There are four events in this chapter that all have spiritual significance. Sometimes we overlook the small events of life that teach us so much about the world around us.
- The Lord Remembered... "and God remembered Noah" (v.1).
Every elementary child understands that God does not forget anything. This phrase is used in judgment when "God begins to act mercifully on behalf of His children.""And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plan, that God remembered Abraham" (Genesis 19:29). "And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb" (Genesis 30:22). The thief said to Jesus, "Lord remember me" (Luke 23:42). Even though this phrase speaks of God moving in mercy, what does He remember?
"The Lord remembers His covenant forever" (Psalm 105:8).
John Warburton wrote Mercies of a Covenant God to remind us of God's mercy.
- The Waters Receded... "and the waters returned from off the earth" (v.3).
The geological evidence for a worldwide flood is enormous. Let's just examine four.
- Large caches of animal bones... called ruble drift and found in ossiferous fissures, or giant rents in the earth in England, France, Spain, Russia, etc... Some of these piles contain 20 tons of bones, placed there by draining water.
- Large inland bodies of water called "fossil lakes"... found in Minnesota, North Dakota, China, even modern deserts that were formerly massive seas.
- Massive coal beds and oil fields produced by the deluge... when animals were buried by the mud, silt, and soil of a crust turned over by the flood.
- Astonishing preservation of thousands of mammoths in Siberia... this is a very cold part of the world where the topsoil rarely thaws. Mammoth tusks have been collected from A.D. 900. Estimates are five million perished at once.
- The Ark Rested... "The ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day" (v.4).
Why does Scripture give us the day the ark rested? The Jewish Calendar is different from ours. Their calendar is based on the moon and called a lunar calendar. There are twelve months of either 30 or 29 days with a 13th month every few years. A few hundred years after Noah, God changed the calendar of Israel for the Passover event "This month (the seventh month), shall be to you the first month" (Exodus 12:2). The Passover lamb picked on the 10th, kept to the 14th when it was slain. Jesus Christ died on the 14th day. Three days later Christ arose, the very day the ark rested. (Read Hebrews 10:1-4; 9-14). Because the ark has rested, you and I are free to live.
- The Birds Released... "And he sent forth a raven... . and he sent forth a dove" (v.7, 8)
The two birds picture the inner struggle in every Christian who finds rest in Christ. The raven loves the things involved in judgment, death, filth, stench—the flesh. The dove could not rest in the filth or stench of this world and came back to the ark. The person who knows Christ will have a heart controlled by the Holy Spirit, but that person will never be completely free from the pull of the dead things of this world.