Genesis 8

* God remembers Noah, and dries up the waters. (1-3) The ark

rests on Ararat, Noah sends forth a raven and a dove. (4-12)

Noah being commanded, goes out of the ark. (13-19) Noah offers

sacrifice, God promises to curse the earth no more. (20-22)

1-3 The whole race of mankind, except Noah and his family, were

now dead, so that God's remembering Noah, was the return of his

mercy to mankind, of whom he would not make a full end. The

demands of Divine justice had been answered by the ruin of

sinners. God sent his wind to dry the earth, and seal up his

waters. The same hand that brings the desolation, must bring the

deliverance; to that hand, therefore, we must ever look. When

afflictions have done the work for which they are sent, whether

killing work or curing work, they will be taken away. As the

earth was not drowned in a day, so it was not dried in a day.

God usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that the

day of small things may not be despised, nor the day of great

things despaired of.
4-12 The ark rested upon a mountain, whither it was directed by

the wise and gracious providence of God, that might rest the

sooner. God has times and places of rest for his people after

their tossing; and many times he provides for their seasonable

and comfortable settlement, without their own contrivance, and

quite beyond their own foresight. God had told Noah when the

flood would come, yet he did not give him an account by

revelation, at what times and by what steps it should go away.

The knowledge of the former was necessary to his preparing the

ark; but the knowledge of the latter would serve only to gratify

curiosity; and concealing it from him would exercise his faith

and patience. Noah sent forth a raven from the ark, which went

flying about, and feeding on the carcasses that floated. Noah

then sent forth a dove, which returned the first time without

good news; but the second time, she brought an olive leaf in her

bill, plucked off, plainly showing that trees, fruit trees,

began to appear above water. Noah sent forth the dove the second

time, seven days after the first, and the third time was after

seven days also; probably on the sabbath day. Having kept the

sabbath with his little church, he expected especial blessings

from Heaven, and inquired concerning them. The dove is an emblem

of a gracious soul, that, finding no solid peace of satisfaction

in this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to its

ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The defiling world, returns to

Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The carnal

heart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on the

carrion it finds there; but return thou to my rest, O my soul;

to thy Noah, so the word is, #Ps 116:7|. And as Noah put forth

his hand, and took the dove, and pulled her to him, into the

ark, so Christ will save, and help, and welcome those that flee

to him for rest.
13-19 God consults our benefit, rather than our desires; he

knows what is good for us better than we do for ourselves, and

how long it is fit our restraints should continue, and desired

mercies should be delayed. We would go out of the ark before the

ground is dried; and perhaps, if the door, is shut, are ready to

thrust off the covering, and to climb up some other way; but

God's time of showing mercy is the best time. As Noah had a

command to go into the ark, so, how tedious soever his

confinement there was, he would wait for a command to go out of

it again. We must in all our ways acknowledge God, and set him

before us in all our removals. Those only go under God's

protection, who follow God's direction, and submit to him.
20-22 Noah was now gone out into a desolate world, where, one

might have thought, his first care would have been to build a

house for himself, but he begins with an alter for God. He

begins well, that begins with God. Though Noah's stock of cattle

was small, and that saved at great care and pains, yet he did

not grudge to serve God out of it. Serving God with our little

is the way to make it more; we must never think that is wasted

with which God is honoured. The first thing done in the new

world was an act of worship. We are now to express our

thankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by praise, and pious

devotions and conversation. God was well pleased with what was

done. But the burning flesh could no more please God, than the

blood of bulls and goats, except as typical of the sacrifice of

Christ, and expressing Noah's humble faith and devotedness to

God. The flood washed away the race of wicked men, but it did

not remove sin from man's nature, who being conceived and born

in sin, thinks, devises, and loves wickedness, even from his

youth, and that as much since the flood as before. But God

graciously declared he never would drown the world again. While

the earth remains, and man upon it, there shall be summer and

winter. It is plain that this earth is not to remain always. It,

and all the works in it, must shortly be burned up; and we look

for new heavens and a new earth, when all these things shall be

dissolved. But as long as it does remain, God's providence will

cause the course of times and seasons to go on, and makes each

to know its place. And on this word we depend, that thus it

shall be. We see God's promises to the creatures made good, and

may infer that his promises to all believers shall be so.
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