Without looking outside, I can tell it’s going to be another rainy day. It seems to me like it has rained at least 40 days and 40 nights since the beginning of summer….just not consecutively. There’s been a few flash floods, but nothing huge. God has sent lots of rainbows and so far is keeping His promise….no need to build another ark.
Keeping promises is a big thing, especially to God. In fact His business is keeping promises and doing exactly what He says He will do….what a comfort today, when everything seems so uncertain at times, to be able to count on this truth. Speaking of the rainbow and God’s promise never to destroy the world again with water, let’s look back at what happened after the flood to Noah’s family.
In Genesis 9:18 we see that Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth. Verse 9: tells us that God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them; “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” In verse 10 all the generations of the sons of Noah are listed, then in verse 11:1 we learn that the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. As they traveled from the east they found a plain, a level place, in the land of Shinar and decided to live there.
Now God’s intention was for the families to separate and inhabit the whole earth, but they desired to stay together, fearing that the earth might once again be destroyed. Just in case, they began to make bricks and using slime for mortar they set out to build a city and a tower. This tower was to be so tall it would reach up to heaven….higher than any flood waters could reach…. and so they could avoid being scattered.
Then the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building and He realized their doubt in the promise He had made. In order to stop their plan, God decided to “confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Gen. 11: 7) This caused much confusion among the people so they abandoned the building of the city and the tower was never finished. Then the Lord scattered them throughout the face of the earth, each to their own region with their own language. The city left behind was named Babel….which means babble or confusion.
So many people today deny or simply choose to ignore the promises God has made to us and the plans He has for this world we call home. As I said before, promises to God are very important and not to be made or taken lightly.
Let’s look at the promise of the rainbow. God told Noah, and his sons as well, in Genesis 9:9: I establish my covenant with you and with your descendants. 13 I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 15….and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
How could Noah’s sons, who lived through the flood, saw the world destroyed as He had said He would, witnessed the rainbow and heard God’s promise that it would not happen again, still doubt? Why are people so stubborn and hard to convince that God is real and His promises are certain? Oh, ye of little faith! Were they so traumatized by the flood….which truly was a traumatic event….that they just could not trust that it wouldn’t happen again?
The confusion caused by the different languages I’m sure was nothing compared to the confusion we see today. People go about their business giving little thought to God or to the consequences of sin. It is up to us, His people, to remind them of God’s goodness and the promises He has made. The New Testament is one big promise….a covenant from God. As the marriage vows are a covenant between one man and one woman, so God’s promises are to the church. As the marriage vows are never to be broken, so God’s promises to us are to stand and will not be broken. Let’s look at some of the promises He has kept so far.
He promised to send a Messiah, a savior. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be that Savior to make a way to heaven for us. He promised his disciples that when He left the Holy Spirit would be sent. On that day, when the Holy Spirit descended, the disciples began to preach. Many people were present who did not speak the same language as they were from different countries, but a miracle happened and each one heard the preaching in their own language. Today His Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of those of us who believe.
The one promise not yet fulfilled is His promise to return. From the beginning of time people have looked for signs of the end times. Many are sure the end can’t be far away but we are reminded by 2 Peter 3: 8-10….be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night….
Jesus told the disciples Himself in John 14: 2 In my Father’s house, are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
God’s promises are throughout the Bible and each one will be kept, on that we can depend. So let us not be slack in doing what He commissioned us to do: to tell others about Him and let there be no doubt. As Abraham, when God promised to give him a son when he was about 100 years old, let us not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief, but be strong in faith, giving God the glory. Be fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is also able to perform.