Well thank you for joining and clicking on the podcast, I am your host Randy Duncan, and we are making our way through the book of Genesis verse by verse.
Before we get started today, I just want to thank and appreciate all of you who have listened to previous episodes. I have not recorded an episode in almost two months due to moving and remodeling my new home, which is where my office is located, as well as where I record. And in all transparency, I also had a two-week battle with the Rona’ as well! Thank you to all who reached out and sent messages asking when the next episode was being released because it has been impactful to you or someone you know.
We know people are listening to the podcast because we have had listeners from over 50 different countries and over 700 different cities already in the first 20 episodes. So I know there is an interest in this type of Bible study. But still, it is always nice to hear from listeners, and I sincerely and genuinely appreciate your comments, and I am very excited to be back on schedule.
Also, before we get started in chapter 8, I wanted to correct something I said last episode. I said that Noah took onboard the ark more than one pair of the unclean animals so that there would be more for sacrifices, but I should have said he took on more than one pair of the clean animals. I simply mis-spoke there. Thank you to listener Jess, who contacted me and pointed that out.
With that said, as a reminder, in the last episode, I threw a lot at you, as we covered all of chapter 7. We discussed Noah and his family boarding the ark, along with animals, and we discussed the extent of the flood…was it local, universal, or worldwide?
Which brings us now to chapter 8, which will see the flood subside, and Noah exit the ark
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. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated,
So it says that God “remembered” Noah. But that is not “remembered” in the sense that we use the term in English, where we recall something that we have maybe forgotten. After all, this is God we are speaking of. He doesn’t forget anything. The word in Hebrew refers to acting upon a previous commitment to a covenant partner. God acted on His previous commitment to Noah, and so proves Himself trustworthy.
4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 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.
Many people have heard of the search for Noah’s Ark. Ask anybody familiar with this story, “where did Noah’s Ark land”?, and they will likely answer that the ark came to rest on Mt Ararat. But is that correct? What does the text actually say? It says that the ark came to rest on the “mountains of Ararat”. Mountains, plural! Somewhere in that area.
The mountains of Ararat constitute an area in modern-day eastern Turkey, southern Russia, and northwest Iran. Those are the mountains of Ararat.
There have been many expeditions to find the ark, focused specifically on Mt. Ararat, or in the mountains of Ararat. There have been several pictures which have surfaced purporting to identify the ark, sometimes encased in ice, other times just a shape in the topography resembling a rectangular shape.
History is full of supposed ark sightings on Ararat! Marco Polo even referenced it! It has supposedly been spotted by airline and military pilots flying overhead. There was even a CBS Primetime Special back in 1993 titled “The Incredible Discovery of Noah’s Ark”.
These expeditions have all come up empty handed thus far. Mt Ararat is the highest peak in Turkey at almost 17,000 ft., and is snow-covered all year round, with the last 300 feet now solid ice!
Some people believe that the ark will be found in God’s timing, maybe as a sign of some sort. And that it could still be identifible if it has been protected beneath ice. And we know that Noah covered it with pitch, which would also have served as a layer of protection to perhaps preserve the ark.
However, one possibility, and perhaps a very likely one, that people rarely stop to consider, is that Noah and his family would have used the ark’s wood for building materials once they emerged from the ark! Obviously, the ark was constructed using high quality wood, so it makes sense that they would have utilized this wood for various purposes. Remember, they are having to start completely over. From scratch! If I was Noah, that’s what I would have done!
6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. 9 But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.
Notice in V11, the dove came back with an olive leaf. To this day, the dove and the olive leaf, or olive branch, are a symbol of peace, hope, and optimisim.
But I want to take this opportunity to walk down a little bit different path, and to explore a different perspective concerning the raven and the dove.
Certainly, the raven did not return to the ark because it lived on carrion, which is the decaying flesh of dead animals. The raven would have survived just fine. In fact, it would have had a virtual buffet of floating carcases. After the judgment of the flood, there would have been dead carcasses everywhere! The raven liked the things in this judged world, and feasted on them.
But the dove… the dove returned to the ark. When sent forth, the dove finds a world inhospitable to its way of living.
