“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life…on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened…On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark…And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth…All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.”
“And the Lord shut him in.”
God closed the door behind Noah.
I have never noticed this before today. I mean, I assumed it, but I had never SEEN these words before. And being the thinker that I am, I pondered these words for quite a while and asked the Lord why He caused these words to stand out to me.
This is what I saw…
Destruction had begun.
The storm was raging.
And God was right there with His child.
He wasn’t hovering in the heavens above watching His world fall apart. No! He was right there – Jehovah Shammah – the Lord is There. He closed the door, shutting out the destruction from his righteous child.
If I close my eyes I can see Noah hurriedly getting his family on board, shepherding the animals up the ramp to the ark and keeping an eye to the sky. I believe there had to be some fear, some uncertainty. After all, Noah was human like you and me. The rain began to come down in torrents. In my imagination, the wind began to howl – Noah held to the railing to keep his footing steady. Darkness threatened the daylight as the sun was obscured by the impending doom. Finally, everyone was safe inside.
And God closed the door for him!
God was right there in the middle of the crisis caring for His child. I wonder if Noah’s eyes were opened so that he saw the Spirit of God assisting him or was he so consumed with the storm he forgot to consider where the Lord might be?
Know what else struck me? Verse 22: “All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.”
When I read these words I almost cried. How often do we forget the many facets of the Lord? He is Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the Great I AM…AND He is Father God. The Scriptures tell us that He experiences many emotions – anger, jealousy, joy, and hurt.
Our sin hurts him.
When I read verse 22 I felt the Lord’s pain.
The phrase, breath of life, in Hebrew is nishmat chayim. In Genesis 2:7 we see the extraordinary beauty of these words: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life – the nishmat chayim; and man became a living being.”
Man took his first breath because his Father God shared His own breath with him.
And now, “All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.”
God opened my eyes to see His sorrow. I had always assumed He felt wrath at this point. I don’t think that anymore.
The Lord God was there in the crisis.
The Lord God closed the door behind Noah to keep him safe.
Perhaps, the Lord felt enormous sorrow as the creation He loved died from sin.
SELAH. Pause and think about it.
Father, My heart still feels Your sorrow as I pen these words. Thank You for letting us see this side of You. We are Your special treasure, Your precious possession, the delight of Your heart. I don’t think we realize that our sin HURTS you. We think it makes You angry, but You have shown us that it brings You sorrow. Forgive us, Father, for when we sin against You and separate ourselves from You. Cleanse us, Lord. Fill us up to overflowing with Your mercy and love.
It is sad to think of destroying something one has made…I have that dilemma sometimes with my needlework…spending hours creating, only to have to tear it all out and start over…or with something I've drawn. But to have made a living breathing being and then to have to destroy it because it went haywire out of disobedience, had to have been more than hard. Great insight, Nan…God isn't heartless, but He is perfect in His judgments!
I agree Mid. I am so thankful He allowed me to feel His sorrow. I definitely believe we need to acknowledge the wrath of God – His justice – but when do we acknowledge His sorrow for our sin? Wow! That one hit me.