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I’m gonna invite you to Genesis. Chapter nine is where we’re at together today, Genesis chapter nine. And we’re going to be talking about second chances because after a catastrophic flood, when you survived, that’s what you talk about second chances. There’s a purpose to your life and God wants you to know that purpose. And he is certainly a God of second chances, and we find him as a god of second chances, really. In how Chapter eight concluded as we get into Chapter nine. So at the end of the flood, if you remember, as Noah comes out of the boat, he makes a sacrifice to the Lord. And in verse 21, at the end of Chapter eight, it says something interesting about the Lord and his response to humanity. It said, And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice that Noah made. And he said to himself, I will never again curse the ground because of the human race. And look at this. Even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood, I will never again destroy all living things. So here’s the Lord after the Noahic flood. And I hope you’ve caught the pattern to this point. But God is reminding us like He’s just brought a flood and that’s still not even going to correct us. Like, what’s wrong with humanity rests within us, which is different than we typically describe humanity in culture and our culture.
We like to say things like, Well, they’re good. They just kind of do some bad things. But the Bible says actually the opposite of that. We’re bad and anything good, good comes out of us. It’s it’s of the grace of God that makes that known. Our hearts are deceitful and wicked. What what our problem is, is not just simply our behavior, but rather God needs to do a complete transformation within us so it transforms the life without us or beyond us. Right? And so God is acknowledging that here, that the brokenness and humanity doesn’t rest and simply our behavior. It’s deep within our soul, that we need transformation in our heart. I know some people will look at that and simply say, well, what about religious people? Religious people? They do good, right? And and I would just say, well, the motivation of the heart on the outside might look good, but but on the inside, determining why they’re doing things matters because what you find oftentimes is even in religion, the purpose for which motivates people to do anything is not ultimately about because I just simply want to give God glory. But in the religious system that they operate in, they understand by doing certain things, helps them to motivate themselves. So even religion comes with this, this motivating purpose of elevating me and getting what I want and simply using God as a tool or a leverage so I can get ahead and and get to the place that I desire to be.
Even Jesus and Matthew Chapter 5 to 7. When he gave the famous Sermon on the Mount Jesus is speaking to the most religious people on the planet, and Jesus is helping them recognize it’s not just based on your performance, but what rests in your heart. And Jesus says, you have heard it said you shouldn’t murder, right? And yeah, you shouldn’t murder. But he also says he who has had anger in his heart has already committed murder, meaning the seed that produces murder is found in the anger of our own heart and destroying other people. So the problem isn’t just simply on your behavior. And by the way, if you haven’t murdered today, I’m happy you haven’t murdered. But but also, it’s to understand that the motivation behind it is birthed out of anger. And all of us are guilty. And Jesus goes on and says, you may not have stolen, but if you’ve coveted the the seed of being a thief, rest within your heart. You may not have committed adultery, but you’ve lusted. And so Jesus is helping us understand that the brokenness of humanity rests within us. But one of the beautiful things we learn about the character of God here is that his character is in contingent on what we do. It’s based on who he is, and God’s going to remain consistent with his character despite humanity, and in that God provides for us opportunity that out of the chaos that is our self, God provides a place to continue to experience His grace.
He is a God of second chances. Another verse to consider is Jeremiah 17 nine, where it tells us the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked who can know it? And in saying in Jeremiah 17 that we even surprise ourselves at the depth of our own depravity, that we need the grace of God in order for our lives to to be transformed. And in this passage, God is bringing us to that place of reset, a place to kind of wake us up. It was the the great philosopher and theologian Mike Tyson that once said, Everyone’s got a plan till you get punched in the mouth, right? And then it’s out the window and you got to rethink it. And and this is where we’re at in this passage of scripture to help us understand the the problem within our own heart, that we can approach God with a proper understanding of who we are in light of who he is. And one of the things that gives us that beautiful privilege is to know God is a personal God. One of the one of the beauties of Christianity is to see how personal our God is. It really sets him apart from any other religious teaching in this world. And in Genesis chapter nine, verse one, this is where God starts with Noah.
