Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. Genesis 8:4
Over the next several posts, we’re going to climb some mountains, figuratively anyway. It takes some time, some preparation, and some effort to climb a mountain. Once you’re there, though, the payoff is a view like no other, a perspective you just can’t get anywhere else.
Ararat stands near the point where Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran meet. The seventh highest peak in the world, it stands nearly 17000 feet (over 5000 m) and is, in fact, a dormant volcano. Little Ararat, over 12000 feet itself (nearly 4000 m) is its companion.
It is the first named mountain mentioned in Scripture. Granted, the account doesn’t specify THAT particular mountain, but rather the mountains in that region. Not having the geographical or archaeological pinpoint won’t take away from our consideration, however.
So what happened at Ararat?
Rest – Noah and his family (and the animals) had come through a season of unimaginable upheaval, a literal tempest. But at last, there was rest. The ark is a picture of the deliverance from judgment we have through Christ. Christ will bring us through, not just escaping the wrath of God, but the trials we face. You may be in a season of tossing, of uncertainty, of storms and floods … There will be rest.
A New Beginning – Noah faced a new beginning rivaled only by Adam’s. New civilization. New race of mankind. New covenant with God. With a new beginning, a range of emotions is stirred up from anticipation to trepidation to regret to resolve. We can identify. After God brings us through a tempest, there is a new beginning. Sometimes that’s a welcome relief. Sometimes it comes with a fear that the new is just the old wearing a different outfit. The God who brought us THROUGH the tempest and flood has also brought us TO the new beginning. He’s not leaving now.
Going Out – In verse 16, God gives Noah the green light – go out of the ark. The storm is over. The flood has receded. The rest is accomplished. The beginning awaits. Time to embrace it. Just as God commissioned Noah to go, bring his family and the varmints with him, and replenish the earth, Jesus commissioned us to carry out the gospel and to make disciples. Resting is great. Reflecting on God’s care is great, but we cannot stay there. We have to go.
Next week: Sinai