#257 – Great is Thy Faithfulness (Genesis 8:21-22) - Radical

#257 – Great is Thy Faithfulness (Genesis 8:21-22)

Genesis chapter 8:21-22. “And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of man. The intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.'”
This picture of God’s promise after the flood is a reminder of the faithfulness of God. Even in those last phrases, like seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. These are things that I think we almost take for granted. We know that it’s going to be daytime for a certain amount of time, and then it’s going to be night, and then day’s going to come back. We know it’s going to come back, but it doesn’t just naturally come back. God’s the one who brings it back.

God is sustaining all of creation and will continue to do so until the new heavens and the new earth.

Summer and winter. There’s winter time. It’s really cold and we’re like, “Oh, I really want to get to the summer.” We know summer’s coming. It’s not going to stay freezing cold. Well, I guess for some people who might be listening to this in some parts of the world, it stays a lot colder for a lot longer, but in most places you know summer’s coming. Other places it’s like really hot all the time, but I was talking to somebody, a friend of mine who lives in a part of the horn of Africa the other day, and it is blazing hot and there’s like a reprieve for a couple of months during the year where, I mean they call it winter, but it’s just because it gets under 100 degrees. It sure does feel good when it gets under 100 degrees.
That doesn’t happen just naturally. This happens because God, in his faithfulness, brings about seasons and he brings about daytime and evening, new days. All of this is a part of his promise to sustain creation, to not destroy creation until the end, until the day when there’s a new heaven and a new earth, which we’re longing for that day. As long as we’re in this day we can know that God, in his mercy, brings a new day tomorrow after night, that there are rhythms in creation that he sustains because he loves us, and we can depend on him in these ways.
I just want to encourage you in your thinking. I’m encouraged as I read this verse. I’m not to think of the world as simply natural. Yes, there are rhythms in creation that seem very natural to us and we can explain them with our science and weather and this and that, but the reality is there is a divine hand that’s behind it all, and he’s the one who’s causing it to happen the way it does.
We pray, oh God, we praise you for your faithfulness in the rhythms of life, in the rhythms of this world. We praise you for summer, fall, winter, spring. We praise you for days and nights and days and nights, and for the constancy we see in creation that is a picture of your love and your grace and your provision. We confess together right now, and we pray you’d help us from thinking that these things happen just naturally as if they happen apart from you.
We confess that you are the creator. You are the sustainer. You are the one who makes these things happen, and you do so by your grace. The only reason why we are not all immediately flooded right now is because you don’t do that, because you have promised not to do that in your love. Despite our sinfulness, your grace pervades. Even the most wicked among us, your grace still sustains us in these ways. All glory be to your name for the way you love us day in and day out, in ways that we don’t even recognize, or we even have a tendency to explain away as natural instead of being the work of your hands. Oh God, all glory be to your name, our sustainer and creator. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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