The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. But God remembered Noah and all the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
Genesis 7:24 – 8:1 (NIV)
I’ve been doing a study with the men at Lighthouse Men’s Ministry in Dade City, FL (a discipleship treatment for addicts). We’ve been going through Genesis and this came out in our study. Imagine sitting on a ship in stormy waters for 150 days after witnessing your home, your neighbors your friends, and all your relatives wiped off the face of the earth. The sounds of their cries ringing in your ears as you hear the waves crashing against the ark and the wind howling. You survived with seven others and prior to this you were hearing God and felt his closeness but for 150 days the only sound you heard was the storm. Imagine. Could you? Do you even want to begin to fathom this time. I have felt periods of dryness, when I felt that God was distant in difficulty, but thankfully I felt Him come back with His comforting presence as I read His Word and prayed.
In studying the story of Noah’s Ark I think we have been tragically desensitized to the true horror of it. The deep sense of loss that Noah and his family must have felt witnessing the death of everyone they knew. We see the sweet pictures of a boat full of animals and the rainbow. The reality is not so sweet. It was a tragedy worse than any tsunami but we miss the full impact of understanding this when we don’t understand how it must’ve felt for the chosen caught for 150 days not knowing when things would settle and the waters would recede and just praying for it to come to an end soon. 40 days of rain falling heavily from the skies and bursting from the deep and 110 days on harsh seas. I couldn’t imagine the cries for help ringing in their ears for those 150 days and probably after as they resettled on the earth.
Did God forget?
I’m sure it felt like it, but we see that He remembered and He remembers. When we are too proud, God humbles, but His chosen are never forgotten. In those times our prayers of repentance and need will draw us more to Him and He is never gone.
In times of spiritual dryness the Hidden God draws us to His Word and in prayer. In those times the only thing we have to cling to is the promises. The promises we find in His Word and the proclamation of it.