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Noah goeth into the ark.
1 And the LORD said unto 7 And Noah went in, and his Noah, Come thou and all thy sons, and his wife, and his sons' house into the ark; for thee wives with him, into the ark, have I seen righteous before me because of the waters of the in this generation. flood.
2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth.
9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
The disobedience of the faithless.
"Come thou and all thy house into the ark," was the invitation of the Lord to Noah. And at a time when all the rest of the world were "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage," Matt. 24. 38, he complied with this call, and came into the ark, and "did according unto all that the Lord commanded him." Let us listen, and we shall be able to hear the same voice addressing us, and saying, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark." Come out from amongst the heedless, the disobedient, the perverse. Come out from a world that lieth in wickedness. Come into the church of the living God. Come into the community of saints. Come thou, and not thou alone, but also all thy house. Come all thy house, and also all, whomsoever thou canst persuade to come with thee. Already there are many more than the world supposes, who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity; but yet there is room. And there is no one duty more obviously incumbent on every one, who is himself in a place of safety, than to help to save all them that dwell around him.
"The secret of the Lord is among them that fear him." Ps. 25. 13. Noah, whom alone God saw righteous before Him in that generation, was the only one who seemed aware of the coming flood. And yet we doubt not that what God revealed to him he declared to others. For he is called by the apostle "a preacher of righteousness." 2 Pet. 2. 5. And he would not fail to confirm his preaching, by an argument so powerful as the notice of approaching judgment. But preaching has little effect upon the mind unless it also moves the heart. They who had notice one hundred and twenty years beforehand, thought it safer to put off repentance some time longer. They who had afterwards notice that within seven days the rain would commence, thought they might delay yet a little more. And we read not of any one out of all mankind, so much as offering to follow Noah into the ark, whilst yet the flood had not begun. They repented not, because they did not believe. They would not believe lest they should be constrained to repent. How does unbelief both blind the judgment, and harden the heart! end of all things is at hand." 1 Pet. 4. 7. This is the warning which has been proclaimed to us. It is allowed on all hands to be unquestionable truth. But it weighs no more with many, than if it were unquestionably false. They see the faithful taking refuge in the ark; but they stay contented without, in the world. They trust that the world will last their time as it is. And they consider not, that whether they die first or not, the perdition of ungodly men is as sure to take place at last, as the burning up of the world by fire.
What a lesson might such unbelievers learn from that which is here told us of the brute creation; how the "clean beasts," those which were fit for sacrifice, seven pair of each, and the beasts that "are not clean," and the "fowls," and "every thing that creepeth upon the earth," "went in two and two, unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah." Well might the prophet say concerning faithless professors in all generations, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." Is. 1. 3. Guided by an Almighty hand, the cattle knew their way into the ark. Warned by the same Jehovah's voice, mankind set at nought all his counsels, and would none of his reproof. Oh shame that we should have to learn obedience from creatures devoid of reason! And if we do but learn the lesson, whether from Noah, or from the animals, or from the waters of the flood, oh thanks be to God for teaching us!
The waters prevail. 13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, and every bird of every sort. 15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him and the LORD shut him in. 17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
All things living die.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man :
22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
That Christ is an ark of safety to all them that believe.
On comparing the different parts of this account of the flood, appears that Noah and his three sons and their wives went into the ark seven days before the rain began. And it is especially noted, that they and all the other living creatures went in "the selfsame day." And then it is added of Noah, that "the Lord shut him in." These circumstances throw fresh light on the liveliness of his faith, and probably also on the ardour of his charity. He went in and took his family and all that God had commanded him, whilst all things still continued as they were from the beginning of the creation; and whilst the scoffer was doubtless loudly demanding of the flood, where is the promise of its coming? Let us also repent whilst yet the sun of our prosperity shines fair, before the storm of tribulation overtakes us. Let us give to God the days of our youth, and health, and strength. Weakness
and sickness and old age will soon be here. And who knows whether it will not then be too late? "And the Lord shut him in;" not only so as to secure him from the violence of the flood, but probably to prevent all intercourse with the rest of mankind, during the first forty days that the flood was upon the earth; whilst the waters were increasing, so as to bear up the ark, though not as yet to drown the world. At this period how earnest must have been the intercession of Noah, how ardent his wishes in behalf of all around him, that they might if possible escape! And had not the Lord shut him in, forbidding him to admit any more into the ark, it is probable that in his endeavours to save many, he would have lost all. So much better does God know than man who are meet to escape, and how many! So needful for the welfare of the righteous, as well as for the manifestation of God's own righteousness, is the destruction of the wicked!
But if Noah out of his compassion would have been glad to save his perishing fellow creatures, how glad also would they have been, when the waters increased, to take refuge in the ark! How would the cunning have schemed, and the violent have fought, for a place in that only safe retreat, even to the injury of Noah himself; had not the Lord shut him in! Think of the waters gradually covering all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven! Think of the mountains covered! Think of all flesh that moved upon the earth dying; "both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man!" Think of the agony which men must have endured whilst all this was going on, the war of elements without, the strife of evil passions and remorse within. For remember they were wicked men. Else they could have met death without dismay. Else death, however horrible, would have been at least gain. Whatever troubles beset the true believer, he is always safe in Christ, as in an ark. The storm may roar around him, and thousands perish on his right hand and on his left; the solid earth may sink beneath the rush of waters, or be molten in the furnace of devouring flames; he all the while, like Noah, and them that were with him, remains, whether alive or dead, at peace. He has peace with God. He is reconciled to the Father by the Son's most precious blood. He commits himself with full assurance of hope, to the hands of God who made the world; knowing that so long as he is found in Christ, though all things else were to be destroyed, not a hair of his head shall perish.
Lord shut us up, we pray Thee, in this thy ark of safety; that after our brief passage through the waves of this troublesome world, we may be found secure from the power of sin, and fit to inhabit the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. See 2 Pet. 3. 13.
The waters assuage. Noah sendeth forth the raven and the dove.
1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged.
2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains
6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
7 And he sent forth a raven which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Whilst we wait for heaven, we must enquire and pray. They that go down to the sea in ships must oftentimes be depressed with a sense of loneliness and risk; when they find themselves embarked on the mighty ocean, with nothing to be seen besides sea and sky. But there is a country to which they are bound, there is a home which they have left, and to which they hope to return. Not so Noah, and his family, in the ark. The whole earth was under water. And they knew, that as they floated on that boundless waste, the home which they had left was now no more, and there was no other to which their course could be directed. Whither then could they turn for comfort and support? And on what could they found their hope of escaping, in the end, the united horrors of imprisonment and want? All may be summed up in these few affecting words, "And God remembered Noah." He who had shut them in was able to let them out. He who had