Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
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Chapter 8:6-22Gen 8:6-12 So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.As we saw last week 150 days after the flood started, the water stopped increasing and started to decrease. Then at 5 months the ark stopped on the mountain called Ararat. Then 2 ½ months later Noah saw the top of the mountains. Remember that the ark had a window all around the ark and this is probably how Noah saw the top of the mountain.Now here it is around 7 ½ months after the flood started, until now.So here we are at this point and Noah still waited 40 days before he opened the window and let out a raven and a dove.Why did Noah send out a raven and a dove? The raven will land on anything including something that is dead. But the dove won’t land on a dead thing.If the raven came back not tired Noah knew that the water had subsided and the raven had something to land on. But the dove also came back and had not rested; meaning that the raven found rest on something possibly dead, but nothing living was there for the dove to land on.If there was nothing for the dove to land on, then there may have been disease on the earth from the dead bodies or animals. So it wasn’t safe for Noah and his family to leave the ark. The dove found no rest on the earth so he returned to the safety of the ark and Noah.Don’t you sometimes feel like the dove, flying around all the sin of the earth and finding no rest or comfort? I wonder if the dove was discouraged like we become with the world and it’s sinful ways. We cry out to the Lord asking Him to rapture us and take us all home. But we shouldn’t be discouraged, because God say’s;Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.I remember this verse very much; in fact it’s very special to me. When I was going through a real tough time in my life, I received this verse in the mail; it was so powerful at the time that all I had to do was read the first two words “Fear not” and I was down on my knees crying out to the Lord. Also at the same time within the same week if not even the same day I heard Chuck Smith tell this story which is in the book Harvest and this story cut into my heart, and still does today.Little background before we read the story.Chuck Smith (Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and founder of the Calvary Chapels), tells of his early years in the ministry when things were going bad financially, and church attendance going from 25 members to 17 (5 of which were his own family). He had to make a decision to stay in the ministry or drop out and take a full time position that would prevent him from serving as a pastor.We will pick up the story from here.One morning I was so worried about the bills and what we were going to do that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was tossing around and worrying. I didn’t want to wake up Kay (his wife), so I rolled out of bed quietly and went on out in the living room and sat there. Then I opened up the desk drawer and I got out the bills and totaled them all up. It came to $416. And I thought, “Well, that’s it. I can’t go on any longer in the ministry. I’ll have to forget it. I’ll go in today and tell them about a marketing career.”When the rest of the family got up, Kay fixed breakfast. Then, as soon as I was watching our beautiful children, the phone rang. I answered the phone and the caller asked how I was doing, I responded in a robust voice, “Oh great! How are you doing?”Now I made a covenant with the Lord when I went into the ministry. I told Him I would never let anybody know my financial problems. I would never ask people for money. I would never ask them to give money to the church. I would never take a second offering. I vowed at the time, “Lord, I’ll never make money an issue; I will never let people know my personal needs. And I wont poor-mouth God’s providence saying, “Oh, boy, we’re having such a terrible trial this month. The kids need tennis shoes…” and so on. I wasn’t going to insult my Boss by complaining about my wages.After I told the caller that I was doing great he replied, “the Lord has been laying you on our hearts, and so we sent you a check yesterday special delivery. It should get there probably sometime today. We just thought we would let you know so you would be watching out for it.” And I said, “Oh, praise the Lord! That’s really wonderful of you to do that. Thank you so much.” He said, it’s for $426.” I hung up the phone, went into the kitchen, grabbed hold of my wife, and waltzed her around the kitchen, praising God. “It’s all right, honey! We’ll be able to pay every bill we have! And even have enough money to go out to dinner! Lord, You’re so great! Thank You, Lord! How good You are! What a blessing.”After about an hour or so, when I finally began to settle down a bit, the Lord began to speak to my heart. He said, What are you so excited about? And I kept burbling thank you’s to Him. He said, How do you know they are going to send that money? I said, “Come on, Lord, You’ve got to be kidding. These people have been our friends for a long time. They are good people. I trust them. They wouldn’t call me up and tell me something like that unless they had sent it. Their word is good, Lord.”Then He got me. He said, This morning when you got up, you couldn’t sleep. You were moping around. Now you had My Word that I would supply your needs. And I didn’t see you waltzing your wife around the kitchen. I didn’t see you exuberant and praising Me. Now that you have gotten the word of man, you are excited. Whose word do you really trust more?What a lesson! “Lord,” I said, “I’m sorry that I didn’t trust Your word more then the word of man.” If I had really trusted God at four A.M. I would have announced to Kay, “Look, here at Philippians 4:19: God’s going to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. Praise the Lord.”Taken from the book “Harvest” pgs.22-24.Just a few words are sometimes what people need. Two words were all I needed to hear from the Lord. Two words, that reminds me of Moses and God when they were talking, and Moses asked God His name to give to the children of Israel. The answer, two words, “I AM” Even the shortest verse in the bible is only two words.John 11:35 Jesus wept.If you read the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount (in the book of Matthew 5:1- 8:29) even Jesus was short on words, straight to the point, no long-winded speech (unlike me when I teach).Maybe all you need right now is just a few words, how about the first two words of Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not”.Even through this whole ordeal, Noah never complained. Noah is the example of listening to God, and doing what God had instructed him to do. Once again no excuses, only obedience.Patiently Noah waited 40 days after seeing the top of the mountains before sending out the raven and dove. Then he waited seven more days before he sends out the dove again and the dove returned, but this time with life in his beak. But not just any life, but an olive leaf. The olive tree represents the nation of Israel.Romans 11:17-24 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?Also olive oil was used to anoint the kings of Israel and the priests.Ex 30:24-25 five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.