Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sunday, January 3rd: Genesis 8-11 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 8-11

I love the symbol of the rainbow and its biblical meaning.

Answers in Genesis says:
the next time you see a rainbow, remember that God judges sin. He judged with a global flood at the time of Noah. But He is merciful, and He made a covenant of grace with Noah and the animals that He would never again judge with a worldwide Flood. Not only that, but the rainbow, as a symbol of Christ, reminds us that He is the mediator between man and God and that those who receive the free gift of salvation are presented faultless before their Creator.

God declares those redeemed who have trusted in Christ. They are clothed in the righteousness of His Son. For the redeemed, the wrath of God toward sin was satisfied on the Cross—paid in full by the shed blood of His sinless Son.

And as John Gill puts it, “though it is a bow, yet without arrows, and is not turned downwards towards the earth, but upwards towards heaven, and so is a token of mercy and kindness, and not of wrath and anger.”

John MacArthur noted that when v16 refers to the bow in the clouds, this was also likely referring to God putting away His bow of vengeance...

The word "bow" here is not rainbow, it's bow, qesheth in Hebrew. It's the same word for a battle bow, a weapon of death and destruction. In Near Eastern literature there are often deities depicted with a bow, wielding destruction. And the Old Testament pictures God like that. Exodus 15:3says, "The Lord is a warrior." Habakkuk 3:9, "His bow is made bare." Zachariah 9:14, "His arrows are lightning." God is depicted as a warrior with a bow. In the Flood, God the Warrior shot His lightning arrows, pierced the earth, the earth broke open, exploded and then the sky fell, and certainly with it arrows of lightning and destruction. He bent His bow in wrath. But from now on, follow this, God has hung up His bow and He hung it in the sky where everybody can see it. Next time you see a rainbow, that's God's bow. He hung it up because this is not the time of judgment, this is the time of peace. So God hung His bow as a sign of His mercy toward a world of sinners. Every sinner on the planet that sees the bow sees a sign of peace. God has hung up His bow. This is a token of His promise, never to destroy the world again as He did until the very end of human history when the whole universe will be destroyed by fire, as 2 Peter 3 describes it.

There will come a day when the universe will be destroyed and replaced by a new heaven and a new earth where there will be only the righteous and eternal peace and holiness. In the future, God will pick up His bow again. But for now, the bow is the sign of mercy, it's the sign of grace, it's the sign of peace. The great God who is a warrior has hung up His bow.

The rainbow truly is a symbol of grace.

Grace we are in desperate need of - the very next act of humanity recorded is sin.  The flood did not kill sin.  The curse lives on.  I am so thankful for God's amazing plan of salvation!

A couple quick notes...

The tower of Babel - man thought they were in control, but God showed them how incorrect they were. He changed the languages they spoke, and He scattered them across the earth.

Can you imagine how strange and frightening it would have been to suddenly speak a completely different language than those around you? Likely God had family units speak the same language, and as each language group segregated themselves from the other language groups, and as they married within their group, their gene pool would have formed dominant genes - which resulted in the different racial groups we see today.

What saddens me is how quickly this happened. They estimate that this happened only around 100 years after the flood. Noah's family was still alive at this time. People who lived on the ark and witnessed God's judgment were still around, giving first hand testimony to the consequences of rebellion against God, and still mankind chose to reject Him.

But man's ideas can never thwart the purposes of God. The people didn't want to scatter across the earth, but God made it happen anyway. When we live our lives in resistance to God's plan, we will only encounter frustration and failure. God's plan will prevail no matter what - we get to choose if we are blessed as we go along with God's plan, or if we are frustrated as we vainly struggle against it.


Nathan Reimer said...

A verse that stood out to me was Gen 8:22
"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

It is amazing how the sun keeps rising and the moon still shows, plants keep growing and the seasons change and then change back again every year. This is truly amazing, and could not be done by anything but God. If their was no God, these things would run out and stop, like anything man made they would lose their charge or energy and be dead, unable to be brought back to life. God continues to make these things work to this day, what a great example to show to those who doubt God's existence.

Emma Reimer said...

Every time we look at a rainbow in the sky, we are not only reminded of God's promise to never flood the earth again, but also all the other promises He has made. God promises that He is for us, He loves us, He believes in us, He won't fail us, He is with us, He will provide for us, He will bless us, He will give us rest, He will strengthen us, He will answer us. These are just a few of the promises God has made for us, and as the song we sang in church today said, "we will remember the works of Your hands". Did you notice that during that song, there was a rainbow as the background of the lyrics on the screen?

danae said...

Gen 8:1 "But God remembered Noah..."
-can you imagine being in an ark for 40 days, never having even seen rain & wondering how long this would be (feeling abandoned & really not knowing how things would play out)
-do we sometimes feel as though God directed us & then left us
-or maybe what he's doing in us/to us/through us is taking much longer than we'd like
-God hasn't forgotten us or left us

Gen 8:15 & 16 Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark..."
-Noah sent out birds to check if the land was dry, but he did not leave until God directed him
-what an example of patience & waiting on the Lord (for God's timing not ours)

Just my thoughts

Conrad said...

The song we sang at church today - I will remember, came to my mind too as I read today's passages.

God wants us to remember His promises but by doing so, we are to also act on it. Remembering God means to trust Him. Remembering the Sabbath day means to keep it holy, or remembering the laws of God means to obey them.

Pamela said...

I never really thought about Noah's family still being alive at the time of the Tower of Babel....I guess you could say the same thing about Adam being alive when Noah's father was born. I think it speaks to the destructive nature of sin and no amount of pleading and telling will help people who do not want to be saved. We must recognize sin as the destructive force that it is and repent.