Who is our God? What is He like?
He is a covenant-keeping God.
In Genesis chapter nine we read about a promise that God made to Noah, and ultimately to all who would come forth from his seed. This promise came in the form of a covenant. In verse nine it states:
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
According to Webster, a covenant is a “formal, mutual agreement between two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing.” The Hebrew word that is translated as covenant in our Bible is “beriyt” and describes an “agreement, alliance or pledge.” In the case of this particular covenant, it was a promise to forbear from destroying the world again by a flood. What an amazing pledge, and what a testimony to the merciful nature of God.
If you think about the reason for the flood, to destroy mankind in his wickedness from off the face of the earth, you soon realize that the judgment did nothing to eradicate sin at a fundamental level. Sin was still very real and present on the earth. The presence of sin cannot be escaped in this world. As soon as Noah and his family stepped off of the ark, we see sin immediately rear its ugly head in the heart of both Noah and Ham. So, if this covenant, this pledge demonstrates anything about the nature of our God, it is this… He doesn’t deal with man according to his sin. He forbears to act in swift judgment. This covenant is a testimony to His goodness and mercy in our lives!
How often should the world have been wiped out because of sin? How needed is a cleansing from the filth and wickedness that exists in the heart of man? How soon we forget that, were He a swift and merciless judge, we should have been destroyed long ago?
I close with this reminder… He said that this is His covenant with us; His pledge to us. He said, “I will establish MY covenant with you…” He has, of His own will and desire decided to show us mercy, when we deserve judgment. Don’t ever forget Who He is:
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (Micah 7:18)
Behold our God!