"Then God remembered Noah. . ." Genesis 8:1a
He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generation.¯ Psalm 105:8
One of the first bible stories I heard as a child was Noah and the Ark. Daddy, with his deep baritone voice, would recount the tale of Noah as only my father could. I would imagine this white-bearded man gleefully watching as animals paraded, two by two, into the ark. As the rain fell, they gently floated upon the ever-rising flood waters, safe and secure. And for 40 days and nights, the Family Noah worshiped, sang, played and tended the zoological cargo left in their care. Ah, the joy and bliss of life within the safety of the ark!!
I read this account through different eyes now. I see a man who walked with God when most of his contemporaries were doing their own thing, pursuing their selfish desires and thumbing their noses at God all the while. I see a righteous man who become the target of much derision and maybe even contempt for his conviction and faith. I see a worshiper. I see a man, who because of the intimate relationship he had cultivated with the Lord, gained this testimony: he was blameless in his generation and he found grace in the sight of the Lord. Out of this covenant relationship, God shared with Noah His heart, His purposes, His plans (Psalm 25:14).
I see a man who deeply trusted God. He trusted so strongly that he, with unprecedented courage and unprecedented faith, constructed the ark in anticipation of the unprecedented thing God had purposed to do. It was a thing for which he had no point of reference, but still he trusted enough to simply obey!
I am amazed at the faith of this man! I am inspired by such courage! I am in awe of such a relationship with the Lord! I am equally astounded by the words I find at the opening of Genesis 8.
Then God remembered Noah.
Of course I know that the All-powerful, All-Knowing, Everywhere-Present God had not forgotten Noah. But I recognize that for all his trust and faith, for all his obedience and sacrifice, for all his courage and resolve, Noah was human. Perhaps after 150 days of being locked in an ark with every species of animal, after 150 days of being in cramped quarters with seven other adults, after 150 days of not only being shut in, but also shut off from everything, Noah was tempted to think God may have forgotten him.
I imagine that after day 20, Noah was just as joyful as he was the day God closed the door on the ark. After day 65, he was still standing steadfast on God¯s word to him. Maybe somewhere around day 100, he encouraged his wife to just hang in there a little while longer. Perhaps at day 115, he had to encourage himself and rehearse the promises of God. But then day 145 rolled around and Noah looked out the window and saw nothing but water, and maybe heard the grumblings of his sons and daughters-in-law, cabin fever had set in and the enemy began whispering, ¯Noah, you old foolish man! What have you gotten yourself and your family into by trusting this God of yours? He has locked you on this boat, set you afloat and forgotten all about you. You and your family are simply going to drift into oblivion.¯ I imagine that in those 150 days, God was conspicuously silent, making the whispers of the enemy boom in Noah¯s ears. Is it just possible that he began to question ¯ just a little?
Perhaps you have heard God speak and have stepped out in faith and obedience to something for which you have no personal point of reference. Stepped out, not really knowing what to expect or all that it would cost you. Stepped out and now find yourself feeling shut up, shut off, adrift and alone. Buoyed by a word, a promise from God. But now it¯s Day 149. Patience has begun to wane; hope has begun to dissipate. The whisper from the enemy has come in the form of friendly and familiar voices: ¯What are you doing out here? I think you missed God on this one.¯
I¯ve been there and have found faith-boosting comfort in the words¯ Then God remembered.
Then God remembered Deborah
Then God remembered. . .
The word ¯remember¯ is a covenant word, and for God to remember is assurance that no matter what it may look like now, no matter how tight it may have gotten, no matter how long we¯ve waited, His covenant always trumps circumstances. He will, at just the right moment in time, do all that He said. We can count on that!
Today simply rest in the fact ¯ God remembers!