Friday, September 9, 2011

"Never again" - Covenant Intro

Today we start our first Friday reflection on God's Covenants. If you haven't subscribed to posts via email yet, subscribe at the blog header so you don't miss out. 

AP Photo
Jeff grew up in the flooded area of the Northeastern US. We went there for seminary. I taught 1st grade there. We had JoHanna there. We've both been there for ministry, and we go back there for things like Christmas. Two tropical systems in a short time dumped massive amounts of water, causing catastrophic damage. Today will be a day of fear, confusion, and grief for many as they fight the floods.

The first mention of "Covenant" in God's word is found in Genesis 6, just after God told Noah, a "righteous man, blameless in his time" (v.9) that He was bringing "the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish" (vs.18). God was not throwing a tantrum or changing His mind. The worldwide flood was in response to the continual evil and wickedness of mankind, filling earth with corruption. After revealing the awful events to come, God spoke a "But."

"But I will establish My covenant with you..." (v.18).  

God initiated a contract, a pledge, an agreement between Himself and Noah. Noah was to build an ark God described, bring his family into it, gather 2 of every animal into it, and be saved. Verse 22 tells us Noah did it all. After watching the world perish and waiting for God to expose land for his family to leave the ark, the Noah family must've panicked the next time they felt raindrops .... away from the ark! 

In Genesis 9 God builds on the first part of the Noahic Covenant. This time, it didn't hinge on anything man had to do. God just promised:   "I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy all the earth" (v.11).

While there may be localized flooding like that in the NE United States right now, we can be certain the whole earth won't ever again for covered by a destructive flood ... because God promised. And because He knows us, our frailty, our fears, our forgetfulness, He gave the Noahs and every man born them after a sign of the covenant:  a rainbow.  He said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth" (v.13).  A rainbow.
Look closely ... do you see 2?

God keeps His promises. It's Who He is. He can't go against His word. While we may feel like a flood is sweeping the whole earth, we can KNOW that it never will again, because God made a covenant.

God has the heart of a Savior. Not just in the New Testament with Jesus, but even in the Old Testament, (another word for covenant) we see God's passion to save man and restore the fellowship with God we were created for. Just as He made a way to rescue Noah's family from the consequence of corruption, He made a way for all of mankind, too. 

We'll see that in the weeks ahead, as we look as God's covenants each Friday for the next couple of months.
If you want to study along with us, we're using this book.

The next time you see a rainbow, celebrate God's covenant heart to SAVE!

9 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kalyn Comings said...

This was so encouraging to me today. We were hit by the flooding and will have a lot of damage, but I have been trying to focus on the positives. God has already answered so many of our prayers!

Julie_Sanders said...

I'm so glad you are seeing prayers answered, Kalyn. I'm glad you let me know that the flooding effected you. I will be praying for you and those around you as you recover. Isn't it good to know God won't ever flood the whole earth again? Will pray a rainbow reminder for YOU. :)

Julie Sanders


Stephanie Shott said...

Julie ~ What a wonderful reminder that we serve a covenant making and covenant keeping God! Loved this post!

soraya said...

great post...looking for to visit more.. God bless you loves from holland

Julie_Sanders said...

So glad to have you visiting from Holland!

Julie Sanders


Renee said...

My mother recently passed away. We know where her hope was....she hadn't spoken in 12 hours and as we all surrounded her and told her that she would soon be with God, Jesus, our grandparents... etc. she spoke her last final sentence " I know I am already speaking to them RIGHT NOW!"
 The last night my mom was alive, my neighbor snapped a photo of a rainbow descending down onto my home. Our home stands where the pot of gold would be! Your post is precious and yet....sadly kind of bittersweet..... as I continue to walk this new unchartered path without mom presence here on earth!

Julie_Sanders said...

Renee, I'm praying for you to be comforted today and in days ahead by knowing of your mom's hope. I'm so glad you were able to be with her and to have those important last times with her and your family. How sweet that your neighbor gave you the gift of the rainbow photo as a reminder of God's promises as your mom moved from earth to heaven. Much peace to you, friend, Julie

Julie Sanders


delia said...

I am enjoying catching up on some of your posts that I have missed! I never tire of telling my rainbow story! :)

Julie_Sanders said...

Then you're in good company! I think God never tires of us telling His either. ;)
Julie Sanders