And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.(Genesis 8: 14-22)
Finally after a just a little more than a year since Noah and his family entered into the Ark, the ordeal was over, the earth had dried sufficiently, it was time to came out of the Ark. Notice the precision of language here, “the second month, the 27th of the month…”. There is nothing figurative about this story, it happened in history, and in real-time and space. God once flooded the whole earth in judgment, but insured the continuity of the human race by preserving Noah and all life that breathes air.
Like a new corporate Adam, the little family, to which every one of earth’s present 7.5 billions have descended from, Noah and His wife and sons and their wives stepped off of the Ark into a new world.
Like Adam also, they beheld a calvacade of all of the land animals to pass before them. This time not to name them, but to release them into the post cataclysmic ,new geography, and to hear the Divine charge together, to “Be fruitful and multiply…” and to fill the earth.
But the post flood earth would be no Eden, for the judgment had brought about severe and lasting changes. No longer would the earth be shielded from direct sunlight, by the vapor canopy over head, as the old world had. Consequently men would not be able to live as long as formerly. God himself had decreed that His Spirit would from then on, “only strive with men” for 120 years at the most.
Weather would be different also, the skies would be turbulent at times due to the swirling air currents, bringing varying levels of heat and Cold into contact. Also there would be a build up of snow and ice at the earth’s poles, North and South would have extreme temperatures. The Equator also would become a place of extreme heat. There would be seasons also, and that wouldn’t change as long as the earth exists in the post flood form.
The flood created a whole new system of rugged mountain ranges, canyons and Mesa’s, as an everlasting testimony to all men of the sheer power of God. Anyone can see the obvious water created layers of sediment in places great and small such as the at the Grand Canyon. The congruous pattern of the various layers of sediment are not all horizontal either, for some of them have been “wrinkled” and are in a grooved parallel pattern, having been formed as the earth’s plates shifted while they were yet hardening. Almost as though blankets were laid out on top of each other, then wrinkled together.
The earth Noah stepped out into, was a different place from the earth he had lived in a year before, much more ominous, the signs of cataclysm all about him, and with a different lifespan, growing season and weather pattern than anything he had ever known.
The only constant was his God.
So as the first human act in the renewed post flood world, our father Noah and his family built an altar, and made sacrifice of the clean animals God had provided. He offered propitiation, that is a satisfaction offering, a substitute for the sins of the remaining human race, ie,Noah,his wife, his sons and their wives. No doubt he also offered peace offerings, thus by sacrifice, at this point the entire human race entered into fellowship with God, on God’s holy terms of sacrifice, atonement, and propitiation.
Finally I m sure He offered thanksgiving sacrifice, out of sheer gratitude that he and his family were not swept into perdition with the wicked.
God smelled the sweet-smelling savor, that is he received the prayers and worship of Noah because of the substitute. Noah’s primal sacrifice pointed ahead to the ultimate propitiation, and the basis for salvation, the self offering of Jesus Christ,
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Noah no doubt prayed not ony for he, his wife , Sons and their wives, but for his descendants also. God heard Noah’s prayer, and decreed that He would never again destroy all life on the entire earth, as He had done. When God promised never to curse the earth again, it didn’t mean that the curse of Genesis 3:21 was now revoked, but that the additional curse which brought the flood will never be revisited.
The reason God gave for vowing never to destroy all life, is the fact that God knows that men’s thoughts are only evil continually. In other words, because men have original sin, and their thoughts always tend towards evil, that God would deal with us in mercy.
All of his dealings have an element of mercy, the shortening of men’s lives is mercy. The continuity of seasons is mercy, so also would be His next decrees, a re-ordering of the human/animal relationship, and the establishment of human government to preserve some semblance of order.
God is good, and His mercy is everlasting!