Genesis 9:11-13 - God's Promises, Grace and Will.
Genesis 9:11-13 - God's Promises, Grace and Will.
Genesis 9:11-13 (TNIV) 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." 12 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: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.
Covenant: This vitally important Old Testament word indicates a
formal, legally binding commitment. God's promise to never again destroy
all life with a flood was not lightly made. [The 365-Day Devotional
CONTEXT: God's Covenant With Noah: Genesis 9:1-17.
The first covenant in the Bible was with Noah after the Flood.
God gave him a reassuring promise that never again would a flood
destroy the earth. The rainbow is a continuing sign of this covenant
(Genesis 9:8-17, January 4).
Another covenant was given to Abraham, telling him that he
would found a great nation and that the other nations of the earth
would be blessed through Abraham's descendants. Through Abraham's
family tree, Jesus Christ was born to save humanity (Genesis 12:1-3,
At Mount Sinai, God made a' covenant with the Hebrew people
promising to bless and care for them if they obeyed him. The people did
not keep their part of the bargain, but God kept his (Exodus 19:5-8,
In the covenant with David, God promised to carry on David's
line and kingdom forever. This was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus,
whose reign will go on for eternity (2 Samuel 7:8-16, May 25).
Jesus said that he came to bring a new covenant in his blood
(Luke 22:20, April 24). People under the old covenant (those who lived
before Jesus) could approach God only through a priest and an animal
sacrifice. Now all people can come directly to God through faith because
Jesus' death has made those who believe acceptable in God's eyes. [The
One Year Bible for New Believers re 1Ch17]
Grace (8-17). God gave assurance that He would never send
another flood to destroy life on the earth. The covenant included not
only man but also birds, cattle, and the beasts of the field (Ezek.
1:10; Rev. 4:7). The sign of the covenant was the rainbow, a bridge of
beauty that joins heaven and earth. Whether we look at the rainbow or
not, God looks upon it and remembers His promises. [Chapter by
Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
APPLICATION COMMENTARY With Emphasis On Vss. 11-13:
The covenant is a key to grasping what the Old Testament teaches
about the character of our God. In Old Testament times a covenant
(Heb. brit) was a formal contract, intended to make an agreement
legally binding. In international affairs a covenant was a treaty. In a
nation's life it served as a constitution. In business a covenant was a
contract. In personal relationships it was a commitment. Most covenants in
ancient times were two-party agreements. That is, each person or group
involved specified what he or she would do to carry out the agreement. If
one side failed to perform, the agreement was broken, and the other
side was no longer obligated. But look at God's covenant with Noah.
It is pure promise! God made no conditions. There are no "ifs."
Instead God simply said, "I now make a commitment to you and your
descendants. Never again. Never again will there be a flood to destroy the
earth." Whatever humanity may do, God remains committed to this promise
made to Noah. The text tells us that the rainbow is to serve as a
reminder to God of this specific covenant promise. But the rainbow means
something else to us. Rather than a reminder of a specific promise, the
rainbow is a reminder of the character of God and the nature of our
relationship with Him. The rainbow reminds us that God comes to us with
promises, not demands; that God in grace makes commitments to us that do
not depend on our performance. We may fail God, but God will never
fail us. Only in Jesus do we fully understand. Only in Christ's
promise of eternal life to all who trust Him do we grasp the full wonder
of God's grace. Yet we sense something of it here in Genesis. And
each time we see a rainbow, we are reminded. The God who promised to
never again destroy all life with a flood is the God of promise, the
God of grace. The commitments that He makes to us in Christ are
promises that will never fail. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
It is the will of God that human beings should get into a
right-standing relationship with Him, and His covenants are designed for this
purpose. Why doesn't God save me? He has accomplished and provided for my
salvation, but I have not yet entered into a relationship with Him. Why
doesn't God do everything we ask? He has done it. The point is--will I
step into that covenant relationship? All the great blessings of God
are finished and complete, but they are not mine until I enter into
a relationship with Him on the basis of His covenant.
Waiting for God to act is fleshly unbelief. It means that I
have no faith in Him. I wait for Him to do something in me so I may
trust in that. But God won't do it, because that is not the basis of
the God-and-man relationship. Man must go beyond the physical body
and feelings in his covenant with God, just as God goes beyond
Himself in reaching out with His covenant to man. It is a question of
faith in God--a very rare thing. We only have faith in our feelings. I
don't believe God until He puts something tangible in my hand, so that
I know I have it. Then I say, "Now I believe." There is no faith
exhibited in that. God says, "Look to Me, and be saved ..." (Isaiah 45:22).
When I have really transacted business with God on the basis
of His covenant, letting everything else go, there is no sense of
personal achievement--no human ingredient in it at all. Instead, there is
a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with
God, and my life is transformed and radiates peace and joy. [My
Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers]
At age nine I became a member of a fraternal organization in
which God's promise of a rainbow was a part of the structure of its
many life lessons. Thirty years later, Genesis 9 and rainbows still
have special meaning.
In 1995, my husband, Jeff, and I suffered the devastation of a
miscarriage. This had an impact on me in a way I had never experienced, and
I started to slip into depression. I prayed daily for peace and
comfort, but I felt as if my prayers were not being heard. Jeff and I
tried to become pregnant again, but month after month went by, and
still we were unable to conceive. As I sought healing, I was
constantly drawn to my favorite verses in Genesis, where God set a rainbow
in the clouds to confirm his covenant with Noah and all humanity.
Considering what Noah endured, I began to understand how God is indeed
faithful to those who obey him. He doesn't promise to shield us from pain
and sorrow, but he will protect and provide for us through the
storms of life. I also began to realize that deep in my heart I hadn't
fully surrendered myself to God in faith and obedience.
I needed to surrender, to be more like Noah. Whether or not a
new child entered my life, I needed to place my utmost trust in God
and relinquish control. Finally, through prayer and counsel I did
just that and was transformed spiritually, emotionally, and
physically. Within weeks, Jeff and I celebrated the news of our pregnancy,
and months later, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our lives. I
surrendered, and God sent a promise. And we named him Noah.
Heidi Krumenauer, an author and a speaker, is the proud mother
of Noah and Payton. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
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