Daily Devotional Genesis 9:1–29
I love the start of a new semester. The gradebook is empty; no tests have been given. Even if a student did poorly in their previous class, a new semester provides a fresh start. In a similar way, life after the Flood in Genesis delivered a fresh start for humanity. Just as with Adam, God charged Noah and his family: “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (v. 1).
I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.
The reason for the Flood was that human sin and violence had reached an unbearable level (Gen. 6:11). Since God had promised not to judge the earth with a flood any longer, what would keep human violence in check? In Genesis 6, the responsibility for restraining violence and upholding justice was given to human society.
If someone burns the flag of the country, it is understood as a symbolic attack on the country. The flag stands for the country. In a similar way if a person commits murder, it is an attack against God because humans are created in God’s image. This is the reason given for the command, “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind” (v. 6).
God also established a covenant with Noah, his family, and all the animals on the ark (vv. 8–10). God promised that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. He also gave a sign as a reminder of His commitment, the rainbow (v. 13). Whenever we see a rainbow today, we are reminded of God’s promise. The flood account also reminds us that a final judgment on the whole earth will occur in the end times (Zech. 14:1–3; Rev. 19:15). Only after that judgment can there be lasting peace and justice on earth (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3). That is a day we can eagerly anticipate.
Why did God place a rainbow in the sky? What promise did it contain?
Pray with Us
Even in Your wrath, Lord, You care about justice and mercy. The rainbow You first showed Noah symbolizes Your faithfulness to keep Your promises. Make us, like You, lovers of mercy and justice.