Forethought: “thoughtful provision beforehand, provident care; prudence; a thinking of something beforehand; previous consideration; anticipation.”
“But God remembered Noah and…” (8:1). Had God forgotten Noah while “the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days,” (Genesis 7:24)?
While we cannot possibly understand all of God’s thoughts and ways;…
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8);
…we can be certain Noah was not an afterthought.
Consider His Forethought
What God has declared in the previous chapters of Genesis makes His Forethought abundantly clear. In remembering Noah, God was choosing to turn away from His judgment on mankind and turn again to His grace and mercy towards us.
To think that only one man and his family were rescued can be difficult to take in. But the terrifying truth is only one found favor in God’s sight.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord, (Genesis 6:5-8).
God’s favor is bestowed upon all who place their faith in Him and His Word, and faith is then displayed through a willing surrender to His Forethought.
From the beginning, in His thoughtful provision and provident care, He promised Adam and Eve the Seed of woman would crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15). His work, not man’s!
His Forethought provided protection for Noah and His family. And although “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth…,” God pronounced, “I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done,” (8:21). We are at His mercy.
Thus, His plan of salvation is abundantly clear: salvation belongs to God; He alone is our salvation from judgment; it was His Forethought all along. There is nothing man can do to rescue himself. We only need to come into His provision.
“I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me,” (Isaiah 43:11).
How are we to respond to His Forethought?
One day, all of sin will be eradicated. God will again “remember,” and the waters of the flood of sin will subside and a new heaven and new earth will be made ready for God’s saints for all eternity, (Revelation 21). It has been His plan, His Forethought, since the beginning.
In the meantime, this earth-time, let us respond as Noah. Noah’s first act, after so marvelous a salvation, was to build an altar to the LORD, surely prompted by an intense gratitude and an overwhelming awareness of God’s great mercy; and Noah’s humble gratitude moved the Lord.
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done,” (8:20).
Today may we live with such gratitude for His great gift of salvation, consumed with the reality of the immeasurable mercy in His Forethought.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4).
What an amazing gift… to realize we have been on His mind for all eternity. Oh that our very lives be built as an altar, an offering to the Lord, a soothing aroma of humility, gratitude and praise for His Forethought. He sent His Son, planned since the foundation of the world, that we may be brought into the provision of His unshakeable and eternal kingdom.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,’” (Matthew 25:34).
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; (Hebrews 12:28).