Bountifully Blessed, Pt 2 – Genesis 9:8-17

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Bountifully Blessed! pt. 2
Genesis 9:8-17
Before us is Genesis 9 from which we continue to have our hearts for God enlarged.
It’s so encouraging to see you armed with your Bibles, young and older, carefully tracking verse-by-verse as we study the Scriptures.
The great theme that shines in the first half of Genesis 9 (v. 1-17) is the blessing of God.
So, continuing on from last week, I’ve entitled this message Bountifully Blessed, part 2.
We use the word “bless” in interesting ways.
If someone sneezes, what’s the next thing people usually say? “God bless you!”
Why? Where did that phrase come from with sneezing? The Snopes Fact check suggests a couple explanations:
– At one time it was believed when a person sneezes, the body is left unguarded and the Devil can enter their soul. Not true. – Some believed the heart momentarily stops during a sneeze. So “Bless you!” was a wish for life to return or a congratulation upon its successful restart. Also, not true. – Here’s a very interesting one. Some see the sneeze as a blessing bestowed by the sneezer upon the sneezed-upon. So, answering a sneeze with “Bless you!” is seen as nothing more than saying, “And the same to you!
– One theory claims this practice began when the bubonic plague was sweeping through Europe. Supposedly, an early sign that the virus had entered a victim was sneezing.
So Pope Gregory the Great, allegedly decreed God’s blessing should be pronounced on sneezers to protect them from the plague.
Well, that’s impossible. Here’s why. Gregory the Great lived in 600 A.D.- over 700 years before the bubonic plague broke out in 1347! I came across an interesting record written in 77 A.D. by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder (I paraphrase). Pliny asks, “Why is it that we salute a person with the words “God bless you” when he sneezes? Why, that’s what Tiberius Caesar required people to say to him when he would ride by in his chariot: “God bless you!”
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Well, all such notions are a long way from
knowing God’s blessing.
Yet, God has so much to tell us in His Word
about how He blesses.
First, there’s the general blessing of God on all people.
Our Lord Jesus, in Matthew 5:45, explains, that
God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and
the good, and sends rain on the righteous and
the unrighteous.”
Then in Luke 6:35 Jesus takes it a step further
when He says God “is kind to ungrateful and
evil men.” So graciously, God blesses even
sinful people.
Theologians call it the providence of God- that’s
His care for every person who has lived in this
world- He gives them sunshine and rain and air to
breathe.
All such blessings are God’s common grace
which humanity shares in common.
But then God also shows particular grace. That’s
toward His children.
It’s His special favor on those He has chosen for
Himself. It’s an expression of the kind intention of
His will in calling, justifying, and sanctifying
individual sinners.
And that speaks of the greatest blessing of alla
life of fellowship with God. It’s walking with God
with a heart of faith just like Noah did.
From Genesis 8 we saw God’s blessing
pronounced on Noah. For He told him,
“Be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
God wanted His earth repopulated and gave
them the capacity for that.
Then as part of the blessing, for man’s protection,
God caused animals to fear man.
And He gave them in turn to man as food.
Three blessings of God- ability to bear children,
be free from the terror of animals, and to be able
to enjoy meat.
Now we need to qualify these blessings.
You see, just because a Christian doesn’t
experience all three of them doesn’t mean he or
she is not blessed by God.
For example, if a Christian couple can’t have the child
they long for, and they are injured in a car accident and
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can’t enjoy a big juicy steak (because of dietary or
financial reasons), we dare not conclude, “They’ve
done something wrong, and God hasn’t blessed them.”
Let’s remember Job. God allowed a killer wind to
take the life of his 7 sons and 3 daughters. Then
Satan attacks Job with health issues too- covers
him from head to toe with boils.
Yet all the while, God loved and blessed Job and
considered him a righteous man.
So, let’s be careful not to equate God’s blessing
with how much a person has or doesn’t have.
For the greatest blessing of God is a life of
intimate communion with God.
