He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! (v.11) As we saw in the last post, the raven, a symbol of living life in the flesh, never returned with anything. (see previous post: He Sent Out a Dove) The dove, a symbol of living the spirit filled life that God desires for you, returned with an olive leaf, a symbol of peace. If you’re interested in having peace in your life, ask God for His holy spirit. Just ask. (see special post about living the spirit filled life)
Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.” (v.15-16) Isn’t it interesting that we see in verse 13 that on the first day of the first month Noah saw that the earth was dry. Yet Noah remained in the ark until he heard God’s word on the twenty-seventh day of the second month. Noah was a man who lived his life in obedience to God’s word. He saw how listening to God’s words had saved him and his family so he waited. He waited to hear from his Lord. From the time he heard God’s instructions to build the ark until the time his feet hit the ground Noah heeded God. Today it’s the same for you and it’s the same for me. If you want to live, if you want to survive life’s floods, if you want your family to live, listen to God’s word.
We’re inundated with information today, primarily because of the internet. The internet is an amazing resource, a great and powerful tool. With it we can learn practical wisdom, we can find distraction in the form of entertainment, we can communicate with friends and family like never before. But all of that is no substitute for God’s word.
He’s waiting to speak with you. His scripture is there, available to you. Wisdom from the Faithful and True One. (Revelation 1:11) Wisdom from the Almighty Most High God. (Revelation 1:8, Hebrews 7:1)
He waits for you — in His Bible.
Even as Noah enjoyed life as a result of obeying God’s word, you too can enjoy life in such greater measure if you listen to God’s words.
Just open the book.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (v.20) This verse provides for us a wonderful lesson in giving. In my own flesh I would have said, “I have just seven sheep here, should I take the seventh and make a sacrifice? I have to populate the whole world from this diminished tiny herd. Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until the animals have multiplied before sacrificing to You Lord?”
R.G. LeTourneau began life as a man of modest means. But when he started his business, a manufacturer of earth moving machines, he decided to tithe 90% of his profit and keep only 10% for himself. Incredibly, his business exploded to become the premiere giant earth moving equipment manufacturer in the world. He was the first to build giant equipment of this kind. I mean giant equipment, the type with tires twice as tall as a man. He became rich beyond what I can even comprehend. He himself said the money just came in faster than he could spend it. Speaking of his practice of giving 90% of his income he said, “I shovel it out and God shovels it back, but God has a bigger shovel.” Research his story, it’s amazing. Or read his biography, Mover of Men and Mountains.
In the words of Matthew Henry, “Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; and we must never think that wasted with which God is honoured.” Obviously Noah had a good grasp of this truth.
Now imagine with me that you’ve been cooped up in an ark with thousands of animals (and with all of the sanitation issues that that implies). You’ve been cooped up like this for more than a year! For 377 days! What’s the first thing you want to do when you get out? Celebrate? Throw a party? Play some frisbee football? Go for a long walk just because you finally can? Build a house for yourself? That’s what I’d want to do but that’s not what Noah did. Noah built an alter and sacrificed to his Lord. Noah gave thanks!
This is such a key in our walk with the Lord — recognizing that everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. (1 Timothy 4:4) Paul was talking about those on whom God’s wrath falls when he said in Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Thanksgiving is a pleasing aroma to our God. (Genesis 8:21) The flood didn’t eradicate the problem of sin as we see in verse 21 that still every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. But it was Noah’s sacrifice that prompted God to say, “…never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (v.21) Our Lord’s sacrifice, Jesus’ sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice is what prompts God to show us mercy in spite of our sin today.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.