© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 18 February 2019
3B27. God responded to them:
In grace, God accepted them as righteous and favoured them in various ways, making Himself known TO and THROUGH them
3B27(a) God brought the Ark and all those in it safely through the FLOOD
The FLOOD began only seven days after Noah had brought his family and the creatures into the Ark as God had specified Gen 7:7,10,13 and God closed the door! Gen 7:16b. Then the FLOOD inundated the whole Earth for 150 days Gen 7:19-20,24. So God carried out His final judgment upon the totally corrupt people as well as the world environment they had polluted Gen 7:21-22,23 [3A4 and 3A5].
But God “remembered” Noah and all in the Ark and the FLOOD began to go down Gen 8:1 [3A6]. After five months the Ark came to rest on land again and the waters continued to recede Gen 7:11a, 8:4-5. Finally God directed Noah and all with him to come out of the Ark Gen 8:15-17 one year and ten days after they had entered it Gen 8:13,14.
3B27(b) In grace, God was pleased with Noah’s offering, blessed him and his sons and established His everlasting Covenant through them
God also declared His blessing upon Noah and his sons Gen 9:1,2,3,7 and stated His Covenantal requirements and warnings for them Gen 9:4-5,6. He formally confirmed all these declarations and promises by “establishing His everlasting Covenant” with Noah, his sons and descendants and all creatures Gen 9:8-9,10,11,12-17 [3A8].
This whole “package” represented God’s Covenantal commission for Noah and all his descendants [3A11].
3B27(c) God’s favour came upon Shem and Japheth
Noah’s statement Gen 9:26a that God was “the God of Shem” (only?) is puzzling. It is best understood as a prophetic declaration that God was giving a special status to Shem’s clan. This paralleled Noah’s contrasting prophetic declaration about Canaan, that as a slave “will he be” to Shem and Japheth Gen 9:25,26b,27b. God indeed fulfilled Noah’s prophecy about Shem. He became the ancestor of Abram Gen 11:10-25,26 and God’s chosen people, to bring His blessing to all peoples [see Era 4].
Noah had also prayed for Japheth to have enlarged territory and to “live in the tents of Shem” Gen 9:27a. Apparently this petition was for Japheth’s clan to share in the blessings of God upon Shem’s clan. Japheth’s clan did later spread to large land areas north of the Mediterranean Gen 10:2-4,5.
This kind of selective treatment of people had already been seen when God saved only Noah and his family from the FLOOD. It also had been implied earlier by the recording of Seth’s descendants down to Noah Gen 4:25-26a, 5:3-32. Later it was again indicated by the tracing of particular lines of the genealogy of Shem down to Terah and Abram Gen 10:21-25, 11:10-26.
So God was pursuing a strategy of choosing particular people and making Himself especially known TO them. This was in order to express His own nature THROUGH them to others and accomplish His primary purpose.
3B27(d) God’s favour upon Noah continued
Noah lived for 350 years after the FLOOD and eventually died at the great age of 950 Gen 9:28-29. This was older than all but two of the eight men prior to the FLOOD Gen 5:20,27 and was apparently evidence of God’s blessing.
So despite some failures, Noah had not been excluded from God’s further favour. This implied the permanence of God’s choice of Noah and of the “righteous” status that God had granted to him [3A11(b)(ii)]. God had made Himself known THROUGH Noah.
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Despite the the ongoing sinfulness of all people Gen 8:21c God’s unchanging love meant that He always desired better things for them. This was what motivated Him to give them further opportunities to keep His Covenantal requirements and carry out His Covenantal commission.
All heart-testing situations were occasions for renewed expressions by people of their commitment to Him. IF they continued to keep His Covenantal requirements, God would accept them as righteous and make Himself known TO and THROUGH them positively in His ongoing relationship with them.