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Noah's Story - June 1

(We began this story by singing the "Arky, Arky Song".  It pretty much lays out what happened in Genesis 6-8:19.  Then we picked up the story here.)

8:20-22 (God’s decision to not destroy again, even though)

 

Noah knew that it was God who had sustained them in the ark and had provided new life and so he gave thanks.  Do we thank God for what he has done for us?

 

The thanks giving triggered a response in God.  He smelled it.  He responded to that thanks giving with a promise.  He would never repeat what he had done – even though he knew/he knows that every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. Do you realize that every day we breathe, it is an extension of God’s mercy and grace? 

 

Barry and I have this “thing” we sometimes do.  Knowing one another, and the not so pleasant things we are capable of, we will sometimes say, “I love you, even though”.  And the other will reply with “Even though I’m grumpy? Bossy?  . . . ?” And the response is always, “Yes, I love you, even though.”  God made his promise to not destroy the earth again as he had on a similar premise.  He knows all that the human race is capable of and says, “I love you, even though.” Grace and mercy.  It’s what we get from God, even though none of us deserve it. 

 

Grace and mercy was never better demonstrated than when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, even though he knew we would struggle to accept it and others would completely ignore or reject it.  He loves us, even though.

 

9:1-3 Blessing of the new earth

 

God declares that hunting season is now open!  You, mighty hunters of Rome, instill fear and dread in all the beasts in the wilderness!  Good deal, eh?  Are you feeling it?

 

God in his grace and mercy, makes sure humankind knows they are allowed to conquer the other creatures and use them for food.  I’m not sure what sort of political statement that makes, but that’s what Moses recorded.

 

9:4-7 New rules for a new world – no murdering!

 

If one wants an argument for the sanctity of human life, you can find it here.  When God began again with Noah and his family, he made it clear that human life was sacred, each human made in the image of God.  There is a consequence for taking of a human life and it is death.

 

Being the “nice” people we are, we may want this law of God to go away.  But no where else in Scripture is it definitively argued that God has changed his mind on this subject.  Every human is made in the image of God.  Every life is sacred and holy.  I will let you discuss capital punishment around your dinner tables.  But I pray you argue your opinion based on what Scripture actually says.  Call me if you need to wrestle through this and I’ll wrestle alongside you!

 

9:8-17 The New Covenant given

 

A covenant is not something to be taken lightly.  We are much less serious about them today than ancient people were.  The most obvious covenants we make are covenants of marriage and far too often these covenants are broken to the point that people don’t feel a need for them anymore.  But when the God of the universe makes a covenant with human kind, you can bet he’s going to keep it.

 

Notice that this covenant that God makes is unconditional.  There is no wording that says, “I will, if you keep up your end of the deal.”  God is making this covenant KNOWING that the human race will continue to be evil; will continue to turn away from their Creator; will keep on sinning.  “What wondrous love is this, Oh my soul, oh my soul?  What wondrous love is this, oh my soul?”

 

How can a holy, just, righteous God endure my lack of holiness, justice and righteousness?  Why does he sustain a broken, wretched, selfish world that ignores him and his decrees?  Why don’t we get what we deserve? Why instead do we receive grace and mercy?  Why did God sustain this disobedient world?  Because God made a promise.  And I can’t help but think that if God has been true to this covenant, then he will remain true to every other promise he has made.

 

In conclusion:  It’d be lovely to declare that Noah and his family abided in the pleasure of God by being totally obedient for generations.  But that would be a fairytale and not the truth.  The rest of chapter 9 (18-29) goes on to tell of how Noah went to test the new wine from the vineyards he’d planted and apparently he needed to do a lot of testing.  He was sleeping it off and his youngest son discovered him a naturale, and like any youngest brother, went snickering to his older brothers and told them about their father’s state.  The mature, older brothers did the right thing and appropriately covered Noah up.  When Noah found out, there was some serious cursing going on.  I’m not talking four letter words, but eternal sort of cursing, like “Your lineage will serve your brothers forever and your lineage will be the lowest of slaves.”  And yeah, that happened.

 

950 years for Noah.  He survived because of a covenant God made with him.

 

God made another covenant with humankind.  In the first covenant, he promised to withhold destruction of the earth.  In the final covenant God made, he had to give what was most precious to Him, His only Son, Jesus Christ.  This is another unconditional covenant.  It is extended to the entire human race, but one must choose to receive it.

 

Friends and fellow sinners, we live and breathe with the rest of the human race because of a covenant God made with Noah.  We have hope in this life and in the life to come because of the covenant God made through the blood of Jesus Christ.  One day, Christ will return to judge the earth that God has promised not to destroy.  We are saved from condemnation not through any merit of our own, but on the merit of Christ’s holiness as the perfectly pure sacrifice for our sins.

 

The rainbow in the sky reminds us that God will not destroy the earth again.  The cross reminds us that God has destroyed the power of death and hell and raised us up to new life.  Thanks be to the God who not only sustains us but saves us through His Son.  Let us be thankful as we prepare our hearts to receive communion.