The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “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. – Gen. 8:21 NIV
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At the end of the sixth day of creation, the Bible says that the sovereign God reviewed all his activities and saw that it was good (Gen. 1:31), but some years down the line, and of all the good things that God had created, man had turned out to be a source of sadness for Him – Gen. 6:6-7. Two points stuck out like a sore thumb when the action of man was considered by God;
1. They had become independent of God in taking decisions especially with regards to their choice of women. They selected partners based only on their opinion on the physical beauty of the women – Gen. 6:1-4.
2. They had transformed into a people that were desperately wicked and with heart full of evil – Gen. 6:5-6a.
He was therefore left with no choice other than to attempt a reset of the human race in particular and the whole world of living things in general. This time he was not going to create or form a new man, but was going to model man after Noah, the only person whom he had noticed, still bore similarities to what his vision of what man should be – Gen. 6:8-9; 11-13.
Having issued instructions to Noah on what to do in preparation for this reset of the living creatures of the world, and with full compliance on the part of Noah (Gen. 6:15-7:5), the Lord came down with rain on the earth for 40 days, which ensured the death of everything on land that had breathe, apart from all that were in the Ark that Noah had built (Gen. 7:21-23), and it took another 150 days for the water to leave the surface of the earth – Gen. 7:24-8:5. It took another 40 days also, of residency in the Ark, waiting for the land to dry and further instructions from the Lord before Noah eventually stepped out of the Ark with all its occupants – Gen. 8:6-19. God had completed the reset process and man was now fit to start the populating process all over again. What a great wonderful work by our God of second chance.
Having witnessed this act of great redemption from a great catastrophe brought upon the earth by the sovereign Lord, Noah in appreciation of this great mercy and favour shown to him and all the other creatures especially members of his biological family, decided to worship the Lord by building an altar in His name- Gen. 8:20. This act of Noah produced a pleasing aroma to the Lord who then took three major decisions .
1. He was NEVER again going to curse the ground.
2. He was NEVER again going to destroy living things.
3. For as long as the earth exists, season of planting and harvesting, cold and winter, summer and heat will NEVER cease.
He had concluded that the heart of man was always inclined to doing evil, being so from conception and so was always likely to do evil – Gen. 8:21.
Worthy of note however is the need to separate the act of God, started and completed by the sovereign God, from the act of God triggered by the action of man. Going by the account of this event in the biblical book of Genesis, all God was going to do was to end with the opening of the Ark for Noah and all its occupants to come out and start a new life but the following actions of Noah triggered an additional action from God.
1. He had a heart of thanks towards the Lord.
2. He demonstrated his rating of the Lord by choosing the best of the clean animals for his offering.
3. He had a heart for worship beyond just appreciation of the Almighty God.
Christians today need to borrow one or two things from Noah in their attempts to draw promises from the sovereign God. It is not possible to keep referencing the promise of the Lord to other human beings like you, who in their own time carried positive actions with regards to the Lord. A promise may be personal or generational but even if it is generational, it may not apply to everyone along that generation. To continue to rely on that promise he made to fore-fathers may be an act similar to living in a fool’s paradise. John the Baptist advised the Pharisees of his time like-wise making them realise that God can raise other children for Abraham and so it does not have to be them that will inherit the promise – Matt. 3:9. Promises made by the Almighty God does not come cheap as it is always a product of an act by man that is able to touch the heart of God. It is earned and even though it can be enjoyed by subsequent generations of the one who earned it in the first place, acts not in accordance to the Will of God can equally water down the value of this promise from generation to generation -1Kgs. 11:13. Seek to earn promises from Him by engaging in acts that are pleasing to Him and learn to preserve those promises with acts also pleasing to Him. The promises of God are your insurance certificates in times of trouble when His protection, provision and support amongst others will be needed to overcome. Offer him sacrifices that will have pleasing aroma so that he can equally open his bag of treasures to you.
May God teach us how to offer sacrifices pleasing to Him so as to earn His promise in Jesus name. Amen.