins with an alter for God. He begins well, that begins with God. Though Noah's stock of cattle was small, and that saved at great care and pains, yet he did not grudge to serve God out of it. Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; we must never think that is wasted with which God is honoured. The first thing done in the new world was an act of worship. We are now to express our thankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by praise, and pious devotions and conversation. God was well pleased with what was done. But the burning flesh could no more please God, than the blood of bulls and goats, except as typical of the sacrifice of Christ, and expressing Noah's humble faith and devotedness to God. The flood washed away the race of wicked men, but it did not remove sin from man's nature, who being conceived and born in sin, thinks, devises, and loves wickedness, even from his youth, and that as much since the flood as before. But God graciously declared he never would drown the world again. While the earth remains, and man upon it, there shall be summer and winter. It is plain that this earth is not to remain always. It, and all the works in it, must shortly be burned up; and we look for new heavens and a new earth, when all these things shall be dissolved. But as long as it does remain, God's providence will cause the course of times and seasons to go on, and makes each to know its place. And on this word we depend, that thus it shall be. We see God's promises to the creatures made good, and may infer that his promises to all believers shall be so


David Burnette's Life Application

God Remembers You


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 8 and i n today's text we see God remembering Noah in the Ark as it rained for 40 days and nights but it took an entire year for the waters to receded enough to leave the Ark. In making application we see a lesson on waiting on God. I am sure that Noah wondered how long? and has God forgot about me? The truth is that God remembered Noah and God remembers you. He is working on His Perfect time table and at times it may seem like He is far from your situation but our text today reminds us that God know what you are going through. How about you? Do you see that God cares about you? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Noah to see that God remembered Noah and God remembers you, He knows your situationand is working all things together for good according to His timetable which is perfect.

 

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Genesis 8


Genesis 8

 1And 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;

 2The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;

 3And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

 4And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

 5And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

 6And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

 7And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

 8Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

 9But 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.

 10And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

 11And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

 12And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

 13And 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.

 14And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

 15And God spake unto Noah, saying,

 16Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.

 17Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

 18And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:

 19Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.

 20And 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.

 21And 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.

 22While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.