In today’s society, we have electronic calendars, notepads, planners and other devices that help us remember our daily list of things to do and places to go. When the Bible mentioned that “God remembered,” we want to ask, “Did God forget?” The answer is “no.” In the original Hebrew that was used in the Old Testament, the word “remember” is the word zakak. It means “to bring to mind; to make mention of something.”
From Genesis 8:1, the scripture records, “And God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark…”
Noah preached and lived righteously, as did his ancestors. He warned his generation of the future coming flood, which was also preached by his ancestors. Noah was loved by God because he maintained the righteous living by following the legacy of his ancestors. As a result of God’s warning of the coming flood, he and his sons built the ark, preached the coming judgment, and continued to believe what God had promised to them
I love how the KJV reads in Genesis 7:1, “Then the LORD said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.’” Notice the verb “come.” It is like the LORD was already in the ark before Noah and his family entered the ark. Later in chapter 8:15-16, it reads, “Then God spoke to Noah saying, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.’” The verbs used were “come into” and “go out of.” It is like God Himself was the first one in the ark and the last one out of the ark. God Himself stayed with Noah and his family throughout the entirety of the flood.
What was life like on the ark for Noah and his family? According to the 1st century historian, Josephus, the ark was 3 stories high with compartments, rooms, storage bins, closets and stalls. The animals were kept in the bottom level while Noah and his family lived in the top level. Most of the storage was in the middle compartments. Noah packed food for his family and the animals, barrels that stored water for everyday use; furniture and household items along with farming tools were brought inside the ark because the ark would also serve as the family house after the completion of the flood. The only windows in the ark were at the very top to let in just enough light for the family to see inside their temporary lodging.
What did God remember about Noah? God remembered to show mercy to Noah and his family during the desolating flood. God remembered the faithfulness and obedience of Noah while he and his sons constructed the ark. God remembered His promise to Adam and Eve that He would send the holy seed, His Son, to mankind in order to redeem the earth and that Noah was a righteous descendant of Adam. God remembered that Noah found grace in God’s sight by believing that God was a covenant keeping God. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man that He should lie…has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Notice in Genesis 8:20, Noah’s first act upon leaving the ark was to build an altar. Noah was grateful for God’s favor and mercy during the flood. Noah did not complain about the journey, but willingly offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving. God remembered Noah’s faithful service and Noah remembered God’s grace and mercy.
What can we learn from Noah’s example? God is faithful to us even during our own storms. God is still a covenant keeping God, even when we fail. God is always generous with His grace and mercy in our time of need.
Rev. Kitty Mears serves at Mt. View Pentecostal Holiness Church where she is an assistant adult teacher.