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made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
PRAYER. Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy great mercy didst save Noah and his family in the ark from perishing by water, I pray thee, at this time, to hear and accept my prayers, and let me find grace in thine eyes, even unto my salvation.
What am I, O Lord, that I should be spared from that everlasting destruction, with which thou wilt visit the ungodly in the world! My only hope is, that thou regardest me in Christ Jesus, to whom I have fled for refuge. For His sake spare me, and cover my iniquity. Lord, let thine own hand shut me up in His precious merits. Let that hand work faith in me. By that hand keep me close unto Christ. Oh! keep me from wandering from Him! Make me steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in love, that I may so pass the waves of this troublesome world, that finally I may come to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with thee, in glory everlasting ; through Jesus Christ my Saviour. AMEN.
Τ T HE
“And God said, This is the token of the covenant
which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual
generations : “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for
a token of a covenant between me and the
earth. “And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud
over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in
the cloud : “And I will remember my covenant, which is
between me and you and every living creature of all flesh ; and the waters shall no more
become a flood to destroy all flesh. “And the bow shall be in the cloud ; and I will
look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living
creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. “And God said unto Noah, This is the token of
the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.” GENESIS ix. 12–17.
The first thing Noah did, when he came out of the ark, was to build an altar unto the Lord. He “took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” (c. viii. 20.) This outward
act, so well pleasing unto the Lord, tells much of what was passing within him. By this he seemed to acknowledge God's mercy in having spared him and other of his creatures ; and as he laid his offering on the altar, he seemed to say, I and my family deserve to die as these animals now do hy my hand. By thus dedicating these offerings unto thee, I desire to acknowledge our deserts, and to confess it is only by thy mercy we are spared.
These offerings were shadows of the One Offering of the body of Christ, by which “ He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Noah knew that without shedding of blood there is no remission. He owed his life to God's mercy; and he showed this by a sacrifice of life.
All the substance he had saved in the ark he owed to God's mercy, therefore he would give of them unsparingly to God. “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour ; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake.” (Genesis viii. 21, 22.) The ill-savour of man's sin had before gone up unto the Lord, and He had smitten the earth with a curse; but now He smells a sweet savour in Noah's sacrifice, and promises He will not so curse it any more.
We must not pass over an important law
God in mercy
laid down at this time, when God was afresh covenanting with man. It is one that is to make a man's life precious in his brother's eyes,—so precious that when taken by man, it shall be at the cost of his own. " Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed : for in the image of God made He man.” (0.7.) It is probable that the crime of murder had been a common sin among the ungodly before the flood. It is likely that Cain had many followers. established this law. He did not wait until He should give the ten commandments from Mount Sinai, in which He said again, “ Thou shalt do no murder," but gave it to all the world at large.
In every land where the Bible is ackowledged, this is the law of the land. When it ceases to be law in a land, the Bible ceases to be acknowledged as a guide in the government of a nation.
The next interesting event after the flood, is the covenant God established with Noah and all his seed after him,--of which the rainbow is the token. There was no rainbow before the flood, for indeed, it would appear there was no rain.
“For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth...... But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” (Chap. ii. 5, 6.)
It is probable then, that the first rain that came on the earth, was that which lasting forty days and forty nights, swept away all living upon it. From this time it has pleased God to water the earth and make it fruitful, by the clouds dropping rain. Now, we can well imagine that when the sons of Noah, and their sons, should behold the first gathering of clouds, and the first threatening of a storm-after that one fearful storm which had been so mightily fraught with destruction ; they would be filled with alarm, and would fear, lest indeed God was again about to punish the inhabitants of the earth. To prevent and to quiet such fears did God graciously “speak to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, I, behold I, establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you...... from all that go out of the ark, -to every beast of the earth...... Neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” God's word might have been enough. But He knew how slow to believe His creatures would be, and therefore He gives a sign or token of this His promise. “This is the token of the covenant,-—I do set my bow in the cloud...... And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud : and I will remember my covenant." And again, “And I will