International Sunday School Lesson for September 22, 2013
Scripture Text: Genesis 9:8-17
Purpose: To have trust in the promises of God
Bible Lesson background: Genesis 6:9-9:28
Genesis 9:8-17 (CEB)
8 God said to Noah and to his sons with him,9 "I am now setting up my covenant with you, with your descendants, 10 and with every living being with you—with the birds, with the large animals, and with all the animals of the earth, leaving the ark with you. 11 I will set up my covenant with you so that never again will all life be cut off by floodwaters. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth."
12 God said, "This is the symbol of the covenant that I am drawing up between me and you and every living thing with you, on behalf of every future generation. 13 I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember the covenant between me and you and every living being among all the creatures. Floodwaters will never again destroy all creatures. 16 The bow will be in the clouds, and upon seeing it I will remember the enduring covenant between God and every living being of all the earth’s creatures." 17 God said to Noah, "This is the symbol of the covenant that I have set up between me and all creatures on earth."
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
While the story of Noah and the flood may be very familiar to most of us, the events immediately following may be less familiar. Our text for this week’s lesson deals with God’s promise to Noah and his sons, but more importantly the promise extends to all of their descendants, and that includes us.
From the text we get the sense that God was very disappointed that both humankind and the animals of His creation were savage and evil; what God thought would be good, became very evil because mankind had become selfish and seemed to have lost their way. Being chased out of the Garden of Eden, mankind was left to survive on their own, they had lost communion with their creator. Only one man could be found to be righteous, and that was Noah. Noah was not forgotten by God, and God was remembered by Noah. Noah responded to God’s call on his life in a positive manner and followed God’s instructions on building and loading the ark.
In addition to humankind, it seems the animals themselves had become a problem. For this reason they too would be destroyed. Maybe the togetherness on the ark would somehow affect the way they interacted with each other as well with humankind.
God seems to repent of His prior creation, but He wants to give some sort of assurance to future generations that His wrath would never again destroy all life on earth.
The rainbow in most early civilizations was considered a symbol of war, more related to bow and arrow than to a symbol of peace.
Interestingly God places the rainbow in the sky to remind himself of the covenant that he made with Noah and his descendants. God’s covenant reminds us that we can trust God, He is faithful to His covenant, as the rainbow witnesses, to both us and God
Do you trust God when He says in verse 15 “I will remember the covenant between me and you and every living being among all the creatures. Floodwaters will never again destroy all creatures.”
Do you trust God when He says in John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.”