Day 5

God’s Covenant with Noah

from the Genesis reading plan

Genesis 9:1-29, Genesis 10:1-32, Isaiah 54:9-10, Hebrews 11:7

BY Sharon Hodde Miller

Recently, I met with someone who was agonizing over a big life decision. She wanted to make the right choice, and she was terrified of making the wrong one. But her fear was not simply about discerning God’s will. It was about disappointing God. Or worse, failing Him. If she made the wrong decision with the wrong motivation, she worried that God would punish her for it.

This is, not surprisingly, a common fear among Christians. Many followers of Jesus live with the unsettling worry that God will judge us for our sin, despite receiving His gift of grace and salvation. Either consciously or subconsciously, we operate out of a place of fear rather than love, and it’s often because of stories like Noah and the flood.

This fear of judgment would be understandable if the flood—or any judgment from God—were the end of the story, but thankfully, it is not. Instead, the flood is only a chapter in a bigger, redemptive plan.

What we encounter in the chapters following the flood is a second story of creation. It’s as if God wipes the slate clean and begins again. In the same way God directed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, He commands Noah to do the same (Genesis 9:1). Noah is, in some sense, a new Adam.

However, what is different from that first creation is the presence of sin. Humanity’s relationship with God has fundamentally changed, which makes this story fundamentally different. He explains what it means to be His people and what He expects of them, but He also promises never to rain down this kind of judgment again (v.11).

God calls these commands and His promise a “covenant,” which is significant. What God is offering is not a cold, legal “contract,” but a relational covenant that is instituted and upheld by God, and here is why all of this matters: In these opening chapters of Genesis, we are learning about who God is. God is just and He will not be mocked, and we see this in His judgments. But, God is also a rescuer and a redeemer who gives everything He has to deliver us.

In every story that follows, God affirms these two things: this covenant, and His commitment to preserve His people. And ultimately, He fulfills it in Christ. Jesus receives our judgment and achieves our redemption, and then makes this restoration available to all who enter this covenant through Him.

That is why we can read these stories of God’s wrath without fear. Sin has consequences and God is indeed just—but the judgment has been dispensed. Because of Christ, God looks upon us in all our weakness and mistakes, and promises, “Never again.”

Post Comments (51)

51 thoughts on "God’s Covenant with Noah"

  1. NanaK says:

    Churchmouse, I love what you shared from this scripture. Your words are very insightful and helpful. What great wisdom to reflect upon and strive towards in this new year. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kathy says:

    Wow- the Goodness, Faithfulness, and Graciousness of our God are just astounding! He doesn’t have to extend new mercies every morning but He does. He doesn’t have to pour out grace upon grace on His stumbling children but He does. He is ALWAYS faithful to be who He has told us He is and to do what He has said He will do. He has told us He will lead us and direct our steps…and He will!
    Praying for you today as well Jess !:)

    1. Julie Myers says:

      Beautiful summary, Kathy! Thank you

  3. Mari V says:

    I’m SO thankful for the adults in my life when I was young. They passed the baton. They prayed. They encouraged. They had Unconditional love for me. I am so thankful for all my spiritual parents. I can still see myself as a teenager in my friends mother’s garage where she started a youth group. She was simple and humble woman who’s greatest desire was for us to come to Christ. Yep, I was young. I remember the boys (LOL ), but I also remember the treats she would have for us afterwards. But the greatest thing was the love she had for us and the commitment for us to know Christ. So thankful she was obedient to God‘s call.

  4. Nancy Singleton says:

    Praise be to God!


    This is really good. I do struggle when I sin that I will be punished and it is so hard to remember that God is not vindictive but loving and forgiving when I ask for forgiveness and tell him my wrongs.

  6. Jess Hulbert says:

    I’m dealing with a big life decision currently. And agonizing over it is a great way to put it. I don’t want to disappoint God and then find out down the road it was a mistake! It’s hard to trust that there isn’t a right or wrong choice here.

    1. Lucy Goodwin says:

      Praying you can come to a decision and be a peace!

