“Give me patience and give it now”

Read Genesis 8:1-5

God remembers Noah, not that he has forgotten him but the language signifies that God continues to show concern and care for Noah whilst in contrast, evil doers are not remembered, they are not regarded by God.  He does not continue to protect them and provide for them.  Now, God remembers Noah in that he chooses to act to bring the flood to an end.  He does this by sending a wind to blow over the waters. This echoes the Spirit of God “hovering over the waters” in Genesis 1 and the breath that God will blow over the Red Sea to part it later (v1).

God stops and closes up the sources of water that have caused the deluge.  The rain ends.  It seems that another source of flood water had been from underground, erupting to the surface. This may also indicate volcanic activity, the shifting of tectonic plates and earthquakes.  All of this settles down, peace comes.  The language of waters retreating is used in Exodus  14:26, 28 and Joshia 4:18 of the Red Sea and the Jordan, it is language associated with redemptive signs and wonders (v2-3).[1]

God now brings the ark to rest too. It settles down on a mountain top, Ararat is in modern day Tukey (v4). It takes time for the flood waters to abate completely. There is to be a further ten months 10 months before the flood is completed (v5).


It takes time from when God brings the flood to end for life to resume close to normal for Noah and his family.  We might observe a kind of “now and not yet” period between judgement/salvation and Noah being able to enjoy a form of new creation life. We are perhaps a little more familiar with the need to wait patiently In such circumstances after the pandemic.  It took time after the arrival of the vaccine for life to begin to move back to normal.

The post flood pause is a helpful antidote for our desire for instant resolution and the need to move on.  Sometimes, we need space and time to rest, recover and heal. This is as much about God’s work in our lives as the obvious examples of immediate intervention. It’s important not to become despondent during this time but to keep trusting God.

[1] Wenham, Genesis 1-15, 184.

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