And he says, And God bless Noah and his sons and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. You would recognize in this passage, God is going all the way back to really the beginning of. Genesis Chapter one to retell the story of why we were made and the opportunity of second chances that out of chaos, God would bring His grace and order to our world. That despite what’s happening around us, we can still pursue God and honor Him and and the life that we lead. And God didn’t owe anything to us. But yet he’s given us that opportunity to do it. And he demonstrates it through this word bless. God blessed Noah. This idea of blessing continues to speak to a personal God, right? The reason we have Scripture today is God desires to make himself known that you may know him and walk with him in relationship. And this was demonstrated by God from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, in Genesis chapter one, he creates with a purpose and and we find that divine design in humanity when he creates us to know him in relationship. God made us in his image unique than any other creature God has designed. He has made you for relationship with him and even in being made in relationship. While mankind rejected God over and over, God continued to pursue us from the first sin.
In Genesis chapter three with Adam and Eve. God didn’t give up on Adam and Eve when they ran away. God pursued Adam and Eve and God continues. We see throughout these chapters of Genesis to pursue us that we may walk with him in relationship to the point when you get to the to to the New Testament, we see that God becomes flesh and dwells among us. It tells us in John chapter one, verses 1 to 18 that the Word of God who is Jesus becomes flesh and dwells among us, and we beheld His glory. In fact, in Colossians two nine, it tells us the fullness of God dwells in Jesus in bodily form. Meaning if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus because Jesus is God in the flesh and in seeing God in the flesh. It’s again God connecting to us personally that we can know him, see him, and not not just know him personally, but also we see how God, God gives his life for us, that we can find freedom from our sin and be able to enjoy that relationship with God for all of eternity. God is a is a personal God. In another way, God desires to make himself personally known is through humanity. And what I mean is you being made in the image of God become the expression, the reflection of God in this world, that as God has made you in his image, he’s giving you character qualities, qualities to reflect the goodness of who he is.
And when you align your life with the Lord, you get the privilege to to do that, to to live in light of that and respond in this world, to bless this world, not to destroy this world. In fact, in Genesis nine, verse two and three, we’re reminded of the strength of humanity that in your strength you’re made dangerous. But what you do with that determines whether that danger is for good or for evil. And Genesis nine two The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens and upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the flesh of the sea into your hand. They are delivered every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. This is where you get to the end of this verse and you thank the Lord for bacon and tacos. Right? Thank you. Thank you for this delicious food. But here’s here’s what he wants us to recognize in choosing to respond in second chances. Point number one in your notes, consider your relationship with creation. You see, in verse two, it’s reminding us now that that the beast of the field have this fear of humanity, that God has called us to be fruitful and multiply and care for this world.
But the beast of the field have this this fear of humanity. And it’s not misplaced. It’s to understand that human beings left unto themselves. When they live for their glory. They tend to treat other things like tools, whether it be other human beings or other things. In creation, we use things as tools for our glory apart from God. But when we connect ourselves to the Lord, we respond by by living for God’s glory in this world to the benefit of others. And so this idea of of these living beings is a reflection that God has made you strong. And in being strong, you’re made dangerous. And how you choose to respond to that is a demonstration of what you’re honoring, whether it be for yourself to the detriment of all other created things, or it be for God’s glory, to the to the blessing of of others. And in terms of these animals, as it’s describing, it seems like in this passage, he’s he’s painting this dominance of humanity over over the rest of creation and and the animals to their destruction. But what you find as you read throughout the rest of this passage is not to dominate and destroy, but rather to bless and to live. And you see this communicated to you in in verse nine and ten, verse 12, verse 13, verse 16. I want to look at it for just a moment, but it says to us in verse nine, regarding regarding the rest of creation, the God’s desire is for us to consider our relationship to the rest of creation.
And in verse nine, he says, Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you. And I know this isn’t on the screen, but listen to this again in verse 12, to all of creation, God says, and God said, This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you. He goes on in this passage in verse 13, he says, I have set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and all of the earth. And verse 16, when the bow is in the clouds, I will set it and remember that everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. God’s desire out of the brokenness and the sinful curse that is on this world is that you be a reflection of His glory. To understand your place in creation, to honor God and to connect personal Creator God to the world around you, you become the stand between between heaven and earth. When you understand your relationship with the Lord. And God is saying in this passage, He desires to make a covenant which will deal with in a minute.
