Lenten Devotional

March 8, 2018

All Day

Category: Adult Education

Genesis 9:8-17

God’s Covenant with Us

We know the two common versions of the flood story, the fuzzy and heartfelt version about God's love for animals, about remembering God's love each time we see a rainbow; then there is the other version where God is so angered by human rebellion that God floods the whole earth, wiping out nearly everything in a fit of divine rage.

Personally, I believe that neither of these stories is the whole truth. A truer story is that God has a myriad of ways of calling us back to the harmony that he intended for us. Our text for today, in which God establishes a covenant with Noah and his descendants, tells us that God is hanging up the sword, putting aside forever the option of destruction and seeking us as God's own.

Which brings us to the covenant, the sealing of the newly-restored relationship between God and God's creatures. This is entirely God's doing. God enters into an eternal covenant with all creation without requiring anything in return. God does so fully aware that the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth. (Genesis 8:21) The flood has not cleansed the human heart of sin, which we see in the latter portion of chapter nine, but God knows this, and God enters into covenant with us anyway. Perhaps the divine heart, that was so aggrieved by human wickedness that God sent a flood, is now moved by that same grief to seek another way to get through to us. So, God promises Noah and his descendants, and every creature on the earth, never again to destroy all creation with a flood.

God will continue to seek us, despite or perhaps because of God's knowledge of every sin, every grief, and every shame that veils our vision of God's reality and of our own as God's creatures. What dwells in our hearts can keep us from hearing the harmony of all life in God's care. But God will not give up on loving us into restoration.

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