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The Flood

The Bible in Art: The Flood

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Verses for Consideration: Genesis 8:20-22; 9:8-17

 

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

 

22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

 

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you-the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you-every living creature on earth. 11 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. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

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It’s hard enough to cope with personal problems. But when earthquakes and natural disasters strike our neighborhoods, our courage can be shaken. On top of this, we fear nuclear weapons of mass destruction, which can be used even by terrorists.

Think how Noah must have felt when he and his family left the ark. The once heavily populated world had been decimated by the raging flood waters that destroyed all the people and animals. How could Noah live, surrounded by such destruction?

It was the Lord’s beautiful promise that calmed Noah’s heart: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Later the Lord added, “Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

And then, to make sure Noah would always be comforted, the Lord gave a brilliant illustration of his faithfulness. He made the rainbow to serve as the sign of his covenant with Noah, his descendants, and every living creature on the earth.

God’s Word also assures us that a nuclear holocaust will never leave the earth lifeless under the gray skies of “nuclear winter.” The Lord God has promised that the seasons will continue “as long as the earth endures.”And God’s rainbow -a sign of his faithfulness- keeps reminding us of this comforting truth.

God did not forsake his greatest promise -to send someone to crush the head of the serpent. Jesus came to live a perfect life in our place and then shed his blood to wash our sins away. The Lord raised his Son, Jesus, from the dead on that first Easter, and Christians have been celebrating ever since. Likewise, we trust the Lord to keep his promise that Jesus will come again and rescue us from earth’s final destruction. At peace with God because of Jesus, we await that day with eager anticipation. For all believers will be spending eternity with the Lord, the God of free and faithful grace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for not forgetting your promise to save us from sin. Amen.

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Title: The Flood

Artist: Johann Heinrich Schönfeld 1609 – 1684