Sunday, February 27, 2011

Genesis 9:8-17 NASB

"Then the Lord spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 'Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you... And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood...'  And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you... I set My bow in the cloud and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth...and I will remember My covenant... When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature...'  And God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant which I have established...

A horrible thing had happened in the land.  These were the worst of days, and the LORD, as the writer of Genesis records, "was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.  So the Lord said, 'I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.'"  But there was a man--another man, by the name of Noah, who, like Enoch, "walked with God", and he caught God's eye--"Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD,"  (6:5-8 NIV).  It's an amazing thing; that one man can affect the heart of God in such a way that he can actually alter the future.  Try putting that in a nicely wrapped and well kept theology box.  Yancey speaks of this God as the One who is "wildly in love," and who will do anything for the one He loves.  We are here today because of this supreme moment between lovers--Noah and God.  And we still reap the benefits of this great love story.  Having escaped the horrors of God's anger on His own creation through a flood, as soon as Noah's feet hit the ground, there was another one of those moments between lovers:  "Then Noah built an alter to the LORD..."  and "The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma" and He promises Noah the world (8:20).  The words that follow are the words of "covenant", as in a marriage, and these are the wedding vows.  The beauty of the rainbow was not so much a sign for man, but a sign for God:  "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant..." (9:16 NIV)   "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood," (8:21 NIV).  I like to think that God extends His great mercy to various places of the earth today because some humble and holy soul caught the eye of God.  The success of missions depends on these souls.  Who are you instrumental in saving because of your relationship with God?

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