Father, so often I am distracted. Despair, affluence, false pretense can consume me. Speak a word to me today.
Read Genesis 9:1–29
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Thanks be to God.
This chapter expands on the continuing relationship that God wants with his world. We are told about expectations and possibilities for humankind and the whole of creation and we are given details of the first of the series of agreements, known as covenants, that God makes with his world and his people. Several of the later covenants are made with individuals, like Abraham and David, or with the whole of Israel. Unusually, the one described here, known as the Noahic covenant, is made not just with Noah and his descendants, or even with humankind, but with every creature on earth. Unusually, also, the covenant is one-sided. Early verses of the chapter set out various instructions for humans to follow if they are to live as God intended, but the commitment God makes is not dependent on these instructions being followed. Whatever happens, the total destruction brought by the flood will never happen again; the rainbow is a sign of God’s commitment to this. The fact that the rainbow will only appear when clouds and rain are present is perhaps a warning not to assume that the commitment is to the absence of all problems or disasters. This chapter stresses again God’s commitment to his world and human responsibility to care for it and for one another. Other living creatures may be used for food but they must also be looked after. Life must be respected as coming from and belonging to God. Human life in particular must be looked after and preserved. It would have been nice to end on a positive note but the Bible is nothing if not realistic! The chapter ends with the rather sad story of Noah’s drunkenness and one of his sons apparently reveling in his father’s shame instead of protecting and caring for him.
As those made in God’s image, we are to care for all God made. What can you do to fulfill those responsibilities?
Loving God, in Noah I see again the ups and downs of life. I am like that. Empower me to walk steadily and faithfully with You.