(underlined for emphasis)Ex 29:7-9 And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. And you shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the hats on them. The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute. So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons.1 Sam 10:1 Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: "Is it not because the LORD has anointed you commander over His inheritance?"1 Sam 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.The oil talked about here is olive oil, and what does the oil represent?Yes, the Holy Spirit.Even after the dove came back with the olive leaf, Noah still waited 7 more days.Talk about patience, Noah was on the ark for almost a year, the dove brought back a live olive leaf and Noah say’s let’s wait one more week.I’m sure by this time Noah’s wife and family were ready to get off the ark, but Noah knew that God would let him know when to get off the ark.Gen 8:13-14 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.The time of 601st year represent Noah’s age, remember that Noah was 600 when he entered the ark, and here it is 11 months later that Noah removed the top of the ark.Could you just hear the animals as they finally see sunlight after a year of being cooped up the ark? And finally one year and four days later the earth was dried up from the flood.Gen 8:15-19 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth." So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.Have you ever seen a picture of an area that was flooded? There is total destruction, but after the destruction is total healing of the land. That’s what had happened here, the earth was totally destroyed by the flood, but a year later the earth was healed of the destruction.How do I know this? If you think about it, God would not allow Noah, his family and the animals to leave the ark unless there was enough food for them to eat. So even though it had been 7 or 8 months, the earth was not inhabitable by animals or people because there was not enough food to eat plus there may have been disease. Noah knew that it would be in God’s time not his. If you think about it, after the 8th month when the dove returned with the olive leaf, Noah could had said, “OK, it’s safe to get off the ark now”But he didn’t, even if he wanted to get off the ark Noah was more obedient to God then his own feelings. Noah waited for God to say that it was time to get off the ark.God gives us direction in our lives, and before we get to far we say, “OK God, I can take it from here, I know what to do now.” If we use Noah as the example, we should see that we should always allow God to be in control, no matter how much we want to take control ourselves.It reminds me of Joseph and all he went through; being sold by his brothers into slavery, being wrongly accused of attempted rape, being thrown in jail, helping a couple guys there in jail and these guys forgetting about him for two years (or at least one of them because the other was hanged). But God showed Joseph that He was in control all the time, and Joseph knew this. He even told this to his brother’s years later. Listen to his words as he tells this to his brothers who had sold him into slavery.Gen 50:19-20 Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."Things may seem bad right now, or like they are not going your way, but remember that God is in control of your life. Who is your trust in? Remember the story from Chuck Smith. We need to ask ourselves who we really trust? Do you put your trust in a god you have to carry (Money in your wallet etc.) or a God who carries you?Gen 8:20-22 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease."After a year on the ark, and what’s the first thing Noah does when he gets off the ark?He basically said, “I love you God and thank you for being my God”, and acknowledging His awsomeness and protection.Remember that from Adam all the way to Noah these men were taught the ways of God.And Abel sacrificed the acceptable offering to God, and Noah did the same thing. Cain tried to serve God in his way not God’s way, even when we have clear instruction from God how to serve Him, we still try and do it our way, just like Nadab and Abihu did.Lev 10:1-2 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.Their hearts may have been in the right place (It’s also possible that they were drunk too), but God gave specific instructions on how to offer the incense and even the type of incense. And because of their disobedience, Nadab and Abihu where fired (in a sense) from serving the Lord.Have you ever had one of your kids do something real bad, so bad you could just kill them (not literally) but then they come to you asking forgiveness putting their arms around you telling you that they love you. Not just a “I’ll do this so I’ll be forgiven” type of forgiveness, but a real repenting from the heart.That may be kind of how God felt at this time, knowing that man would always be sinful, but some of them really freely loved Him, despite their faults.Notice now verse 22 "While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease." (Underlined for emphasis)This world will not always be here.Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.Rev 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.But you know what, if you are a believer, you don’t have to worry, because we won’t be here. We’ll be in heaven.But until then, find someone to take with you!