    2. amy brown says:

      Jess-i read this today; maybe it will help.
      //Compromise represents a far greater risk than courage. it is always right to do right, it is never wrong to do right, && it is never right to do wrong.// this is from my church provided devotion “The Word for You Today.”
      i hope this helps you a bit in your decisions. in Christ we all are praying for You! ♥︎

    3. Megan Messer says:

      Same! I was just talking about wrestling with a big life decision just last night! But someone told me, and after reading this, that God will lead us to the desires of our hearts. The decision you are trying to make can be influenced by the fear of missing out, the fear of the unknown, or comparing yourself to others, and disappointing God. I’m working on taking the time to be still and spend with Him, laying out my heart and all the fears and worries and anxieties. Im working on taking the time to sit in silence and see what he says back. The creator of the universe invites us to be a part of the covenant he’s made, so we get to have a relationship with him! He wants us to sit and talk with him, he may already know our heart, but he wants to hear from us directly!
      I hope your big decision works out! You’ve got a tribe of sisters that have got your back and are praying for you!

    4. Jacquelynn Rose says:

      I have found when making BIG life decisions (who to marry, what’s my calling, should I leave my job) prayer and fasting and bible reading helps. Consecrating yourself to God and letting Him know you really want to hear from Him and to know what he wants you to do. After that you listen and then obey. If you are doing what you know how to do to get into God’s presence and show Him you want whatever he wants for you I believe he will answer you. I also believe if you hear wrong or confuse His voice he will honor your heart and work a “wrong decision” into a right one for your life. I am guilty of this and have seen Him fix a “miscommunication” to work for my good.

    5. Jacquelynn Rose says:

      In times when I have had to make big decisions. I have prayed, fasted and looked in God’s word for similar situations (marriage, leaving a job/person, moving). I have seen in my life that after making a decision where I have consecrated my heart to do His will he has honored my decision. Even once when there was a “miscommunication” He worked a wrong decision out for my good.

  7. Angie says:

    Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. ”

    Sisters in Christ Jesus…we are blessed. God’s steadfast love, covenant of peace, and compassion. Thank you Jesus.

    1. Annie Bartley says:


  8. Churchmouse says:

    My parents had five sons and three daughters. They were good at being fruitful and multiplying. My husband and I have two daughters. We are satisfied, quite happy, with that. But the numbers are really not the point. When God says to be fruitful and multiply, I don’t think He’s referring only to repopulating the earth. Because He established a covenant relationship based on His character I think He’s most desirous of us being fruitful and multiplying in faithfulness to Him. Our family lineage may be long and large but it is our spiritual legacy that is most important. Let us take time today to think of the spiritual mothers and fathers who have gone before, those who made the effort and sacrifice to pass down their faith, so that we might one day be in covenant with God. Let us thank them by passing on the baton. Whether we have earthly children or not, we can all procreate spiritual children. We can tell them of the ark of safety. We can speak of the endless love of God. We can invite them to be in covenant relationship with Him. Let us determine to be fruitful in the things of the Spirit. Let us multiply acts of grace and mercy in His name. Let us pay faith forward.

    1. Yolanda Harbon says:

      So good!

    2. Brittnie Blackburn says:


    3. Sydney Smith says:

      Amen- as someone struggling to decide if being earthly parents is “for” us, I appreciate these words. I can do gods will and be fruitful on earth without having to reproduce.

    4. tanya b says:

      Well said I too was thinking along this path Amen

    5. GramsieSue . says:

      Yes! ❤️
      I homeschooled my children and my greatest goal was giving them a foundation in the Word of God. And now I see them raising my grandchildren to know God. What a blessing ❤️

    6. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Amen! Such great insight!❤️

    7. Allison Gehman says:

      I appreciated reading your thoughts. Thank you for sharing! ❤️

    8. Vanessa Evans says:

      Thank you! I was saying something similar in December to someone. I told him that being fruitful and multiplying didn’t necessarily mean having a lot of children. The view of spiritual multiplication is not one that I ever thought of the right way to explain and thus was left floundering. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    9. Tracie Nall says:

      So true! God wants us to be fruitful and multiply His Kingdom not just the space on earth we occupy! Our legacy of faith is far more important to God than our family lineage! Just look at the lineage of Jesus, not filled with perfect people but many who walked with God!

    10. Beth Smith says:


    11. Cheri Summers says:


    12. Camille English Davis says:

      Amen and Amen!!

    13. Danielle Merriweather says:

      Love this perspective! So good!

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