Sunday, August 08, 2010

"God Remembered Noah" - Stanley Jebb

I am so grateful for this "what are these stones?" theme I am thinking through at present. I was spending today hunting through my library of church magazines and journals reading and remembering. I found a magazine from my home church in Dunstable - dated October 1985. Dr Stanley Jebb wrote the pastoral letter and it spoke SO directly to my current situation and relation to God. Proof that the word of God doesn't age or grow old and can STILL speak today!

Here it is;

God Remembered Noah (Genesis 8:1) by Dr Stanley Jebb.

"Do you ever feel that God has forgotten you? Does it sometimes seem that the grey, cloudy heavens cannot possibly hide a loving Father? Has He not spoken for some time? Has your deliverance not yet come?

Consider Noah's position in Genesis 6 to 8.

1. Staying Put in the Ark.

Everything around the ark was bleak and horrible. Nothing much seemed to be happening. The only sounds to be heard were those made by the animals, cacophonous at times, the creaking of the boat, the sound of wind, rain and waves, and what conversation the family managed to snatch between chores. God seemed to be silent.

Noah was very much restricted in his movements and in his activities. He couldn't go very far not could he do very much, not much, that is, beyond the daily chores of caring for the animals and doing any repairs necessary. Noah and his family were in the ark for one year and ten days. (Genesis 7:11, 13, 8:13-16).

What else was Noah doing? He was trusting God. He trusted God in the waste of waters, in the confined space, in the limited activity, in the darkness, in the divine silence. While he kept busy with family life, the animals and the ark, he kept looking up to God.

He had expectancy of deliverance (Genesis 8:6-12).

2. When God "Remembered" Noah.

When the Bible says that "God remembered" it does not mean that God had forgotten.

H C Leupold in his commentary on Genesis says, "It would never occur to one familiar with Hebrew to draw the conclusion from this statement that for a time God had forgotten Noah". In Isaiah 49:15 we read; "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget but I will not forget you".

"Remembering" - when used of God means that He now acts, so that to man it appears that He has just remembered.

We use the word in a similar fashion when we say that someone was "remembered" in a will. The word translated "remembered" is often used implying a remembering with kindness, granting requests, protecting, delivering (e.g Genesis 9:15; 30:22, Ex Ex 2:24; 1 Sam 1:11).

"God remembers" that is, acts at the appropriate time with exactly what we need. All the time that Noah was trusting, God was working according to a plan.
3. The Time of Action.

When, in God's providential timing, it was right to emerge from the ark, the action began with a word from God.

(8:15, 16). God said; "Go out".

So often we act upon serious and momentous matters without a word from God. When we are moving in an important or significant or unusual way it is wise to seek a word from the Lord.

The word contained a command to be fruitful and multiply. God expected Noah and his descendants to subdue the earth and fill it. While God remembered Noah it is also true that Noah remembered God. He built an altar and worshipped the Lord. How easy, yet how dangerous, it is to forget God (See Romans 1:20 ff).

Just as God remembered Noah, so He remembers us.

He never forgets us, but acts in His own good time, the very best time, to accomplish His will and bless His people.

"His love in time past forbids me to think, He'll leave me at last in trouble to sink,
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review, confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through" (John Newton).

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