MONDAY // READ
Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: “I’m setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you, along with everything alive around you—birds, farm animals, wild animals—that came out of the ship with you. I’m setting up my covenant with you that never again will everything living be destroyed by floodwaters; no, never again will a flood destroy the Earth.”
God continued, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I’m putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud,
“I’ll remember my covenant between me and you
and everything living,”
that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth.”
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I’ve set up between me and everything living on the Earth.”
TUESDAY // Grace Makes Its Way to the Stage
The story of Noah’s Ark is one that we’re so familiar with we can easily dismiss it. For most of us, it was a story that was told over and over again in Sunday school using felt board and cut outs in class rooms covered in wallpaper of animals coming out of the ark two by two with a rainbow in the background. I guess we figured since it had animals in the story it should be a staple in the children’s church curriculum :).
Really it’s a pretty violent story of a consequence from sin so severe that it nearly wiped humanity out! As much as we want to block out the people knocking on the doors of the ark begging to be let in, all the while drowning from exhaustion, that’s what happened according to the story. Sorry if I’m being grotesque but that’s what happened and it makes you wonder how bad things got for God to do such a thing. Now think about all the stories that have led up to this point of God’s covenant: We have Adam and Eve that disobeyed and were punished, we have Cain killing Abel and was punished, and now we have the human race that was so depraved that God was remorseful for creating them and so, punished them by nearly wiping them out…
One family that is. Noah and his family were exempt from this total destruction by the means of an ark. This story seems to follow the pattern of disobedience played out (it won’t be the last either) BUT this seems to be the first story that we see setting the tone of grace finding its way into humanity. It seems to be the first story of providing a way to avoid this punishment. The ark was Noah and his family’s salvation for that point in time and when we get to where God makes His covenant with Noah using a rainbow to demonstrate it; it becomes a promise not only to Noah and his family but to everyone to come.
In a way, we can compare both the ark and this rainbow to Jesus. Now hear me out before you say, “How in the world is Jesus like a rainbow and a boat?” Its more of how is Jesus like this particular rainbow which is tied into a covenant and this particular boat that saved their lives? God promised not to destroy the earth by flooding it again and he gives us a rainbow to remind us of this. This is grace and it comes to us from God down to us, it’s the only way it can. Jesus also came down to us letting us live and move in grace instead of in fire & destruction (not with water this time). We can live in Him. He is like our ark that saves us from the consequences of our actions (sin).
This story sets the course for God using very creative means for humanity to escape punishment. You see this throughout the whole of the Bible coming to his ultimate scapegoat: Jesus Christ. Where we fail God always finds a way to forgive and for grace to find its way to us.
WEDNESDAY // CHALLENGE
We see how God is just and fair with punishing us and yet he always has room for grace; something we can lean on that can do what we can not. Now, do we do that with people who have wronged us? Do we leave room for grace or are we unwilling to do so? My challenge to you is to show grace in situations where it’s hard.
Also, what are some things you need to let go of? What are the areas in your life that you need to stop flooding, where you need to forgive? This week if there’s anything in your life that you need to let go of, do so.
Start setting up your rainbows :)
and let go of some things that are dragging you down!
THURSDAY // REFLECT
FRIDAY // PRAY
O Lord, how absolutely necessary Your grace is for me,
both to begin a good work and to persevere until I accomplish it.
Without grace I can do nothing (Jn 15:5),
but I can do all things in You,
when Your grace strengthens me (Ph 4:13).
Grant therefore, O Lord,
that Your grace will always go before me and follow me,
keeping me ever intent upon good works,
through Jesus Christ Your Son.