Everlasting Covenant, Everlasting Love
How sad God must have been at the way people were acting back in Noah’s Day. God is a God of love and forgiveness, but people were behaving so badly that God had had enough. It says in Genesis 6:5-8, “5 Now the Lord observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with the Lord.”
There was one man that God thought still loved Him. So, what did God do? He decided to send a flood to cover the whole world but, he would save a pair of animals of each kind and Noah and his family.
How did he do it? That’s right, he told Noah to build a big boat to keep everyone dry. Let’s pretend that this is the big boat up here. Bring your animals with you and let’s get in to stay dry.
What would it have been like to be in the boat at that time? Hot or Cold? Quiet or noisy? What do you think it would have smelt like? Who do you think had the job of shoveling?
Can you imagine being in a place like that for 40 days? How happy Noah and his family and all the animals must have been when the rains stopped. But it wasn’t over yet. The flood waters had to go away before they could get out of the boat!
What sign did God give Noah and you and I that He would never destroy the earth again by water?
Pray, Take Animals with you, and make sure they don’t make any messes in the pews!
How often do we relate to this story through the flood?
Difficulties in life, health; relationships, work; children, spouses, church? There seems to be no lack of pain, heartache and strife in the world today – in our own lives and families.
I would like to propose, however, that when we stay too focused on the “floods” of our lives, we take for granted Noah, the Ark and the Rainbow. Really we owe him a lot. It’s because of his faithfulness that we are still here. It’s because of God’s grace that we have hope.
The rainbow that God hung in the sky following the great flood is a reminder of this very principle: If you want to see rainbows in your life, you’ll see them, not through the lens of materialism or earthly circumstances, but through the prism of God’s grace.
Once in Hawaii, a woman saw 15 rainbows in one week. She said to her daughter, as they left, “Don’t you wish we could have just one more?” The daughter responded with 17-year-old vigor and idealism: “Hello! Aren’t you a bit greedy, Mom? Don’t you think 15 are enough?”
The woman was ashamed. Indeed, what was she talking about? Did she want permanent rainbows? If so, she could have bought some greeting cards or plastic decorations. There are plenty of phony rainbows everywhere. Why did she think that good had to be permanent? Why couldn’t she enjoy the beauty of the impermanent?
Perhaps it was some sort of greed and ingratitude in the ancient world that soured God on the human creatures he had created. “I am grieved that I have made them,” he said (Genesis 6:7 NIV).
This text depicts God as being so exasperated with the human condition that he regrets getting involved. The question is: How bad do you have to be to move a God of love and compassion to the point where he not only is sorry he made you, but wants to eradicate your entire species from the face of the earth and from the collective memory of the universe?
It must have been bad.
But, even in God’s anger there is the rainbow! Even in God’s wrath, there is hope. Even in God’s disappointment there is an open door to relationship.
Read Genesis 9:8-11
God makes a covenant with Noah, his family and with his descendants - you and I.
A few interesting facts about Rainbows:
õ You need light to see a rainbow! (God is the giver of rainbows – He is Light)
õ You need water to see a rainbow! It’s the interaction of the Light and the rain that makes the rainbow. Some of the most stunning rainbows I’ve seen have come after some of the most violent storms and they were so stunning because of the dark clouds that help to offset the brilliant colors of the rainbow.
õ No one person see the same rainbow! Each person sees something different:
o Because of where we stand in relationship to the light source (our perspective)
o Because each person sees color differently. (Our experience)
This Lent we are called to reflect on this everlasting covenant that God has made with us and upon His everlasting love.
Turn with me to Mark 1:9-15
Through the water of rain we see the promise of God’s love.
Through the water of baptism we experience the promise of God’s Holy Spirit.
Both are signs of God’s desire for relationship with us.
40 Days of Flood.
40 Days of Desert.
40 Days of Lent.
For Noah it ended in the covenant of the rainbow and God’s hand of blessing.
For Jesus it ended in affirmation, care and a powerful ministry with the fulfillment of His Fathers will.
How will this 40 days end for you?
God is calling each of us to a deeper relationship with Him – one that truly has an affect on our lives. He does not promise a life full of rainbows everyday – but He does offer hope…