Great Is His Faithfulness

great_is_thy_faithfulness5Pre-flood 

“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 7:2-3) 

Post-flood 

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:20-22) 

The LORD loves the smell of a good BBQ, especially when they are burnt offerings. The burnt offering represented the worshiper giving his/her entire life to God in worshipful devotion. It was a sacrifice which was wholly consumed upon the altar. As Noah offered these sacrifices, they were a “soothing” aroma to Him (restful, i.e. pleasant- Strong’s Dictionary). After the work of judgment, these sacrifices were a welcome thing to the LORD. 

Today, true believers offer their bodies to God as living sacrifices, not dead ones. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2) 

At the flood’s end, God promised to never again destroy every living thing. God derives no pleasure from the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) and loves mercy more that He loves justice (Micah 7:18; Ephesians 2:4-7; 1 John 4:7-9). 

Rather, He promised that there would be consistency that mankind could rely upon year after year. There would be predictable times of sowing and reaping, predictable seasons, and predictable times of day and night. All this was that human beings would know His faithfulness and rejoice in who He is. 

Summer and winter
And springtime and harvest
Sun moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love 
 
(Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness, verse two. Lyrics, Thomas O. Chisolm; Music: William M. Runyan) 
 

For Further Review 

1.  Why were the sacrifices of Noah a soothing aroma to the LORD? What does this tell us about His nature?

2.  What does it mean to offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice? Believer, have you remembered to do that today?

3.  Think about the lyrics to “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” How do these lyrics represent the truths of today’s passage?

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