Reclaiming the Rainbow: A Symbol of Divine Grace

In the month of June, we see the rainbow everywhere. From cereal boxes to sports teams to the grandest of displays at Target, we are inundated with this symbol. As the shepherd of Mercy Hill, I want us all to understand one thing: we cannot surrender this important biblical symbol. The rainbow was given to the world thousands of years ago to remind us of God’s great grace despite our great sin. It was given to show the world that our only hope is in God’s grace.

This past weekend we began a new series going through the story of Noah. Noah’s story is a story of the world in rebellion. This story is also a shocking story but not for the reasons one may think. It’s not shocking because everyone was destroyed; Noah’s story is shocking because anyone was saved! The world got what it deserved because of sin, but God, who is rich in mercy and grace, lavished His love that some would be saved from this judgement. And in all of this, we see a foreshadowing of things to come when, one day, God will destroy the wickedness of the world and save those who have trusted in Him.

For week one, as we begin working through the story of Noah as a church, our big idea is that our sinful hearts grieve the heart of God.


Genesis 6 Lessons in Wickedness and Redemption

Read Genesis 6:1-4. In these verses, we read about the “sons of God,” the “daughters of man,” and the Nephilim. What exactly is happening here? (If you’re asking this question, it’s a good one.) In short, I am not sure, but I want you to see that this is okay! The point of the passage is still clear: wickedness was reigning on the earth. This is a good moment for a Bible teaching point. A great tip when you’re reading the Bible is to not get bogged down in the minors. Look for the larger point in the text. Regardless of your stance on the Nephilim, the point in Genesis 6 is that God has had it with the sin of the world! The storm of God’s judgement was brewing.

Look now at verses 5-10. Verse 5 clearly lays out the problem, and we see three things: 1. Great wickedness. 2. Every thought is evil. 3. It was evil ‘continually.’ We must see clearly here how pervasive our sin is. We often think we need to stay far away from the sin of the world, and while that’s not entirely wrong, we must also realize that sin is not something that’s outside in; it’s inside out! Wickedness is born on the inside.

Another point we see in this passage is the Lord regretting that He made mankind. With this, a good Bible teaching point presents itself again because many people are troubled by the idea of how God can feel sorry for something He has done. Sometimes, God uses anthropomorphic language, which means that God speaks in a way we can understand. God didn’t make a bad decision, and He didn’t make a promise that He wouldn’t follow through on. But we do see that His heart was broken, and He was deeply grieved.

One final thing we see in this text is that God’s grace and mercy fall on Noah. Here is a question for you to ponder: did Noah find favor because he was righteous, or was he righteous because he found favor? God graced Noah with favor, and Noah responded to that favor. This is where it matters for us today: the flood of God’s wrath is coming for this world! Wood was fashioned into an ark to save Noah, and then wood was fashioned into a cross to save us. Jesus saved us from the flood by shedding His blood. In the gospel, Jesus truly died in your place, and He was raised to give you new life.

Application: Trust in the Gospel and Stop Grieving the Heart of God.

This section of Noah’s story is meant to open our eyes to the weight of our sin. It’s heavier than we think. If you feel the weight of your sin and it is crushing, you need to hear that the story isn’t over. Because of Christ, God’s favor is available to anyone who asks Him. If there is breath in you, there is a God who is ready to save you today if you would come to Him!
If you’re a believer, consider the areas of your life that you may need to realign with who you are in Christ. Are you grieving the Spirit in any way by living outside of your identity in Christ? Are there areas in your life where His grace is being taken for granted? God loved you enough to save you from the flood by shedding His own blood, and you are His child! Return to God’s love and repent today.

-Andrew Hopper, Lead Pastor

Watch the full sermon from week one of our  “Noah” series below:

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