Monday, February 23, 2015

Signs of God's goodness

rainbow bridge
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 9:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the clouds, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.'" Genesis 9:12,13

Here we read of God giving the rainbow as a sign or token of His promise to never again destroy earth and its creatures in the way He did in the flood. What a genius sign—beautiful, visible at one time or another to everyone on earth, and simple enough for even a child to appreciate. However, this is only one message in the sign language between God and mankind. Here are some others:

  • God told Abraham to circumcise all his male offspring. This was the sign of the covenant between God, Abraham, and his descendants - Genesis 17:1, 4-11.
  • The blood on the doorposts of the Israeli homes in Goshen the night before the Israelites left Egypt was a No Admittance sign to the death angel - Exodus 12:13.
  • Purging their houses of leaven and eating only unleavened bread for seven days was a sign of the importance of obeying God's instructions (His law) and His abhorrence of sin - Exodus 13:9.
  • Redeeming the firstborn was another reminder of God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt - Exodus 13:16.
  • Aaron's rod budding was a sign to the rebellious Israelites that the Levites were the people God had chosen to lead them - Numbers 17:10.
  • A dove descending on Jesus at His baptism was a sign of the Holy Spirit - Matthew 3:16. John the Baptist explained it as a sign of the One who had the ability to baptize others with the Holy Spirit - John 1:33.

I think we can view these signs as clues in the mystery of God's intentions toward humanity.

  • The rainbow tells us it's His intention to preserve earth and the humans on it.
  • Circumcision shows that God's plan will involve a certain race of people, through whom He will bless all earth's nations.
  • The blood on the doorposts and the redemption of the firstborn show that this preservation is costly.
  • Cleansing the house of leaven and eating only unleavened bread for seven days shows God's abhorrence of sin. (Leaven is often depicted in the Bible as a symbol of sin - Matthew 16:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.)
  • Aaron's budding rod illustrates the importance of following God-appointed leaders.
  • The dove descending on Jesus and His ability to baptize with the Spirit is a sign that Jesus is God and that it is through Him we receive new life.

David prays for a sign of God's goodness:
"Show me a sign for good..." -  Psalm 86:17.

Let's make David's prayer our own as we ponder the signs God has given throughout history and the personal signs of His presence and love that He blesses us with in the daily round of life.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for these signs and tokens of Your care for us humans  throughout history. Please open my eyes to signs of Your goodness to me as I go through this day. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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