Righteousness elevates true faith to new opportunities in a new world.

Genesis 8 continues the story of Noah, showing us what righteous people do and what God does to protect them. The whole chapter displays God’s faithfulness to His righteous people.

The Flood Stops (verses 1-5)

God remembers His covenant promise in Genesis 6:18 and is faithful to it. Elohim, the God of creation, preserved the life of every creature on board the Ark. The ark came to rest, not crash, in a place where everyone can get out safely – a tribute to God’s care for His own. God ensures the physical safety of His children until His spiritual purposes for them on earth have been concluded, and afterwards, their eternal safety with Him.

The Waters Recede (verses 6-12)

The rains stopped after exactly 40 days, just like God said. The raven Noah sent out didn’t return because it is a loner that can survive on anything. The dove is more dependent, so it kept returning to the ark until there was plenty for it to live on. This is the same bird that Christ later told his disciples to be like, always dependent on Him for their needs. The olive branch was a sturdy plant and showed that vegetation was starting to reappear on the earth.

God Calls Noah and the Creatures Out of the Ark (verses 13-19)

By God’s call, the creatures on the Ark made an orderly exit, coming out by families. Noah came out in response to the same voice that he had been obeying since chapter 6. We never see Noah in agony over what he had lost – and his loss in the Flood was significant. But he knew that paled in comparison to God’s faithfulness and his future. We too must keep moving forward in loss, looking forward to spending eternity in the presence of God’s glory.

G. Campbell Morgan says, “He who by faith had renounced everything in obedience to God, in spite of all appearances, now stepped forth the sole possessor of the earth.” The Lord always gives righteous people the opportunity to perpetuate themselves and grow. This is the reason global judgment hasn’t yet come on our present world. God leaves us here because He has a plan for us to win more souls for Him.

Noah Worships God (verses 20-22)

This passage is the first mention of an altar in the Bible, but this clearly isn’t the first altar Noah had ever built. Worship was a priority and a pattern for him. He had planned ahead by taking more clean animals on board the Ark so that he could make an offering.

Worship was the first thing Noah did after coming off the Ark. There were surely many distractions for Noah at that moment, but he gave God first place, above exploring the new landscape and above his family. And his worship influenced God in a historic way: God made a covenant with Himself never to destroy the earth in a flood again. God then established a new pattern for weather and promised that He will sovereignly uphold the seasons.

Application Points

  • God leaves believers in this world because He has a plan for us to win more souls. That’s our entire purpose for being on earth – to make more disciples. Is that among your highest longings? How can you live with that purpose in mind?
  • Do you prioritize worship as Noah did? This is becoming even more counter-cultural in our world. Take note of God’s command for worship, and be encouraged that God is influenced by the worship of His saints.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Matthew 10:16 – Jesus told us to be gentle as doves.

  • Matthew 5:5 – The meek will inherit the earth.

  • Revelation 20:1-6 – The future reign of believers on earth.

  • Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 10:24-25 – Prioritizing worship.

  • How do we know Noah was saved in the same way we are?

    • Hebrews 11:7 – listed as an heir to righteousness.

    • Genesis 7:1, Romans 2-4 – God saw Noah with Jesus’ own righteousness in the same way He justified Abraham.

    • Ephesians 2:8-9 – We are all saved by grace through faith.

Quotes to Ponder

Up-borne upon the billows of judgment, the ark of salvation rode securely, holding within it all that was necessary for new life and a new departure.

At last, the work of judgment being fully accomplished, the waters abated, the voice that had commanded Noah to enter called him forth. What had been in the eyes of the world was Noah’s folly, but for Noah, his actions were all within the economy of God as a way of deliverance and a vindication of his faith. –G. Campbell Morgan.

A Hymn to Encourage: “Take the World, But Give Me Jesus” by Fanny Crosby

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
All its joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever,
Through eternal years the same.

Oh, the height and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above!

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Sweetest comfort of my soul;
With my Savior watching o’er me,
I can sing though billows roll.

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Let me view His constant smile;
Then throughout my pilgrim journey
Light will cheer me all the while.

Take the world, but give me Jesus.
In His cross my trust shall be,
Till, with clearer, brighter vision,
Face to face my Lord I see.