There are so many things that crossed my mind this week as I read Chapter 8 of Genesis. Should I sit and study the significance of all the numbers mentioned in these verses(7, 150, 27, etc.)? What about how Noah felt when the boat finally hit solid ground or when they stepped off the ark for the first time after all those months? And then there are those first few words of the chapter, “But God remembered Noah” that struck my heart. It’s amazing how many rabbit holes one can explore in just one chapter of scripture.
Even with all of those great topics and questions, I didn’t choose any of them. Instead, I chose verse 21 to meditate on.
When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, He said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, even though man’s inclination is evil from his youth. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done. Genesis 8:21
It’s incredible to consider that because of man’s actions, God destroyed “every” living thing on earth except for those on the ark. The neighborhood dogs, farm sheep, and donkeys certainly weren’t worshipping idols and living sinful lives of adultery, thievery, and lies. They suffered due to the actions of man (and woman). As much as that tugged at my heart, it was these three words, “He said to Himself” (Genesis 8:21, HCSB) that drew me in.
In other translations, it says God, “thought to himself” (MSG) and “said in his heart” (KJV & ESV). These are the thoughts that flooded into my heart.
First, I think or speak to myself often. When I studying, cooking, folding clothes, or in an unusual situation I’ve got all kinds of thoughts rolling around in my head. It’s a common, ordinary and human thing to do. Now, God is FAR from human, but I love to see this quality in our Creator. He did, after all, create us in His image. These few words give me an image of God that I can relate to and understand. With so many things we don’t and can’t understand in this world, it’s these small glimpses of God in us that draw me closer to Him.
Second, I adore how God was sure to include all we needed in the Bible. Even his thoughts. The words He spoke to His own heart. Some might argue that there isn’t a way we could be sure God really thought such a thing and dispute the Bible. I don’t argue that point at all. Why would our God, who allowed His Son to die for each of us on the cross so we could have eternal life, let that be tainted or ruined by allowing false statements into His written Word? I don’t think He would. Even as a mom, if something happens and my child is misrepresented or misunderstood I have a strong desire to clear the air and clarify things.
There is only one God, but He created us in His great image. So, even though we aren’t God’s, we have bits and pieces of God’s qualities and ways just as our own children do. After all, He is our Father in Heaven and we are all His children. Keep an eye out for other small traits or ways that show we are created in God’s image as we continue to study through Genesis.
I would love to hear how your journey through Genesis is going and how “listening” has improved, changed or challenge you in your Bible study.