Monday, May 06, 2019

2019.05.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 9:8-17

Questions for Littles: Who spoke to Noah (Genesis 9:8)? Who was with Noah? What is established in Genesis 9:9? Who establishes the covenant? Whose covenant is it? With what two groups is it established in verse 9? Who else benefits from the covenant (Genesis 9:10)? What covenantal benefit does the Lord promise here (Genesis 9:11)? In Genesis 9:12, what does God say He is going to give to show His covenant? What is that sign that He uses to show the covenant (Genesis 9:13)? Who puts it there? Whose bow is it? Who brings clouds over the earth (Genesis 9:14)? What happens every single time there is a cloud? How does God respond to the bow (Genesis 9:15)? What is in the cloud (Genesis 9:16)? What does God do to the bow? How does God respond to the bow? To whom, specifically, does God now speak in Genesis 9:17? What, specifically, does God point out in this verse? 
Genesis 9:8-11 begins and ends with a statement that God is establishing (affirming/ strengthening) His covenant with Noah and his sons. A covenant binds two parties together in an agreement as strong as death. Now that God has displayed His wrath, He highlights for Noah that every moment that a flood is not occurring is a moment of grace. God binds Himself to interact with the entire creation as a God of grace. But how can He do that, when man is so wicked? The answer is, literally, in the clouds.

Genesis 9:12-17 makes up the second portion of our passage, and it begins and ends not this time with the covenant itself, but more specifically with the sign of the covenant. In this case the sign is a bow, bent part toward heaven, string toward the ground, lethal weapon aimed at God Himself.

This is how God can be a God of grace toward us. Because at some point, He is going to satisfy His wrath upon Himself. He will have to become a man to do it. He will have to unite Himself to sinners to do it. But He will punish their sins upon Himself. So, He chooses the bow as a sign to respond to. There will never again be a bow-less cloud. Until the last day, God will continually respond to the reminder of His Son’s sacrifice by holding back His wrath.

But He doesn’t just remind Himself. He is reminding us that He remembers. This is why the Word is always attached to a covenant sign. God tells Noah what He is doing so that Noah will rejoice at the sign. Whenever he sees the sign, Noah can rejoice that God absorbs His own wrath in order to show us grace. Whenever he sees the sign, Noah can rejoice that God is determined not only to act graciously but that Noah would be assured of God’s grace.
What signs has God given the church? What do they display about how He shows us grace? How do they help us be sure of God’s salvation? Why is faith in Jesus necessary for this?
Suggested Songs: ARP111A “O Praise the Lord” or TPH111A “Praise to the Lord! I Will Extol Him”

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