Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Then God told Noah and his sons, “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, and with all the animals that were on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals—every living creature on earth. Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.” Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. Genesis 9:8-13(NLT)
I watched a movie last night about the USS Indianapolis. In 1945 the ship carried the atomic bomb to its staging area in the Philippines, later to be dropped on Hiroshima. On its return voyage to the states it was torpedoed and sunk. The crew numbered nearly twelve hundred, 300 of which immediately went down with the ship. Another nearly 500 either drowned or were eaten by sharks in the 5 days it took before rescue ships arrived. The movie was graphic, and the violence portrayals were more than disturbing.
Rewind to Noah on the ark. Having just seen the worst destruction ever in the history of mankind I think it is safe to say Noah was probably a little hesitant about leaving the ark.
That floating warehouse and zoo had been the place of safety for over a year. Inside was dark, smelly and safe; outside had been the scary, violent unknown. If I had been Noah, when God said: OK, it’s time to leave your little boat, I believe I would have tried to pull the covers back over my head, and meekly whine: That’s OK, I’m good here; I’ll just stay inside a little longer, if you don’t mind.
It’s scary to venture where you’ve never been, or where you’ve been hurt before. Noah and family had probably been scared half to death by what they’d seen and experienced in the storm that howled and pitched their boat like a twig in a tornado.
The men of the USS Indianapolis were adrift for 5 days, and more than a few of them became delusional in the face of little hope being rescued. Noah and family had little hope that there was going to be anything in their future but water and this rocking barge that stank from a year’s worth of life with animals in a small place. I can imagine Noah’s sons asking: Dad, are we there yet?
But eventually the waters receded, the land dried-up, and the Lord made a covenant with Noah’s family, which even included the animals: Never Again! To seal the deal, God signed this covenant with His multi-colored signature across the entire sky – the rainbow of God’s promise.
God said this would be a forever reality, and even though we see floods sporadically, with loss of life and property, God’s promise has been true that there has never been another flood to wipe all humans off the face of this earth.
The storms come and go; God’s promise stands.
Listen once again:
Then God told Noah and his sons, “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants…. Genesis 9:8
Are you one of Noah’s descendants? Well, unless you’re a chimpanzee or a platypus, the answer is “yes”. So you’re included as a beneficiary of God’s promise to never again destroy the earth.
What other of God’s promises can you think of that have your name written on them?