I’ve made it a goal to sit down about once a week, read one chapter of the Bible, and pull out as much as I can from it, to see what God has taught me and to find out what he’s going to teach me next.
Today, I’m reading chapter 9 of Genesis.
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” –Genesis 9:1 NIV84
We see at the end of this story a complete change in God’s agenda. Before, he wanted to wipe the world from existence. Now, he wants to start again, like with Adam and Eve, and repopulate the Earth.
God has always loved his people, always had great plans for existence, and even though His people turned their backs on Him (and even though they would do so again and again after this), He still would not give up on Humanity.
“I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” –Genesis 9:11 NIV84
God knew that more times like this would come. More days when the people turned from Him, despite all of His blessings. But, as he goes on to do several times in History, he makes a promise to never flood the entire Earth again.
The Flood, though an act of judgment, was also an act of mercy, as he could have let Humanity and Earth itself die out. But instead, he chose to give us another chance. The rainbow is a reminder of the promise God made.
When clouds gathered and rain fell, Noah and his descendants might fear a new flood, but the darker the cloud, the brighter the rainbow that appears, to calm our worries and remind us that even the darkest times can bring forth something beautiful.
Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. –Genesis 9:20-21 NIV84
If you ever want to feel better about yourself when you fall into temptation and sin, you need look no further than the Bible.
Noah, the only remaining righteous man on Earth, was just saved by God himself and given the task of repopulating the world, and the very first thing he’s recorded doing after this is planting a vineyard, getting drunk on wine, and passing out naked.
This is proof of the human condition, that we are weak and imperfect. We tend to beat ourselves up when we fail, especially when we think we are trying so hard to do what is right, but the Bible, time and time again, shows us that even the most righteous men sin (and usually quite often).
Now, this is of course, by no means, an excuse or a pardon for sinning. But it is an encouraging reminder that the people in the Bible that God used to do amazing things and change the world struggled the same way we do with sin and temptation.
That fact didn’t stop God from using them and it won’t stop Him from using you either!
In Genesis 9, we find God has a great romance with mankind that He is not willing to give up, we find that God’s promise reminds us that beauty can come from our darkest moments, and we find that we as humans are going to fail from time to time, and yet, in spite of ourselves, God can and will still use us to do amazing things in this world.