Why did God remember Noah? In fact, this is the first time the word remember is used in the Bible (Genesis 8:1). God remembered Noah for reasons we can try to follow in our lives as well.
God remembered Noah because he was blameless
Noah lived in a society that was full of violence and wrong behaviour. It was a permissive culture where everyone found it easy to do wrong. Yet in that generation, Noah chose to walk with God.
Walking with God has never been easy for anyone. To do so one has to turn away from evil and walk in the way of God’s commands. No one should expect that others will appreciate and applaud the efforts taken to walk differently from the crowd. Perhaps they will mock you and make fun of you also. But that is the price to be paid when you choose to walk with God.
Another aspect to be noted in the modern context is that in spiritual circles not many are preaching about walking before God blamelessly. The talk is about achieving spiritual success and power. It has its place; but the Bible places its emphasis on being blameless before God (see what God said to Abram in Genesis 17:1). And because Noah was blameless, God remembered him.
God remembered Noah because he obeyed God
Noah’s obedience sprang from his faith in God. Now faith is knowing for certain something which we have not seen. When Noah was asked to build the ark and he began to do so (which would have taken many years); many people would have asked him why he was doing so. In replying to that question, he became a preacher of righteousness (see 2 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 3:20).
He would have warned them about God’s coming judgement. But more specifically he would have told them about the coming rain. That was not something yet seen (see Hebrews 11:7). Yes, Noah was building a big boat without ever having seen rain himself!
Noah responded in holy fear and faith and took a bold step forward just at God’s command. Faith does not ask for all the facts but obeys God at his word believing that God has gone ahead of us where he has asked us to go. As David Livingstone the pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society (LMS) and an explorer in Africa, said “Without Christ, not one step; with Him, anywhere!”
God remembered Noah because it was God who shut him in
This is interesting. It was not Noah but God who closed the door of the ark (Genesis 7:16). Your place of safety is where God has shut you in. But that is also a place where you’ll find it difficult to maintain your faith. Imagine you being in Noah’s shoes. God never told how long his stay within the ark would last. When you are shut in by God, sometimes like the Psalmist you feel like crying out, “How long, O LORD, will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1 NIV).
The answer is that God will certainly remember you. God sometimes places his servants in situations which they have no control over. There might come a period of time of inactivity. But if it was God who shut you in; he’ll certainly remember you. He has promised that even if a mother forgets the baby at her breast; he will not forget you (Isaiah 49:14, 15)!
God remembered Noah because he was inside the ark
This seems too obvious a point. Why state it again? The ark symbolizes the safety you find in Jesus Christ; now and forever. Those people who are inside the ark will live and escape the floodwaters of coming judgement which is by fire. The question is, “Are you inside the ark?”
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