Focal passages: Genesis 8:15-22; 9:1,11-16
It’s heartbreaking to read about the Syrian refugees that are fleeing their country for a fresh start. So many men, women and children have lost their lives or given up their livelihood in hopes of a better future.
They are selling everything they own in order to buy tickets to get to a country where they may have a new life. Sadly, some are basing their hope on a geographic location, which we know will never truly satisfy.
In this week’s passage, we read about the fresh start that God gives mankind after the flood.
After the waters recede, God commands Noah and his family to exit the ark and repopulate the earth. He gives them the same mandate as Adam and Eve – be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.
Noah obediently goes out from the ark with his family, every bird, animal and creeping thing in an orderly fashion; just as God created in an intentional order in Genesis 1.
After exiting the ark, Noah built a new altar to God and worshipped Him with burnt offerings.
His response is one of gratefulness and recognition for God’s deliverance of him and his family. (Farther along in Genesis, we notice that Abraham responds similarly in recognition of the Lord’s faithfulness and provision).
God is pleased by Noah’s offering and promises to never again destroy the earth with a flood. He establishes His covenant with Noah, his descendants, and all of creation – the first covenant recorded in the Bible – and gives the rainbow as a sign of His gracious new pro.mise.
Thankfully, our God continues to be merciful. He has given us a new and everlasting covenant through the shed blood of His Son.
This new covenant, based on repentance and faith in Christ, is the fresh start that the Syrian refugees (and the world) so desperately need to know about; the good news that God offers all people regardless of circumstances or nationality. New life is found in a covenantal relationship with Jesus Christ that is offered freely by grace through faith.