Year 2 Day 208
Read - Genesis 9v1-17
Message - Scott Woodburn
As the earth dried out the Lord was clear what he expected from Noah and his family. They were to multiply and the fill the earth (v1), they were to have dominion over the earth and its creatures (v2-4) and they were to take life seriously (v5-7). God had made man in His own image and so Noah and his descendants had no right to shed the blood of a fellow human. In today’s world life is cheap and under the banner of progress blood is easily shed - we would do well to remember the Lord’s word to Noah.
In Genesis we have already been introduced to the concept of covenant. The Lord God is not like us, we are not His equal and yet He willingly lowers Himself and enters into a covenant relationship with His creatures. The Lord entered into a covenant of works with Adam whereby Adam and his descendants would enjoy everlasting life on condition of Adam’s perfect obedience. As the covenant of works lay in tatters, God willingly entered into the covenant of grace whereby the seed of the woman was promised as the One who would crush the serpent’s head.
Noah understood the covenant of grace. It was by the covenant of grace that he and his family would be saved by entering the ark (Genesis 6v18). Jesus is the ark for God’s people, He is the seed of the woman and all who cling to Him will not be overcome by the flood of judgement to come.
In this chapter another covenant is introduced. This covenant made with Noah doesn’t speak about salvation like the covenant of grace. However it brings much encouragement to all the creatures of the earth. It is a universal covenant whereby God promises Noah “I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (v11)
In these days of climate uncertainty God’s Word is of more value than the testimony of a Swedish teenager. He is clear in His promise to Noah that the world will never again be destroyed by a flood and to make His word visible the Lord places the rainbow in the sky (v13) as a sure sign that He will keep His promise (v17). This isn’t to say that we can treat the world as we so please. The world and everything in it belongs to the Lord and so we should exercise dominion carefully and wisely. Nevertheless, God has promised that we will never see a day when the land is swallowed up by the sea.
But if God’s rainbow in the clouds reminds us that He will never again flood the earth the Apostles saw something even greater in the sky. At the start of the book of Acts the disciples stood watching Jesus ascend into the clouds and soon an angel would assure them that Jesus would return in the very same manner. While the earth will never again be destroyed by a flood, Jesus is coming back and He is coming in judgement.
As children we believed that if somehow we could reach the end of the rainbow there we would find a pot of gold. I never managed such a feat and I suspect you didn’t either but a greater rainbow is here. Christ’s resurrection is a sure sign of the day of judgement (Acts 17v31) and a sure sign that those who have trusted Him will stand on the final day (1 Corinthians 15v23). Dear Christian, Jesus has never promised us silver or gold but when we reach the end of the rainbow we will discover something better by far.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3v20-21)
Q88 What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption? The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption are, his ordinances, especially the Word, Sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.