Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
About the Lord God? He is as good as his word. And his word is truth. That is why whatever he says, be it about the past, present, or the future, is to be accepted as a certainty.
This is vitally important. Our very existence depends upon it. Our lives are in the hands of the Promise Keeper. We are at his mercy.
Good thing, mercy is what he promises us.
There is an old saying, “Promises are made to be broken.” We have learned there is some truth to that. Sometimes circumstances beyond human control prevent promises from being kept. But sometimes the promise-makers simply change their minds.
That’s why we can’t count on every promise. Unless! Unless it is made by the Lord God.
One of his greatest promises was to send someone to crush the rule of death and the devil and rescue humanity from the horrendous pit of deserved justice. The Holy One not only offered a chance of rescue, but he also guaranteed it would be for all people.
Adam and Eve heard that promise, but they did not see it fulfilled. Moses, Abraham, Joseph, and Daniel knew of the promise but did not see it fulfilled. For thousands of years, people waited for this rescue. More than one of them asked, “When is it coming? Why the delay?”
The questions are answered in the New Testament with the famous words “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” That’s the beginning of the story of how the Lord God kept his promise to bring the light of life to a world living in spiritual darkness.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). This the Son of God announced to the world.
Those who first heard and believed this were then shocked to see that the one who said he would bring life ended up dying.
Surely, they may have felt, their hope of eternal life died with him.
He was placed into a tomb. Some of his followers witnessed that.
He, who had promised life, had died. What else can be said?
The answer is with the words: “He is not here. He is risen!”
That’s what angels said. And holy angels do not lie.
But you and I were not there. We didn’t hear the angels speak. We did not see the resurrected Jesus walking and talking—then ascending on high. We have to take the Bible’s word for it. But that’s all right. After all, it is God the Holy Spirit speaking through those words. His words are true. Indeed, they are truth, itself.
But would it not be nice if one time we could see with our own eyes that the Holy One truly keeps his promises?
We can. We have. We have seen rainbows.
We are told that’s a simple law of nature at work as light rays are refracted. But who created that light? Who made the laws that nature follows? Is it not the same one who created weather? Who brings clouds and rain? If he did not will it, there would be no rain, no light, no refraction—and no rainbow.
“Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”
That’s what he said. That’s what he promised. And that is what he has done—and keeps on doing.
We need build no arks. We need gather no animals into an ark. We need not fear that the waters will keep rising until the tops of mountains are covered.
Do we think such a flood would be impossible? So did a world of people in Noah’s day.
They may have laughed at him over the 120 years that he warned and he prepared. But he had heard the Lord promise disaster. “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish” (Genesis 6:7). Then came that flood. Promise kept!
Noah had also heard the Lord say he was making a covenant with him and his family. The Lord promised them life.
They did live. Every living thing on that ark survived.
He also promised to never again send a universal flood. What happened? Promise kept!
So, consider this promise. “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Cor.15:51).
That’s not something to be doubted. The Lord has promised this. We must believe him.
He is the Promise Keeper.
Creator and Savior God, great is your power, fearful are your judgments, and certain are your promises. Cement our faith to your Word so nothing can separate us from you. Use us to bring the light of your faithful love to many others. Amen.
Points to ponder:
- What does Noah’s flood teach us about the Lord our God?
- Is it possible that some of the people who drowned came to faith after the flood started?
- Do events of nature, like rainfall, just follow natural laws, or are they carefully controlled by the Lord of the universe? Or is it both?
Written and recorded by Rev. Paul Horn, WELS National Civilian Chaplain to the Military, San Diego, California.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.