Read: Genesis 9:8-11
After establishing the importance of human life and giving Noah a list of commands, God continues to make a covenant with Noah. The story of Noah is the first time we actually see God and man make a covenant. Covenant is just a fancy word for an agreement. Many covenants throughout the Bible include God promising something to a person or people-group and in return commanding them to live a certain way. However, it is important to distinguish the seriousness of covenants in relation to modern day agreements.
Recently, someone asked me what my biggest pet peeve was. Besides when I am talking to someone and they are on their phone, the only pet peeve I could think of is flaky people. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The boiling that happens in your blood when you’ve made plans with a person 500 times and they keep canceling at the last minute. Sadly, I’ve also been that person a time or two. Of course in our culture, there isn’t any kind of consequence for making plans and then bailing at the last minute.
Near eastern culture was a bit different. When you gave your word to someone, it was expected that you held up your end of the bargain. If you did not, your life, or even worse, your honor were on the line. In many eastern cultures, even to this day, honor is more important than life.
After God gave His list of desires for how Noah and his descendants should live, God explains that as His part of the bargain is that never again will He destroy the whole world in a flood, no matter how bad the earth gets.
Spoiler alert! Man breaks his side of the covenant. Actually, the rest of the Bible is man breaking this covenant and the other ones He makes with God over and over and over and over again. Did you get tired of all those overs? Think about how annoyed God must be working with such flaky people.
That would seem to be the justifiable attitude that God could take. But the rest of the Bible is actually filled with God showering relentless mercy over and over again. He has continued to stay true to His Word again and again even when we have failed to stay true to ours.
Satan loves to use the lie that God is done with us because we have failed holding up our part of the bargain. While it is true that we have failed, the reality is we serve a God who not only promises to hold His side of the covenant, but He has fulfilled our side when we were too weak to. Today look up some promises that God has made and rest that His Word is yes and amen (Hint: some of my favorites are in Matthew 5-6, John 17, and James 1).