I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:
I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:11-13 NRSV
Often, we find that things seem to get worse before they get better. Adam and Eve had gone forth and multiplied, and the world was becoming increasingly full of people. But most had lost sight of who God was and how important he was to their lives; they lived lives of selfishness.
Noah, described as a preacher who descended from Adam and Eve’s third son Seth, was a true man of God, though. In his despair at what his creation had become, God began to regret ever creating mankind.
But Noah gave him hope, so he decided to cleanse the world of the evil that had developed, but he would save Noah and his sons and pairs of the different species of animals.
God gave detailed instructions for Noah to prepare for a flood by building an ark. It took about a hundred years to complete the job. All the time, he was building it though he continued preaching to the people imploring them to change their ways, and no one took any notice of him.
The flood eventually came, and the bible says, ‘on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened’.
Can you imagine today’s groundwater table erupting upwards and tropical rain bombs exploding over earth from the heavens? After 40 days, the waters started subsiding, and Noah sent out a raven, which flew back and forwards until the waters subsided.
He then sent a dove out to see if there was any dry land; the dove returned with an olive leaf in its mouth. The dove was sent out a second time and did not return; Noah knew the worst was over.
When he arrived on dry land, Noah’s first thing was to build an altar to offer some of the sacrificial animals as burnt offerings to God.
This pleased God, and he then promised Noah that he would never flood the earth again and set his rainbow in the clouds, which would signify an everlasting covenant to seal this promise.
Reflecting on the story of Noah in March 2022, I ponder that often in life, things seem to get worse before they get better, but that it is through trials and tribulations that we grow the most spiritually.
However, I genuinely believe that we can grow closer to God during challenging times and gain a better understanding of the sorrows of others. It is usually only after we have come through the trials that we can see this.
God’s world was corrupt and evil in the days of Noah, it must have broken His heart to endure it, and he even considered blotting out all human and animal life on earth. But for Noah, God decided against that plan and started again with new life on earth seeded by good Noah and his family. Things got a lot worse for Noah before they got better, but he must have grown enormously spiritually during the duress.
Hope in Jesus can sustain us all in the darker phases of our lives; as we carry on regardless with faith in God, he will reward the faithful in his own way and time. But, we can take comfort from the promises made to Noah in these current times of global turmoil.
Because I believe there is nothing humankind can do to completely wreck the world, God gave back to us because he sealed the covenant made with Noah after the flood with these final words, meaning the patterns of nature will continue until such time that He decides otherwise;
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 NRSV