Genesis 7:1. And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark;
Notice that the Lord did not say to Noah, “Go into the ark,” but “Come,” plainly implying that God was himself in the ark, waiting to receive Noah and his family into the big ship that was to be their place of refuge while all the other people on the face of the earth were drowned. The distinctive word of the gospel is a drawing word: “Come.” Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;” and he will say to his people at the last, “Come, ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Depart” is the word of justice and judgment, but “Come” is the word of mercy and grace. “The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark;” —
Genesis 7:1. For thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Therefore God drew a distinction between him and the unrighteous, for he always hath a special regard for godly people.
Genesis 7:2-3. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
Of the clean creatures which might be offered in sacrifice to God you see that there was a larger proportion than there was of the unclean, that there might be sufficient for sacrifice without the destruction of any species. The unclean beasts were mostly killers and devourers of others, and therefore their number we to be less than that of the clean species. Oh, that the day might soon come when there would be more of clean men and women than of unclean, when there would be fewer sinners than godly people in the world, though even then there would be the ungodly “by two” like the unclean beasts.
Genesis 7:4. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
It is the prerogative of the king to have the power of life and death, and it is the sole prerogative of the King of kings that — “He can create, and he can destroy.” But what destructive power is brought into operation because of human sin! Sin must be a very heinous thing, since God, who despiseth not the work of his own hands, will sooner break up the human race, and destroy every thing that liveth rather than that sin should continue to defile the earth. He has destroyed the earth once by water because of sin, and he will the second time destroy it by fire for the selfsame reason. Wherever sin is, God will hunt it; with barbed arrows will he shoot at it; he will cut it in pieces with his sharp two-edged sword, for he cannot endure sin. Oh, how foolish are they who harbour it in their own bosoms, for it will bring destruction to them if they keep it there!
Genesis 7:5. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
Here was positive proof of his righteousness, in that he was obedient to the word of the Lord. A man who does not obey God’s commands may talk about righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith, but it is clear that he does not possess it, for faith works by love, and the righteousness which is by faith is proved by obedience to God. “Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him,” and so proved that he was righteous before God.
Genesis 7:6. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
He was nearly five hundred years old when he began to preach about the flood, — a good old age to take up such a subject. For a hundred and twenty years he pursued his theme, — three times as long as most men are ever able to preach, and now at last God’s time of long-suffering is over, and he proves the truthfulness of the testimony of his servant by sending the flood that Noah had foretold.
Genesis 7:7-8. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
This largest and most complete menagerie that was ever gathered together was not collected by human skill; divine power alone could have accomplished such a task as that.
Genesis 7:9. There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and female, as God had commanded Noah.
They “went in.” Noah had not to hunt or search for them, but they came according to God’s plan and purpose, even as, concerning the salvation which is by Christ Jesus, his people shall be willing to come to him in the day of his power; with joyfulness shall they come into the ark of their salvation.
Genesis 7:10-11. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Perhaps the world was in its prime, when the trees were in bloom, and the birds were singing in their branches, and the flowers were blooming on the earth, “the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”
Genesis 7:12-13. And the rain was upon the earth forty day and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
These eight persons are very carefully mentioned. “The Lord knoweth them that are his,” “and they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up” — or, shut up — “my jewels,” as he was about to do in the case. In similar fashion, God makes a very careful enumeration of all those who believe in him, precious are they in his sight, and they shall be preserved when all others are destroyed.
Genesis 7:14. They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
“Every bird of every sort,” that is, every kind of bird; they are all mentioned over again. God makes much of salvation, oh, that we also did! We may recount and rehearse the story of our rescue from universal destruction, and we need not be afraid or ashamed of repeating it. As the Holy Ghost repeats the words we have here, you and I may often tell out the story of our salvation, and dwell upon the minute particulars of it, for every item of it is full of instruction.
Genesis 7:15-16. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
Now the jewels are all in, and therefore the casket is closed.
Genesis 7:17. And the flood was forty days upon the earth;
Just as it had been foretold, for God’s providence always tallies with his promises or with his threats. “Hath he said, and shall he not do it?”
Genesis 7:17. And the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
You can see it begin to move until it is afloat. The same effect is often produced on us; when the flood of affliction is deep, then we begin to rise. Oh, how often have we been lifted up above the earth by the very force that threatened to drench and drown us! David said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” and many another saint can say that he never was floated until the floods were out, but then he left the worldliness with which he had been satisfied before, and he began to rise to a higher level than he had previously attained.
Genesis 7:18-19. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
If Moses had meant to describe a partial deluge upon only a small part of the earth, he used very misleading language; but if he meant to teach was that the deluge was universal, he used the very word which we might have expected that he would use. I should think that no person, merely by reading this chapter, would arrive at the conclusion that has been reached by some of our very learned men, — too learned to hold the simple truth. It looks as if the deluge must have been universal when we read that not only did the waters prevail exceedingly upon the earth, but that “all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven;” that is, all beneath the canopy of the sky, “were covered.” What could be more plain and clear than that?
Genesis 7:20-23. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
This is the counterpart of what will follow the preaching of the gospel those who are in Christ shall live, shall rise, and reign with him for ever but none of those who are outside of Christ shall so live. “Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”
Genesis 7:24. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.