Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.” Genesis 8:20-21
Noah’s faithfulness in trusting God and continuing to build the ark pays off. The rain comes. And comes. It comes for 40 days and 40 nights and then stays on the earth 150 days before it was possible to exit the ark.
Noah, his family, and the animals are out of the ark. Do-over time.
The first thing Noah does is build an altar and sacrifice an offering to the Lord. A sacrifice of thanksgiving and dedication of new life.
God makes a promise that He will never again curse the ground or strike down every living creature. He sets a rainbow in the sky as a sign of the covenant between God and the earth and the flesh on the earth.
A covenant is different than a contract. A contract is an agreement between two parties that is mutually beneficial and can be broken by one party, nullifying the contract. This unconditional covenant God made with Noah, however, is different. It is a pledge; a perpetual promise upheld regardless of what the other party does. God is faithful even when we are not.
God makes this promise fully aware that we will all mess up again. And again. And again. But God also knows He already has a plan for that.
It’s a hard thing to think about God destroying everything in Noah’s time, but it is important to know that God does not desire destruction. He desires redemption. He wants things to be set right between us and Him. Sin is destructive, but God is ALWAYS good.
Questions: Do you believe that God is always good? If this is something that is hard for you, take time to pray about it. Bring your thoughts to God. He delights in you coming to Him with your questions. He wants you to know the truth about who He is.