Summary: God promises Himself and gives his people assuranceds that are meant to be a blessing to Noah and his descendants.
March 5, 2006
I don’t remember what it was that he did, but I didn’t like it. Luke blew it. I had told him to stop over and over again and when he didn’t, I let him know that he was in trouble. I said some things and took a toy.
A little bit later, God began to stir within me – to let me know that I had just blown it with my son Luke. I felt him say, “You were a bit strong. I bit aggressive. You did more harm than good.” And then I heard his question, “Do I react so strongly toward you when you blow it?”
Doing these upcoming weeks, we are going to be exploring how our Heavenly Father reacts to we, his wayward children. We will be looking at some texts that give us a picture of who our God is, how he reacts to us, and what he does for us his rebellious children.
Our first text is about the flood, Noah and God’s words to Noah.
In Genesis 6:5-7, we read God’s assessment of things before the flood.
These verses say that the Lord saw the external wickedness of humanity and that the Lord saw the internal evilness looking into the hearts of people. Hearts were evil only and evil all the time.
And God’s reaction:
This "grieved" God. "His heart was filled with pain."
The rest of chapter 6 and all of chapters 7 and 8 tell us about Noah’s preparations for the flood and then the unrelenting rain.
At the end of chapter 8, the waters have subsided and we are given God’s assessment of things. In verses 21-22, the writer reveals to us what our God was now thinking after the flood. He writes, the Lord "said in his heart", "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done."
The inner thoughts of God, his conclusion and evaluation of the situation after the flood is that "every inclination of humanity’s heart is evil from childhood." Notice it is almost the exact same wording to describe what humanity was like before the flood.
Before the flood, 6:5, "every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time."
And after the flood, 8:21, "every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood."
Though the water had indeed brought changes.
No longer were there - packs of wolves but only 2
Pods of whales but only 2
Flocks of seagulls but only 2
Swarms of gnats but only 2
And on and on and on but now there were only 2
Humanity, that which God had created in his own image, was exactly the same. If God was writing up a progress report to measure the improvement from chapter 6 before the flood to chapter 8 after the flood, the report would be simply 2 words - No improvement.
Though the landscape had changed. Humanity hadn’t.
Though neighbors had changed. Humanity hadn’t.
Though all the eye could see had changed, what lie beneath the eye - under the surface was the reality that the human heart was:
Had a propensity for
Was committed to
In the habit of Evil
There had been no change in man. But instead something else had changed - God.
God changes. God was changing in his dealings with man. He was undergoing a new way for his most prized of all his creation to know of his unending and certain love for them.
And he goes public with it in our text for today. Up until our text, God kept this in his heart, 8:21 says, But now he wanted humanity, Noah, his family and their descendants to hear what he had in mind.
Read text Genesis 9:8-17
If you were to identify the words our God uses over and over again in this 9 verses, there would be 3 that rise to the top. Our God uses 3 words/phrases repeatedly to make a point. I want to briefly make note of these words and then make some applications to us in year 2006.
The first word used over and over is "I". This word, this pronoun is repeated 8 times. Each time it is used, God reveals who he is and what he intends to do for Noah and his descendants.
I now establish my covenant - 5 times, v. 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17.
I have set my rainbow - verse 13
I bring clouds - verse 14
God when he reveals what he had been bottling up inside himself as he was observing the evil hearts of humanity does not lash out with: