A Covenant with a Sign
God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:12-15).
God’s covenant with Noah’s family is the earliest known example of a covenant or contract between two parties. Dictionary.com defines a covenant as “an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.” An agreement is a contract which cannot be broken. It binds the two parties to a specific action with commitment and accountability. It builds trust, hope and belief in a relationship. A covenant assures the completion of the things agreed upon.
In life we make many covenants, some we are able to live up to them, some we could not. We make a covenant with our work, other people, our marriage, and even with our own selves such as our goal, our health, our personal growth and professional development. God’s covenant with Noah is to be eternal, permanent, secured and completed. Looking closer to this covenant there are three essential parts in it: A covenant to the other party (Noah’s family and living creatures, the earth), a covenant to self (God), and a sign or power (the bow) that enforces and assures the completion of the covenant between the parties. The Noahic covenant is first a self-contract. God initiated and voluntarily made a covenant to God-self, then to Noah’s family and all living creatures and it was enforced by the bow, a constant reminder of the covenant that it would never be broken. The best example of this is our marriage covenant in which the ring helps to enforce and assure of a lasting relationship.
Is there a covenant you have made to yourself and to others? Is there a sign to enforce your commitment and completion? Perhaps you have made a covenant with your church, or your spouse, your family, your work, your neighbors, your community, your health, your goal, and even your God. During this Lent, if you do not have covenant, take a moment to think about one and a sign that would help you to complete it. God made a covenant with us through the Noahic covenant… not to destroy humanity ever again by flood with a sign. God is committed to this covenant to save all people and living creatures and the covenant is assured by the bow, and in Jesus Christ. It is my hope that you will find something good to covenant to yourself and/or to the greater good of all people, not only during Lent but permanently.
God of Noah and all creation, I pray to you for the covenant I made with you and others. May you be the sign that helps me and constantly reminds me to be faithful to the covenant I have made with you and all others. Thank you for your great example and the covenant you made for the good of the world. In Jesus name, Amen.