Listen, you can be single, poor, childless, and
sick all your life and yet be greatly blessed by
God.
You can also be married, rich, have many
children, and be in perfect health yet NOT be
blessed by God
For the blessing of God is not about your status in
life. It’s all about walking with God.
Noah was that kind of man. He walked with God.
He trusted God. He obeyed God. And all
because of God’s grace, He was blessed by God.
Remember, those blessed by God like Noah are
those to whom He loves to speak. And He loves
to share with them His amazing promises.
People make promises all the time. And people
are so good at not keeping their word that we
have coined the phrase, “Promises are meant to
be broken.”
There’s a new company in California with that
name: Broken Promises.
This is what they have posted on their website:
“Emotionless as a snake that carries an
unsuspecting attack and as threatening as a
thorn on a beautiful rose, Broken Promises is a
reminder to stay cautious and trust nobody.
In a world where words mean nothing and
promises are never kept, we provide something
to look forward to- T-shirts, pins, stickers, and
more.”
And my gut reaction is, “Yeah, with a name like
that, Broken Promises, don’t be surprised if they
don’t send you what you order!”
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Far more encouraging, especially for the child of
God, is His “Unbroken Promises.”
That’s what we see now as we pick up the
inspired story in Genesis 9:8.
“Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with
him, saying, 9 ‘Now behold, I Myself do establish
My covenant with you, and with your descendants
after you; 10 and with every living creature that is
with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of
the earth with you; of all that comes out of the
ark, even every beast of the earth. 11I establish
My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never
again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither
shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant
which I am making between Me and you and
every living creature that is with you, for all
successive generations; 13 I set My bow in the
cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant
between Me and the earth. 14 “It shall come
about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that
the bow will be seen in the cloud, 15 and I will
remember My covenant, which is between Me
and you and every living creature of all flesh; and
never again shall the water become a flood to
destroy all flesh.
16 “When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look
upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant
between God and every living creature of all flesh
that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah,
“This is the sign of the covenant which I have
established between Me and all flesh that is on
the earth.” ///
From these words, we see two great truths for our
encouragement in the Lord:
1. The Spectacular Promise 8-11
2. The Splendid Proof 12-17
Mark this at the top of your spiritual reminder list:
God’s promises powerfully show us God’s
character.
For God makes promises. And He always
makes good on His promises. Every time.
Joshua 21:45 “Not one of the good promises
which the LORD had made to the house of
Israel failed; all came to pass.”
Now that’s the ultimate track record. 100% of God’s
promises came to pass. Not a single one failed!
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When Paul proclaimed he gospel on his first
missionary journey in Antioch Pisidia, he
declared, “And we preach to you the good
news of the promise made to the fathers, that
God has fulfilled this promise to our children
in that He raised up Jesus…..” Acts 13:32–33
And to the church in Corinth in speaking of Christ,
the Apostle Paul again speaks of God’s great
promises.
Take in the amazing statement he then makes:
“For as many as are the promises of God, in
Him (that’s Christ) they are yes; therefore also
through Him is our Amen to the glory of God
through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
Wow, that means this: all God’s promises are
ultimately made possible and fulfilled in Christ!
And 2 Peter 1:4 tells us God has “granted to us
His precious and magnificent promises.”
But for what purpose? Peter answers, “so that
by them (God’s promises) you may become
partakers of the divine nature.”
What that tells us is we are saved because God
keeps His promises.
Now let’s remember where we are at with Noah.
Noah and his household have just filed off the
ark. And the thousands of spared animal pairs
have disembarked as well.
Noah builds an altar and sacrifices a massive
burnt offering – one of every one of the 7 clean
animals.
The Lord smells the aroma and says, “I will
never again destroy every living thing as I
have done” (8:21).
Now here in chapter 9, as God speaks to Noah
and his sons, He ties back to that statement.
You need to keep in mind, whom Noah and his
sons represent. They represent their families.
God in talking to them affirms they are the
authority and head responsible to lovingly lead
and love their wives.
Husbands, that too is your God-given calling!
