God Remembered Noah Genesis 8:1

Genesis 8:1

Consider the condition of Noah and his family in the ark, with numerous beasts, some of them of savage natures. Five months had he been pent up from the sweet freedom of nature, and the fresh products of the ground. Five months had the waters gone on increasing, with no prospect of abatement, although long since, as far as he could see, the object of the flood had been accomplished, and mankind had perished from the face of the earth. How long was this to go on? When might he hope for release? Since the Lord had shut him in, he had received no communication from Him. Had he no misgivings? Noah was a man as we are, though good and holy; and his faith was greatly tried. It scarcely detracts from the glory of that faith to suppose that there were moments in which he feared that God had forgotten him.

But “the Lord remembered Noah,” and his covenant with him. He had never forgotten him; and although he gave no sensible token of his presence, he had never been absent from him. Speaking after the manner of men, the Lord is said to remember him, whom he had at no time forgotten, when the time had come that he should manifest his knowledge of him, his kindness for him, and his remembrance of him. 

Strange to our ears the church-bells of our home,
The fragrance of our old paternal fields
May be forgotten; and the time may come
When the babe’s kiss no sense of pleasure yields
Even to the doting mother; but thine own
Thou never can’st forget, nor leave alone.”

Let not the fact, that “God remembered Noah,” pass unregarded as a matter of no concern or profit to us. Let us see farther, that Noah was not alone remembered, but He also remembered “every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark.” Not the smallest creature in that large ark was forgotten by him. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?” asked our Savior; “and yet, not one of them is forgotten before God,” he added.

How many are they, to whom the consideration of these facts suggests needful and profitable reflections? How many are they who, “shut in” upon themselves, and shut out from the world by privation, poverty, or pain, are tempted to think the Lord has forgotten them, because he has not yet moved for their deliverance? Daily have they cried to him, and asked a token for good—some sign that they are still the objects of his care, that they are still unforgotten by him, even if the time for their deliverance has not yet come. The world has left them. They know that by-and-bye, when the morning light again shines, the Dariuses of the world will come to ask them, “Hath the God whom thou servest continually been able to save thee out of the mouth of the lions?” and they burn with desire to be enabled, not less for God’s glory than for their own comfort, to return the proper answer—that when men had forsaken them, and left them to pass the long and weary night alone, the Lord had taken them up, and made them more than conquerors over toil, and pain, and care.

But they have not yet this comfort. To task the care and thought of others for us, is hard. For in this age man, like Martha of old, “is careful and troubled about many things.”  The world is a hard task-master to one who devotes himself to its affairs, and but seldom—

“Leaves him leisure to be good.”

Besides the complications of our social system, the hardness which the intense world-worship of the age engenders, tends more and more to narrow the circle of human sympathies and affections; and we are fallen upon times in which man heeds but little, or heeds but briefly, the sorrow that does not touch the bones and marrow of his own house. How often, therefore, do we meet, away in solitary corners, those whom the world has forsaken, and who sit there waiting for God to appear in their behalf? Their hope from man has ceased. They have tried the world, and have sorrowfully learned the value of its promises and hopes. They now, therefore, rest wholly upon God. They know his power. They call to remembrance his loving-kindness of old. They have not forgotten the days of the right hand of the Most High. Many a time have they been before brought low, and he has helped them. But he does not come at their call. He does not hasten at their prayers. Then grows the thought—Has he also forgotten them—is he also weary of them—will not even he come to their help? “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted,” be of good cheer—he hath not forgotten thee, he is nigh, intimately nigh—

“He sees thy wants, allays thy fears,
And counts and treasures up thy tears.”

Behold, he has graven thee upon the palms of his hands; behold, thou hast his seal upon thy forehead; behold, he shall yet lay thy stones with fair colors, and thy foundations with sapphires. O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? But so it is—we are creatures of sense. We will not believe that God is nigh, unless we see him; that he has not forgotten us, unless he is continually affording some strong sign of his remembrance. Yet is his presence and carefulness not less truly shown in the silent watchings of his love,  than when he stretches forth his hand to pluck the brand from the burning. Yet he often condescends to our infirmity, remembering that we are but flesh, and grants to us the sign our feeble faith requires. To Noah the assurance, that He who never forgets, remembered him, was conveyed to him by the wind that blew over the waters, and before which they assuaged.

There was a prophet of old, who knew more of the ways of God than most men. He was led to expect the manifestation of God’s presence. There arose a mighty wind that brake the rocks in pieces, and after the wind there was an earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire—to all this the prophet stood motionless. But after that, “a still small voice” was heard; and then the man, whom the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, had not moved, “wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out;” for he knew that God was there. Alas! how few are they who would not rather expect the presence of God in the wind, in the earthquake, or in the fire, than in the still small voice!

Let us not, therefore, be in haste to think ourselves forgotten of God, or think less of the insensible than the sensible tokens of his remembrance of us. An anecdote will point our meaning.

A minister was once speaking to a brother clergyman of his gratitude for a merciful deliverance he had just experienced.

“As I was riding here today,” said he, “my horse stumbled, and came near throwing me from a bridge, where the fall would have killed me; but I escaped unhurt.”

“And I can tell you something more than that,” said the other; “as I rode here today, my horse did not stumble at all.”