Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 8:13-18

13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.

14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,

16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:

We often speak of Adam and Eve as the beginning of our race, and of the Garden of Eden as being humanity’s original home. And all this is true, but we also have another origin point in Noah disembarking after the flood. In fact God even repeats His original commandment for the animal life to be fruitful and multiply to fill the earth.

The slate had been washed clean, it was a new world. And into upon this virgin soil Noah and his family and the animals must have seemed like aliens from another world. An old and dead world.

This is, of course, a symbolism of baptism, of death and resurrection, of giving up the old carnal way of life and being spiritually awakened. Yes, the occupants of the ark were remnants of the prior, evil world, but they were plucked off so that they would no longer be a branch of that world, but the trunk of a new one. So, too, when we are spiritually awakened we wash away the sin, but save the best parts that were already within us, and set them upon a new foundation.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 8:6-12

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 plucked 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.

There’s actually very little that I have to say of spiritual significance about this passage, but I still included it, just because I think it’s beautiful. The idea of Noah sending out birds to learn the status of the earth is like something out of a fairy tale, and I like that very much.

I suppose there is one thing I could make note of: the dove returning with the olive leaf. Doves and olive branches would, of course, become symbols for the holy spirit and peace. We are a sentimental race, and when we experience something that moves us, we often seek a symbol to attach all those good feelings to. I wouldn’t be surprised if Noah did exactly this, and thus passed the idea of doves and olive branches as sacred things down through our generations.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 8:1-5

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 assuaged;

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 seen.

I mentioned earlier how God relied on the slow and tedious process of Noah building the ark, rather than instantaneously popping one into existence as a miracle. And here again, He relies on the natural process of wind and the water is abated over time, it doesn’t just magically disappear all at once.

There was a time where I was praying for a metaphorical flood in my own life to be removed. And it was. As with this story, it was a long, drawn out process, but it absolutely was a miracle, and there absolutely was the hand of God in it. Just because we don’t always see the full results instantaneously does not mean that God isn’t prevailing in our lives.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 7:17, 21-23

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.

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.

Water is a great dichotomizer. It bears some things up to its surface, and it sinks others down to its bottom. All things that enter into this medium must ultimately be borne to one end or the other. Ascend to life as the ark did, or descend to death as all other forms of earth life did.

Which is, of course, a symbolism of our mortality. Our purpose here is to see whether we will allow ourselves to be borne up by the vessel of Christ’s body, carried above suffocating trials and temptations to where we can truly breathe, or whether we will sink to rock bottom, expiring in our own despair.

We all thrash about in the middle to begin with, but no one stays there forever. The question is whether you insist on making it to the surface by your own power, which strategy will fail once your strength inevitably runs out, or whether you accept the hand reaching to pull you up by His power.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 7:10-12

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 feats of man in subduing nature are truly impressive. We flatten hundreds of square miles for a city, pave it over, and erect towering skyscrapers. We trace the countryside with a web of highways, tunneling clean through a mountain and bridging over the sea. We send satellites into space and cables across the ocean. We genetically modify our fruit and domesticate wild animals. We produce awesome reserves of power, and we have weapons of mass destruction that could devastate all of modern civilization. And all of this can make us feel pretty sure of ourselves. It can give us the illusion that we rule this world, can make us believe that there is nothing we cannot tame.

Then, a category-5 hurricane touches land, or an earthquake weighs in at over 9.0 on the Richter scale, or the threat of a mega-colossal eruption lurks underfoot. And suddenly we realize that we might tame the periphery, but we don’t hold a candle to the true power of God. For all of our scientific and technologic advancements, we only continue to exist by His grace.