But through that covenant, it’s not just humanity that’s blessed, but rather all of creation. God desires to bless. In fact, even in the New Testament, in the Book of Romans, Chapter eight, Paul writes this. He says that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole of creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now, and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption of sons, the redemption of our bodies. I happen to think God did a wonderful job in creating our world. It is a beautiful world that we live in. I mean, you get to look at the mountains every day. It’s like a postcard, isn’t it? You just wake up and look outside. It’s a beautiful sight. And then to think and this creation, as beautiful as it is, is under a curse. But he acknowledges that creation groans under this curse, that creation itself knows that this wasn’t all it was intended for, that there needs to be freedom to creation. And he acknowledges in verse 23, So we as human beings, we groan within our being because we while we enjoy the life that we’ve been given the grace of God to us, that this isn’t all that you were made for.
And I think our deepest of groanings happens in death, that we, without even having to tell another human being that your life matters and that life matters. In death, we grieve deeply because we know we were made for more. But he also says something interesting in this passage. He says that you’re the first fruits of the spirit, which means it’s acknowledging what Jesus has done for us in his first coming. So that we live for his glory until he returns for his second coming. What it means in being the first fruits is that you’re the first fruits of the promise of the resurrection. That in Jesus’s first coming he gave his life on your behalf, that you could find freedom in Christ. And in so doing, the the Bible promises us you’ve been sealed for adoption in Ephesians one. You’ve been sealed by the Spirit of God. And that spirit of God is a promise and a guarantee that you will enter into eternity in relationship with the Lord, that you will be with him face to face forever. And so the Spirit of God brings us freedom until the return of Christ, when He redeems all of creation. And at His second Coming, Jesus is bringing judgment over all of sin as he renews all of creation. The importance of his first coming was to bring you freedom from that judgment.
Because if God came in His second Coming without offering you freedom in the first coming, you would have been caught in the judgment of God by by coming to the cross and giving His life for you. You have the promise of the first fruits, because the spirit of God gives you freedom in Jesus. For those who turn to to Christ. And in that position now, it gives you this place between heaven and earth to reflect the goodness of who God is. This God who has made himself known personally to be a blessing because of of your relationship with Christ. So, number one, he wants you to consider your relationship with creation. And number two, he wants you to consider your relationship with humanity. Consider your relationship with humanity. And verse four, he goes on and says, But you shall not eat flesh with its life. That is its blood. And for your life, blood, I will require a reckoning from every beast. I will require it. And from from man, from his fellow man, I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed for God made man in his own image. Let me stop right there for a minute and say this. If you remember in these passages in Genesis particularly, these stories are being shared during the days of Moses. And Moses is seen how from Noah till till his time how things have transpired.
And one of the things that has transpired is this pagan idea of worship through through the stealing of blood of other life forms. And what I mean is it was thought and even still practiced today, believe it or not, in the world, people people think in a broken system of pagan worship that by partaking of the blood of another living creature, you steal its power, you get its life force. And so what Noah is talking about here in the idea of the Lord and Moses is recording for us in Scripture, is they have this thought that if they take the life blood of another animal and drink its blood, they’ll get the power of that animal, it’ll become theirs. And then he moves on, not just from animals, but he also moves on to other human beings, that there is this belief that if they steal the blood from other human beings, that they get to capture its life force because they recognize I know science hadn’t developed far enough in the medical field these days, but they recognize that when something lost too much blood, that it would die. And then the thought came, Well, if we take their blood and make it our blood, then it becomes our strength and we rob them of their strength and we use their life for our glory. And so they’re they’re leveraging their position of how God has created them rather than honor God.
They’re honoring themselves to the destruction of others. And God is reminding us that he creates life sacredly and with purpose. I know it told us in verse two and three, You’re welcome to eat animals, right? I think we live in the most. I don’t know if you want to call it privilege, but opportunity in history where you get more of a meat in your diet regularly than most people that have ever existed In Noah’s Day. Moses’s day animals were looked at as the source to sustain life. You got clothing from animals, you got nutrients from animals, milk from animals. They would sometimes eat animals, but not near what. We did today. If an animal died or was sacrificed, it’s typically when they feasted on meat, but it wasn’t in every meal. But he also reminds us the beauty of life, that God has made life for a purpose, not just simply to rob life. And particularly, he gets to human life because every human being is made in the image of God. And to depreciate human life or to take from human life is to attack creator God who has made everyone in his image. It’s an affront to the Lord, but rather God is saying He wants us to guard the sacredness of life. In fact, some people go to this passage as saying this is the first passage in Scripture where really God has allowed human government to step in for the preservation of life, to take life if someone is killing other people.
