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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”—Genesis 9:16 (NKJV)
A covenant is a solemn agreement or promise of God. It’s something that is founded and grounded in God’s Word to mankind. But while words are the foundation of God’s covenants, they are also accompanied by a sign that serves as a visible reminder to those the covenant is given to.
If you remember, God made a covenant with Noah that he and his family would be saved from the flood’s destruction. That was a wonderful promise, but it was accompanied by the presence of the ark, which would act as the practical means by which they would be saved (Genesis 6:18).
We see the continuation of this pattern here as God makes another covenant with Noah (and all humanity for that matter) that He will never again destroy the earth by water. Notice how God again attaches a visible sign to this promise, the rainbow . . . a continual reminder of God’s mercy and faithfulness to spare the earth from another global flood, despite the fact that there’s enough water on earth to submerge all land up to two and a half miles!
The point is that while God wants us to trust in His Word, He also gives us a visible reminder to reinforce our trust in His promises to us. They don’t take the place of faith, but they serve to reinforce our faith in His Word.
This pattern doesn’t end with Noah. There’s a new covenant that God has made with mankind . . . not to save us from the destruction of floodwaters, but to save us from the tide of sin and even death!
This covenant is founded on the promise that all who believe God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to remove the guilt and punishment of their sin will be forever forgiven and inherit eternal life in heaven with Him. But Jesus gave us a sign to accompany this covenant each time we partake in communion, representing His sacrifice for us: “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many” (Matthew 26:28 NLT).
Whether a rainbow in the sky or the communion elements in our hands, signs are never the basis for our faith, yet God gives them to reinforce our faith in His Word.
DIG: What accompanies God’s covenants?
DISCOVER: Why does He do this? How might this change the way you view communion going forward?
DO: The next time you take communion, reflect on the promises of the Lord through Jesus.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.