Sunday, April 06, 2014

God keeps His promises

Noah rainbow covenant

Last week we looked at the world in which Noah lived and how Noah refused to be sucked into the corruption, wickedness and evil that surrounded him. He lived a righteous life and God testified about him. This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God's will and enjoyed a close relationship with him. This relationship made God talk to Noah about what He was about to do. God said to Noah "Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing. Everything on earth will die!" Noah believed God and “did everything exactly as God had commanded him.”  Did God bring the flood upon the whole world? Yes, He did and all people on earth perished except the family of Noah that was in the ark.

Today I want us to consider other similar promises God has made to man.

The promise of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

In Genesis 18, we read: “So the LORD told Abraham, "I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are extremely evil, and that everything they do is wicked. I am going down to see whether or not these reports are true. Then I will know." The two other men went on toward Sodom, but the LORD remained with Abraham for a while. Abraham approached him and said, "Will you destroy both innocent and guilty alike? Suppose you find fifty innocent people there within the city — will you still destroy it, and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn't do such a thing, destroying the innocent with the guilty. Why, you would be treating the innocent and the guilty exactly the same! Surely you wouldn't do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?" And the LORD replied, "If I find fifty innocent people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake." Then Abraham spoke again. "Since I have begun, let me go on and speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes.  Suppose there are only forty-five? Will you destroy the city for lack of five?" And the LORD said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five." Then Abraham pressed his request further. "Suppose there are only forty?" And the LORD replied, "I will not destroy it if there are forty." "Please don't be angry, my Lord," Abraham pleaded. "Let me speak — suppose only thirty are found?" And the LORD replied, "I will not destroy it if there are thirty." Then Abraham said, "Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue — suppose there are only twenty?" And the LORD said, "Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty." Finally, Abraham said, "Lord, please do not get angry; I will speak but once more! Suppose only ten are found there?" And the LORD said, "Then, for the sake of the ten, I will not destroy it." The LORD went on his way when he had finished his conversation with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his tent” (Genesis 18:20-33 NLT).
God heard of the wickedness, evil and corruption in Sodom and Gomorrah, sent angels to go and investigate and destroy the city and everything inside it by raining fire on them. He told Abraham. What did Abraham do, He pleaded with God praying for the people in the land. When God did not find ten people as Abraham requested, He saved only the family of Lot, the only righteous man in the whole country and destroyed the whole land. God kept His word!

The promise of the Promised land

God told Moses that He has heard the cry of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt. Through the burning bush, the LORD told him "You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land... Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You will lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:1-10)
What did Moses do? He came up with excuses why he should not go, but God countered all his excuses. He went and Pharaoh the King of Egypt resisted God till his land was totally devastated by God’s strong hand. Finally Moses led over one and half million Israelites out of Egypt. God kept His word! Man’s excuses and resistance cannot stop God! 
God kept His word to bring them out of Egypt and take them to the promised land. How does the Bible report it? See Joshua 21:43-45(NLT): “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they conquered it and settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the LORD helped them conquer all their enemies. All of the good promises that the LORD had given Israel came true.” God kept His word and will always keep His word!

The sign of the rainbow

God promised Noah: “Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:  "And as for Me, behold, I 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 go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."  And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow 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; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."  And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth." (Genesis 9: 8-17)
We today see the rainbow, God’s sign for the promise. God is faithful and keeps His word.

The promise of the Second Coming

Peter later writing on this promise of no more flood said God would use fire to destroy the world of unrighteous men and women.. He said this would take place during the second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The promise of the second coming of Christ is another promise that people have treated with scoffing and mocking. See how Peter recorded both events:

“God's promise is not slack Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),  that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,  knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."  For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. The Day of the Lord But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up."  (2 Peter 3:1-10)

God will surely keep His word.  Jesus will surely come again to judge the world and require all men and women to give account of the life He gave them. All unrighteous, sinful and wicked people, no matter their attitude to His word, whether they refused to believe or are skeptical about His Word would be destroyed by fire.

We have a choice to accept the Lord Jesus and His work of redemption and be saved. All those who reject His offer of salvation will be destroyed.

God bless you.

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