God’s Timing

In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.”—Genesis 8:5 (NKJV)

This passage used to frustrate me. We’ve come through the flood, water is starting to recede, Noah can even see some mountain peaks. He’s spent months in a confined space with every sound and smell the animal kingdom has to offer! If I were God, I would have fast-tracked this part so Noah and his family can get on with things. But watch what happens instead: “Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him” (Genesis 8:6–9 NKJV).

Instead of disembarking, Noah releases a raven and a dove to scout things out. The raven didn’t return, but the dove came back to Noah, indicating that conditions weren’t habitable. Watch what Noah does next: “And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark . . . and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth . . . So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return” (Genesis 8:10–12 NKJV).

Noah waits a week before re-releasing the dove. It returns with an olive branch, showing that plants had begun to regrow. But the dove still came back, so He waits another week before resending the dove. This time, it doesn’t return, indicating the earth was now habitable. Even then, Noah doesn’t venture outside the Ark: “And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried” (Genesis 8:13–14 NKJV).

In total, it took seven months for the earth to dry out. Again, I would have hurried this process along. But God’s timing isn’t always our timing. In His economy, things can take a lot longer than we think they should or want them to. And when they do, it can be very frustrating! 

But Noah serves as an example. He didn’t rush ahead but waited on God’s timing, and as we will see, he also waited on God’s word. He was wise to do so . . . and so are we when we trust in God’s timing for our lives.    

DIG: What lesson do we learn from this area of Scripture?

DISCOVER: What example does Noah set for us?

DO: How are you being challenged when it comes to God’s timing? Think about the things that challenge you as it pertains to His timing and how you deal with them. Consider what you can do while waiting.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.