Saint Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – February 22, 2015
by John Turlington
Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17
Following Adam and Eve’s exile from Eden, creation becomes increasingly corrupt as evil multiplies on the earth. Wickedness of all sorts is prevalent, prompting God to destroy with a flood almost everything that God has made. Only Noah’s family and representatives of the animal kingdom are spared. Out of His great mercy, the Lord saves a remnant of creation. This teaches us that we can be confident of His grace but that we must never, ever take advantage of it.
Like the covenant made with Adam, the Noahic covenant laid out in Genesis 8:20-9:17 is a covenant made with all of humanity, and it marks a new beginning for the world after the flood. A sacrifice ratifies this covenant (8:20-21), and God promises never again to use a flood to destroy all of life. The Lord promises that the seasonal cycle will continue while the earth remains (v. 22), and Noah is commanded to replenish the earth (9:1).
The Noahic covenant is God’s pledge that He will preserve the stability of nature, a stability that will allow His people to flourish and that will provide an arena for Him to enter history and bring salvation (John 1:14). Moreover, our Creator’s love for all that He has made is seen in the pledge that He will never again destroy the world, which is also an early sign that one day all creation will be renewed.
Our world tempts us to believe that the cycle of seasons and the rising and setting of the sun is due entirely to the orbit of the planet, the tilting of its axis, and its revolution around that same axis. While all these things are true, we must never forget that it is God who works through these means to keep His promise to Noah. Every change of season and every sunrise and sunset is proof positive that God never breaks God’s promises.
Prayer: Our Creator God, thank you for your mercies that are new to us every day as the sun rises. Thank you for keeping your promises to us; may we love you enough to keep our promises to you. Amen.