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the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 7

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5


‘Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.’

Genesis 7:5

‘Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.’ A world goes to wreck. Sin ruins rapidly. Sin is death. Only one family is fit to survive, and that not on account of known excellence in the family, but in the head, and he far from perfect.

I. The one saving element left in the world is Noah’s obedience to God. Therein lies the possibility of his being taken out of the catastrophic ruin, and of his taking others with him. This is the last lingering conformity to conditions of best existence left in the world. His obedience is based on a prodigious faith. He spends vast sums and one hundred and twenty years building, on land, such a ship as was never known, for seas never seen. He was to gather animals and food, was to enter himself, and be shut in from the storm, when as yet the sky was clear.

II. What way had men of knowing God’s will then, that we have not to-day? None that prevented the exercise of a supreme faith. And the faith of the ancient worthies left unreached the better things reserved for ours. Did their faith ever compass the eternal salvation of the families of the whole earth? Noah’s faith only reached to the temporal salvation of one family. Could not the ark that saved beasts have saved more than eight persons, if Noah could have asked for them? God is always ready to do more than we can ask, or even think.

III. What a wonder that God should take such pains to save eight grains of wheat from a world full of chaff! The bruised reed He will not break. God’s plans are infinite; it is not to be expected that we should understand, but His agencies are omnipotent, hence we can obey. Luther said he would rather obey than work miracles. But whoever obeys does work miracles; for ‘God’s biddings are enablings.’ Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.


(1) ‘The moral of this whole story of Noah is very evident. This history enforces the necessity of instant repentance and obedience to the commands of God. Now is the day of salvation. God will not wait always. Eternity calls. Events are rushing on, and men are caught in their rush. Destiny must be decided now. Time flies. The Judgment is coming. Yet still the door of mercy is open. Enter into the ark.’

(2) ‘We want faith not only to stand against evil, but to enter the Ark of Safety. This we do when we come to Jesus Christ, and give ourselves right up to Him, in an act of complete self-surrender. To have been outside the ark, even if seeing it and touching it, would have been of no avail when the Flood came. Another day of retribution is coming. The wrath of God will again be revealed against all unrighteousness. Flee to the one Ark of Safety. A man to whom a Bible had for the first time been given, eagerly read it. Turning to his wife he said: “Wife, if this Book be true, we are lost.” Then he read it for days more earnestly than before, till he exclaimed, “Wife, if this Book be true, we may be saved!” ’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Genesis 7". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/genesis-7.html. 1876.
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