Hmmmm. From a rainbow covenant to the foreshadowing of history repeating itself. Already.
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a feeling gloom in these chapters. It starts out celebratory. Noah and his family were literally the last people on earth, saved by God, miraculously. The entire earth was theirs.
And what’s more awe-inspiring than a gigantic rainbow, stretched across a newly-washed sky? There’s something magical about it. And that is exactly what God had in mind. Genesis Eight and Nine make it very clear that every time a rainbow appears in the clouds, he intends us to see and remember the promise he made:
Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. (vs. 8:21)
Although the rainbow is a beautiful promise for us to see and remember, I can’t begin to fathom what it must have meant to Noah and his family on that day.
How soon we forget.
It seems almost immediately after getting settled into their new life, being fruitful and increasing in number, they began proving God’s statement that “every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.” (vs. 8:21) Drunk. Naked. Fighting. Brother-against-brother. Already!
I don’t know. It just makes me sad. We’re so quick to focus on earthly things and each other, instead of our eternal condition and the Creator of the Universe. Admit it. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was Noah or you or me on that mountain. We’re so quick to forget.
And so the cycle starts all over again. It started with Eve in the garden, continued with Noah, and shouts so loudly today. Praise God for every promise we don’t deserve; promises of hope, joy, peace, forgiveness, love, wisdom, and eternal glory. And for every rainbow stretched across the sky.
side note: Genesis 9:6 seems to be the basis for capital punishment.
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed…
Interesting verse to contemplate alongside Jesus’ words in Matthew 5-7, specifically verses 5:38-42 (an eye for an eye). Because the “wages of [every] sin is death” I’m so thankful to be living life forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice, instead of living under Old Testament law. Food for thought.