Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 41
Foundational themes in Genesis – Study 41
(Key verses: Gen 8:1-19)
The natural mind in the generation of the first Adam was made by God to focus on natural things, and God deludes the carnal mind to think he has a “free” will by which man determines the means of survival within the physical environment, independent from God (Gen 2:7; Mat 16:23; 2Th 2:11; 1Co 1:20; 1Co 2:14; Jas 3:15). Mankind’s well-intentioned educational efforts to make all aware of the survival of the human race are the focus of their labours and energy. In this process God causes people to become entangled in endless debates and arguments which actually only corrupt themselves in earthly and sensual wisdom (Jud 1:10; Jas 3:15; 2Ti 2:4; 2Pe 2:20; Gal 5:1). Sometimes Biblical narratives are used to produce twisted stories primarily for entertainment and financial purposes (2Ti 3:2-4). According to the director of the recently released movie called “Noah” (he is a self-professed atheist) Noah should be seen as the first environmentalist in the sense that Noah should be recognized as the first person who saw the importance of caring for the natural world created for humanity by God. The Scriptures are clear that carnal or natural man cannot appreciate “the deep things of God” or how He is using the things in the physical creation to bring forth a new creation that is spiritual or has an inward application which is “at hand” (2Co 2:10; Mat 13:34-35; Rom 15:4; Gal 5:17; Rom 1:20; Rev 1:3; Mat 3:2):
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
In his natural wisdom, everything the carnal man hears or understands about God or spiritual things is always changed or reinterpreted back to a physical image and then overemphasized or worshipped as such. God is also perceived and worshipped in human terms as if God has corruptible man’s characteristics. Of course no one will admit that they are doing that because they cannot see beyond God’s strong delusion (2Th 2:11):
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
This is all from God as He also speaks to natural man according to these natural images and perceptions for the purposes of deception (Eze 14:1-10). God is not evil or a deceiver, but He has indeed created evil and all physical things for His good purposes (Isa 45:7; Gen 1:31; Isa 5:20). For example, He has created and uses a carnal spirit-being called Satan to deceive and destroy (2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1):
Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
God speaks in numerous places in Scriptures in these human figures of speech (anthropomorphism = “man form”) such as parables, similes or metaphors, not to help humans to see His spiritual things as many are led to believe, but actually to blind them from seeing spiritual things (Joh 9:39; Gen 3:1-13; Mat 13:10-17;). Within this state of deception and strong delusion some actually believe they can change God’s mind and His original plan of action; for example, by using prayer to “consume it upon [their] lusts” and selfish ideas (Jas 4:3). Here is also another example of God’s delusion where natural Israel was convinced that God actually forgot them when He did not answer them according to the idols or perceptions of their heart:
Isa 49:14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Isa 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Isa 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls [Hebrew: “chômâh” = protection] are continually before me.
The Scriptures always focus on God’s purposes with the creation of the first Adam and specifically His plan for the spiritual salvation through His Elect, Jesus Christ, and the small group that will be with Him “at His coming” (2Ch 24:24; Eze 12:16; Mat 22:14; Mat 24:31; 1Co 15:22-28). In Genesis this small group is foreshadowed for the first time in the narrative of one man, Noah and his family. This is very significant to see as God is revealing Himself and His mind only to His elect in this age and through the story of Noah this unveiling also helps to see ourselves and our spiritual journey of being conformed to the image of God in Christ (Rom 8:28-30; Rev 1:1-3; Gal 1:12; 1Pe 1:13). The elect are those whom God has chosen, reserved, and predestinated in the Christ before the foundation of the world for the task of saving “all in Adam” (Eph 1:3-6; Rom 11:2-5; 1Ti 2:4; 1Ti 4:10; 2Pet 3:9; 1Th 5:9; Col 1:24):
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
Noah and the other seven people in the ark knew that nothing was out of God’s total control as they rested with His provision through the waters of His judgement (Rev 4:6-8; Isa 54:8-9). As the opening of the seals also reveal to us the trumpets and the vials in the book of Revelation, so we see that the judgement of God moves into other deeper levels of spiritual unveiling of the Christ (Heb 10:19-25). Noah and his family were to leave the ark as we also leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ in our maturing spiritual process (Heb 6:1-3). As the concept of an ark also relates to the vessel of the old, first man Adam, we are in that sense also encouraged to leave or let go of that “ark” and our natural way of thinking (1Co 15:42-45; 2Co 5:16; 2Co 7:1; Pro 3:5-6). Abraham, Jacob and Joseph are among the many types in the Old Testament that had to leave their familiar environment to fulfil God’s purposes in and through them (Gen 12:1-3; Gen 31:3; Gen 45:7-8). This theme of leaving the familiar fleshly things is foundational to our understanding of spiritual growth, as we should not consult further with the “familiar spirit” of flesh (“out of the ground”) as in the case of God’s rejected, anointed king Saul (Lev 20:27; 1Sa 28:7-8; Isa 29:4; Rev 18:4). Like king Saul we naturally tend to go back to consult our own thinking – our own carnal ideas as that is that familiar spirit we trusted for such a long time:
1Ch 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
1Ch 10:14 And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
When the Scriptures say that God “remembered” Noah and all those in the ark, this is written from natural man’s perspective because God has never forgotten them:
Gen 8:1 And God remembered [Hebrew: “zâkar” = mark] Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind [Hebrew: “rûach”] to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged [settled in its appointed places and functions again].