Those 4 men not only represent their families.
They also represent the entire world. For there
was no one on earth besides them.
So, God’s promise to them is as wide as the world.
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First thing we see God tells them here is-
“Behold….” That’s significant.
It’s an interjection (hinneh) used over 1,000 times
in the Bible. It shows up from the beginning in
Gen. 1:26, “Behold, I have given you every
plant yielding seed” and it goes all the way to
the end in Rev. 22:7 where Christ reminds us,
“Behold, I am coming quickly.”
It means, “Look, take notice. Today’s vernacular
would be, “Get this!”
To what does God want Noah and sons to pay
careful attention? To His Word. To what He is
going to tell them!
And He wants the same from us. To incline our
hearts to His Word.
Friends the Christian life starts and soars as we
carefully heed God’s Word.
Jeremiah 23:18 “But who has stood in the
council of the LORD, that he should see and
hear His word? Who has given heed to His
word and listened?”
2 Peter 1:19 “So we have the prophetic word
made more sure, to which you do well to pay
attention as to a lamp shining in a dark
place….”
So, take careful notice of what follows the
“behold” there in verse 9.
God says, “I Myself do establish My covenant
with you….”
Now you need to grasp the importance of what’s
going on here. In verses 9-17 God uses the word
“covenant” many times. In fact, 7x total!
Such a key aspect here. I want you to see how
the concept of covenant is of vast importance in
God’s plan of the ages.
The word “covenant” describes a crucial
agreement between 2 parties.
It’s a treaty that includes a binding pledge.
It’s what a married couple does in their weddingthey
give their oath to unconditionally and for all
their lives to love their spouse
“I do promise and covenant,
before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful husband/wife.
In plenty and in want/ in joy and in sorrow,
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in sickness and in health,
as long as we both shall live.”
That’s unconditional mutual consent. Both
husband and wife must commit themselves to
that.
Yet imagine if the wife, just minutes before the
ceremony has second thoughts and changes her
mind.
I watched a news clip from a wedding ceremony
in Mexico. Before many gathered guests, the
officiant asks the groom if we would have the
lady standing next to him be his wife.
He says, “I do.” Then the mic goes to her. She’s
asked the question, “Will you take this man to be
your husband? and nothing. She just stands
there, silent.
The man presiding asks her 3x, if she will have him
as her husband, and she doesn’t answer. No
response. Well, they didn’t get married. At least
not that day! For a wedding covenant only works if
both parties commit themselves. But with God, it’s
unilateral.
He says, “I myself do establish My covenant
with you.”
You see, God initiated this pact with Noah and
his sons. It’s the first of 6 covenants we see in
the Bible.
We refer to it as the Noahic Covenant. But it
would be more accurate to call it the Divine
Covenant made to Noah. Here’s why.
Its fulfillment didn’t depend on Noah but on God.
In other words, it was unconditional.
Regardless of what Noah, his sons, or anyone
would do, God would carry out the commitment
He makes here.
There were two basic types of covenant in the
ancient times.
There was the Suzerainty treaty. Kings would
make a promise to a subject or another king.
And the treaty was only good as long as both
parties met specific conditions. It was
conditional based on performance.
In contrast to the Suzerainty treaty was the Royal
Grant. A Royal Grant placed no requirements on
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the part of the beneficiary. Therefore, it was
unconditional.
Now if you are going to understand Scripture and
God’s ways, you need to know there are 5
covenants in the Bible between God and man.
1. The Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 17:4,
(7,8,13,18) God pledges to Abraham, “As for
Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you
will be the father of a multitude of nations.
That means through Abraham all the families of
the earth would be what? “Blessed.” Gen. 12:1-3.
That includes all of us to whom God has given
saving faith in Christ.
By the way, God emphasized to Abraham 4 times
in chapter 17 this covenant with him would be
everlasting (v. 7,8,13,18).
2. Then the Mosaic Covenant (also called the Old
Covenant).
