Genesis 8: After Deliverance, Praise
“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.” (Genesis 8:20)
Storms come our way in life—seasons of fear and uncertainty due to imposing, dark clouds, torrential rains and flashes of lightening that beat down on us in the form of sickness, mental or financial hardships, family issues, or, just life. All of us go through times when we feel like we are simply hanging on to a world gone crazy; when we are convinced the next moment will be our last.
Noah and his family literally weathered the storm of a lifetime. He endured trials through certain ridicule for years in building and stocking the ark; in gathering all the animals; in listening to the cries of those people who must have tried to get into the ark once the rains began; and the storm that must have tossed he and all the inhabitants of the ark about for what seemed countless days. Even after the storm, he waited anxiously for months as the waters receded. Finally, after what must have been an almost impossibly difficult year, he, his family, and all living creation left the confines of the ark to a lonely world inhabited now only with uncertainty.
But, 8:20 tells us the first thing he did was to offer sacrifice to God. As difficult as life had been, and while it would never be what he had perhaps once thought it would be, he and his family were alive by the grace of God. For that, he would be thankful.
Two needed lessons stand out. First, we need to remember that God will always deliver His children. God promised Jerusalem in Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” That promise made to Jerusalem is made to us as well (Hebrews 13:5). You need to remember that God will not forget you, either. He knows what you are going through, because He is right by your side— “Yea thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” (Psalm 23:4).
Second, when we pass through the storms of life—even when we are passing through them—we need to take time to praise and show appreciation to God for His presence in and deliverance from those hard times. How often do you think about that? To thank God in prayer rather than complain to others on social media? Life may not have gone the way we thought it would, we may have to deal with difficulties we wish we didn’t have to deal with, challenges may still lie ahead; but, by God’s grace, He has been with us and seen us through. Even in those circumstances when our life is or will be taken from us, He will still bring us to heaven, and if we are faithful, nothing can take that away from us. As Paul wrote shortly before his own martyrdom, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:17-18). How did Paul follow up on this declaration of God’s certain deliverance? “To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” Praise. We should do the same.
Let’s apply this to our lives.