Interestingly in the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible in chapters 6 & 7 the author mentions four times that Noah does all that God commands him. This is significant because it tells us he was obedient to God. Noah had a solid faith. He knew God’s heart and he trusted Him exclusively. Ultimately Noah knew the will of God. He knew where God was going or in this case what he was doing and he was on board with God and resulted in him doing all he was told.
Vs 1: After Noah completed the ark God commanded him to enter into it. God reiterates Noah’s righteousness among the generation of his time.
Vs 2 - 3: Take with you seven pairs of clean and unclean animals and birds… This was set this way so that life could be preserved. We see later in Chapter eight the reason for taking the clean animals so Noah could offer sacrifices.
Vs 4: God is more specific in detailing his judgment. In seven days the flooding will begin and all living things outside of the ark will be destroyed.
Vs 5: Once again Noah did what he was commanded.
Vs 6 – 16: Noah was 600 years old when the rain began. On the 17th day of the second month the waters begin to gush up from streams and wells. The waters also burst from the subterranean ocean floor causing the waters to rise and a great down pours of rain came as the skies from heaven opened up as well. It is believed this may be the first time that it had rained on the earth. On this very day Noah and his family and all paired creatures entered the ark. For forty days and forty nights the rains were a heavy downpour onto the earth.
“The Lord shut him in” – Once Noah, his family and all creatures had entered the ark the Lord shuts the door. This shows that the salvation of Noah is an act of divine grace. God saves him and his salvation is not the result of human wisdom, intelligence or planning. God seals him.
Vs 17 – 22: The waters increased and they ultimately prevailed. The waters became so deep that the mountains were submerged (about 270 feet above the mountains) and the ark sailed or traveled along on the waters. Everything left outside of the ark was killed and only those inside were saved. For 150 days the waters prevailed over all the earth.
From here on out I would like to encourage you to continue to read through to chapter 8:19 on your own. There is a lot of repetition and more detailed description of the flood account. One thing you may want to note was the amount of time Noah and his family were in the ark. If you have an ESV Study Bible you will see a chronology or timeline of Noah’s time spent in the ark. It is interesting to note he and his family spent a little over a year in the ark. The time spent in the ark is broken down into three parts. The first 150 days is where the waters prevail on the earth. It includes Noah and his family entering the ark seven days after God tells them the flood waters are coming. The flood and rain waters last for 40 days and 40 nights. The next 150 days is the time when the water abates and recedes. After a period of time the mountaintops become visible and 40 days later Noah sends out a raven. Then in three 7 day increments a dove was sent out each time with the dove returning two times and on the third journey the dove does not return. The next period is a 70 day period where the earth dries and eventually Noah leaves the ark. It is believed Noah and his family are in the ark for 370 days. This is a long time to be in a big floating box with thousands of animals.
Noah truly was a righteous man. In this flood account we see something about the faith of Noah. Some have suggested that Noah had some sort of super faith and that is why he was preserved. His faith certainly was a factor but as I noted earlier it was not a blind faith. In reality this story is not so much about Noah as it is about God. Noah’s faith is certainly noteworthy and impressive but ultimately we see God as the main character in this story. He creates, He judges, he commands, and He saves.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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