by Miriam Rossow
There is a part of God that is hard to understand. There is a part of God that we don’t encounter often and, when we do, the response is fear and uncertainty. There is a part of God that is hidden from us. This part is not evil, as God is not evil. It is hard to understand.
When we read, in my class, the story of Noah we encounter this part of God. A God who after many years of watching His people turn from Him finally, finally, says “Have it your way.”
A God who is sad and grieved by the wickedness of the people. We encounter a God who decides the best thing to do for His creation is to destroy most of it and start over.
Animals and children were destroyed. Plants and land were wiped away. This is not a part of God that we encounter nor do we always understand. In the story of Noah God reveals His judgment on His creation that He had called very good.
In this story He also reveals His love and compassion. He did not destroy the whole creation and give up. He saved one man, his family, and a set of animals showing His love, grace, and faithfulness to us, His beloved creation.
In our lives we sometimes feel as though we are meeting this God–a God of judgment and wrath. This is not the God we are invited to focus on. Through one man, Noah, the creation was saved and through one man, Jesus, the creation was redeemed.
Our theme verse says He has redeemed us, called us by name, and we are His. In times of uncertainty or distress we are invited to look to God’s promises in Jesus. We are invited to focus on the promise that we are His and He will be faithful always to us.
Noah trusted God and followed His command. Through the waters of the flood the earth was reborn. The earth was given a new start. Through the waters of baptism we were drowned and given a new start in Jesus. We trust the promises of God and as we follow Him, He shows His faithfulness in giving us new life.
God put a sign of His promise and covenant in the sky for Noah: a rainbow. Every time we see a rainbow we are reminded of the promise of love and faithfulness that God, no matter how far we wander, will not destroy the earth with waters again.
The rainbow is also a reminder that God keeps His promises. This is the phrase we have on our bulletin board about Noah that the kids helped me make.
The Bible words “Trust the Lord with all your heart” are also important. We can trust with all our heart that God loves us in Jesus.
Remember that God loves us and is faithful to us!