“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:20-21 (NIV)
I hate that I fall into a habit that I have been struggling to beat, in my life. Like most of us, I find myself asking forgiveness and starting over more often than I would like to admit. I fail to keep promises to eat healthier. I get frustrated and allow anger to build up at times when I should simply forgive and move on. I promise to spend more time reading Scripture or in devotions, and then do not get the time set aside.
Then we come to a verse like we read here in Genesis chapter 8. God gave the promise, a covenant, to never destroy all of humanity and all of the world, by water again. What is perhaps most amazing about this covenant is that God makes this promise, while admitting that our “every inclination is evil.” God knows our weaknesses, our failures, and our impurities. Yet, God holds back the fullness of the divine wrath that we may deserve. This is mercy.
Maybe we all need to stop and think about God’s grace and mercy. We need to think about the reality that God knows everything about us. We cannot hide anything from God. Yet, God’s love is so great that it looks beyond our sins. God’s mercy is so great that Jesus Christ came to pay the price for our sins and restore our relationship with the divine. The reality is that only God can save us and make us new.
May God help us to live in his grace and mercy, and may we pass that grace and mercy on to others.
-Blessings on the journey with Jesus,