“…and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease…….”
Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth,” Genesis 8:21-22;9:8-13.
Because the hearts of men had become fully given to do evil, judgment was necessary. Even so, through judgment He gave the earth a new beginning. From time to time, He would have to judge cities, regions, or cultures, but here He made His first covenant with man: He would not curse the ground further, and He would not destroy the whole earth again with a flood. He then set, as the sign of the covenant, a rainbow in the clouds. From this time, whenever rain is mentioned in Scripture, it refers to blessing.
Why would the Almighty God make a covenant with fallen man? Whenever two make a covenant, both will usually have something to contribute. If the covenant is one sided, it is because the strongest party in the agreement can dominate the weaker. Almighty God does not need anything from man, yet repeatedly gives man agreements that are very one sided in man’s favor. One of the great problems of faith has been man’s inability to believe that such agreements could possibly be true. Man can offer to God nothing in return except obedience, but that is all that the Lord wants. Death and evil came upon the world because of man’s disobedience. Obedience could also restore the earth as we read in, Romans 5:19:
“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”
God Almighty repeatedly gave His Word to man, and His Word has never failed. He would later make covenants with Abraham, Israel, and then with all who would trust in the cross. His Word is His bond, and He remains faithful. All that He requires of us in return is that we obey Him. Yet, even this is for our sake, for our salvation.
The New Covenant provision is made not only for the complete restoration of man from the consequences of the Fall, but through it man is even elevated to a condition higher than we had before the Fall. The new creation man does not just walk with God, but we have God living in us. This is beyond the comprehension of even the angels. The Lord not only gives those who will obey Him eternal life, but He even makes them sons and daughters. He even comes to live in them. In return, we have nothing to give Him but love and obedience. Is He not worthy of the devotion and obedience of even every thought that we have?
In Romans 1:5 and 16:26, Paul refers to “the obedience of faith.” True faith does obey. We enter into the New Covenant by faith in the cross of Jesus. It is not by works, as the Law proved that by our own efforts we can never keep the standard of God’s righteousness.
Though we may fall short when trying to obey the Law by our own strength, the Lord gives us the grace to obey Him. This grace comes by the Holy Spirit whom He has given to live in us. God not only makes the covenant when we have nothing to offer in return, He also gives us what He expects from us in return. If we love Him enough to want to obey Him, He will give us the provision so that we can walk in obedience. When we agree to this covenant with Him, He gives us all things that are His, making us His own children. For all of eternity, there will never again be a transaction, a deal, or an opportunity like this one!
Let us show our love and appreciation by obeying the Spirit that He has given to live in us. All that He asks is that we love Him and love one another. How could we not love the One who is the most glorious, generous, lovable Being there is? How can we not give ourselves fully to pleasing Him in all things?
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|