Monday, September 8, 2014

God's Promises

Have you ever wondered how bad, how evil man was for God to want to destroy all humanity, every living thing? Have you then looked at our world today and wondered how God feels about mankind now?
I have and it worries me some. According to the writer of Genesis God promised to never destroy every living thing on earth with water. But the state of the world today does give me pause and make me wonder.
Water is so necessary to our existence that it’s hard to imagine it being used by God to destroy his creation. And yet just last week some places received so much rain that flood warnings were issued, rivers were cresting and people had to evacuate their houses.
It’s hard for me to imagine what it must have been like when the earth was deluged with water for 40 days and nights. Can you imagine what it was like to see nothing but water everywhere you looked? Maybe that’s why Noah didn’t open the windows of the ark until later.
After 40 days it quit but then it all had to go back to where it had come from and that took a while. Eventually the water receded and the boat came to rest on a mountain. After a period of time and a few birds being sent out the door of the ark was opened and everything and everyone came out.
Life began all over again. Noah offered a sacrifice from the ‘clean’ animals and God found the odor pleasing. Then he declared that never again would he destroy the earth. He made a covenant with Noah and his family. The sign of the covenant was the multi-colored arc in the heavens after a rain. The rainbow is a reminder to God, and to us, of this covenant.
So, what about now? For as long as I can remember the earth has been pretty stable. But in the last 10 years or so there’s been a lot of talk about climate change. The blame has been placed on damage to the ozone layer that has been caused by some chemicals that man has produced or from too many cattle being on feed. It depends who you listen to.
That’s not the only change that been taking place. Some animals are nearing extinction. Some insects are dying off. Should we worry about that or will God intervene and fix the problem? What do you believe?
If man is abusing the environment will God let it continue or will God step in? What do you think? Is it possible that we, mankind, could do something that would annihilate all living creatures and not destroy the earth? Should we care?
This creation is balanced. Everything in creation needs everything else in creation. Today it sounds and looks as if everything is getting out of balance, out of kilter, kind of like a washing machine trying to spin when the load isn’t put in evenly.
And who are the ones affected the most by the ecological imbalances? It’s the poorest and the least informed who suffer the most. The people with the power and the money can move and protect themselves against ‘acts of God.’
The story of Noah is a reminder to us that when things get out of balance we have a responsibility to work to correct the problems. We are all in this together with our brothers and sisters all over the world. And we’re in this together with every animal and every plant on this earth. If they’re suffering eventually we will too if we don’t take steps to fix the problems.
So, before we all just throw up our hands and toss in the towel remember that we’re not in this alone. As God told Moses, “I will be with you.”
God was with our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Noah and God is with us today.
We don’t think of this often enough but everything we do has an impact on our environment, physically and spiritually. How we take care of our little piece of the world does affect us and those who are our neighbors.
My friends, be reminded today of God’s covenant to never destroy the earth again with water and his promise to always be with us in everything we do. Give thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ, who came so that we could be saved from a life of torment and instead be welcome into the kingdom of God as children of God.

Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.

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