Welcome back to our study of the book of Genesis, in our last study, we talked about the reasons why God made the decision to bring about the flood. Today we’ll see that God’s word will never fail in keeping with Isaiah 55:11.
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.
I like how the verse reads in the international version. God is the one who found Noah to be righteous in His sight. That is the first observation we must make. Noah didn’t declare himself righteous , GOD did. And why is that important ? It is so that we understand that God is the one who grants us righteousness by His own divine will. This is why it is important that we pay close attention to the naming of Noah in Chapter 5:28-29. Lamech’s naming of Noah was prophetic , it was God ordained. NOAH was declared righteous by God the same way Abraham was declared righteous, by faith , it was a divine work whereby God declared him to be righteous, thus taking away any idea of Noah himself declaring himself righteous.
2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals,[a] the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, 3 and seven pairs[b] of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing[c] that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
In verse 2, we’re being introduced for the first time to the concept of clean animals. We’ll find in the later chapters that some of these clean animals will be used for food and also for sacrifices to the Lord. We also need to understand that is is God who makes the distinction between that which is clean and that which is not clean. Later on God is the one who will tell the Jewish nation about their dietary laws as it pertains to clean and unclean animals. But what we need to take away from this is that God reserves the right to decide between that which is clean and unclean, not us. Another observation in this verse is that the number of pairs of clean animals to be taken in the ark exceeded that of the unclean animals ( seven pairs to one in favor of the clean animals). We’ve also already mentioned that usually the number 7 is representative of that which is set apart for the Lord. The primary reason why Noah was to take all these animals in the ark was for the purpose of keeping their offspring alive so that they could reproduce, multiply and be fruitful after the flood. Both clean animals, birds and unclean animals have a role and a function in accordance with Genesis 1-everything that GOD created was good, even the unclean animals. Scavengers ( usually considered unclean ) feed on carrion to keep the ecosystem clean, so they have a function.
Verse 4 makes it quite obvious that, despite the fact that God is long-suffering, His patience will eventually come to an end. In the previous chapter, HE had given Noah’s contemporaries 120 years to repent. However, verse 4 shows that nothing had changed during this extended period of probation. Noah had finally finished to build the ark and GOD’s judgement was underway. Here again, we see that number 7, evoking thoughts of making the earth Holy by cleansing it of all unrighteousness through the flood. We also are introduced to the forty days and forty nights. In Jewish categories, the number 40 is also significant, it is meant to convey a transition. Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days and 40 nights prior to debuting His public ministry. And in Genesis 7, the forty days and forty nights also conveyed this concept of transition, every living creature was going to be blotted out ( erased) from the face of the earth to usher in a new generation, that of every one in the ark.
Verse 5 confirms the obedient heart of Noah, he does exactly according to the word of the LORD. We were already told in the previous chapter that jut like His father Enoch, Noah walked with the LORD, meaning he obeyed God wholeheartedly.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9 two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
I’m not sure if there is any significance to the fact that Noah was 600 years old when the flood came other than a confirmation of the Word of God coming to pass. Even though it took 120 years, eventually God’s word came to pass at its appointed time, for His Word never fails. Peter reminds us of this in his 2nd epistle,
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a
2 Peter 3:3-10
You’ll also notice that Noah ( who is the head of his household) is the first to enter the ark, leading by example. And the ark was the means God used to preserve those that were in it, notably Noah, his three sons, His wife and his sons’ wives as well all the pairs of animals he was instructed to let into the ark. For us, our ark is Jesus, He is the way the truth and the life, and no one will escape the wrath of God except if he/she is in Jesus. I wrote an extensive article about the necessity of the God- Man and I’ll encourage you to read it, see link below
You’ll also notice that the animals went into the ark as God had commanded Noah. I don’t think Noah went around seeking every single species that God wanted to bring in the ark. The scripture seems to indicate that the animals themselves came in pairs of two to Noah and he let them in, in keeping with the Word of God. It was an orderly evacuation, the animals came in two and two ( there was no chaos).
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. 13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, 14 they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. 15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.
The scripture provides us with an exact date to confirm the veracity of the global flood. The event occurred in Noah’s 600th year, in the second month and on the seventeenth day. This specificity allows any skeptic or inquisitive mind to fact-check the event, which is why we must trust in the word of God. The times given are not random but specific and concise, leaving no room for cover-ups. This ensures that readers know with absolute certainty that the word of God is truth. Additionally, specific names of the male heads of households that survived the flood are provided for record-keeping purposes. While only Noah and his three sons were mentioned earlier, now their names are mentioned to allow readers to fact-check every event.
As humans, we tend to forget things, so this information serves as a reminder to avoid making mistakes similar to those made by Noah’s contemporaries. Finally, it is worth noting that all animals entered the ark prompted by the Spirit of God.
At the end of verse 16, it is written that “the Lord shut him in.” Although it would have been correct to write “the Lord shut them in,” the scripture specifically singles out Noah. As the head of the household and due to his righteousness, everyone else benefited. The Lord shut Noah in because it was He who decided when the ark was at full capacity and who could enter. Once the Lord sealed the door, no one else could go in or out, ensuring that Noah and all those with him were secure in the ark. It is possible that as the rain poured down, many came knocking on the door pleading for Noah to let them in. However, he couldn’t open it because once the Lord had shut it, there was no reopening it again.
This should be a reminder for all of us that it is going to be the same when Jesus returns to take up his bride. Those who aren’t sealed , or shut in the Jesus ( sealed by the Holy Spirit) will incur the flood of the wrath of God, and it would be too late to repent then, just like it was in the days of Noah. So if you hear his voice today, do not harden your heart.
17 The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits[d] deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
In these verses, we clearly learn about the extent of the devastation caused by the flood. First, we are informed about how long the waters continued to flood the earth, a forty day period. God was now vindicating Noah through the ark as it was the only device that didn’t succumb to the mighty waters. We are told that it rose above the earth and floated on the face of the waters. Not only were the waters covering all the earth but they also rose about 23 feet above all the high mountains under the whole heaven. This is very important, some think that the flood was only local but is clear from verse 19 that this is an event that affected the whole earth as even the highest mountains that existed at the time were buried 23 feet under the waters.
Everything that had been created except Noah, his sons, his wife, his sons’s wives and all who were inside the ark perished or was blotted out ( completely erased) from the face of the earth. The wrath of God is real, and it isn’t to be taken lightly. We live in an age where just like in the days of Noah, people scoff at the truthfulness of the existence of God and His wrath. But this passage clearly gives us true and authentic data so that we do not repeat the same mistake Noah’s contemporaries made and take very seriously the things of God.
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My name is Tayib Salami and I started Tayibs.com for the sole purpose of exploring difficult questions about the Christian faith that most of us shy away from. In 2017, I entered a very dark time in my life and it’s only by the grace of the Living God that I’m still alive today. It led me to really go deeper in my faith and consider a myriad of questions that I never thought about asking myself or others before. Welcome and enjoy the ride with me.