And what I mean is this passage is saying to us, look, killing is not wrong, but rather murder is. And if you have someone that becomes a murderer taking other other people’s lives, then in order to protect life, the removing of that life is a privilege given to government for for for protection. And so the right to defend yourself in our Constitution is is birthed out of passages like this because life is sacred and we want to preserve life and honor life because the value of your life is not merited by your behavior, but intrinsically given to you by your creator. You matter because you’re made in the image of God. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from and what you’ve done and what other people have done to you to to shape yourself in his identity. God has a purpose for your life. And you see that honored in this book written by Moses, who was working with slaves, who had been treated like tools, who’ve been devalued and only seen as based on what they can do, not in who they are. But God steps into the the difficulty of that circumstance and reminds them of the beauty of humanity being made in the image of God purposefully, intentionally to connect to Creator God and bless others.
And so he reminds us in this passage. Of that sacredness of life. And how you choose to respond to it matters in the Lord. In fact, in verse seven, it goes on a little further and says, And you be fruitful and multiply and increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it. Again, God is repeating the same thing, He said in Genesis chapter one, verse 22 and verse 28, that we’re not made just to not kill people. I mean, you get the end of verse six, and that could be your conclusion. I’m pretty good. I haven’t murdered right? Like you might get to the end of verse six and and think life is about what you’re not doing. And rather, he’s saying, no, it’s not just about not killing people. It’s not just about not depreciating the value of another human being, but rather it’s about stepping into the purpose for which God has created you to live that out in this world, for His glory, to the benefit of others, to be fruitful. Multiply and bless that as you’re connected to the Lord so you can live it out for that purpose. Right? You understand who you are in creation and understand who you are in humanity. You know, as a pastor, I get the beautiful privilege of walking life with people and just hearing your stories and and how you got to where you are today and how the hand of God’s grace has been in your life.
And as I hear those stories, sometimes I hear very dark stories of where God has brought you through. And I don’t just mean things that you’ve done, I mean things that people may have done to you and how devastating that can be to the soul, to the to the to walk through those things. I mean, some some stories I know within our body are so difficult. I have a hard time even hearing it, let alone knowing someone else lived through it. But can I remind you, God is a God of of beauty from ashes. This is why this this story of of Genesis is about that out of the chaos of creation, out of the darkness of human hearts, that God continues to extend a place of grace and to focus on not what happened to you, but rather what what God has done for you in him. To not let your life be shaped about through your past, but rather let your life be shaped through your future and what you have in Jesus. As I know, every once in a while some things happen to us and we get to that place where we want to prove people wrong and we have this chip on our shoulders and we say to people, Look, I’m going to show you. And, you know, I think sometimes extra motivation can be great. But but can I tell you that if we just simply respond in life with just a chip on our shoulders to prove other people wrong, we’re still demonstrating to them that they have rent in our heads.
Father, Can I tell you what Jesus wants to do in your life and for your life is far better. And what I what I mean by that is it is not wrong to call police or authorities if something bad has happened to you. That’s why they’re there. But but what I also want us to recognize is the things that happen to us do not define us, but rather they can refine us in our position in Christ. That what happens to us in our life. Jesus is completely aware. He knows of every pain and every struggle we’ve gone through and what God promises to do for us and redeeming all things on our behalf. God. God promises and will do is far better than anything we’re going to do in our own strength. And what I mean is you carrying your anger and frustration and vengeance. It won’t won’t even pale in comparison to what God will ultimately do when he brings justice to this earth. And you have the beautiful privilege of resting in the Lord, not living your life with a chip on your shoulders, but simply saying, and I’ve been completely freed in Jesus. To walk in him and he doesn’t find my value based on what’s happened to me, but based on who I am and in my identity through Christ.
