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new life in a new, barren land
New life in a new, barren land

After the Flood, What’s Next?

The people who had never been in a boat had now lived five months on the water. Their ship home (the ark) finally rested on the mountains of Ararat. But they could not disembark yet. Water was everywhere. They would have to wait for the shoreline to recede. Noah tested for nearby dry land by sending out a raven and a dove. They both returned. Seven days later, he sent out the dove, which returned with an olive leaf in her mouth. After another seven days, the dove left again and did not return. At that time, Noah removed the ark’s covering, and they waited again. Finally, after living one year and ten days on the ark (Genesis 7:11; 8:13-14), God told them to leave the ark. It was now safe to begin life on the ground outside the ark.

But – it was a vastly different landscape. Nothing looked the same. Some hills and valleys and mountains had not been there before. Vegetation and trees were now starting to grow again. It was an almost barren land. There were no people, no buildings, and no manmade structures. There was just Noah and his family and the barren countryside. It was almost like we would imagine being placed on a new planet.

But they were extremely thankful and joyous. God had spared them from the worldwide destruction of the flood. He had providentially directed them to have enough food on board the ark to provide for their first few months on land until crops could be grown.

Noah’s first action after leaving the ark was to build an altar to the Lord. He offered burnt offerings of every clean beast and clean fowl as a thanksgiving sacrifice to the Lord. It was a smell of sweet savor to the Lord.  God then promised Noah and his family that he would never again curse the ground and smite every living thing. Seasons and crops would continue, and day and night would not cease.

Now, it was Noah and his family’s job to start life over again in this new land. The land was open before them, and they did not need to buy property or comply with city building codes. If they wanted to, they could salvage timbers and raw materials from the flood debris or use materials from the ark structure. They were free to set up their civilization by their own rules.

God gave them a new provision. In addition to the continued dominion over beasts, fowls, and fish (Genesis 9:2), they could now eat meat (from clean animals) and the herbs they had been eating.

God gave them a new law of government: they were not to eat blood, which is life. Life was sacred. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:6). God instituted human government and established capital punishment as the first law of this very first government.

God gave them the symbol of His covenant: the rainbow. It would always remind humanity that God would never destroy all mankind with a worldwide flood again.

Now Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives started to build their lives anew on this newly flood-renovated earth. It was their opportunity to establish a godly line of people for the future.

We can learn many lessons from this historically accurate account of the Genesis Flood.

  1. The ark was the ark of safety. Physical salvation required you to be in the ark. Christ is our ark of eternal safety. For eternal salvation, you must be “in Christ.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Peter preached, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus paid the price. He is the ticket to His ark of safety. We are redeemed “With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
  2. No one got off or was able to get off that ark. Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
  3. It was all of grace. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8). After he found grace, God gave him instructions and provided him with everything he needed. By grace, God saved Noah and his family. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  4. When they got off the ark, Noah and his family started a new life with responsibilities. When we get saved, we are “in Christ,” the ark of safety, and start a new life as a new creation in Christ Jesus. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  5. As believers, God gives us responsibilities in our new lives:
  • Follow the Lord in baptism and association with a local church. (Acts 2:41) “they that gladly received his word were baptized.” “and the same day there was added unto them (the original 120 – Acts 1:14-15) about three thousand souls.”
  • “Continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (teaching) and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). There was continued regular teaching and fellowship in the local church after salvation.
  • Make a determined effort to grow in the Lord. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
  • Give out the good news. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Have you begun your new life in Christ? Are you following Him in your new responsibilities?

About Dale B

I am a born-again Christian who loves to write and share the Good News about Jesus. Raised on a small Wisconsin farm and saved at age 12, I have been active in Christian service since that time. My many years as a pastor, accountant, and lay worker in the church have equipped me to help those in need. In retirement now in Texas, the Lord has led me to writing as a means of winning people to Christ and helping Christians grow in the Lord. By God’s grace I hope to be a blessing and encouragement to you.

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  1. Wonderful work of tying these two stories together. The similarities are so striking, that anyone should get the point. Loved reading your article.
    Hope many people will read and understand the meaningful ways that God works in our lives.

  2. Dale,
    Wow -excellent commentary and message overall.
    Loved the scriptures and the meanings tied to them, great job!
    Thank you,
    Have A Blessed Resurrection Sunday~

  3. yes absolutely excellent

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