All too often, we Christians want to complicate Christianity. We come up with rules we think must govern what it means to be a Christian. We make up rituals and rites and all manner of complication that have nothing to do with the Christian life.
It is our purpose in this series to cut through all the rituals and rules and expose the true essence of Christianity. Hopefully, by the time this series is complete, everyone reading it will see how truly simple Christianity is.
If you have not read the earlier posts on this subject, find the “Categories” list in the right-hand column of this page and click on “Christianity 101.” This will pull up all the previous posts so you can read through them in order.
Last week, we looked at the Adamic Covenant, wherein God promised that Eve’s descendant (Jesus) would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan). This was a wonderful promise of hope, assuring us of eventual conquest over Satan and his forces of evil.
Today, we’ll be talking about the Noahic Covenant, which is located in Genesis Chapters 8 and 9. Starting with verse 20 of Chapter 8, it goes through verse 9 of Chapter 9, as follows:
20. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21. The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
22. “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
1. And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
6. “Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.
7. “As for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”
8. Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,
9. “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you . . .
You’ll notice I skipped verses 2-5. Although those verses are a part of the covenant, they go into detail that detracts from the main thrust of the great promise made to Noah and, through him, to all his progeny. Since every human being except for Noah’s family was wiped out in the flood, we can all trace our own lineage back to him, so any promise to him and his seed includes us.
In Chapter 8, verse 21, God promises He’ll never again destroy every living thing. Right in the midst of this promise, He acknowledges that the intent of every man’s heart is evil, and yet He makes the promise anyhow.
Why is that important to me? It reminds me that I don’t have to hide myself or my sins or my sin nature from God. He is well aware of these things and chooses to bless me anyhow. What a wonderful God! Did Allah or Buddha or any of the other gods men have dreamed up ever make such promises? No. They are all about making people strive to reach them rather than reaching down to the people and lifting them up.
He goes on to promise in verse 22 that seasons and crops and cold and heat and day and night will not cease. Any farmer can tell you that crops can fail in any given year, but in the long run, God promises that crops will be there.
In recent years there has been much scientific discussion about global warming. I’m quite certain God gets a good belly laugh when we come up with things we’re so certain of which He knows aren’t so. He promised hot and cold. As far back as history has been recorded, there have been periods in which the earth warmed a bit and periods in which it cooled a bit. Always have been and always will be. We’ve got God’s own promise of that right here. We don’t have to be fearful just because a group of scientists or a former Vice President tell us we should be. We can trust God instead.
In verse 1 of Chapter 9, God tells Noah and his sons, as he told Adam and Eve, to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. We’ve been doing a pretty good job of that. The evidence is clear every time I try to get on a freeway and go somewhere. We have multiplied, for sure.
In verse 6, He says anyone spilling the blood of a human being shall have his own blood spilled. Do we need to look any further to find God’s will about capital punishment. He commands us to shed the blood of murderers.
Finally He spells out the fact He is establishing this covenant with Noah and his sons and their descendants. That’s you and me. Comforting to know.
How does it make you feel to look at these promises God made in His word, especially when you realize He specifically applied them across the centuries to you and me?
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.
Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.