Text – Genesis 9:8-17:
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.
11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 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. 16 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.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
This text raises an important theme in Scripture which is also an important theme for Lent. And that is Covenant. God’s relationship with humanity is marked by the covenants he makes with us. First, the promise God made to Adam and Eve that their offspring would crush the head of Satan, that offspring being Jesus. Second, there was the covenant that God made with Abraham that was “signed” by an ancient covenant ceremony. In this ceremony, the signatories pass between a series of animals that had been split in half. The act of walking between them was a binding agreement.
And then there was this covenant – a rainbow. It was made in the time between Adam and Eve and the time of Abraham. God said to Noah, “I will never again destroy the whole world with a flood, and here’s my signature on the contract – a rainbow.”
This is a good image to remember in Lent. The cross is like a rainbow. The cross is God’s way of saying, “I am keeping my promise to you.” The promise to crush the head of Satan. The promise that all nations would be blessed by God’s promise. That evil would be once-and-for-all destroyed.
As you reflect on the significance of Lent, think today about the promise God has made to you.
Our Great and Eternal God. You have remembered Your covenant forever. It is the covenant that You made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. An everlasting covenant which you renewed with succeeding generations. This Lent we recall your faithfulness and the way in which you keep your covenant with those who love You and keep Your commandments. Please bless us this Lent. Help us to not forget. In Jesus’ name, we pray this. Amen.