After the great flood, this was the covenant between God and Noah. But it is also a covenant between all of mankind for generations to come. It goes on to say in verse 16, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So the next time you notice a rainbow in the sky, stop and reflect upon what you’re seeing and what it actually stands for…a promise from God that’s eternal, everlasting, and forever.
Have troubles gone beyond the bounds of your human strength…put your hope in the Lord. Have all your expectations, desires, and dreams crumbled before your eyes…put your hope in the Lord. Are you in the middle of an impossible situation with no seemingly way out…put your hope in the Lord. For God can perform wonders that cannot be fathomed and miracles that cannot be counted. (Job 5:9) He is the God of the unattainable, the unsolvable, and the hopeless…for He is the God of the impossible, and nothing is too hard for Him. (Genesis 18:14)
This Messianic prophecy is of Jesus coming to rule and reign over all the people of the world…both Jew and Gentile. This is also shown in Isaiah 49:6 where it says that Jesus is coming not only to Israel, but to the Gentiles…”that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.” It’s not that there’d be a continuous reign by the descendants of Judah…only the promise of the permanent right to rule…this being in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. And at that time He will say, ” Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear.” (Isaiah 45:23)
This Scripture specifically deals with immorality and adultery…but in the bigger picture, it deals with sin against God. Have you ever considered that every time you sin – you’re defying God to His face? For every time you allow evil to reign in your life, you’re in direct opposition to God and rebelling against Him. Joseph understood that giving into a temptation was a sin…but that sin isn’t self contained…for no matter how hidden we think it is, others will be affected by our lack of judgement. And ultimately, Joseph knew he would be sinning against God.
So here we have this very old couple…the husband is 99 and his wife is 90. At that age, it’s virtually impossible physically for that couple to conceive a child together. Yet here in this Scripture the Lord is promising them children…and all He asks of them is to trust and obey. Many think at a certain age they can “retire” from doing God’s work…but God’s saying, “No way!” There is no retirement age in God’s Kingdom…and there’s no impossibility that God can’t overcome…and all He asks of us, is to trust and obey.
The diversity between bright sunshine and complete darkness is a stark contrast. In bright sunshine, we can walk confidently, even in unfamiliar terrain, for we can see the path we’re following and the obstacles around us. But when it’s total darkness, we struggle to make our way…stumbling, falling, and lurching along…fearful of the next step. Isaiah 42:16 speaks of this, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” Allow the God of light to illuminate your path today with truth and wisdom.
In this verse the concept of stewardship first appears. Adam was to tend the garden. He was to carry out the vision of the owner (God), be accountable to Him, and not be careless with what he was given. So, what makes up a good steward? First, it’s acknowledging that we own nothing…God owns it all – even our very lives. We then need to trust Him completely, embracing the plan and purpose of our life and “tend the garden” He has given us.
Cain had worked the soil, giving the Lord grain offerings…while Abel kept flocks, giving the Lord fat portions from the animals. On Abel’s offerings God looked favorably, while on Cain’s He did not. But it may have had nothing to do with the physical offerings themselves, but rather in the men’s attitude bringing it before God. Attitude we see here in this verse when God asks Cain where his brother is…(as if God didn’t already know what had happened.) God was testing Cain to see if he would be honest and take responsibility for his actions…but instead, Cain retorted back to God with lies and anger.
Rebellion…if you’ve ever tried to reason with a toddler why he can’t do something, only to see him do it…you’d think we were born defiant! Unfortunately, since that moment in the Garden of Eden, humans have been on a path of revolution and resistance against God. But where has our fierce independence gotten us? Separated far from God as He looks on with great sorrow at the abject wickedness and corruption of His creation. Rebellion is the road to hell…the time is now to turn from evil and embrace obedience and submission.
Fear is a demoralizing force that will stop you in your tracks. Fear takes your eyes off God and onto to the scary circumstances swirling around you. Genesis 28:15 tells us, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…” Just remember, there is no place you will ever find yourself that is beyond the reach of God.