The LORD Then said to Noah: Go into the Ark, Because I Have Found You Righteous

7: 1-5

DIG: Given the unmitigated violence, pervasive corruption and heavy peer pressure surrounding Noah, what might Noah have thought when ADONAItold him to build the ark? What do you see as the biggest obstacle to his accomplishing that task? How does Noah persevere when the going gets tough? What do Noah’s actions tell you about his character (Hebrews 11:1 and 7)?

REFLECT: What is something difficult that the LORD is asking you to do? What obstacles stand in your way? How does ADONAI’s promise in Noah’s situation help in overcoming the obstacles you are facing?

In these verses the name of God changes exclusively to ADONAI, because He is the God of redemption and mercy. He will save His people physically, as Christ saves us spiritually. Of all those on the ark, none were lost.

God had spoken to Noah one hundred and twenty years earlier, giving instructions concerning the ark and the animals, and assuring him that the Flood would come on schedule. There had been no further word from heaven, but Noah remained faithful, obeying ADONAI’s commands without question. With all the urgency possible, he preached about the coming judgment, year after year, but without success. There were no converts. All the descendants of Cain and Seth died in the Flood.

Finally, the ark was completed and all the animals were assembling. The one hundred and twenty years would be up in a few days, and grandfather Methuselah, who had served the LORD longer than any person who had ever lived, was on his deathbed. Then after more than a century of silence, ADONAI spoke once again to Noah.116

Noah was invited to come into this ark. Then ADONAI said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household (7:1 NKJ).” This is the fist time come is found in the Scriptures. ADONAI was already inside because He said come. The NIV uses the word go here, but the Hebrew language views the action from the starting point; the English from that of a destination. The word go would imply that ADONAI was sending Noah away from Him; but by using come, it implies that He would be present with him. Jesus first says to each of us: Come and see (John 1:38-39). Then He says: Come and follow Me (Mark 1:17). And finally, He says: Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Mattityahu 11:28).

ADONAI spoke to Noah. It was through ADONAI’s attribute of mercy that Noah and his family were saved. The rabbis teach that this indicates that the LORD in His mercy would accept the sacrifice of the destruction of creation and give it another lease on life. According to rabbinic interpretation, the word ADONAI points to His mercy and the word Elohim points to His justice.

Eight people would enter the ark, but it was because of Noah that they were allowed to enter. Speaking to Noah, ADONAI would say: I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation (7:1 NKJ). God the Father sees Noah as being righteous. But didn’t Noah have a sin nature like all other human beings at this time? Of course he did. Then what made Noah righteous? He was righteous by faith. How was Noah faithful? By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Hebrews 11:7). If you are a believer, you are seen righteous before Him, by faith.

This is the second time that Noah is said to be righteous in contrast to nearly everyone else (6-9), and as his righteousness led him to obey the LORD. God would also single him and his household out for salvation because ADONAI had found him righteous.117

Then the animals were detailed. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate (7:2a). He took seven of every kind of clean animal because they were to be offered later as sacrifices (8:20). But how did Noah know clean animals from unclean animals? This is the book of Genesis, and the book of Leviticus had not yet been written. Noah knew because the LORD had taught the difference to Adam and Adam had passed that information down to his two sons Cain and Abel. That is how Abel knew what was an acceptable offering to ADONAI and was blessed. And that is how Cain was held accountable to God for an unacceptable offering and was cursed. So there was an oral tradition of the Levitical system, long before there were written laws in Leviticus 11:2-23. Noah was to take two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate (7:2b).

And also seven of every kind of bird, male and female. The number seven continues to figure prominently in this section. In addition to the seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, there were seven days between the LORD’s command to enter the ark and His sending the rain on the earth. The purpose of all this was to keep all their various kinds alive throughout the earth (7:3).

The timing of the Flood is seen in the next verse. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth (7:4a). For seven days the world could have knocked at the door of the ark, and frankly, they could have come in. God would have saved them. All they had to do was believe.118 This was the first rain in human history. According to rabbinic tradition the reason for the seven day delay was to allow seven days of mourning for Methuselah, who had just died. Then the rain would last for forty days and forty nights. This length of time is often used in critical periods in the history of God’s people. Moses stayed on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18), and there the LORD gave him the two stone tablets of the covenant on which the Ten Commandments were written (Deuteronomy 9:11). Yeshua fasted for forty days and forty nights in the desert (Matthew 4:2), and there the devil tempted Him three times (Matthew 4:3-11).119

Then the LORD said to Noah: I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made (7:4b). If Elohim had meant to convey a localized flood, He would not have used this phrase. From the face of the earth begs for a worldwide Flood. These are the last recorded words of God to Noah until after the Flood. A year and seventeen days later, God will say: Come out of the ark (8:16). During that time God was silent. It was a time of patient waiting for Noah and his household.

Presumably Moses could have added a lot of details about Noah’s building of the ark and the gathering of the animals, but he did not. Noah’s exploits are condensed into these few words: And Noah did all that ADONAI commanded him (7:5). The author concentrates on this one fact, Noah was obedient. To the best of his ability, he was obedient. That should be our goal as well. To the best of our ability, we should strive to be obedient and do all that the LORD commands us. Not that we have to be perfect, because we are not. But with the help of Ruach HaKodesh, we can be His obedient children.


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