Sunday School Material 9-3-17: The Rainbow

(Genesis 8:20-22; 9:8-17; 9/3/17)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God establishes a covenant with Noah and all living creatures for generations to come. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live as if we appreciate God being a covenant keeper.

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Read Genesis 8:20-22

I. Noah Worships. Noah built an altar to the Lord. He offered animals as a burnt offering. In our Sunday School material, the Lord was pleased with the offering and promised not to curse the ground because of evil people again.

Applications –

- Worshipping God. Notice in vs. 20 that Noah initiated an act of worship, when he got off the ark. First, we should be known for worshipping God. There is more to worship than just showing up at church. We should express our adoration and allegiance to God.

Second, we should give extra worship, when the Lord has done something extra special like bringing us through a big storm. Think about how you worship God when things are well and when things are bad. Do you see any difference?

Third, our worship should include giving. Disciples should be known for paying their tithes and offerings, not as a burnt offering for the ground, but as our way of telling the Lord “Thank You” for all His goodness. Let’s work on worshipping God in meaningful ways.

- Doing your part anyhow. Notice in vs. 21 that God promises there will not be another Earth destroying flood, even though humanity is terribly wicked.

First, we should thank God for not always giving us what we deserve. If God only blessed when we deserved it, we would not be blessed. And if God punished every time we sinned, we would have been destroyed a long time ago.

Second, as God committed to being godly, despite humanity’s evilness, we are called to godly living, despite how others behave. We should not excuse ourselves from living in obedience to God’s word just because others are being mean or negligent.

Let’s work on being so thankful for God’s promises that we obey His calling us to live in obedience to Him, despite what others are doing.

- Rhythm. Notice in vs. 22 that we can count on a rhythm to life. This rhythm includes seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, as well as day and night. This promise should urge us to keep sowing and trusting God for harvest.

This promise should urge us to endure the winters with confidence that summer is coming. And this promise should urge us to do what we must do to get through the night, because after the night comes the day.

Let’s live like we trust God’s promised rhythm. Such living should be known for our dedication to obedience, even when things are rough.

Read Genesis 9:8-11

II. God Promises. In our Sunday School material, God establishes a covenant with Noah, his sons, and all living creatures. God will not allow or send a flood to destroy the Earth. God is the one who establishes the covenant.

Applications –

- The promise for generations to come. Notice in vss. 8-11 of our Sunday School material that God makes His covenant with Noah, his sons, and all living creatures for generations to come. First, we should be thankful that we are a part of the generations to come (i.e., “your descendants after you” vs. 9).

Second, God’s inclusion of all living creatures should not be viewed as all living creatures being as important to God as humanity. However, it does show that God places some value of the other living creatures of the world. Thus, we should be wise stewards of this world, including our treatment of the other living creatures.

Think about how animal cruelty, what we put in the water ways, and what we do to the forests relate to this material. Let’s live like we are thankful for God’s promises to us. This thankfulness should include both thanksgiving towards God and obedience to His wanting us to be wise stewards of this Earth and all living creatures.

Read Genesis 9:12-17

III. Bow Confirms. God talks about a sign of His covenant, in our Sunday School material. The rainbow is a reminder to God. God promises that Earth will not be destroyed by a flood again.

Applications –

- The rainbow. Notice in vss. 13-15 that the rainbow is a sign and reminder. First, it is a sign to us that God will keep His promises. The promise was not that there would be no more deadly floods. The promise was there would not be an Earth destroying flood.

Second, it is a reminder to God. This is figurative language. God doesn’t need reminding like people. However, we would do well to set some reminders in our lives to help us live as we choose to live.

Until we establish strong habits, it is easy to forget or simply don’t do those things that God is calling us to do in the various areas of our lives. Let’s live like we appreciate the sign and reminder associated with the rainbow.

This calls for trusting God when things look bad. And it calls for doing what we need to do to be mindful of God’s will and obeying it.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we appreciate God being a covenant keeper. God has much for those who obey His will.

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