In Exodus 19:5–6 God tells Moses, ‘Now then, if
you will indeed obey My voice and keep My
covenant, then you shall be My own
possession among all the peoples, for all the
earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a
kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’
Some aspects of the Mosaic Covenant are
conditional: “If you will obey.”
God promised blessings for obedience and
curses for disobedience. (Deut. 28-29). And God
will faithfully keep His Word to the Jews His
covenant people. Romans 9-11 bears that out.
3. There’s also the lesser known Priestly
Covenant. God made it with Phineas.
It’s in Numbers 25:12-13. God calls it a
“covenant of peace” and a “covenant of a
perpetual priesthood.” The O.T. priestly line ran
from Levi, to Aaron, to Phineas and that covenant
is ultimately fulfilled in Christ.
4. Farther along, we come to the Davidic Covenant in
2 Samuel 7:12–13. God promises David, “When
your days are complete and you lie down with
your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after
you, who will come forth from you, and I will
establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house
for My name, and I will establish the throne of his
kingdom forever.”
That promise to David is unconditional and
perpetual. His promised descendant is Jesus
Christ who will fulfill that promise.
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How can we be so sure? In Luke 1:32-33, when
the angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would
bear a son, Jesus, he clarifies: “and the Lord
God will give Him the throne of His father
David; 33 and He will reign over the house of
Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no
end.”
5. Then there’s the glorious New Covenant.
God announces in Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is
the covenant which I will make with the house
of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD,
“I will put My law within them and on their
heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and
they shall be My people. Then the Lord
declares, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and
their sin I will remember no more.”
The New Covenant began to be fulfilled when
Gentiles and Jews were saved and added to the
Early Church. It’s what God did through the cross.
That’s why Christ in celebrating the Lord’s Supper
before He was betrayed said, “This cup which
is poured out for you is the new covenant in
My blood.” Luke 22:20
All biblical covenants share 5 elements. And this
will help us understand the Noahic covenant
before us. (for much of this I am indebted to
William Barrick of The Masters Seminary).
All covenants-
1. Have authority that resides in God.
2. came at a time of crisis.
3. No covenant nullifies a previous one.
The biblical covenants are not like separate post
office boxes. Picture them rather as a beautiful
tapestry, as God weaves each new covenant into
the fabric of the former covenants (Walt Keiser).
4. Salvation from sin is not obtained by
keeping any covenant. That includes the
New Covenant since it’s what God does on
His end (and not man) that saves.
5. All covenants ultimately point to man’s need
for Christ the Messiah.
Now that framework will help us appreciate the
first covenant established by God- the Noahic
Covenant.
It’s important for us to notice to whom God
obligates Himself.
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God says, “I myself do establish My covenant
with you, and with your descendants after
you.”
So that’s Noah and all the generations of people
that would follow after him. It includes us since
we all have common ancestry in Noah.
And it extends all the way until time is no more
and we are in the eternal state with Christ!
Now, so amazingly, the covenant God makes
includes a whole different group. Look at who
else is included: Verse 10: “and with every
living creature that is with you, the birds, the
cattle, and every beast of the earth with you;
of all that comes out of the ark, even every
beast of the earth.”
God’s covenant encompassed Noah and his
entire family, plus all his descendants as well as
every single animal that got off the ark! It by the
way is the only divine covenant that includes
animals.
Now what actually is the blessing of the great
promise made by God made to all people and all
animals? God explains, (v. 11), “I establish My
covenant with you; and all flesh shall never
again be cut off by the water of the flood,
neither shall there again be a flood to destroy
the earth.”
There are actually two promises tucked into one.
The first part refers to “all flesh.”
Years back, Sonya was teaching an outreach
English class one evening. And the conversation
topic was “what do you like to eat?”
One Czech girl named Petra, after consulting her
dictionary, surprised the class with her food
preference. “I like to eat flesh,” she said!
When we think of flesh, we usually think of
human flesh.
But the term flesh here (basar) speaks of any
form of life that has a physical body.
So, God pledges to never again sentence people
and animals to a universal flood.
