by Jeff Sanford
4. God’s Covenant With Noah (Genesis 8:1-9:17).
When I think about the story of Noah and what I learned as a child in Sunday School, I remember a cute story about a man who built a big boat, gathered his family and two of each animal, and hung out in the boat while it rained for forty days and forty nights. Following the flood, Noah, his family, and all of the animals exited the ark and saw a rainbow in the sky. The story was cute, and it was centered on Noah.
But as I read through this story again and reflected on all that was going on, I found parts of the story that I did not remember at all. And I found that the story was not nearly as cute and even more meaningful than I remembered. I also found that the story was more about what God was doing than about what Noah was doing.
Noah was living in a time full of corruption. In fact, in Genesis 6, Scripture says that, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord 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…from the face of the earth.’” And He did. Well, with one exception.
Scripture also says that, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” Noah found favor in God’s eyes, because he walked with God. And so God showed His love and grace and spared Noah and his family from the destruction of the flood. Following the flood, God made a promise to Noah and all generations following him. God promised to never again destroy all life by the waters of a flood and to remember this covenant each time He placed a rainbow in the sky.
And so Noah’s story is a story of a 600 year old man that lived thousands of years ago who made a choice to walk with God. But even more importantly, it’s about a God who loved this man and his family enough to have mercy on them and to provide a way out of the destruction that the earth was destined for as a result of its wickedness. And that same loving God (1 John 4:7-8) has provided the Way (John 14:6) of salvation for me and my generation to avoid the destruction that we are facing because of our sin and wickedness (Romans 6:23)…Jesus. And just as God’s love and grace were revealed in the rainbow, they were revealed at a greater level through Jesus and his death on the cross.
So next time you see a rainbow, pause for a moment and rest in God’s goodness, the depth of His love for you, and His faithfulness to His word. Use the rainbow as a reminder of the lengths that God has gone to rescue you. Then thank God and worship Him for who He is and what He’s done.
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