Gen 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Gen 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
The wind of God is the spirit of God which was in control of everything that happens on the earth since the beginning of creation and it is still today. Like in Noah’s days, God’s spirit moved or is sent to “pass over the earth” to work all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11; Gen 6:3; Isa 55:10-11; Eph 5:26; Joh 17:17; Joh 6:63):
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit [Hebrew: “rûach”] of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Psa 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath [Hebrew: “rûach”], they die, and return to their dust.
Psa 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit [Hebrew: “rûach”], they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
Naturally it is impossible to destroy physical water and in that sense all waters which God created in the beginning are still being circulated and used to sustain physical life on the earth. The same waters before the flood are just concentrated in different places after the flood as it is still under God’s control all the time (Jdg 6:37-40; Job 14:11-12; Isa 19:5-6; Isa 50:2; Hos 13:15; Nah 1:4; Joh 4:13-15; Joh 7:37). The number for spiritual completion, the number seven, is associated with the ark many times in these passages in Scripture as the ark of Noah also came to rest “upon the mountains of Ararat”:
Gen 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat [“sacred land”/“high ground” or “the curse is reversed”].
The spiritual meaning of the number ten as it joins with the number seven (spiritual completeness) in the number seventeen points that the completion or “end of the world[ly]” age of the fleshly or carnal thinking (number ten) when we come to the knowledge that everything is under God’s spiritual control as we cease from our own work or rather our idea that we did something through our fabled “free” will (Gen 2:1-2; Heb 4:10). We are now learning what it means to be His workmanship from start to finish (Eph 2:6-10; Php 1:6; 2Co 9:8; Col 1:10). Judgment brings painful turmoil to the flesh and all carnal thinking, but to the new man it brings the righteousness, peace, and joy of the spirit of God (Rom 14:18; Isa 26:9). In His rest we have the witness (“the testimony of Jesus”) how everything is “at hand” as we are given the spiritual strength to deal with and overcome our own mountains of pride and lusts in our own lives and even be a comfort and help to others (Rev 1:1-3; Php 2:12-13; 2Co 1:3-4; Col 1:24):
Gen 8:5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Forty days after the first mountain tops were seen, Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out a raven which is one of the unclean fowls in the ark as the law of Moses which came at a later stage, also explained (Lev 11:13-20). We are learning to try the spirits and to hear the voice of the true shepherd and those within His true fold (1Jn 4:1-6; Joh 10:1-18):
Gen 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Gen 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Our own carnal mind (within its fleshly habitation) is an unclean spirit created by God, and this is what is also represented by this unclean fowl of the air, for those who can receive this (Eph 6:12). That the raven is sent out first is just a confirmation that God first sent out the natural things to be our first estate. This habitation of bondage we are initially given is under the delegated control of “devils, and [it is] the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” before we can be become the spiritual habitation of God (Eph 2:22; Jud 1:6; Rev 18:2):
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
The unclean flesh will always be the first thing we experience, and that is how we always first respond to any situation – we think in natural terms as we now learn how foolish we are while we are under the delusion that we are wise and mature (1Co 15:45-47; Jas 3:13-16). Like Noah, the sons of God learn progressively that sending out our spiritual ravens of fleshly wisdom and ambitions will never bring lasting peace and ultimate salvation (1Co 1:26-29). The second time Noah sent out a fowl, he used a female dove, which is a clean fowl under the law of Moses typifying the procreative spirit of God (Son 1:15; Son 4:1):
Gen 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove [the Hebrew noun “yônâh” is in the feminine] from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
Gen 8:9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Gen 8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days [in patience we will take complete possession of spiritual life – Luk 21:19]; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
Gen 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
