Today, the headlines have been full of disaster. An 8.9 earthquake struck Japan this morning, killing hundreds. Tsunamis have effected not only Japan, but also Hawaii, and more than likely California before the day is over. Throughout the year there have been freak occurrences of dead birds and fish, and just yesterday, there was another story about millions of dead anchovies on the west coast. Again, I am feeling a little more able to identify with old Noah.
How does the godly person, the one who finds "grace" in the eyes of the Lord, respond to disaster, impending or present? Genesis 7 showed me that the godly person first responds with obedience. Genesis 8 shows me that the godly person trusts God and waits on him. In this chapter, Noah is waiting for the waters to "abate." This process took 150 days, but Noah and his family weren't exactly given a count down calendar. Even then, they weren't done waiting. Now they had to figure out when they should leave the ark.
I want to note Noah's waiting process.
1) First, the ark rested on Ararat. They'd been on the ark more than six months; still Noah did not go for instant gratification. He didn't hear the voice of the Lord, so he waited.
2) Then, after another couple months, Noah could see the tops of the mountains. His eyes told him things were improving, but he didn't trust his own senses, he waited for the word of God.
3) Noah sent out a dove. He experimented, and eventually received positive confirmation that things were improving; however, he didn't trust the outside source. He waited on the Lord.
4) Verse 15 says, "And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth . . . "
Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't make a move in our Christian lives until we have a vision experience with God, in which we're given detailed instructions. Today, we have the benefit of the Word of God, and through Christ's redemptive work, the presence of the Holy Spirit within to guide us. What I can learn, is that as I face a waiting situation of mild or disastrous proportions, I can learn from Noah's example. I can obey and avoid fleshly impulse. Though good counsel and good sense are gifts from God, I must rest in the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit above all!
The end of chapter 8 shows Noah, his family, and all those upon the ark preserved. They emerge to a new life, which they begin in a spirit of gratitude as Noah offers a sacrifice. God covenants with Noah that he will not destroy the whole earth with a flood again.