01/08/W – The Covenant-keeping God

Genesis 8:1-9:19; Matthew 4:12-22; Psalms 4:4-8; Proverbs 2:6-15

OT: “I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.” …God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth… But you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out over the earth and multiply on it.” Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, “Understand that I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you… I establish my covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by floodwaters; there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: I have placed my bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (‭‭Genesis‬ 8:21b-22; ‭9:1, 7-9, 11-13‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

When Cain killed Abel, the ground was cursed by the spilling of Abel’s blood. When the earth was “baptized” through the flood, the curse on the ground was washed away, allowing seeds to produce a harvest and foreshadowing what baptism would come to symbolize. Then God promised that He would never curse the ground again – even though humanity would continue running after evil instead if righteousness. Whether there were seasons before the flood or not, post-flood God promised that seasons would always come and life would go on as long as earth endured. The sun would always rise in the morning and set at night… seeds would always produce a harvest of fruit. From the time of Adam to the time of Noah, the Bible said that it never rained… that the earth was watered by a constant mist. The first rain storm caused a cataclysmic flood, so I’m sure the sound of thunder and the site of dark clouds in the sky would have been quite terrifying. So God promised to never again wipe out humanity with a flood – and He created a reminder… a sign of comfort and a symbol of His unwavering commitment… the rainbow. Yes, it is a natural phenomenon explained by the laws of refraction… but then again, who established the laws of refraction? Then to Noah and his family, God continued His original covenant and re-issued His original commission: to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth with His glory. For thousands of years, that covenant has remained in place, and no matter how evil mankind may become, God has remained faithful to His word.

Psalms: “Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord… You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4:4-5, 7-8‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The Hebrew word for “be angry” means to bothered or perturbed to the point that you tremble. As you lie in bed at night thinking of all the people that chase after evil instead of unrighteousness, it is ok to be perturbed and bothered – but in that, don’t sin by taking things into your own hands and end up following the path of evil yourself. Instead, consider the unwavering righteousness of the Lord and trust in Him. As another psalm says, don’t fret – place your trust in the ever faithful, covenant-keeping Lord and sleep in peace.

Proverbs: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity so that he may guard the paths of justice and protect the way of his faithful followers.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭2:6-8‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

When we walk uprightly and live with integrity, we may not appear to be as shrewd as worldly people who manipulate the world system for their own gain – what we do have is wisdom from God, guaranteed success in the things that God has called us to, and God’s hand of protection as a shield to protect our way.

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