Genesis 9:15-16 God’s One-sided Covenant
Agreements, contracts, covenants, arrangements, deals, all of these usually involve at least two parties. These two parties enter into the agreement saying that they will each give and receive something as a result of the agreement. Additionally, there is something in the agreement that says is one party fails to meet their obligations, the agreement is cancelled. I don’t know if you’ve ever through about it this way, but God has made covenants with us little old humans. In Genesis 6 God made a covenant with Noah to protect him, and all that were on the ark, through the flood. it was a two-sided covenant. “If you build it and obey Me, you will be protected and live.” Here in Genesis 9, God makes a one-sided covenant. There is no expectation from God on the part of mankind. God promises to never again destroy all life on earth with water. I imagine that the first few times it rained after the flood that people got a little nervous! It will rain, the waters will rise, but God has promised that they won’t destroy the whole earth again. God is a promise-keeping God. He keeps His word in every covenant He makes. As you read through the word, keep your eyes open for the one-sided promises of God and how He has been faithful to fulfill them.
Psalm 13 Are We There Yet?
“Are we there yet?” There is nothing that energetic kids hate more than sitting in a plane, train, or automobile for hours on end. It’s torture for them, especially when the batteries in their gizmo are dead (it’s not that easy on the parents either!). As we get older and experience more of life’s more difficult challenges, the same kind of feeling surfaces albeit multiplied many times over. We essentially cry out to God, “Are we there yet?” “How long, O Lord?” It can feel like we are being ignored and that this “trip” is going to take forever. We can feel ignored at times. However, as with the long car trip, we eventually arrive at our destination. We do eventually hear the words, “We’re there!” The trouble passes, God answers us, He puts up with our impatience, and we again realize that God never stopped caring. Now if we could just remember that before we get into the car…
Matthew 7:1-2 Condemnation vs. Discernment
If there are any verses or if there is any concept that believers and non-believerse alike misuse when facing correction, it is this one. Remember Jesus’ audience. These were people who sat under, for the most part, very legalistic teachers. It was all about rules and performance. If you didn’t meet the standard you were condemned. You were judged. The kind of judgement Jesus is talking about is the kind that condemns. That’s what the language means. Pronouncing final sentence kind of judging and condemnation. That is a far cry from the thing we are commanded to do in the New Testament, which is to keep an eye on one another, to lovingly point out sin, to correct one another. That is called discernment. Yet, when we do approach a brother or sister who is sinning, they play the “judge not lest ye be judged” card. There is a difference between condemnation and discernment. To judge/discern someone’s behavior to be contrary to God’s will and approach them with love and humility is a Biblical mandate. To judge/condemn someone out of a holier-than-thou heart is what Jesus is addressing here. When the time comes for your to give or receive correction, check your own heart first and seek the Lord for the appropriate response.