After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark
Grace and Truth took possession of man's world, cursed by sin, redeemed by grace. - R.
I. MESSENGERS SELECTED. After long floating, during which time Noah would know little of what was passing in the outer world, save that he heard the rain and tempest, the ark grounded. Doubtless he would often look forth on the waste of waters. The rapid evaporation, etc., would very much intercept a distant view. Fogs and mists, etc. Hence to know the state of things beyond the reach of his vision he would send forth messengers. Birds. Birds of swift and strong wing, and clear vision. Land birds. Aquatic birds would not have returned. Birds that may be domesticated and having local attachments. Hence they would return to the ark.
1. God in wisdom sometimes lengthens trials to the proof of the faith and patience of His saints.
Noah opened the window of the ark.
The judicious conduct of a good man in seeking to ascertain the facts of life and his relation thereto
I. THAT NOAH DID NOT EXHIBIT AN IMPETUOUS HASTE TO GET OUT OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH GOD HAD PLACED HIM.
1. We see that God does sometimes place men in unwelcome positions.
2. That when God does place men in unwelcome positions, it is that their own moral welfare may be enhanced.
3. That when men are placed in unwelcome positions they should not remove from them without a Divine intimation.
II. THAT NOAH WAS THOUGHTFUL AND JUDICIOUS IN ENDEAVOURING TO ASCERTAIN THE WILL OF GOD IN REFERENCE TO HIS POSITION IN ITS RELATION TO THE CHANGING CONDITION OF THINGS.
1. Noah felt that the time was advancing for a change in his position, and that it would be necessitated by the new facts of life.
2. Noah recognized the fact that the change in his position should be preceded by devout thought and precaution.
III. THAT NOAH EMPLOYED VARIED AND CONTINUOUS METHODS OF ASCERTAINING THE FACTS OF HIS POSITION AND HIS DUTY IN RELATION THERETO.
1. These methods were varied.
IV. THAT NOAH YIELDED A PATIENT OBEDIENCE TO THE TEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH HE HAD EMPLOYED.
V. THAT INDICATIONS OF DUTY ARE ALWAYS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO SEEK THEM DEVOUTLY. The dove returned to Noah with the olive leaf. Men who seek prayerfully to know their duty in the events of life, will surely have given to them the plain indications of Providence. Lessons: —
1. That men should not trust their own reason alone to guide them in the events of life.
2. That men who wish to know the right path of life should employ the best talents God has given them.
3. That honest souls are divinely led.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
2. Believing saints though God appear not, will stay contentedly forty days, that is, the time fit for His salvation.
3. Lawful means believers may use for their comfort, when there is no immediate appearance of God. Noah opens the window which God forbids not (ver. 6).
4. Visible experiments of the ceasing of God's wrath may be desired and used by His people where the Lord sets no bars.
5. Unclean, or the worst of creatures, may be of use sometimes to comfort the Church. As the ravens fed Elijah.
6. Instinct of creatures from God teach His people of His providences to them. (ver. 7).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
II. MESSENGERS SENT FORTH.
III. MESSENGERS RETURNING. Though Noah might not follow their far flight, they could see the huge ark, to which also their unerring instinct — perhaps supernaturally — would guide them. The joy of Noah on looking once more upon a branch of olive. One of the most beautiful and useful of trees also. Learn —
1. Gratitude for that reason which adapts means to ends.
2. God's creatures thus employed in the service of man.
3. The ark a type of Christ; and the dove and olive branch, of the soul hastening with peaceful feelings and first fruits to Jesus.
(J. C. Gray.)
(M. Dods, D. D.)
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