January 11, 2019

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

Genesis 8

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The Flood Subsides

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.

At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.

13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

God's Covenant with Noah

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse1 the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”


[1] 8:21 Or dishonor

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

Key Verse | Genesis 8:13

In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.

Bio | Bethany Moss

Good morning, fellow Journeyers! I'm Bethany, and I have been learning and growing at Watermark for five-and-a-half years. One thing I have consistently loved about my time here has been growing in authenticity and vulnerability through community. You are joining me on a bittersweet day as I say a final goodbye to my twenties. Tomorrow, I turn the big 3-0! I'm excited to enter into a new decade, and I look forward to seeing more of God's faithfulness as I pursue Him with my whole heart.

Central Truth

In seasons of prolonged waiting, obedience is still the answer. 

Devotional | Genesis 8

No one likes to play the waiting game. Whether it's sitting in rush-hour traffic, sticking it out at work for a promotion, or praying profusely for a relationship to be restored, practicing patience can feel like...

No one likes to play the waiting game. Whether it's sitting in rush-hour traffic, sticking it out at work for a promotion, or praying profusely for a relationship to be restored, practicing patience can feel like a chore. Yet, it is a common way God chooses to grow and sharpen His people. Today, we will see that Noah had no choice but to grow in patience as he waited for God to fulfill His promise.

Imagine being stuck on a ship during a horrible storm for 40 days and 40 nights straight. There is a constant stench from animals, and the only people to converse with are your immediate family. I know for many of you, the latter sounds more like a nightmare than the former. Most of us can endure anything for 40 days, but what about for a whole year? When we compare the dates given in Genesis 7 and 8, we discover that it took one year and 11 days from the first rains, to when the earth was completely dry. Wow!

I wonder what it was like for Noah to stay inside the ark after he felt it collide with the mountains of Ararat and then three months later see the tops of the mountains? For me, I know I would have been tempted to get out of the boat during the day and hang out on a mountaintop, just to get some alone time and breathe in fresh air. By months eight and nine, it would seem safe enough to start unloading some animals, especially as more land and trees became visible. Noah, however, did not exit the boat until God commanded (Genesis 8:15-16).

Staying patient in the waiting is difficult, especially when troubles seem to drag on and on. When it is over, though, wouldn't it be amazing to look back and respond with praise to God? That's what Noah did immediately after standing on dry ground (Genesis 8:20-21). When we persevere with patience, we grow, see God move, and can share with others the wonderful things He's done.

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Discussion Questions

1. What has been your response when trials drop into your life? Have you noticed a difference in your response since you've known Christ, compared to before knowing Him?

2. In 1 Corinthians 13:4, the first word Paul uses to describe love is patient. What do you think are some implications of this?

3. Where else in God's Word have you noticed a theme of "waiting"?

4. How can you pursue obedience more fully today (resolve conflict, help a coworker, pray for something you've been avoiding, etc.)?

16 Comments available

Wade Souza over 1 year ago

Hope you have a happy birthday, Bethany! Thanks for highlighting all of the senses and emotions of the Ark experience so well!

“Who is this that the wind and waves obey Him?” God’s transcendent authority over creation is transparent through the outworking of the Trinity throughout history. His supernatural strength and sovereignty should cause us to shudder and surrender our very souls, as His lovingkindness compels us to praise no other name.

God has a perfect perspective, plan, and purpose for all He permits and all He produces. Oftentimes, I prefer transportation out of my trials, rather than transformation in my trials. I am looking for an exit, escape, or end to my troubles more than I am seeking God to empower me and purify me. God, give me the courage to pray, “If it makes more like Christ, let it come.”

Jay Caruso over 1 year ago

I can say for myself that before knowing Christ and now knowing what it’s like to have the Holy Spirit inside you patience and calm is so incredibly different from before and it is evident in my life each and every day as I walk with my family and my friends. I still sometimes gets stupid impatient but get redeemed in the end it’s better than it’s ever been

Elizabeth Lariscy over 1 year ago

Thank you Bethany, for your devo today. The love the discussion questions…especially #2! 2. God is love and love is patient. God is perfectly patient with us. That is great news. His grace and mercy abound! Thank you, God! We are so not worthy!

Hope Harris over 1 year ago
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Bethany Happy Birthday I forgot to wish you the best 30 ever.

