by Steve Preston
There are two major covenants God made with man, contained within the pages of the Bible. Most people understand these as the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament was a national law, given only to the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:10-13; Exodus 6:1-10; 31:17; Psalm 105:10).
Similarly, the New Testament is given to all, but its benefits are not for everyone, save those who choose to obey (Ephesians 1:3; Mark 16:16; Matthew 10:22; Luke 13:23-30; 1 Corinthians 1:21).
There is also a third covenant that God has established between himself and every living thing.
After the great flooding of the earth, Noah and his family left the ark. God spoke to him and said:
“And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.” (Genesis 9:11-17)
No less than six times in this passage does our Lord tell Noah about the covenant that he is making with all the living of the earth.
This covenant is for everyone; not a single soul is left out of this “contract” between God and man. One does not even have to be faithful to God to get the benefits of this covenant.
This promise from God, not to ever again destroy the earth with a flood, has confirmation even to this day thousands of years later.
The rainbow, such a beautiful work in the sky, was given to man to show the sincerity, the sureness of this particular covenant. What great comfort Christians today can get from seeing a rainbow!
As corrupt as this present world seems to be, is it worse than what Noah and his family had to deal with? We cannot know for certain, of course, though, even if it were, there will never again be a flood as in the time of Noah.
The world will end when God’s appointed time comes. Be watching and waiting, not for the next great flood, but for the coming of Christ.
Steve writes BibleTalk, short messages from the Bible, twice weekly.