Genesis 8:1—Did God temporarily forget Noah?

Problem: The fact that the text says that “God remembered Noah” seems to imply that He temporarily forgot him. Yet the Bible declares that God knows all things (Ps. 139:2–4; Jer. 17:10; Heb. 4:13) and that He never forgets His saints (Isa. 49:15). How then could He temporarily forget Noah?

Solution: In His omniscience, God was always aware of Noah being in the ark. However, after Noah was left in the ark for over a year, as if he were forgotten, God gave a token of His remembrance and brought Noah and his family out of it. But, God had never forgotten Noah, since it was He that warned Noah in the very beginning in order to save him and the human race (cf. Gen. 6:8–13). We often use a similar expression when we “remember” someone on their birthday, even though we had never forgotten they existed.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.