Gen 8:12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
This dove was sent out three times after it stayed seven days after each return to the ark. This re-emphasizes that spiritual completion (the spiritual meaning of the number seven) will come through a process of judgement of learning and keeping His righteous commandments – the spiritual meaning of the number three (Isa 26:9; Rev 14:12; Rev 15:8). The second time the dove returned it had an olive leaf in her mouth indicating the witness of the evergreen tree which typifies new and continued life of the olive tree of God – spiritual Israel (Exo 27:20; Psa 1:3; Rom 11:11-24):
Psa 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
The description of the olive tree has so much spiritual applications for the elect and it is therefore no surprise that after the flood the olive tree was the first tree where this dove found a green leaf. Look at just a few of the characteristics of this tree:
Olive trees are evergreen and will live and produce fruit in various circumstance and types of soil, for example hot, cold, wet, dry, rocky or sandy soil. The olive tree grows best in direct sun, and is best suited for rocky calcareous subsoil. The trunk of the olive tree is knotty and gnarled while its bark is smooth and ash colored. The leaves of this amazing tree are leathery silver green and the flowers are white. The fruit are edible and produce excellent oils.
This re-emphasizes that God’s focus is on the elect in this age. After the dove was sent out for the third time, it did not return again, as the dove found rest for its feet on the earth. All these details help us to see why Noah and his family were placed on the earth. Not only are we still in a time of completion when the blowing of the seventh trumpet with its accompanying vial is still in operation, but we are given rulership over our own “earth” to help others at the later judgment (Rev 10:7; Rev 15:1-8). We are still in the seventh day when God is finishing His works in us as the new day, the eighth, is at hand (Gen 2:1-2; Joh 5:17; Rev 17:11). Noah spent his entire six hundredth year in the ark and it was on the first day of his seventh period of hundred years of his earthly life of 950 years that he could see the face of the ground again – all pointing to the spiritual meaning of the number seven and the seventh day of creation (Gen 2:1-2; Gen 9:28-29):
Gen 7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
Gen 8:13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first [Hebrew: “echâd” = one/unity] year, in the first [Hebrew: “ri’shôn” = beginning] month, the first [Hebrew: “echâd” = one/unity] day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
Gen 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
All these numbers combine to spiritually help us as we witness (number 2) the spiritual completion (the number 7) of God’s judgment (the number 9) and control over our fleshly age (the number 10 X 2). These verses come to mind:
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [Greek: aion = fleshly age] are come.
Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
As God gave Noah all instructions from the start which he obeyed all the time, so it was with the leaving of the ark. When a man (prematurely) “wandereth from his place” under the false conviction that he has a “free” will, it is indeed as dangerous as a bird that “wandereth from her nest”:
Pro 27:8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
God again gave Noah the time to exit the ark with his family and all the animals, as all things God does are exactly on point and precisely according to His objectives (Psa 31:15; Isa 46:10; Hab 2:3; Ecc 3:1; Rom 5:6):
Gen 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
Gen 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Gen 8:17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
Noah faithfully obeyed what God told him to do, as he was “a just man and perfect in his generations, and [he] walked with God” as a type of the spiritual elect of God who is careful to be diligent in doing God’s commandment as only through this diligence will they be given eventual total rulership over their own beasts (Pro 10:4; Pro 12:24; Pro 13:4; 2Pe 3:13-14):
Gen 8:18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
Gen 8:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
Detailed studies and emails written by Mike Vinson relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the www.iswasandwillbe.com website, including these topics and links:
Other related posts
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 41 (April 10, 2014)
- Children's Study - Noah, Part 4 (August 31, 2015)
- Children's Bible Study - Moses, Part 1 "...I Pulled Him Out of The Water" (February 13, 2017)
- Awesome Hands - part 90: "Watchmen" (October 28, 2015)
- Awesome Hands - part 04: "The raven and the Dove" (May 5, 2012)