Monday, July 23, 2012

A Curse and a Promise

It is no well-kept secret that the rainbow was created as a promise from God that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. This promise came after Noah and his family got off the ark (Genesis 9:13); there had never been a rainbow before because it had never rained before; Genesis 2:5-6 tells us that God used a mist to give the earth the water that it needed. But this rainbow promise is not the only promise associated with Noah’s life.

The second promise hinges on a curse. It is also no secret that God cursed the earth after Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:17-19 records that God cursed the ground, and that all of mankind would have to work hard and sweat instead of simply enjoying the beautiful perfect creation that God had given as a gift. But that is not all: physical death was born that day. Adam and Eve were perfect and would have lived forever. The earth was also perfect and would have endured forever. But sin came and brought death, and the curse came and brought deterioration. Neither was an instant death, but a slow wearing out process.

That is where the second promise to Noah comes into play. Unlike the others, this one has been kept in the dark. But read the words from God to Noah in Genesis 8:21-22: “I will not again curse the ground any more…while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

The ground already had been cursed; God was not undoing the curse but promising that there would not be another one. But the promise is that as long as there is an earth, we will not cease to have everything that we need—hot and cold, all the seasons, harvest, and the natural rotations with the sun and moon.

What does that mean? It means that the 2012 hysteria can’t pan out; it means that global warming won’t leave us with all summer and no spring; it means there is no climate change, just varying temperatures that have always occurred throughout earth’s recorded history.

But if you do look around and come to the conclusion that this planet is wearing out, attribute it to the soon-coming rapture of the church. This planet won’t last forever, but God isn’t going to leave us on it when it finally wears out. After we are in New Jerusalem God will destroy this planet and create a new, uncursed, eternal one.   

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