Genesis 8* God remembers Noah, and dries up the waters. (1-3) The arkrests on Ararat, Noah sends forth a raven and a dove. (4-12)Noah being commanded, goes out of the ark. (13-19) Noah offerssacrifice, God promises to curse the earth no more. (20-22)1-3 The whole race of mankind, except Noah and his family, werenow dead, so that God's remembering Noah, was the return of hismercy to mankind, of whom he would not make a full end. Thedemands of Divine justice had been answered by the ruin ofsinners. God sent his wind to dry the earth, and seal up hiswaters. The same hand that brings the desolation, must bring thedeliverance; to that hand, therefore, we must ever look. Whenafflictions have done the work for which they are sent, whetherkilling work or curing work, they will be taken away. As theearth was not drowned in a day, so it was not dried in a day.God usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that theday of small things may not be despised, nor the day of greatthings despaired of. 4-12 The ark rested upon a mountain, whither it was directed bythe wise and gracious providence of God, that might rest thesooner. God has times and places of rest for his people aftertheir tossing; and many times he provides for their seasonableand comfortable settlement, without their own contrivance, andquite beyond their own foresight. God had told Noah when theflood would come, yet he did not give him an account byrevelation, at what times and by what steps it should go away.The knowledge of the former was necessary to his preparing theark; but the knowledge of the latter would serve only to gratifycuriosity; and concealing it from him would exercise his faithand patience. Noah sent forth a raven from the ark, which wentflying about, and feeding on the carcasses that floated. Noahthen sent forth a dove, which returned the first time withoutgood news; but the second time, she brought an olive leaf in herbill, plucked off, plainly showing that trees, fruit trees,began to appear above water. Noah sent forth the dove the secondtime, seven days after the first, and the third time was afterseven days also; probably on the sabbath day. Having kept thesabbath with his little church, he expected especial blessingsfrom Heaven, and inquired concerning them. The dove is an emblemof a gracious soul, that, finding no solid peace of satisfactionin this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to itsark, as to its Noah, its rest. The defiling world, returns toChrist as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The carnalheart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on thecarrion 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 forthhis hand, and took the dove, and pulled her to him, into theark, so Christ will save, and help, and welcome those that fleeto him for rest. 13-19 God consults our benefit, rather than our desires; heknows what is good for us better than we do for ourselves, andhow long it is fit our restraints should continue, and desiredmercies should be delayed. We would go out of the ark before theground is dried; and perhaps, if the door, is shut, are ready tothrust off the covering, and to climb up some other way; butGod's time of showing mercy is the best time. As Noah had acommand to go into the ark, so, how tedious soever hisconfinement there was, he would wait for a command to go out ofit again. We must in all our ways acknowledge God, and set himbefore us in all our removals. Those only go under God'sprotection, who follow God's direction, and submit to him. 20-22 Noah was now gone out into a desolate world, where, onemight have thought, his first care would have been to build ahouse for himself, but he begins with an alter for God. Hebegins well, that begins with God. Though Noah's stock of cattlewas small, and that saved at great care and pains, yet he didnot grudge to serve God out of it. Serving God with our littleis the way to make it more; we must never think that is wastedwith which God is honoured. The first thing done in the newworld was an act of worship. We are now to express ourthankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by praise, and piousdevotions and conversation. God was well pleased with what wasdone. But the burning flesh could no more please God, than theblood of bulls and goats, except as typical of the sacrifice ofChrist, and expressing Noah's humble faith and devotedness toGod. The flood washed away the race of wicked men, but it didnot remove sin from man's nature, who being conceived and bornin sin, thinks, devises, and loves wickedness, even from hisyouth, and that as much since the flood as before. But Godgraciously declared he never would drown the world again. Whilethe earth remains, and man upon it, there shall be summer andwinter. 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 lookfor new heavens and a new earth, when all these things shall bedissolved. But as long as it does remain, God's providence willcause the course of times and seasons to go on, and makes eachto know its place. And on this word we depend, that thus itshall be. We see God's promises to the creatures made good, andmay infer that his promises to all believers shall be so.
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