He would never judge all mankind by drowning.
And the second part of the covenant: “Neither
shall there again be a flood to destroy the
earth.”
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“Earth” here means the planet, the land. God’s
heart must have been pained when He had to
destroy all He had made that once was so
beautiful and good.
Yet now He promises, “I’ll never wipe it off the
map by a flood again.”
Think how wonderful this assurance would have
been to Noah and his little clan.
If you were in their situation with the Flood fresh
in your memory, what would have gone through
your mind the next time it began to lightning,
thunder and pour down rain? “O no, another
flood, but this time we have no ark!”
No, they had God’s promise. That meant they
had God’s peace. All they had to do was
remember God’s promise and that would calm
their fears.
The principle stands. The next time you see dark
storm clouds of life coming your way, when you
are tempted to become anxious and fearremember
God’s precious promises. And that will
buoy up your heart. That’s what God shows His
people time after time.
Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my
salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the
defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?”
Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do
not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
surely I will uphold you with My righteous right
hand.”
Matthew 28:20 “Lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.”
The inspired writer of Heb. 13:5 thought back to
an unforgettable day in Joshua’s life
Moses had led the 2 million complaining Israelites
40 long years in the dessert. And now that they
were ready to cross the Jordan and conquer the
land of Canaan, Moses shocks Joshua. “God told
me I won’t be around to lead the people any
more. You must.”
It must have felt like a ton of bricks crashing down
on Joshua’s shoulders. You know that awful
feeling of being overwhelmed, weak-kneed,
speechless when you have heard some real bad
news?
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Joshua had to be wondering, “How can I ever do
that, on my own?” A daunting task.
Moses breathes confidence into Joshua’s fearful
heart with these words:
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD is the one who
goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will
not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be
dismayed.”
Beloved, if God is Your Father, every word of that
applies to you. You can take it to the bank of
heaven and cash it.
The LORD goes ahead of you!
He will be with you!
He will not fail you for forsake you!
Therefore, there’s no need to fear or be anxious.
So bank on and bask in the promises of God.
Now, Noah and his sons have been given a
wonderful promise of God. But it would sure help
calm the nerves if they had some token, some
reminder that God would never forget.
The Spectacular Promise of God brings us to the
B. The Splendid Proof from God 12-17
So wonderfully, above and beyond what Noah
needed, God gives him reassurance.
We read it in verse 12: “This is the sign of the
covenant which I am making between Me and
you (and note it’s vastness) and every living
creature that is with you, for all successive
generations (that show’s its permanence).
13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for
a sign of a covenant between Me and the
earth.
God’s visible sign to Noah of his promise was the
bow- the rainbow. The arc of colored light in the
sky after the rain has past. Such an appropriate
symbol.
The word “bow” as in English so in Hebrew can
mean either a warrior’s bow or a rainbow.
We have seen that the Flood revealed the wrath
of God on sin.
It was as if God as a holy warrior was shooting
arrows from His bent bow of judgment on His
rebel enemies.
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Yet now GOD hangs His bow in the sky facing
the opposite direction. And it shows His grace.
And it’s been showing that for over 4500 years!
In recent years, proponents of the LGBT agenda,
have tried to hijack the rainbow and make it their
symbol of sin
Yet friends, the rainbow belongs to God. And it
will forever symbolize His promise of grace.
So, dads and moms, grandparents, aunts and
uncles, teach those young minds the truth of the
rainbow. For it shows how against the darkness
of the world’s sin shines God’s grace and mercy.
The Puritan fathers taught their children to
associate God with rainbows. They even taught
them to recite the Lord’s prayer when they saw
rainbows since our Father in heaven gives these
colorful arcs of light as a gracious gift.
They were right. We must not view rain, snow,
thunder, lightning and rainbows as merely natural
phenomena.
They are divine signs of God’s active involvement
in our world. Scripture makes it clear God sends
the rain and snow out of His storehouses. He
causes he thunder to boom and the lightning
bolts to flash.
