On Tuesday’s commute home, I was blessed to see a beautiful rainbow before me for nearly 20 miles of my ride. Since at mid-year here in Northeast Georgia we are already over a foot ahead of normal rainfall and most all the lakes are either full or overflowing, it was good to be reminded of the everlasting covenant behind the rainbow that God made with Noah after the flood. Consider …
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there 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 generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Genesis 9:8-17 (NIV)
Here are the words God spoke to Noah before giving him the building plans for the ark …
Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth …. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. Genesis 6:11-13,17 (NASB)
Everything that is on the earth shall perish … and it did.
All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. Genesis 7:21-23 (NASB)
Seeing that rainbow on Tuesday served to remind me of how truly blessed we are as a result of God’s covenant with Noah. Think about it … with a U.S, population in excess of 316 million and world population in excess of 7 billion (courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau’s U.S. and World Population Clock), my assumption would be that the corruption of the flesh and the violence that fills the earth today would be far greater than what existed in Noah’s day, approximately 4,300 to 4,500 years ago. Interestingly enough doing some research on pre-flood population some estimates run as high as 6, 7, 10 and even 17 billion … obviously it must be difficult to come up with an estimate … but considering life spans often reached 900 plus years (Methuselah’s record 969 years) and the reproduction rates in a world where the flesh is corrupted … well, anything is possible. And then when you consider the many ways man limits population growth today … our seven billion makes sense as well … but I have digressed right down Alice’s rabbit hole.
Much like the day of the flood, another day of perishing is on the way …
By His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:7-9 (NASB)
But note God’s desire … the Lord is patient toward you and me, not wishing for any to perish but all to come to repentance.
Not only is God patient towards you and me, but through God’s great love, mercy and grace He also provided the Way out of perishing … the only way …
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NASB)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. “ John 14:6 (NASB)
And note the guarantee behind God-given eternal life …
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28 (NASB)
His children will never perish!
No one … repeat NO ONE … will snatch them out of His hand!
Lord, thanks for setting your rainbow in the clouds on Tuesday and revealing all that it means!
And thank you Father for giving Your only begotten Son so that those who believe IN Him shall not perish but have eternal life!