The following questions addressed in our series in Genesis 1 - 11.
Where am I?
What am I doing here?
What is this place, even planet earth, that I’ve found myself on?
How does it work?
What’s my place within it?
What is God thinking this side of the flood?
Are we in danger that at some point God will look down, see our hearts and decide: “That’s enough!”?
2 questions in this Post-Flood world:
1. How will God relate to sinful humanity?
§ Unbelievable Kindness
Despite the wickedness of humanity for centuries, and all over the world – God looked down many times, seen our hearts and yet restrained his anger.
We are living in a world day by day that is simply not getting what it deserves.
The word translated rainbow is simply bow as in bow & arrow. God the warrior has laid down his weapon and it’s God who will remember his covenant. It shows what matters is not what we do, but what God does.
The rainbow is not the only sign like this that God gives his people.
The Bread and the Wine again are signs given by God pointing us to what He has done in Christ. And these promises are even better than the rainbow.
The rainbow tells us that as long as this world endures, the flood won’t come to wash everything away.
But this world will end when Jesus returns. The Day is coming when all this anger that is being stored up will be poured out. As we await that Return, the Bread and the Wine remind us that we need not fear that Day. They point us to the Cross where we find that refuge that we need from God’s judgment. They reassure us that we are safe.
§ People matter to God
The image of God in humanity is marred by the Fall but it’s not obliterated. Sinful humans are still like God – his representatives on earth – and to be treated as such. No one has the authority to take the life of another. Taking the life of another is to take away the image of God and seek to destroy God himself: abortion, euthanasia or taking pain as meaning a life is not worth living.
The question often asked: “What’s the best thing to do in these circumstances?”
The best thing, of course, is to listen to God. And he’s told us the value on each & every person he created – the value he puts on them. So from conception to death, any and every human being bears God’s image. This is the basis of the way we are to treat every human being that God puts across our path.
We are to think whose image do they bear? God cares for the human race and so should we. Love your neighbor, all of them.
2. How will God rescue sinful humanity?
How will God deal with the heart?
Noah also took 7 pairs of every clean animal (Genesis 7:2,3) for the purpose of sacrifice (Genesis 8:20).
Sacrifice reaches the parts that the flood cannot reach. Sacrifice deals with the problem of our hearts. When this fragrant aroma of the sacrifice goes up to the Lord, his heart is changed.
And he can act graciously towards the people.
God’s kindness towards humanity is demonstrated because he values humanity so much that he provides a rescue. We need a perfect savior, like Noah but better, he’s going to come from Shem’s line, and it’s got something to do with sacrifice that is offered. He himself proves to be, an effective sacrifice, which changes God’s attitude towards us.
Genesis 1 - 11 is clearly about SIN - the proud unity of rebellious humanity against God the Creator and Ruler, God’s judgment on humanity and the true unity of humanity that comes from calling on the name of the LORD.
What this offspring of Shem did: Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.