Genesis 8: Waiting On The Lord
By Allen J. Huth, President of the Ezra Project
Intro by Gwynne W. Olson |
My name is Gwynne Olson and I am the Executive Assistant for Allen J. Huth at the Ezra Project. During Hurricane Harvey, I was under mandatory evacuation orders and had to leave our home for 13 days
It seemed that history was repeating itself. Like Noah, I had to wait for the water to recede so I could go home. But instead of birds, we used helicopters, boats, and drones to check on the water levels in my county.
During the evacuation, God provided our four pets and me a welcoming home to wait while my husband was protecting our home. My friends made me feel like a part of their family, I was amazed. But why? God hasn’t failed me yet.
Lord, thank You for providing me with patience of Noah as I waited for the floodwaters to recede. And please bless those affected by the water and winds from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, and protect those in Maria’s path. In Jesus name. Amen.
Now to Allen’s blog entitled, Waiting On The Lord.
Genesis 8 is about Noah waiting for the floodwaters to subside. Let’s look at what I wrote in my 2007 Bible reading journal regarding this chapter. “Waiting. The rain stopped. Noah probably wanted out of that ark, but he waited. He waited on instructions from the Lord. Many days go by. He tests with a few birds, but he waits on the Lord. Then God spoke to Noah. God releases him from the ark and instructs him to be fruitful and multiply on the earth.
The first thing Noah did was build an altar to the Lord. Though Noah honored God, God knows, “The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth’ (Genesis 8:21, NASB). Basically good, or basically evil. According to God, evil. So we need a Savior.”
You have probably heard it argued like I have. Is man basically good or basically evil? Many want to believe that we are basically good. But a reading of the first eight chapters of Genesis tells us something different, doesn’t it?
Back in Genesis 3, in a very good world, the Garden of Eden, virtually perfect, man was still tempted to be like God and failed. In chapter 4, the story of Cain and Abel. The Lord remind us “sin is crouching at the door” and we “must rule over it” (Genesis 3:7). But we fail.
In Genesis 6, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth” (Genesis 6:5-6).
Also in chapter 6, the Word says, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth”(Genesis 6:11-12).
So from the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, sin nature has been passed on generation after generation. Even after the cleansing flood, God reminds us the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Any parent would know you never have to teach your child to do something wrong. It seems to come naturally, doesn’t it?
As parents, we spend most of our time trying to correct children and to raise them right. So I would submit to you that these first few chapters of Genesis make it very clear that man has a sin nature. He is basically evil. And throughout the generations from Adam to Noah to today, nothing has changed.
There are a couple of lessons I can glean from Genesis 8. One is how good are you, how good am I, at waiting on the Lord? Surely Noah was sick and tired of being in that ark with all those crazy animals, but Noah learned to wait on the Lord. To wait on God’s instructions.
Are you patient? Do you wait on the Lord? Are you good at waiting on the Lord’s instructions? Maybe you’re facing a challenge today. Maybe there’s something in your life right now that you would like an answer to. Wait on the Lord. Maybe God is reminding you to apply patience in your circumstances even this day.
And there’s another interesting lesson in the last verse of this chapter. It says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Verse 22). We are at a time in our world when people talk about global warming and climate change and somehow give man credit for the rising temperature on the earth or the cooling of the earth or the melting of the ice caps in the North Pole. I believe that’s because we have ignored God’s Word.
This verse tells me “while the earth remains.” So as long as the earth remains, there will always be “seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Verse 22). God controls the world, not man. God is the first environmentalist, not man. And whether the temperature on the earth is rising or falling, it’s of the Lord, not man.
Now, I guess I didn’t mean to get political, I just try to be Biblical, and that’s what the verse says, doesn’t it. I personally will always put my faith in the Lord and His Word over science and the thoughts of men.
And the last lesson from Genesis 8 is this: After a crisis, after Noah and his family faced probably the greatest crisis in their life, what did they do? They built an altar to the Lord. How about you? When you come out of a crisis, do you build an altar to the Lord?
Maybe you’ve faced a crisis of a natural disaster, like a flood. Maybe you’re facing a crisis of being cooped up in a circumstance or situation that you do not enjoy. Maybe you’re tired of waiting for an answer in a certain circumstance in your life right now.
Whatever your crisis is, it will end. Just like the flood ended. Just like the ground began to dry. Just like the Lord said to Noah, “You can leave the ark.” God knows your crisis. He knows your circumstances. Wait for His instructions. And then when your crisis passes, build an altar to the Lord.
Father, help us through the floods in our own lives. Help us through the difficult circumstances in our lives. Teach us to wait patiently on You. Speak to us like You spoke to Noah. And, Lord, when our crisis is ends, remind us to build an altar back to You.
May our honor and our sacrifice to You be a pleasing aroma in Your heart. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.