In fact, point number three, in your notes, it goes further and it says this Consider your relationship with God. Consider your relationship with God. Meaning if you’re going to recognize your place to bless this earth as far as creation goes and be a blessing to humanity and relationship to one another, it has to spur out of your relationship with Christ. The motivation behind that is not about meriting God’s love, but rather receiving who you are in Christ through His love. You’re not meriting God’s favor, but relying on the consistency of his character. And Genesis nine becomes that place in verse eight of recognizing the goodness of who God is through this word called covenant. This is the first time in Scripture we’re introduced directly to this word covenant. But the idea of of covenant becomes important to understand your position in relationship to your creator. It says, then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you as many as came out of the ark. It is for every beast of the earth. I will establish my covenant with you that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood.
And never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. God is bringing this covenant, and this is not the first time you’re going to see the word covenant discussed in Scripture. There are multiple times the word covenant is used. Some people say, Well, the idea of covenant really began with Adam and Eve when God established a covenant with them. And for for this reason, God doesn’t owe us anything. But he still gave Adam and Eve the opportunity to know Him. And then he promised after Adam and Eve sinned that opportunity again to continue to know him despite their sin in Genesis 315. And then you come to the story of Noah, and the word covenant is used directly, i.e. you get to the life of Abraham, which we’ll read in a few chapters where God establishes a covenant with Abraham. You see it repeated again with Moses and with David. And finally you get to the New Testament, where you find the New Covenant with Christ, where in the night Jesus was betrayed in Luke 22, verse 20, he says, Take this. This is my body on behalf of you. Do this in remembrance of me and also with the cup. This is the new covenant of my blood. Do this in remembrance of me. The idea of covenant important to your relationship in Christ? The idea of covenant is contrasted to the thought of contract, which is typically how we work in agreements today.
In contracts. If you ever are a part of a contract, there’s two parties they both agree to to give a certain amount in the contractual agreement. And if one person fails to give, the other person is not obligated contract broken. But in this picture of covenant, the idea of covenant is fully giving of yourself to the benefit of someone else. This this covenant is leveraging your life to help someone else. The idea of covenant is grace filled. In fact, looking at Noah. God owed nothing to Noah, yet God chose to provide this covenant of hope to Noah that Noah could have the promise of his position in the Lord and walk freely in it. This idea of covenant gives identity, it gives security, and it gives position in the Lord. And it’s not based on what you do. It’s based on who he is. In fact, there’s a children’s storybook Bible. It’s called the Jesus Storybook Bible. I’ve read this this Bible a few times to all of my kids. It’s if you if you’re reading the Bible for the first time or maybe you’ve been a Christian for a while and you’re like, Man, the Bible still confuses me. Can I just tell you, read the Jesus storybook Bible. I mean, that is a great place to start. It ties the theme of scripture together. And if you’re embarrassed to read a children’s Bible, then find a kid to read it to you.
Okay. But but it’s a it’s a good Bible to understand the big picture of what God desires. And in this Bible, it repeats the idea of covenant love over and over. In fact, Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote the Storybook Bible and she recognized the importance of covenant, love to our relationship with God. And she made it a point to write this this phrase over and over in Scripture. It says this covenant love is God’s never ending, never giving up Unbreaking always and forever love. Let me just say that again, because I think it’s worth it’s worth understanding that if you’re here this morning and you feel like you’re just fighting for God’s love, or if you’re trying to just do your best so that God would care about you. Can I can I just tell you you don’t understand. Covenant, Love. You’ll understand what Jesus has already done on your behalf. Jesus has paid it all. Not that you have to merit anything, but you receive rather what he has given. Bible tells us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places given to you in Ephesians through Christ. Now, when you understand that kind of love, the response of your heart is not about meriting anything from the Lord, but rather walking in it and you realize he’s a god of second chances over and over again. A covenant. Love is God’s never ending, never giving up Unbreaking always and forever love.
And it’s through that love then that we commonly as people create symbols, symbols, or signs to remind us. It’s. It’s good for your soul to find those sort of staples or monuments a place to go back and reflect upon because hard days will come. There may be things that have happened to you in your life and you let the lie of those moments speak into your heart rather than the truth of who God is. And you’ll walk in those lies rather than let the unending love of God be what’s spoken over you. And in Genesis nine, verse 12, this is what happens in the story of Noah. And God said, This is the sign of the covenant that I will make between me and you and every living creature that is with you for all future generations. I have set my bow in the cloud, 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 the flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it. And remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. And God said to Noah, This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.