Both the raven and the dove are sent forth into a judged world. The raven fits in just fine. In fact, the raven thrives, and so never returns. The dove, however, doesn’t like what it sees and returns to the ark.
Interestingly, the raven is listed as an unclean bird, the dove as a clean bird. As J. Vernon McGhee said, the dove went out into a judged world and found no satisfaction, no rest, and so returned to the ark.
You see, to some people, the dove represents the believer in this world. One who finds no satisfaction, no rest, in this world, until we come back to the ark. Remember, like I mentioned in a couple of earlier episodes, there was only one ark, and it had only one door. Jesus said in John 10:9, “I am the door”, If anyone enters by me, he will be saved”
Notice also that the raven and the dove are in the world together. The clean and the unclean are together. As believers, we are told in 1 John 2:15-16 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
Now certainly, there are many wonderful things God has provided for us to enjoy in this world, such as the beauty of nature and relationships with others. But that is not what we are talking about. This is referencing to and speaking to your priorities in life. Are you spending your life attempting to live in and conquer the world? Trying to acquire more things, to achieve things this world celebrates?
IOW, what are your true priorities in life? How much attention and devotion and time do you allow for your relationship with God? Be careful my friends. Don’t become so busy in this world that you slowly squeeze God out of your daily routine, and eventually your entire calendar.
It has been suggested that we become like the Gods we worship. If we worship the world, we will become like the world. James 4:4 tells us “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Again, as John tells us, “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”
13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.
Sometimes people have the idea that Noah was on the ark for 40 days and 40 nights while the rain and floodwaters came. But that is a gross misunderstanding of scripture. The text tells us clearly how long Noah and his family were onboard the ark
Remember, 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights
Now when does Noah disembark? V13 tells us…in the 601st year of Noah, on the second month, on the 27th day of the month! Noah and his family are onboard the ark for just over 1 year! 1 year!! Can you imagine!? Different commentaries arrive at slightly different numbers concerning howlong they were onboard the ark, but we know it was a little over a year. And when Noah finally steps out, he would step out into an environment that looked much different than the one he knew before he boarded the ark
There are some who have pointed out that, if you look at the Jewish calendar dates for when the ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat, and when Jesus was resurrected, that they occurred on the same date, the 17th of the Jewish month of Nisan. IOW, when you reconcile the two calendars, religious and civil calendars of old, you can determine that our new beginning on planet earth occurred on the anniversary, in anticipation of, our new beginning in Christ. Now, to be clear, I have not researched that, I am just throwing that out there so you are aware of that thought and belief is held by some. But if you are interested in that sort of thing, I would encourage you to do your own research.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Interesting. What is the first thing Noah does when he leaves the ark? He builds an altar to the Lord. This tells you where his heart and his mind were.
While promising to never again strike down every living creature or curse the ground for man’s sake, God also makes an interesting comment – – “”for the intention of man’s heart is eveil from his youth”
I find that interesting because the world tries to teach us the exact opposite, telling us the man is basically good. And that if a person is evil, there is a reason outside of themselves which caused it. IOW, if someone does evil deeds, it is because they were a victim of society, they were poor, discriminated against, treated unfairly, had a tough childhood, etc. Any excuse you can think of. But never because they were just simply evil.
And those who blame outside societal forces will always encourage people to battle society rather than their own nature. And that, unfortunately, is where we seem to be in America right now. Blame evil on anything and anyone else, rather than where it truly lies….within the heart of the individual
And here is the concern…as Dennis Prager said, “The most important question a society that wishes to survive can ask is this: How do we make good people? But societies that believe people are basically good will never ask that question”
In wrapping up this episode and chapter 8, we should heed what the New Testament indicates regarding the flood – that the flood should be a reminder to us of the reality of the final judgment
In the flood, both God’s justice and His grace are revealed. In the end, this will be the case, where on the day of judgment, God’s justice and grace will once again be revealed.
And I would mention also another time God’s justice and his grace, His love, was on display…the cross. Where justice and grace converged.
But until then, perhaps we should listen to Peter’s advice in 2 Pet 3:11on how we should live our lives in the meantime…”Peter tells us “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives”
Thank you so much for listening, and thank you again for your patience during my transition to our new home and office. I hope you will listen in again next week, and until then, God bless!