At this point in the account of the flood, we see things begin to turn from the judgement of sin to the blessing that awaits Noah and his family as they encounter the post-flood world. This chapter begins powerfully in verse 1 as we read that “God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like to be living on the ark during the violent flood that encompassed the entirety of the world. It may have even seemed that the judgement would never end. However, God’s plan for redemption had not changed. He had lovingly provided salvation from the flood for Noah and his family and now it was time to move ahead into the world that had undergone a cleansing of sinful hearts. This moment when God releases Noah’s family from the ark mirrors that moment at creation as God calls Noah, his family, and the animals out and gives the command to be fruitful and multiply. Though the text doesn’t give us details about the emotions and thoughts Noah had at this moment, verse 20 does tell of the actions Noah took in response to God’s blessing: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.” God was pleased with Noah’s faithfulness and acts of gratitude and praise. He noted that though man’s sin problem was not solved with the flood, He would not again bring judgment in the form of destruction of all living things.
The world was starting fresh, and God’s plan was unfolding. The stage was being set for His ultimate provision for our sin problem: Jesus. Fast forward . . . we now have the opportunity to respond to His gracious gift of salvation. Are we living in faith, believing in the promises that God has made? Are we praising Him for the salvation He has given that we in no way deserve? These are questions to be pondered as we live in a time of unrest, continual criticism, and fierce anger. Let’s take the time to go to God with a humble heart of thanksgiving for His great plan of redemption–the plan that could not be broken by the sin of human hearts.