Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
In the above verses we read of Noah’s response to God’s protection and deliverance from the world wide flood. Noah spent more than a year in the Ark. He was protected for all that time and when the Ark settled on the mountains of Ararat, God opened the door and let Noah out.
This was a necessary isolation. God sent a massive deluge of water that covered the highest mountains and destroyed all living creatures that were outside of the Ark. Those inside the Ark did not need to social distance. They did not need to wear masks. They were not able to travel freely, but that was not a problem. They were trusting in the true God to protect them and to provide for them during this major judgment upon the ungodliness of that time.
We read in our text that when Noah left the Ark, He built an altar unto the LORD. Noah was not concerned about getting out and seeing the sites. He was not concerned about building a house first thing or planting a garden. He wanted to give thanks to God for His protection over Noah and his family through the time of the flood.
We see in this account that Noah offered from that which God had brought into the Ark prior to the flood. There was nothing else to offer. God had blessed Noah with these animals and now he chose the best of the clean animals and fowl for a burnt offering on the altar.
We can see here that God does not expect us to give of what we do not have. He provides the weather, and the strength and the ability to produce things. He expects man to know Him and to acknowledge His hand in all that he has. Of course this does not mean the criminal can thank God for helping him to steal from others. God expects man to know Him and to serve Him faithfully. Noah knew the Lord. He had been walking with the Lord. He understood that God had blessed him and protected him all along the way. He now had opportunity to publicly thank God for what He had done for him and his family.
There are those who borrow money in order to give to the Lord. God wants us to give of that which we have. He provides enough for His children so that they can give Him what He requires. Noah understood that it was necessary to give of clean beasts and fowl. This was prior to the giving of the law. God gave Moses instructions on clean and unclean animals. God must have given Noah instructions as well. We are not given the details of these instructions but as we noted yesterday, God never expects something from man that he has not been instructed on first.
Noah chose to respect God and give Him what He required. This was an important choice for Noah and also an important lesson for his children.
Verse 21 shows us that the LORD was pleased with this sacrifice. To Him this was a sweet savour. This was so because they were clean animals and also because Noah’s heart was right with the LORD at this time.
The result of Noah’s obedience to God’s direction was that the LORD could make an important promise to Noah and to mankind. Never again would the world face a flood as this one. We have witnessed many floods in the world, but never has there been another world wide flood.
The LORD shows us here that the heart of man is not cleansed by his actions. The LORD stated here that He knew that the imagination of man’s heart was evil from his youth. Noah’s sacrifice did not change the heart of his children, nor of himself. His heart was already right with the LORD.
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Noah already found grace in the eyes of the LORD. He was perfect in his generations and he walked with God. Noah did not earn his salvation. He believed in the true God and God accepted Noah’s offering in our opening verses because his heart was right with God.
God never teaches man to give to Him as a means of salvation. Salvation is always a gift of God. There is nothing that man can do to save himself. He must humble himself before God and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. We know that God killed some animals and shed their blood to provide coats for Adam and Eve. Cain and Abel knew the importance of a blood sacrifice. Abel was murdered but at the end of Genesis 4 we read that God blessed Adam and Eve with another son to replace Abel. We read in Genesis 4:26 that with the birth of Enos, the son of Seth, men began to call upon the name of the LORD. In the early history of man, God gave verbal instructions. Each generation was given the truth. Men lived long enough to be able to pass on God’s truth to several generations. Noah knew the truth and he acted on the truth. His sacrifice was pleasing to the LORD because His heart was right with the LORD. Only those who are saved can please God with their gifts.
Many religions today try to entice people to give by offering them tax receipts. Many people believe it is good stewardship to get a tax receipt for giving.
Good stewardship is giving to the Lord that which is rightfully His. The Bible teaches that all that we have comes from God. He wants man to know Him first of all. When that is in place, then man will honour God with his gifts. Saved people have bills to pay just like unsaved people do. God understands that. He does not expect that which man does not have. He expects man to be a good steward of what the Lord blesses him with. If man does that, he will be able to give to the Lord that which He requires.
In verse 22 the LORD further promised that while the earth remains, He would make sure that seedtime and harvest would not cease. He would provide the necessary weather and moisture so that the crops would grow and that they could be harvested. He provides the seasons and He provides day and night. We need the night to give us our needed rest. We have artificial lights that allow us to work long hours, but if we honour God we do not need to push ourselves to exhaustion.
We are living at a time when our governments are telling us that we are the cause of the changing weather patterns. The governments are lying to us. Many people have bought those lies and they support the ungodly actions of the governments. The Bible shows us that God has caused famines at times. He has also caused earthquakes and storms. He does that to get people’s attention. The governments are not going to stop God from using the weather for His glory. The only thing they will do is cause unnecessary suffering among the common people. God was able to affect the well-being of Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. He is still able to affect the well-being of the “elite” today.
Those who are saved need to trust in Him and give Him His rightful place in their lives. As we do that we can be a testimony to the lost around us.