I want to start out this blog post with the line…”there was a time in my life that I didn’t understand or like the story of Noah”. And then I want to go on and tell you all that I have learned and hand you a picture of me never forgetting these beautiful pictures of truth and grace that God opens my eyes to. And compare it to the old self that didn’t understand or love the story of Noah is now dead and gone. But the old self still stands up on its hind legs more often than I would like to admit. I forget these pictures of grace, these word pictures of how long my savior has been pursuing and loving me. Or I read these stories of God’s pursuit of his people and I don’t see him at work.
Even more than telling you I never forget the stories I would love to tell you that when I see this illustrations of grace, and redemption, and a pursuing saving God I apply them perfectly to my life. But that isn’t the case and that will never be the case this side of glory.
I’m so thankful for the times the story of God redeeming us hits home. And I am so looking forward to the time when I will really understand the height and depth of the love my savior has and gives.
I am sure what I have to say about Noah has been said before. I still want to share it because of the picture it painted for me. And because of much more I can appreciate rainbows (if I remember this illustration.)
Genesis 8 talks about the flood subsiding from the earth and the covenant God makes with Noah and all flesh. Genesis 9:9 “Behold I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud and the bow is seen in the clouds.”
God has set his bow in the clouds. Its pretty easy to see in the story of the flood that God has a problem with sin. It’s not because he hates the people sinning but the sin is not what he created these people or this earth for. He knows that on our own we can not stop ourselves from sinning, since the fall we are all sinful by nature. But he also knows that the sinning must stop. Since the time of the fall he has put a plan in action to redeem his creation. He promised a messiah that would come from the seed of Eve who would crush the serpents head.
When God hangs his bow in the sky he isn’t just placing pretty colors in the clouds so we can remember him. He is pointing to where His wrath will ultimately be placed. A rainbow isn’t just a half circle it is the shape of a weapon. God has placed the curve of the bow toward himself. The notch where the head of an arrow would rest is now facing him.
More of the picture of how humanity will be redeemed is being revealed in the story of Noah and the rainbow. We may not always know the plan, we may not see the plan, we may not understand his plan of redemption but it is in motion and has been in motion since Adam and Eve ate on the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Even as I type this my mind can not fully wrap around the fact that GOD would pour out his wrath for our sin on himself, on his Son. But that is what he did. In spite of the fact that Noah would plant a vineyard and get drunk and naked he found favor with God. In spite of the fact that we indulge in our own sort of intoxication with sin and find ourselves naked before God we have found grace and favor with God. In spite of ourselves we are loved.
“By faith Noah being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith…And all these though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 11:7;39-12:2