Detours & Covenants
I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.
In the spring of 2019 there was an abundance of rain. This caused changes in planting schedules and caused the rescheduling of many softball and baseball games. News reports were filled with images of flooding and stories of those who were facing hardship because of the rising waters.
Around this time I went on vacation to Missouri and as we traveled south, signs informed us that the road was closed and the GPS quickly gave us a route that would put us around the flooding that was causing the closure. I had heard about the flooding but hadn't paid much attention to any photos or videos of the damage. Over the course of our journey we were routed back to the freeway and we got closer to the Missouri River and able to see where the water had left its appointed boundaries.
There were areas where whole towns were on the verge of having water fill their streets. Several rural homes were up on what was now their own personal island and if they were still living in those homes they would have had to enter and exit via a boat. Simple things like feeding livestock were now a serious concern. In several places we could get an indication of just how deep the water was because there were mature trees that the water had risen to be covering half of the leaves. At one location all we could see is a street sign barely visible above the flood waters. The only indication that there was a road nearby was the gravel path that came up out of the water and went up the bluffs in the distance.
As I sat there and had empathy for those affected by the flooding I had plenty of road time to consider what I had seen. Flood waters naturally bring my mind to considering the worldwide flood of Noah's day. The destruction caused by our small, local floods is substantial but imagine the devastation that would come from a global flood. The judgment of God poured out on creation for sin and unbelief. A judgment by a just and holy God. Yet, kept his covenant by sparing Noah and keeping his promise that the seed of the woman would come and crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). That same covenant keeping God made a promise that he would never again bring a flood to destroy all flesh and the rainbow is the sign of that covenant with every living creature.
As we were again detoured around flood waters I was filled with gratitude. While floods like the one we have witnessed this year are terrible we have a certain promise from God that there will not be another worldwide flood. God keeps his promises and they are sure. He is a covenant keeper. This is good news for us because God, in Christ, has a covenant with his people. Just as surely as there will never again be a global flood we have a certainty of salvation in Christ. His covenant with his people through his blood is assured. We look to his broken body and shed blood in the Lord's Supper and know that Jesus died for our sins and because he has given us the gift of faith and repentance that we are saved. We live in a world of uncertainty and detours. We do not know where life will take us. This is often painful and difficult but at the same time because we have a God who keeps his covenant we know that he will most certainly bring us to the destination he has promised.
When we see the signs of the covenants that God has made with us may they bring us joy. When we witness a beautiful rainbow in the sky let us remember that we serve a God who keeps his promises. When we see, touch, and taste the elements of the Lord's Supper may we have the peace that passes all understanding and be filled with gratitude and love for our covenant keeping God.