I. God Made Covenants with His People
A. In the Bible, God makes promises to his people and He requires certain conduct from them.
Biblical Covenants emphasized what was needed at specific stages of God’s kingdom by furthering the principles of previous covenants.
Covenant, literally a contract. In the Bible, an agreement between God and his people, in which God makes promises to his people and, usually, requires certain conduct from them.
1. God started with Adam: revealing His Kingship, role of Humanity, and the Destiny He had Planned for the Earth (Gen 1–3).
Then God set up Covenants…
First, God promised stability in nature for humanity’s service in Noah’s covenant (Genesis 6, 9)
Second, God enhanced His previous covenants by promising that Abraham’s descendants would become a great empire and spread God’s blessings to all other nations (Genesis 15, 17)
Third, God built on these covenants by blessing Israel with His law in the days of Moses (Exodus 19–24)
Forth, Every previous covenant was taken to new heights as God established David’s dynasty and promised that his son would rule forever in righteousness over Israel & over the entire world. (Psalm 72; 89; 132)
II. All O.T. Covenants were Fulfilled in Christ
“The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.” Jeremiah 31:31
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
- As the great son of David, His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return eternally secure the transformation of the entire earth into God’s glorious kingdom.
- If you aim to build a road from Brentwood to some other city, you don’t buy any right-of-way or cut down any trees or dig one inch of roadbed until you know what city the road is intended to reach.
- Your destination influences all your decisions from the start. The things you do at the beginning make sense because of your goal at the end.
III. The Future Determines the Past
One of the basic doctrines of Christianity is that history is God’s highway to an appointed future. In other words, God set up the future beforehand.
- History is going somewhere. God appointed the goal before the foundation of the world, and under his over-arching providence, all events serve that goal. Psalmist wrote…
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16
- Before you get up tomorrow to make your contribution to God’s highway of history, he has already written in his book what you will accomplish. And when he writes it down, he is not guessing.
“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” Isaiah 46:9,10
» At the beginning of history God saw the end of history. He saw what he aimed to perform, and he knew what had to be done to achieve it, and he decreed that it be: “Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish”
» In a very real sense, then, God runs history from the future. He stands, as it were, already at the destination and guides the road crew so that his highway reaches Stockton instead of Tracy or Lodi.
- This means that when you want an explanation for some historical event, you don’t just look at the past like most historians; you also look to the future.
- If God runs history from the future, and if the coming of the Son into history is a foretaste of the future, then the experiences of Noah and Abraham and Moses and David are all preparations for the coming of Christ.
- God made a covenant with each of these saints; covenants always contain promises; and “all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ” (2 Cor 1:20). Therefore, the coming of Christ was the future which guided all God’s work in Old Testament times.
The Covenant with Noah Prepared the Way for Christ
What I want to do in the next four Sundays is look with you at God’s covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David with a view to how they prepared the way for Christ.
Today we look at God’s covenant with Noah.
IV. The Threefold Message of the Flood .
First, their Wickedness is very Great & their Hearts are Full of Evil.
Psalm 51:5, “For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”
After the fall in Genesis 3, Adam passes the buck to Eve, Cain kills his brother; Lamech kills a boy, commits bigamy (marries someone already married), and boasts it; and when you get to Genesis 6:5, the writer says…
“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” Genesis 6:5
Verse 11 shows that all this inward evil was breaking out everywhere:
“Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence.”
Sadly, The Condition of Hearts did Not Improve After the Flood
First, in 8:21, after the flood, God says alright I am not going to curse them again, “everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil”
Then Noah Falls After the Flood
In fact—and this is the second road block—after the flood Genesis 9:20f. says, Noah planted, ; drank to much and “he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. ” Just like Adam, Noah sinned shortly after the flood.
however, Noah Was Saved by Grace
The reason Noah was spared was because he “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Noah was not without sin, but he found favor with God because “he walked with God” (6:9)
Second, God’s patience does Come to an End
“I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth.” Genesis 6:7
? God destroys unrepentant sinners in judgment.
According to Genesis 6:7, “Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.””
Then in verse 13, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!.” And in verse 17, “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die.”
Then after these 3 statements, see Genesis 7:21: “All the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people..”
- God hates sin and punishes unrepentant sinners.
- God’s flood and God’s Son teach the same lesson: God hates sin and punishes unrepentant sinners with unspeakable judgment.
Third, God Does Not Surrender His Purposes for Humans
Even in judgment God does not leave off building his highway. His counsel shall stand and he shall accomplish all his purpose:
“The earth is filled with the Lord’s glory” Numbers 14:21
- Judgment is real and horrible, but it will not be the last word.
God created us in his image and aims for all to fill the earth with His glory reflected in our faith and righteousness.
Therefore, he preserves one righteous man and his family and gives him the duty and blessing of filling the earth again.
Notice how Genesis 9:1 is the same mission given to Adam in 1:28: “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” (Sound a bit like Adam)
V. Starting Over with a New “Adam”
“God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” Genesis 9:1
“Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you.” Genesis 9:11a
But this time the beginning is not in paradise. So the new “Adam”, Noah, must reckon with three real threats against him and his mission to fill the earth: a threat from animals, a threat from man, and threat from God.
So God makes 3 special provisions to protect the life in the new world where sin and corruption will again abound.
- God Gives New Rights over Animals (Gen 9:2-3)
“All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.”
- God supports humans in his mission to fill the earth with the knowledge of his glory by removing the threat of animals: we now has the right to put them in dread and even use them for food.
- God Makes Provision to Restrain Murder (Gen 9:5-7)
“I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life.”
God gives human a portion of the divine prerogative to take human life and thus guard society against murder. The mission to fill the earth is threatened by men as well as animals. Hence verses 5:
“I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life.”
- Before the flood God kept for himself the whole prerogative to take life. You recall God threatened sevenfold vengeance on anyone who slays Cain, even though Cain was a murderer (4:15).
- But now God makes a provision for murder to be at least partly restrained by man. He makes murder a capital offense.
- God Makes a Covenant with Noah (Gen 9:11)
“Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
Finally, How shall the earth ever be filled with his glory if his wrath overflows again in a flood against sin? To protect everyone against this threat God makes a covenant with Noah and his sons in:
Genesis 9:11, “Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
The same promise is stated positively in Genesis 8:22. As long as the world lasts, I will withhold universal judgment like this and preserve the order of creation.
The Epilogue to the Story of the Flood
The story of Noah and the flood is incomplete in itself. God still hates sin and no remedy was found. The story cries out for an epilogue.
And there is a final clue in the story about the epilogue to come. It’s found in Genesis 8:20. At the end of the flood and before God had made his covenant, “20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race.’”
God’s gracious covenant with Noah was a response to a pure sacrifice. Is not this, too, a foreshadowing that God, who must find a remedy for sin, will find it in another greater sacrifice, namely, the sacrifice of his Son.
The final remedy for sin has been found. As Hebrews 9:26 says,
“If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.”
God still hates sin. We are still sinful. But God will never surrender his purpose to fill the earth with his glory. The final remedy is Jesus Christ. So come to him and discover the purpose for which you were made.