Covenants in the Bible

Lesson 03 – Never Again

I recently watched the movie "Noah" and was horrified by how God and Noah were misrepresented in the movie. There was a large emphasis on the massive death and destruction caused by the flood. God was portrayed as cold-hearted and desirous of the destruction of man. Noah was portrayed as a zealot who did not care about the concerns of his own family.

In order to fully understand the covenant God made with Noah, we need to read what the Bible really says about the story of the Flood.

Let's read Genesis chapters 6-9 together.

When God made the decision to destroy mankind, it was not a decision that He made lightly or on a whim. There was intermarriage between Seth's descendants and Cain's descendants and mankind began to fall further and further away from God. There came a point where God saw that mankind's wickedness became so great, that evil was continually in their hearts.

When you think of all the evils in our world today - murder, rape, human trafficking, child abuse, terrorism - can you imagine a world where the majority of mankind practiced such things? God had to intervene to destroy mankind at that time or else mankind would have destroyed the world.

Even so, God in His infinite mercy did not destroy mankind outright. He gave mankind 120 more years to repent and turn away from their evil ways (Genesis 6:5). The Holy Spirit was striving with mankind for all those years, working on their hardened hearts and pleading with them to turn their hearts back to God.

God also put in a provision to save mankind should people choose to repent and turn back to God. Noah was commissioned to build an ark. When you study the dimensions of the ark and realize how huge it was, you will find that the ark was not simply designed to carry animals, but people. God, in His grace, wanted people to repent and come into the ark with Noah in faith. It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. Every nail hammered, every plank sawed, were all calls to mankind to seek salvation from God.

Noah did not simply build the ark. The Bible calls Noah a preacher of righteousness, so Noah preached to everyone who would hear his voice. He implored people to repent and join him in the ark. Noah preached this same sermon for 120 years!

When the ark was finished, people must have witnessed the miracle of the animals coming into the ark. God provided one last miracle to give mankind a chance to repent.

Yet, there were scoffers in those last days of the flood. The Bible sadly records that only Noah and his family boarded the ark, despite all these chances God gave mankind for salvation.

Friend, can you see that God's offer of protection from the flood was not just for Noah and family, but to the entire world? God was also offering righteousness by faith if mankind had only the faith to get in the ark and be saved from the coming flood.

After the flood, God made a covenant with Noah to never again destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 9:11; Isaiah 54:9). This covenant extended not only to Noah's descendants, but to all living things. God set a rainbow as a perpetual sign of His everlasting covenant with creation (Genesis 9:12-17).

Friend, can you see that covenant God made with Noah based on grace (Hebrews 11:7)? God's covenant with Noah is just a renewal of His Gospel-bearing covenant with Adam. Just as the call to salvation in the time of Noah was simply "get on the ark," Jesus is calling you to simply come to Him in faith. Jesus will not forget His covenant with us (Revelation 10:7), but we have to be willing to receive Him in faith as our Lord and Savior. Will you "get on the ark" with Jesus?

Happy Sabbath!

A Short Prayer