On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark…The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
Gen 7:13, 16, 8:1

There are so many things I love about the story of Noah, but I’m going to focus on just two in this blog.

Shut In
Noah was a righteous man. He was also an obedient man. When God said “build an ark,” Noah built an ark. And a really big one at that. Then God said “OK, it’s time to enter the ark” and Noah entered the ark. Then God closed the door behind him. God “shut him in.” At that point, God removed all of Noah’s options. God placed him in a very uncomfortable place that would become his deliverance. Imagine all the animals and his family in cramped quarters for about six months! No place to escape the smell and the noise and the inevitable frustration.

Have you ever felt like you were going along just fine, pursuing God diligently and wholeheartedly when all of a sudden…BAM! For whatever reason, the bottom seems to have fallen out. You’re stuck in a place that seems too loud and too messy and way too frustrating. Has it occurred to you that perhaps God has shut you in for your own protection? Perhaps there are some things that God is dealing with on the outside while He has you safely shut in somewhere.

Don’t lose that “shut in” time by grumbling about your circumstances (you’d be grumbling about God) or struggling against God to get out. Use the shut in time to learn to trust God. Anticipate the time when God will release you. Allow God to work on you on the inside while He works on other situations on the outside.

Verse 1 of chapter 8 is interesting: “But God remembered Noah…and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”

Do you think that God ever forgot about Noah and the animals in the ark? Of course not. Scripture is abundantly clear that He never leaves us or forsakes us; that His eye is always on us. So why does Scripture say “God remembered Noah”? I think it was written like that for our benefit – to emphasize to us that God will remember us when He has shut us in…and not only will He remember us, but He will move on our behalf to release us. That’s the second part of the verse. God not only remembered Noah, but then he moved on Noah’s behalf to rescue him. What good would remembering be if no action were taken? Not much I think. God remembered Noah and moved on his behalf.

The story of Noah is written historically – in other words, someone is telling us about it after it happened. As I look over my own life with the Lord, my history with Him, I can see times when God shut me in. Sometimes it felt as if God had forgotten about me. But He hadn’t. Times of being shut in were always followed by times when God remembered Sandy.

What a faithful God He is! He shuts me in for my own protection, then when the time is right, He remembers me and moves on my behalf. That is a faithful God. And He’s not just faithful to me. He will be faithful to you as well.

If you’re feeling shut in right now, have confidence. God will remember you and move on your behalf…when the timing is perfect. (Notice in 8:13 that Noah stepped onto dry ground, not muddy ground.) Perhaps you know someone who is shut in right now – encourage them with these words: “God remembered Noah…and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”

Tomorrow…my third favorite thing about the story of Noah.

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