How quickly the fresh start of 2016 can sour! The New Year’s Resolutions that are enthusiastically determined before the old year ends are quietly discarded after the New Year begins. The gym membership that sounded so promising in 2015, now sounds unreasonable in 2016. The promises of quality time with family have succumbed to the pressures and demands of your time. The strained relationships of 2015 seem to pay no regard to the ringing in of a new year. If you were looking for 2016 to solve your problems, you will be disappointed. The answers we seek are not found in a fresh start but in a Faithful Savior. Let us turn our attention to Genesis 9&10 and learn about how Noah’s fresh start quickly soured and how the answer lies in trusting in our faithful God who keeps His promises. Consider:
- The Covenant Renewed (9:1-17). After the flood waters receded, God demonstrated His grace, mercy, and love in renewing His covenant with man. One difference in the renewal is that now “everything that moves shall be food for you.” It is similar in that, like Adam, Noah is told to “be fruitful and multiply”, is told that human life is precious, and is instructed in what is right and wrong. As before, God promised that if Noah would be faithful to listen and obey, he would be blessed. God demonstrated His faithfulness to Noah in a sign, saying: “I have set my bow in the cloud and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and earth.” Take note that God did not promise to keep away the storm clouds, but promised that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
- The Problem Remains (9:18-28). God brought the flood waters as judgment against a sinful world. While the flood removed a vast number of sinful people from the earth, it was unable to purge the world of sin. The devil does not drown and sin is a wicked enemy that takes up residence in the human heart. In this section we see sin is alive and well and visible in Noah’s drunkenness and in Ham’s mockery of Noah’s condition. Noah took a good occupation and sinfully abused it. His son, Ham, took delight in the sin of his father. Instead of taking delight in his father and lovingly helping him out of his shame, he took delight in his father’s shame and added to this shame by ridiculing and mocked him. When Noah discovered it, he uttered a prophetic curse against Canaan.
- The Promise Continues (10:1-32). God knows that sin cannot be stopped with water and it was never His intention to exterminate sin with a worldwide flood. The flood was not an attempt to destroy sin, but to punish sinful people. Sin cannot be destroyed with water, but with blood. God’s faithfulness is demonstrated in the continuation of the godly line of Seth. God is faithful to bring forth the Deliverer promised in Genesis 3:15. From Luke 3, we can see that the promised Deliver (Jesus) descends through Noah, Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, and Peleg. The precious promise of Peleg is that God will keep His promise to bring “a lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
As we saw earlier, the answers we seek are not found in a fresh start but in a Faithful Savior. If you want an effective New Year’s resolution, surrender your life to Christ. As the old hymn states: “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Take your burdens to Christ because He cares for you. Confess your sins and be healed.