And He personally makes rainbows to appear in
the sky.
Speaking in verse 14, God says, “It shall come
about, when I bring a cloud over the earth,
that the bow will be seen in the cloud.”
God takes credit for making rainbows. He brings
rainclouds through which He passes rays of the
sun to form these stunning solar spectrums.
I did some research on rainbows. Absolutely
captivating.
We know that sunlight consists of all the colors of
light. So, when light shines on water droplets at
the end of a rainstorm, that light is refracted
(bent) then reflected in a whole spectrum of
colors.
In a primary rainbow, the arc shows in the
sequence of red, orange, yellow, green,
blue, indigo and violet. But in a double rainbow,
the fainter bow has its colors in reverse order!
The rainbow is seen by the observer at 42
degrees from the direction opposite the light
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source (and 51 degrees for a secondary bow).
So, no two people ever sees the exact same
rainbow!
Now the big point about beautiful rainbows is this.
God made them as a stunning and vivid reminder
for us. He is faithful to keep His Word.
He assures Noah with that bow, (v. 15), “and I
will remember My covenant, which is between
Me and you and every living creature of all
flesh; and never again shall the water become
a flood to destroy all flesh.”
There are those who fear and warn of global
catastrophe. Advocates of global warming claim
there could be a massive flood if the ice caps
melt and if mankind doesn’t do something fast to
change things.
Yet God has already committed Himself to never
again send a flood that would cover the earth.
Here’s what’s so amazing. God knows we forget
His goodness, we begin to doubt. And we need a
big reminder which He gave us in the rainbow.
Yet God shows Himself to be so loving, so
personal in assuring Noah that that He tells him
something wonderful.
Look at in verse 16: God says, “When the bow is
in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to
remember the everlasting covenant between
God and every living creature of all flesh that is
on the earth.”
Amazing! I picture this as God saying, “Noah, as
you look up at rainbows toward Me I will be
looking down at them toward you. And that will
be a constant reminder to you and me of my
unending promise to you!”
By the way, we are told there’s only one place
you can see a perfect 360 degree circular
rainbow. That’s from the heavens (above!).
Beloved, that’s the way God sees rainbows, just
like His promises- unbroken!
Well, what a life lesson God taught Noah that
day.
He wants one consoling thought to linger in
Noah’s mind. Verse 17: “And God said to Noah,
“This is the sign of the covenant which I have
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established between Me and all flesh that is
on the earth.”
God made the promise-that’s the covenant.
And God made the proof- that’s the rainbow.
What was left for Noah to do? Trust God!
For if God can hang rainbows in the sky after the
Flood and after every rain that would follow, then
He can handle everything in Your life.
How about you? As you gaze at the greatness of
God’s promises and His faithfulness to keep
them, will you trust Him?
Will you give him the reigns and rely on Him to
lead you through whatever you are facing?
For if you belong to God through Christ, then
cling to Him and count on Him as your most
bountiful blessing.
Heavenly Father…
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Bountifully Blessed! pt. 2
Genesis 9:8-17
Hope In Christ Bible Church 11/4/18
Mat. 5:45
Luke 6:35
Josh. 21:45
Acts 13:32–33
2 Cor. 1:20
2 Peter 1:4
Gen. 1:26
Rev. 22:7
Jer. 23:18
2 Peter 1:19
A. The Spectacular Promise 8-11
1. ___________ Covenant Gen. 17:4, 7,8,13,18; 12:1-3
2. ___________ Covenant Ex. 19:5–6
3. ___________ Covenant Num. 25:12-13
4. ___________ Covenant 2 Sam. 7:12–13, Luke 1:32-33
5. ___________ Covenant Jer. 31:33, Luke 22:20
6. ___________ Covenant Gen. 9:8-17
Psalm 27:1
Isa. 41:10
Mat. 28:20
Heb. 13:5
Deut. 31:8
B. The Splendid Proof 12-17
“Lord, how would You have me trust in You
and Your Word in what’s ahead of me this week?”