Ronnie Oldfield over 1 year ago

Thank you Bethany. Patiently waiting: doctors reception area,Check out line at a store - we know we will be served. Prisoners can mark the days to release.

Difficult marriages, chronic health issues, Prodigal relationships and Being on the ark are different and difficult - we cannot see the end. We don’t know the day when relief will come. These times are real tests of patience.

During one of those seasons for myself I resolved to turn to God. I kept a pocket size New Testament on me.

When encountering waiting in a reception area, check out line, or stuck in traffic I opened God’s word and dug in. waiting was no longer a test of my patience but an opportunity to learn about Jesus.

This learning helped me survive and thrive in the difficult open ended areas of life where I was “waiting for release”.

Bethany Moss over 1 year ago
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Hope, Same! I think I would have been questioning God’s goodness to wait all those months for complete recession. Making Noah wait until the earth was completely dry reminds me that God’s standard and timing is different than our own, and we need to trust that.

Bethany Moss over 1 year ago
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Lindsey, yes, I believe we are to follow Noah’s model here to respond in worship. It reminds us to give God the glory for our blessing, breakthrough, etc. Of course, I believe it could be argued to worship IN the waiting too, not just after. Thanks for reading

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

Noah’s sacrifice for the world is epic. In Genesis 8:20-23 Noah offered a sacrifice after the flood and God THEN promises to not destroy the world with another flood and sent the rainbow.

Noah’s sacrifice for the world is another example of how Noah is like Jesus. ( In addition to being the one way of salvation and the one door and being lifted off the ground to save the world. )

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

Bethany, Noah was 500 when he became a dad and 600 when the land dried after the flood (it was a big century in his life for him), so turning the big 3-0 doesn’t sound too bad?

Man’s lifetime formerly about 900 years will eventually be shortened to less than the time it took Noah to build his ark. Did he think about that sobering thought as he built?

CATRICE HINES over 1 year ago

That was a lonnnnng time on a boat with stanky animals and kinfolk!! Lol. I feel like I’m always waiting. Prayer helps. Praise & Worship helps. Reminding myself to stay kingdom focused in the waiting. Nope it’s not easy ohhh but when God comes through it’s time to TURN UP all the more. After God comes through I like to look back to see how I could have waited better.

Gabriel Adel over 1 year ago

“When we persevere with patience, we grow, see God move, and can share with others the wonderful things He’s done.” Liked the devotional, lot more to reflect about obedience, patient and waiting! Through it all we grow in our faith and and hope.

Thank you Brittany! happy Birthday.

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

Happy big 3-0 birthday!

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

Happy new year!!! Happy new century? Gen 8:13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.

There is an interesting Gospel Coalition article on 'God remembers Noah" from a few years back. You can outline the story as a giant chiasm and God remembers Noah is smack in the middle. See Joe Carter’s article at https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-the-story-of-noah/

Lindsey Driscoll over 1 year ago

The patience of Noah is on display. His obedience to unload the ark and verse 8:20 says “then Noah built an altar to the Lord.” Obedience, patience, waiting, and worship. Do we follow up waiting with worship? Praising God for his timing and his will.

Hope Harris over 1 year ago

I have to give Noah credit for staying in a confined space for that long. I don’t do well on day two on a cruise let alone 40 days of rain on a boat. After my last cruise I discovered I am a land lover.

This morning I noted two things Noah listened to God above what I am sure were trying times. Secondly, Noah’s offering pleased God.

I am not sure the very first thing I would do after being stuck on a boat would be to make an offering. Wow what a role model we have in Noah.

Lord help me to learn to always come in an attitude of worship and thanksgiving before you.

Hugh Stephenson over 1 year ago

GM Bethany. Love your truth about “staying patient in the waiting”.

I read Genesis 7:21-24 and weep. Total absolute complete destruction. Everything. Everyone. Absolutely nothing left.

Then the faithful promise…

Genesis 8:1 “But God remembered Noah…”

“God” is Elohim, the creator and supreme majesty who spoke the universe into existence, the God of Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning Elohim created…”

“Your God is Too Small” – my friend says read this book. Yes, my God is too small.

8 people and the animals on the ark. That’s it.

Is there a more compelling story to live out Matthew 28:19-20? Acts 1:8?

Who do I love and care for so much that I NEVER EVER want to imagine them relentlessly pounding on the door of the ark, screaming and pleading to get in?

Prayer: continue to equip myself to give the reason for the hope that lies within, (1 Peter 3:15)

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