Tuesday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Posted on December 4, 2018 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 9:1-19 (NKJV)
9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.
4 “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. 7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”
8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10 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. 11 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.”
12 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: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 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. 16 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.”
17 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.”
18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
Genesis 3:15 (from yesterday) contains God’s promised Messiah (Christ) to Adam and Eve (and to all of fallen mankind thereafter). So, likewise, today’s reading bears a promise from God as well. He promised to never again cut off all flesh and destroy the Earth through a flood. And He set His rainbow in the clouds as a covenant.
Sins are clearly excelling today—sometimes appearing worse than the times of Noah. Although various sins may appear to be growing acceptable (if not virtuous) in today’s culture, we, the believing and baptized children of God, must also remember that we have our own sins that we do in thought, word, or deed that add to the depravity of the world. Joyous we are, indeed, to have God’s promise that He will not bring a flood to destroy the Earth again.
As it was with Adam and Eve, along with Noah and his family, so it is with all of mankind—God’s promise is always there, His mercy endures forever! Through His Word and His Word empowered Sacraments forgiveness, life, and salvation are promised, because through those means of grace Christ’s fully atoning merits are promised. Salvation does not come by avoiding certain sins that unbelievers attempt to validate, or that Christians attempt to rank (as if such an avoidance would make anyone better).
It is God’s Word of Law and Gospel that create repentance and belief in what Christ won for us. Through Holy Baptism, Christ’s blood—attached to the water (via His Word)—turns all baptismal waters into a blessed flood and lavish washing away of sin. May God’s use of a rainbow ever remind us of His bringing us to truly live in the ark of His Church.
Pray Psalm 32
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.