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We have talked about covenant of creation, and God’s covenants. Today we talk about the covenant with Noah. Sin had kept increasing in the world, to the point of murder. People were still calling upon the name of the Lord, so the worship of God was still happening. But more and more, as the generations passed, people were doing their own thing and boasting about their sinfulness.
Then there is Noah. We are told that he is a righteous man, in Genesis 6:9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” He had that kind of relationship with God, a close personal relationship where it can be said that he walked with God.
God comes to Noah, tells him his plan. Gives Noah a commission. Build me a boat, a big boat. And Noah, being the man that he was, a faithful righteous man, accepted that commission and stood by it. Nay-sayers, mockers and all, he kept his word to the Lord and built it.
This commission was a covenant between Noah and God. God made his promises…he would save the animals of the world and Noah and his whole family. Noah in response, would build the ark, working to complete it before it was needed.
At the end of the flood, God remembered the people, opened up the ark and let them out. Noah offered a sacrifice “And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.“
God promises not to do this again because… man’s heart is evil from his youth. You know something, I KNOW the story of Noah but this verse is a revelation to me tonight. God destroyed the people because of their evil hearts, but it didn’t work you know? Man’s heart continues to be evil so God knows another way must be found to turn men’s hearts away from evil. He knows it, so using a flood to enact judgement isn’t the answer.
In Genesis 9 we learn the following from God
- Man is made in God’s image and therefore is precious.
- Mankind is to procreate, to fill the earth.
- God won’t destroy mankind like this again. In fact he built in ways for them to be fed and sustained.
Then we get the rainbow, a highly recognizable promise from God. We see it and remember God’s promise. God sees it and remembers his covenant with us.