A covenant is a solemn agreement. A promise to do, or not do something.
The form in which we are most familiar with it is marriage.
The promise of one man and one woman to love and care for each other, a commitment.
In this reading, God is making a covenant, a promise – and he seals it, not with a kiss or a ring, but a rainbow.
God makes his promise with Noah and all his descendants – and with every living creature on earth – so no one is excluded.
The promise he makes is:
Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11).
God has done with that, the world had got into such a state that it needed a clean start, God has washed it clean, and he won’t be doing it again. He promises – and gives the rainbow as a sign – and every time there is a rainbow it is a reminder of that promise.
The interesting thing is that though this is a covenant, no promise in return is required from Noah. This is what God is going to do, it is his free will promise to creation. God jut offers it – what an awesome and generous God.
But with receiving God’s precious gifts and promises does come responsibility. Sometimes we may wonder that God has forgotten his promise, when we hear of monsoons and mudslides and flooding caused by torrential rain – but more often it is us collectively, who have forgotten our global responsibility to use wisely the resources God has given to us. We too are called not to drown others by our wants and what we think we need.
God wants not to destroy us, but to give life. Will we receive it? Will we do our bit to make sure we are not destroying others?
God remains faithful to us, will we be faithful to him in how we live our lives?
Thank you God
for your faithfulness to us,
that you offer us life.
the times when I would rather choose the way of destruction,
may I not be drowning others with my thoughtlessness and carelessness.
May I seek the way of your life
and be faithful in it.