God Remembered Noah
Gen. 8:1 "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; The fountains also of the
deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven
was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually:
and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated."
We know that the scriptures teach that God knows all things
past, present, and future. He cannot forget anything. Yet the above
passage says that God remembered Noah. While it is not in God's ability
to forget anything, yet the above scripture is not about God's perfect
knowledge. It is about why God remembered Noah, and every living thing,
and all the cattle that was with him in the ark, in the way that he
remembered them. He remembered them so as to stop the fountains of the
deep and the windows of heaven and to restrain the rain from heaven.
Several times in the scriptures we have the thought
presented to us that God remembered different ones. In each case the
fact that God remembered those individuals was based on a covenant that
he had made. This was covenant remembrance. He remembered them so as
to fulfill his covenant promises. God had made a covenant promise to
Noah and those that were with him in the ark that they would be
preserved alive after the judgmental waters were past. Thus, God is
telling us in the above passage that He remembered Noah and all that
were with him in the ark based on his covenant promise to them and he is
remembering them so as to fulfill his covenant promise.
Elsewhere in the scriptures we have God remember different
individuals based on his covenant promises:
1. Gen. 19:29 "And it came to pass, when God
destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent
Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in
the which Lot dwelt."
2. Ex. 2:24, 25 "And God heard their groaning,
and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with
Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect
3. Ex. 6:5-8 "And I have also heard the
groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage;
and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of
Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens
of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will
redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I
will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye
shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from
under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the
land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac,
and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD."
4. Ps. 78:37-39 "For their heart was not right
with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being
full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea,
many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his
wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth
away, and cometh not again."
5. Ps. 98:1-3 "A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a
new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his
holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. The LORD hath made known his
salvation: his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the
heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of
Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
6. Ps. 105:7-11 "He is the LORD our God: his
judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for
ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which
covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed
the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting
covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of
7. Ps. 105:40-45 "The people asked, and he
brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened
the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a
river. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of
the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws.
Praise ye the LORD."
8. Ps. 106:43-45 "Many times did he deliver
them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for
their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he
heard their cry: And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented
according to the multitude of his mercies."
From all the above passages it is clear that God remembered
for good many people based on covenants that he had made with those
people or with others that embraced those people.
Similarly, God has a people that he remembers based on a
covenant made with Himself before the foundation of the world. This
covenant is plainly stated for us in Rom. 8:29, 30 "For whom he did
foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his
Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom
he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he
also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Just as
God would not forget to fulfill his holy promises to Noah and to them
that were with him in the ark, so God will not forget to fulfill his
holy promises to them that he foreknew before the foundation of the
earth. All the provisions of that covenant of redemption will be
perfectly fulfilled on behalf of the elect family of God because God
remembers them with a covenant remembrance.
Likewise, we know that God is incapable of forgetting
anything, yet he says concerning his covenant people in Heb. 8:10-12
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind,
and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they
shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his
neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all
shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful
to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I
remember no more." This does not mean that God suddenly became
forgetful when it pertained to the sins and iniquities of his covenant
people. Rather it means that based on this covenant God will not
remember the sins and iniquities of his covenant people against them any
more. The sin debt has been paid and it will not be held against them
in judgment any more. Praise be to God for both his covenant
remembrance and covenant forgetfulness.
Noah sends forth Raven and Dove
Gen. 8:6-12 "And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah
opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a
raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from
off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters
were abated from off the face of the ground; But 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. And he
stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the
ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth
was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated
from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth
the dove; which returned not again unto him any more."
The inhabitants of the ark had been in the ark for a long
period of time and no doubt began to look for hope that the flood would
soon be over and that they might come out of the ark. The first
evidence of hope is found in verse 5: "And 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." Seeing the tops of
the mountains was a great comfort to the inhabitants of the ark. Yet
there was still a lot of flood waters upon the earth.
God had sent the judgmental waters upon the earth and
destroyed all in whose nostrils was the breath of life except for those
that were in the ark with Noah. After the judgmental waters had been on
the earth a long time, the occupants began to look for evidence that the
judgment of God would soon be over. First Noah sent a raven out of the
ark which returned not again. The raven is an unclean animal and would
parallel our flesh nature in which it was said of Paul: "I know that in
me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." The message to the
inhabitants of the ark from the raven is that I am content to dwell and
to eat of the floating dead bodies on the top of the waters. Likewise,
our flesh is satisfied to eat of the rotten things of this world.
Then Noah sent a dove out of the ark, which returned to him
having found no rest for the soles of her feet. Noah waited seven days
and sent the dove again who returned with an olive leaf plucked off.
Noah waited another seven days and sent the dove a third time and she
returned not again unto the ark.
The dove is used to represent the church in three ages of
time. The first age was the age of the law. Under the law, there was
no rest, but a continual testimony of coming judgment for sin. However,
to fulfill this age and to usher in the New Covenant age, the Lord Jesus
Christ came to fulfill the law to a jot and a tittle. This he did and
then presented himself a sacrifice unto God to redeem his people from
their sins. Christ fulfilled or completed the law. There was nothing
left to fulfill in the law. Christ had completely fulfilled it. He
also ushered in the New Testament Church. The church bears witness that
the judgment is past, just as the dove had an olive leaf plucked off.
The olive leaf is a symbol of peace.
Just as the dove went forth a third time from the ark, so
the New Testament church waits for the day when Christ shall come again
and we shall be translated into the glory world. At God's appointed
time, the New Testament age will come to a completion and we and all the
elect will be raised up and our vile bodies will be fashioned like the
glorious body of Christ and we shall return this way no more, but we
shall be forever with our Redeemer.
These messages were conveyed to the inhabitants of the ark
by the dove, in the same way that the church conveys messages to God's