In Awe and Wonder: promise

Have you ever been fascinated by the swing of a pendulum or found yourself mesmerized by “perpetual motion toys” as a child (or as an adult, if we’re being honest)? The “Drinking Bird,” Newton’s Cradle, Spinning Top, and the Gyroscope to name a few!

Not only did these toys captivate our attention, we also learned a little about physics in the process. We may not have known the terms kinetic energy, gravity, centrifugal force, and magnetic force but we experienced them. We’d all become scientists/inventors trying to make the impossible possible as we aimed to keep the toys in perpetual motion.

One problem: perpetual motion is impossible. In our plane of existence, there is no way to remove all external forces and inevitably the toy comes to a stop.

While perpetual motion may not be possible, it’s quite a different story when it comes to trajectory of sin. Once sin entered our story, it didn’t stop and it seems the effects of sin would not end. Genesis 6:11 says, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” From the first sin of Eve and Adam came far-reaching effects that pervaded all creation!

No matter the good intentions or the amount of effort expended… sin kept working through all the earth. There seemed to be no stopping sin.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse… well, it does. But just as we saw yesterday, the bad news is worse than we thought but the good news is still better than we imagined!

Because God didn’t leave us to be forever subject to the law of sin and death.

Genesis 6 declared the dire state of the world: (v12) “for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” And God speaks to Noah, one found to be blameless among the people of his time, and God pronounces judgement: a flood will destroy the people and the earth. That wasn’t the end of the story, God had a plan.

In Genesis 6 we read God chose Noah and made a covenant, a promise with his family to save creation in an inexplicably awe inspiring way: through the ark. A boat, that Noah had to build, even where there wasn’t any visible reason to need a HUGE boat… at least no reason anyone could see. But God told Noah to build and Noah obeyed.

And here we sit in the wonder of it all… because without God’s intervening plan put into action through Noah… well, no one would have been saved. No one had the understanding, foresight or preparations needed in that perfect junction in time to know the heart of the matter for humanity, understand the impending judgment, or have put the necessary plan into action. The salvation from a flood no one knew was coming needed to be a boat that no one knew needed to be in existence. But God knew, God provided, and God promised.

16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

Genesis 9: 16-17

In that moment God already knew the evil that was to come; God knew that humanity would be unable to remain faithful; God knew that this covenant would ultimately lead right to the cross… and He made that promise.

Because that flood and the ark… it didn’t stop the continued progression of sin. But God stayed faithful and true to His word to provide the only action that could stop the inevitable consequence of sin. And the ark? It points us to keep looking forward to the time, place and person who would be the true refuge and salvation from the ravages of sin and the judgment yet to come.

And here I am in awe of God who knew it all, promised His faithfulness, and provided the only way for us to be saved.


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