Did God really forget about Noah?
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“But God remembered Noah…” ...Wait, whatttt???? Hold up. Does that verse (Genesis 8:1) mean to imply that God had forgotten about Noah, in order that he later remembered him? The poor guy! There he was, drifting out on the water—quite literally in the middle of nowhere—on a giant boat God had told him to build. He was probably trying to keep the animals content inside while consoling his family members who were dealing with the trauma of a natural disaster that had just destroyed everyone and everything on the planet outside of the boat. What hope was left for them? Noah must have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed, isolated, frustrated and forgotten.
Thankfully, the various callings I’ve had on my life have been much smaller in scale than what Noah was facing, but you better believe that I have felt those same emotions. I’ve definitely prayed the words (or written them in a journal) at some point, “God, are you still there? Why did you forget about me? You called me out here to do this, but I can’t hear you anymore and I feel lost.”
But, God is GOD. Shouldn’t it be impossible for him to forget anything? Let’s take a closer look at that Scripture regarding Noah's situation, with more context around verse 8:1 this time.
Genesis 7:21 - 8:5 (NLT)
All the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people. Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died. God wiped out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat. And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days. But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days, exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible.
After a closer look, what it’s actually saying is that despite all of the terrible things going on around him and even in the midst of the chaos of surrounding circumstances, God remembered Noah. He had never forgotten him; God was actively remembering Noah the whole time.
What a relief! If Noah can remain on God’s radar—and more than that, right in the center of God’s will and purpose—through an extreme situation like that, how much more confidence should I have over my daily circumstances? No matter how overwhelmed, isolated, frustrated or forgotten I may feel in a moment, I must have faith that God is remembering me and tending to my needs, for His glory.