“But God remembered Noah.” These are beautiful words. God didn’t leave Noah and everyone/thing else on the ark to waste away. Oblivion covered creation, but God remembered. All those on the ark were completely exposed, completely dependent upon God’s mercy. The story of this world could have ended there. Humanity could have been left to fend for itself on a water-soaked planet, left to make due as best we can without dry land like some Kevin Costner movie.
But God remembered Noah.
What did God do when he remembered Noah? He (literally) moved earth and ocean for him! God’s love and compassion on seasick Noah and his family is incredible in this passage. Noah and his family deserved nothing, but because God is merciful and gracious, the flood waters receded and man was given the earth once again.
Why would God be so gracious to these people? God says again, after Noah offers the sacrifices of all those clean animals (why there were 7 clean animals and only 2 of all the other kinds), that “the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (8:21; cf. 6:5). Why would God give the earth back to these evil creatures?
And why would he promise never to curse the earth again, in spite of humanity’s sin? Why would God promise that, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (8:22)?
Because God is a creative, redeeming God. He is not only just, though he is just. He is not merely concerned with holiness, though he is jealous for his law. If these were God’s only concerns, it’d be a lot cleaner and neater to wipe the earth of all life and dwell eternally as trinitarian community. But that is not God’s intention. God will not be content until he brings redemption. He will not be satisfied until he himself enters into the mess of our fallenness and saves us from ourselves.
We often feel as though God does not remember. But he does. He did remember us at our time of greatest need when he sent Christ for us. And because we know he did remember, we can have hope that now and in the future he will remember us. If we are in Christ, we are his children. He moved earth and sea for the sake of Noah; he’ll do no less for you and me.
Do not let your circumstances overwhelm you. Whatever you face, it can never be worse than a flood of God’s judgment. But in light of 8:22—and especially in light of Calvary—you and I will never face that wrath. Christ took it all for us. Trust your Father, cling to your Savior, and walk today in the power of the present Holy Spirit to do what God has called you to do. That is the Christian life.