I know I can say this jokingly, but could you imagine being Noah the second time it rained? If you talk about PTSD. That’s that’s going to be one of those moments. But. But what does Noah get in the midst of the darkness of the cloud? He’s reminded of the goodness of God. That’s the beauty of a symbol of a covenant. We typically don’t think about it until things are hard. And then when things are hard, we want our soul to be reminded of the richness of who God is. And we do this with covenant symbols as human beings, right? Marriage being a covenant of of marriage. We typically use a ring as a symbol of unending love because a circle never ends. That’s a covenant. In terms of the Old Testament, Moses was circumcised or Abraham, excuse me, was circumcised. And again, Moses And it continued on, right? That’s a that’s a sign of the covenant. It’s a reminder in the intimacy of who you are as a human being, the presence of God in the New Testament. We don’t have to do circumcision anymore. In the New Testament. There’s the communion. And communion is a symbol of the new covenant that Jesus has for us. It reminds us of the intimacy that we have with the Lord. The only reason we get to be here today is not because anyone merited anything from God.
You don’t you don’t even have that ability. But rather we get the joy of resting in a new identity that we receive, not based on what we achieve, but what he achieved for us. New covenant of his blood, this unending, this unending love of the Lord. In fact, in Psalm 26 three, I love how it says this. It says, For your steadfast love is before my eyes and I walk in your faithfulness. I love that steadfast love is this is recognizing a love that cannot be pushed over or knocked down. It remains consistent in every storm. And then it says, You want to know how you walk forward. It’s not because of your faithfulness, because no. One you can’t trust in that very far. You’ll sin, but rather it’s in the faithfulness of God. It’s the consistency of who he is that even gives you the privilege to breathe today and know your creator and through that, then honor others and all of creation that the only reason we’re able to do anything related to these first two points is because of everything God is in this last point and understanding who he is, then it gives us the privilege to to be able to move forward in the Lord. And ultimately, when we think in terms of the sign of the covenant, like if we say to ourselves, okay, no, I got no, I got the the, the Rainbow and Moses and, and what do we have? And for us, it’s the cross of Christ.
And the darkest of hours and the depth of our soul. What we need to be reminded of is what Jesus did for us on a very personal way that we can find freedom in him. And it wasn’t because of anything that I have done righteously, but rather the only thing I did for for the freedom is doing the sinning I did, the sinning that led Jesus to the cross. But in the cross. There is the consistent steadfast love. His faithfulness made known throughout all of history from the story of Genesis. Up until that moment, Jesus had promised that he was coming and he was coming. I love even in the Gospels, when you read The Life of Christ and those final days of Jesus’s life, when he’s journeying to Jerusalem, it describes in the Gospels that the rest of the disciples follow, but at a safe distance. They’re like, We know what’s going to happen here, right? Like, we don’t want to be near him, but we just want to kind of stand in the back and cheer him on. But Jesus boldly. Boldly walks into Jerusalem. And why? For you and for me. Steadfast, faithful love. It’s that love then leads that leads us to respond. It’s not because we love God, therefore he loves us, but rather in first.
John 419 It says Because he loved us. We love him. It’s that love that motivates our soul to respond for his glory in this world. Because we know in Him we don’t compete for our worth. Rather we discover it. Secure identity in Jesus, and this challenges our motivation. Remember I said in the beginning, sometimes we think, what about religious people or religious people? Good. And they look, they’re certainly doing good. But Jesus taught us something completely different in the Sermon on the Mount, because what needs fixed isn’t our behavior, but rather our heart. And if our hearts transform, so goes our life and even our motivation. Though it may look good on the inside, we know whether or not it’s for our own glory or his. Which reminds me of the story. I’ll share this in one final verse in close. But there was a Charles Spurgeon tells the story of a of a farmer and a rancher, and the farmer obviously grew carrots and the rancher obviously bred some horses. But one day this farmer, he’s walking out on his farm and and he recognizes within this the field there is this massive, incredible carrot. The farmer thought, Wow, I’ve never seen or grown a carrot like this before. This is incredible. And so he thought to himself, you know, I really want to give this away as a gift to bless someone. That’s been a blessing to me.
