“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock
that went with him in the ark.” – Genesis 8:1
“But God.” These are two of the most encouraging words in the Bible. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, BUT GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” And four verses later Joseph told them, “I am about to die. BUT GOD will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land He promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” In Luke 5:21 we read, “Who can forgive sins BUT GOD alone?” And in Acts 2:23-24 Peter tells the crowd in Jerusalem, “You, with the help of wicked men, put [Jesus] to death by nailing him to the cross. BUT GOD raised him from the dead.”
Yes, there is great power in these two little words: BUT GOD. Just ask Noah. In Genesis 6:5-7 we read: “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.’”
Because wickedness was so rampant, the LORD decided to wipe out mankind in one fell swoop. He would send a global flood that would scrub the land clean of all people, animals and birds. Only one man’s family would survive, and that man was Noah. As God looked down from heaven at our wicked world, Noah stood out in the crowd. According to Genesis 6:8-9, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD….Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”
Was Noah perfect? No. Far from it. But he is described as “righteous,” because more times than not, he did what was right in God’s eyes. And he is described as “blameless,” because as he lived among his peers, he lived a life that was above reproach. And most importantly, Noah walked with God. In other words, he had a close relationship with God, he knew God’s laws, and he strived to obey God’s laws every day.
Nowhere is that more clearly demonstrated than in the latter half of Genesis 6. God said, “Build an ark,” so Noah built an ark. God said, “Build it 450 feet long,” so Noah built it 450 feet long. God said, “Get into the ark with two of every kind of animal,” so Noah got into the ark with two of every kind of animal. Yes, Noah obeyed God’s commands daily and consistently did what was right in God’s eyes.
When Noah’s building project was completed, he entered the ark with his wife, three sons and their wives (eight in all), and God sealed the door behind them. And for forty days the earth was pummeled by a cataclysmic flood. It was, without a doubt, an extinction level event. Were it not for the fact that we all know how the story ends, we would wonder if Noah and his family were goners. After all, how could a wood ship survive the onslaught of wind and waves that accompanied a flood ferocious enough to flatten hills and raise mountains? Simply put…it couldn’t. It would be impossible. The flood waters would have ripped Noah’s ark to shreds.
BUT GOD. Yes, here are these two glorious words again. Chapter 8 begins as follows: “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” As Noah, his family and his smelly shipmates bobbed up and down on the floodwaters, his situation must have felt hopeless. At times it must have seemed like the roof would start leaking or the creaking walls would start buckling. Perhaps they even thought to themselves, “God has forgotten us!”
But He had not forgotten. God remembered them. And He remembers you too. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, you need not worry yourself with the notion that God has forgotten you. His mind is like a steel trap. If you have placed Him in the driver’s seat of your life, He never falls asleep at the wheel. He never forgets you. He knows right where you are, and He knows exactly where He’s leading you.
So, you can take comfort in His promise to you: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2) May these God-breathed words flood through the corridors of your mind and heart until you are fully convinced that they are true. Remind yourself daily: My circumstances may seem dire, BUT GOD REMEMBERS me and will be with me every step of the way.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit www.YourVictorvilleChurch.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 a.m.