And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark…
In the experience of Christians the joy of first believing is often followed by a time of discouragement. Freshness of feeling seems to fade. The "law of sin" makes itself felt. Yet it is just the training by which firmer faith and fuller joy are to be reached. Deep must have been the thankfulness of those in the ark; safe in the midst of the flood. But their faith was tried. Five months, and still no abatement. Noah may well have had misgivings (cf. Matthew 11:3). But God had not forgotten him (cf. Mark 6:48; John 10:14). He remembered not Noah only, but every creature in the ark (cf. Luke 12:6). He saves to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). The time of trial was a prelude to complete deliverance (cf. Acts 14:22).
I. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN BELIEVERS ARE TEMPTED TO FEEL FORGOTTEN. When troubles gather, and prayers seem unanswered, it is hard to keep faith firm. The warning Hebrews 12:6, 7 often needful. Christians would fain be led in smooth ways. And when their course is irksome and discouraging they sometimes see the wind boisterous, and begin to sink. Still more surely does the feeling follow sin. The disciple has forgotten to watch; has trusted to his own strength; has ventured into temptation, and fallen. Then God is felt to be afar off (cf. Exodus 33:7). And there are times of discipline, when spiritual freedom seems denied, and the soul cannot cry Abba, and prayer seems choked (cf. Isaiah 49:14). Perhaps it is to teach humility; perhaps to show some root of evil; perhaps to excite more hunger for communion with God.
II. BUT GOD DOES NOT FORGET. A creature's love may fail (Isaiah 49:15), a creature's watchfulness may faint, but not God's. He made us; can he forget our wants? His purpose is our salvation; will he neglect any step? He gave his own Son for us; is anything else too great for his goodness? Not even thy coldness and unbelief can make him cease to care.
III. GOD'S CARE EXTENDS TO THE LEAST. Our Lord welcomed
(1) those of small account (Matthew 21:16; Mark 10:49; Luke 18:16), and
(2) the undeserving (Luke 7:39; Luke 15:10; Luke 19:7). He cares also for small matters (cf. Luke 12:28-30). What treasures of wisdom and love surround us on every side! These are not beneath his care. Will he not fulfill? (Romans 8:28).
IV. FREEDOM THROUGH THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. God's time not always what we should choose (cf. John 7:6). Noah a prisoner of hope. God showed that the hope was well founded. The agent of deliverance "a wind " - the same word, both in Hebrew and in the LXX., as is used in Genesis 1:2 for the Spirit of God. Doubtless the agent in drying up the water was a wind. But in the spiritual lesson we are reminded of the Holy Spirit. His work at first brought life on the earth; and his work prepared for repeopling it, and completed the work of Noah's deliverance. And his work gives us freedom, showing us the work of Christ, and our position as children of God. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 asswaged;