And so immediately the farmer thought, Wow, I think I should give this to the king. The king has been a great king. This is a gift only a king is worthy of. So I want to take it to the king. So the farmer did. He went to the king and he just wanted to honored the king because the king had been such a blessing to him, out of out of love, of experiencing the blessing of that. King He just wanted to respond back with love towards him. And the king took the gift from the farmer and looked at him and said, Farmer, this is incredible. Wouldn’t you know it? I just happened to own a plot of land beside you, and I’m not doing anything with it. I also want to give you this plot of land and response, and I want you to take that plot of land and continue to be the incredible farmer that God made you to be. And the farmer was blown away. He just wanted to give a carrot. And now here he is walking away with a plot of land. But in that room there was another individual overhearing the conversation, and it was the rancher. And the rancher thought to himself, Hmm. The farmer got more land. I know what I’ll do. And so the next day, the rancher shows up with his prized horse and he comes to the king, and he says To the King, King, Out of all the horses I’ve ever bred and all the horses I’ve ever raised, this is the greatest horse I have ever owned.
And you being a great king, I want to gift you this horse. And the the king looked back at the rancher and he realized what the rancher was doing because he knew the rancher was present with his conversation with the farmer the day before. So the king looked at the rancher and he just grabbed the horse and said, Thank you. And he just walks away. The rancher is obviously a little frustrated to lose his prized horse and starts to say something to the king in which the king then turns back to the rancher and says, Do you know why I didn’t give you anything in response? He said yesterday. The farmer gave me the carrot to honor me. But you’re just giving me the horse to honor yourself. Whose glory do you live for? The idea of the story of Genesis Chapter nine is to remind us the covenant, grace of God that we have the privilege of walking in for His glory, not our own. Because what we have in the Lord is far greater than anything you could ever achieve in your own effort. But to rest in that identity and to walk in the goodness of his hand. In fact, the rest of Genesis, I just have to give you a summary of this.
But if you look at the the latter half of this story, you’ll find that out of Noah. Noah had three sons, Shem Ham and Japheth. But remember, we’re telling the story during the days of Moses, and Moses has seen how out of the lineage of Shem, Ham and Japheth the goodness of God was made known or the sinfulness of man. And what you find in the story is right after the Noahic flood, Noah decides he’s going to build a vineyard, get drunk, he gets drunk, he gets naked. I don’t. I don’t. That’s what happens in the story. I guess your Bible heroes have bad, bad flaws within them, too, right? No. He follows the Lord and righteousness, and then all of a sudden he gets drunk and he’s asleep and naked in a tent. All of a sudden, his son Ham, comes into the tent. You don’t really know what happens in the story. You can just kind of speculate what happens. But whatever happens, the next day, Noe wakes up ticked or he’s hanging over and tick. That’s how he wakes up. And he and he comes and he talks to his three sons. And what you find in these three sons is ham is cursed and Shem and Japheth are blessed. And I think that the story of Shem, Shem, ham and Japheth is a reminder of what happens to these three individuals as they move from this story.
One choosing to not walk with the Lord and the other choosing at some points to walk with God. But during Moses’s day now, as the story is being told out of the line of Ham comes the Canaanites, the Babylonians, the Philistines, Sodom and Gomorrah. This becomes a civilization that were nothing but a thorn into the sides of Israel, and the mark of their life was one of being cursed because they walked a life contrary to the Lord. This doesn’t mean every every Canaanite or anyone that comes out of ham was necessarily cursed, but rather they represented the eyes of cursing because they choose to follow a path that wasn’t in connection to the Lord and His covenant grace. And Sham becomes the lineage of Jesus. And the story is being told in the time of Moses. Now that all these generations have transpired as a way to say Israel to Israel and what you do from this day forward matters. It matters not only to you, but it matters to creation. It matters to the people around you. It matters to the generations that follow after you. The way you honor the Lord with your life can be a blessing, or it can be a cursing. And it all is discovered in how you root yourself in the identity of his covenant of grace, not based on what you do, but what he’s done for you.