15 And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. 17 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. 18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
Here is, I. Noah’s dismission out of the ark, Genesis 8:15-17. Observe, 1. Noah did not stir till God bade him. As he had a command to go into the ark (Genesis 7:1), so, how tedious soever his confinement there was, he would wait for a command to go out of it again. Note, We must in all our ways acknowledge God, and set him before us in all our removes. Those only go under God’s protection that follow God’s direction and submit to his government. Those that steadily adhere to God’s word as their rule, and are guided by his grace as their principle, and take hints from his providence to assist them in their application of general directions to particular cases, may in faith see him guiding their motions in their march through this wilderness. 2. Though God detained him long, yet at last he gave him his discharge; for the vision is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak, it shall speak truth (Habakkuk 2:3), it shall not lie. 3. God had said, Come into the ark which he says, not, Come forth, but, Go forth, which intimates that God, who went in with him, staid with him all the while, till he sent him out safely; for he has said, I will not leave thee. 4. Some observe that, when they were ordered into the ark, the men and the women were mentioned separately (Genesis 6:18): Thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives;hence they infer that, during the time of mourning, they were apart, and their wives apart, Zechariah 12:12. But now God did as it were new-marry them, sending out Noah and his wife together, and his sons and their wives together, that they might be fruitful and multiply. 5. Noah was ordered to bring the creatures out with him, that having taken the care of feeding them so long, and been at so much pains about them, he might have the honour of leading them forth by their armies, and receiving their homage.
II. Noah’s departure when he had his dismission. As he would not go out without leave, so he would not, out of fear or humour, stay in when he had leave, but was in all points observant of the heavenly vision. Though he had been now a full year and ten days a prisoner in the ark, yet when he found himself preserved there, not only for a new life, but for a new world, he saw no reason to complain of his long confinement. Now observe, 1. Noah and his family came out alive, though one of them was a wicked Ham, whom, though he escaped the flood, God’s justice could have taken away by some other stroke. But they are all alive. Note, When families have been long continued together, and no breaches made among them, it must be looked upon as a distinguishing favour, and attributed to the Lord’s mercies. 2. Noah brought out all the creatures that went in with him, except the raven and the dove, which, probably, were ready to meet their mates at their coming out. Noah was able to give a very good account of his charge; for of all that were given to him he had lost none, but was faithful to him that appointed him, pro hac vice–on this occasion, high steward of his household.