Tuesday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Genesis 9:1-19 (NKJV)
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.
Our reading for today jumps from the fall of Adam and Eve to shortly after the great flood where we hear God bestowing His blessing upon Noah and his sons.
With all the evil we hear and see in the world today, it may be difficult for us to believe there was a time when mankind was so evil that God sent a flood to destroy all the people of the world except for Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives. We tend to look back in time and see life as being somewhat more pristine than it is today. Only a few decades ago, sins, such as homosexuality, pornography, and abortion, to name a few, would have brought shame and embarrassment upon those who committed them. Today, they are proffered as virtuous and even godly. Even the rainbow, the sign of God’s promise that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh,” has been taken over by the LGBT crowd as a symbol for their perversion.
What we need to understand about sin is quite simple: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” Such clear words from God condemn us all. Though we may see ourselves as better than others in some, even many ways, before God we are guilty as anyone else.
Our only hope is to trust in Christ as did Noah and his family. They were saved from the flood because of the faith God had given them. By God’s grace we are now saved by the water of Holy Baptism and the faith He has given to us to believe in His Son, Jesus.
Father, I thank you for the washing of regeneration. Amen.