This being our main Harvest Thanksgiving Service there will be opportunity to donate appropriate produce to the work of the Foodbank and using the envelopes provided a financial donation can be made to the work of the Baptist Missionary Society in support of their “life’s first cry” ministry
How many covenants are there in the Bible?
Some say one (the covenant of grace); some say two (the Old & New); while others say five (Noah, Abraham, Moses, David & Jesus the Messiah.)
What is a covenant?
It is a binding agreement between two parties, with the stronger party dictating the terms which can either be accepted or rejected by the weaker party. It is more than a contract, with God being a covenant making as well as a covenant keeping God.
God’s covenant with Noah.
God was grieved and pained that men and women had rebelled against him particularly in the areas of Sex (Genesis 6 v 1 – 4) and Savagery (Genesis 6 v 11.) So he decided to wipe all living creatures from the face of the earth in a gigantic flood. Apart that is from Noah and his family (Genesis 6 v 8), and two of every kind of creature, who would be protected from the flood waters by floating upon them in a huge ark.
When the flood waters eventually receded and Noah disembarked, God did what he had earlier promised (Genesis 6 v 18) and he made a covenant with his servant, in which by way of promise he committed himself to two principles:-
1 – The Sustaining of life (Genesis 8 v 22.)
As long as the earth existed, God remained committed to his creation in terms of providing all that would be needed to sustain the human race.
2 – The Survival of life (Genesis 9 v 11.)
God promised that despite humanities propensity towards wickedness, never again would he destroy humankind by means of a flood.
The Sign of the covenant.
As a reminder to God, not to us, to keep his promise, he set a rainbow in the sky (Genesis 9 v 13) as a sign of his over arching care for his creation, with a rainbow only ever being mentioned on three other occasions in the Bible (Ezekiel 1 v 28 & Revelation 4 v 8 & 10 v 1.)
Although the covenant was unconditional, meaning that God would always keep his side of the bargain, irrespective of how human beings reacted, he does call forth from us by way of a response respect towards:-
The Sanctity of life (Genesis 9 v 2 – 6.)
Animals can be eaten, but they are to be respected in terms of the way in which they are slaughtered; while human life is not to be taken (Genesis 4 v 1 – 16) because we have been made – “in the image of God.”
Challenge – Are you respecting the sanctity of life?
What was the purpose of this covenant?
God is committed to the sustaining and survival of the human race, and is willing to persevere, because he wants to draw people into relationship with himself, that his spiritual family might increase.
Challenge – Have you experienced the very reason for your creation, namely to enjoy a relationship to God?
Theme: “The rainbow of relationship”
Reading: Genesis 9 v 1 -17
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Marion Brenchley