Deuteronomy 7:9: “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”

If we weren’t mortal, think of all the experience we could have gathered. At 1000 years old we would have had 10 centuries under our belt, which is a lot of history to stomach! My grandmother belonged to an age group that went through two world wars. This was just a slice of history in the 1900s. Now imagine yourself playing a role in the past 1000 years of human history. How do you think you would have fared? Something to think about!

On a much larger scale, God has been around forever. In addition to His wisdom and know-how of creating everything there is, try to envisage His experience He must have gathered from the birth of the universe up until now. And throughout the generations and also in generations to come He has never abandoned His mantra of love and faithfulness. Anybody else would have been heartbroken by now dealing with all the frailties of the human psyche, their temper tantrums, their violence paired with some surprising heroism. Human beings are known to rise up in their darkest hours. As we all know, we are both capable of incredible evil and incredible good. Add all of this to God’s ongoing experience with His angels, our older siblings. At some point in angel history there was a revolutionary war in heaven when Lucifer and his cohort ganged up against the rest of the world to usurp God’s throne. All angels are God’s creatures. Imagine His disappointment when war broke out and Lucifer turned against Him.

Still, God has continued to be faithful throughout the ages. He has not turned bitter. God has not stopped believing in His creation, in His angels, in His people. He has been a faithful God who has kept His promises for thousands of generations, and He will not stop pouring out His mercies and love. Unfortunately for us, nobody will notice, unless we open our hearts and minds to this incredible Holy Being, the Father of all Fathers, the Creator of the Universe, and the Savior of the World – who always comes through for us and never gives up on us.

On this note, the book of Psalms talks about the eternal dwelling place we find in the Lord Almighty. My husband Bill and I used a Russian translation to put the beginning of Psalm 90 into music. In closing, here is an English translation of this beautiful piece of poetry, penned by Prophet Moses:

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
    Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
        (Psalm 90:1-2)

Psalm 56:4: “I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?”

Good question: what can one creature of God do to another creature of God? Certainly a lot of good – or a lot of damage, but that’s pretty much where it ends because the key is mortality here. One mortal can do only so much to another mortal. God weighs in with promises no mortal can offer: the promise of eternal life is the big one, which opens the door to:

  • Experience of Heaven, including but not limited to reunion with loved ones gone before us
  • Moving into a place handcrafted by Jesus
  • Seeing the Desire of all Nations with our own eyes
  • Celebrating with the people of God

While eternal life is a wonderful dream come true, the promise of God’s faithfulness is even greater. Without God’s faithfulness there’s no chance we would get there.

Think about it: Where would we be without God’s faithfulness? We wouldn’t even be here. Reading up on God’s history with mankind in the biblical records we can appreciate the fact that God is not One who gives up on us. God never leaves us nor forsakes us. Here is a powerful statement penned down by an anonymous writer in a letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 13:5):

“For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’”

Because of God’s faithfulness the people of Israel reached the Promised Land after wandering in the desert for quite some time. It took several decades and many detours to get the people of Israel to its destination, but the important thing is: ultimately they arrived – not because of their abilities but because of God’s many interventions, His willingness to forgive and start over, and His never-ending mercies. Paul wrote this very encouraging note to his friend Timothy (2 Timothy 2:13):

“If we are unfaithful, he [God] remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”

Isn’t this amazing? God is faithful despite our flawed disposition. People are known to mess up. That’s what people do. However, God is known and famous for His relentless efforts to come through for His people and save them. God is powerful, passionate, creative, and He knows what He is doing; our end of the bargain is to not lose faith. God is always bigger than we think, and we will probably never fully understand His ways and His timing; however, the journey of faith will be much more rewarding if we extend trust to the One who is truly worthy of our trust.

Thomas Chisholm, the author of the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” explained toward the end of his life, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

Walking with God we will reach our destination; we have His promise, and He is known for keeping it.

“‘Great is Thy faithfulness!’ ‘Great is Thy faithfulness!’
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
‘Great is Thy faithfulness,’ Lord, unto me!” 

Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960)

Genesis 9:12-13: “Then God said, ‘I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.’”

We know why we have a refrigerator. Food is subject to decay or spoilage.  That’s why we place perishables in the freezer.  Not unlike fruits and vegetables, life’s path is perishable. Unless we place ourselves into the Lord’s hands, our lives are subject to destruction and decay. In the book of Psalms we read (Psalm 1:6)

“For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.”

If left to our own devices our lives will eventually disintegrate and fall apart.  And this is exactly what took place in Noah’s time.  As we read in the book of Genesis, the whole human civilization looked like a bunch of rotten apples (Genesis 6:5):

“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”

What do we do when we have a fruit platter with rotten apples that is covered with fruit flies?  We take out the trash after setting aside the few apples unaffected by their rotten neighbors. And that’s exactly what happened with Noah’s generation. Desperate times call for desperate actions, but even so, the Lord was heartbroken and grieving over His spoiled creation (Genesis 6:6-8):

“So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth.  It broke his heart.  And the Lord said, ‘I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth.  Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals, and even the birds of the sky.  I am sorry I ever made them.’ But Noah found favor with the Lord.” 

Here was a single family – Noah’s wife and children with their respective spouses – whom the Lord separated from the bad apples around them. To give God’s creation another chance and to save land mammals from complete extinction, the world’s biggest life boat was constructed, aka Noah’s ark.

Even though a worldwide flood is a disastrous affair, let’s not forget that Noah’s story remains a story of hope, and here is why: When a world turned bad, God decided to reboot and start over instead of completely writing us off.  Even as the majority of the known world was moving into the wrong direction, God still saw a glimmer of hope in us, and found a reason to believe in us.

Today’s rainbow in the clouds is our beautiful reminder that God won’t repeat a worldwide flood – never mind that people essentially have not changed! It didn’t take very long until human business went on as usual: some of it good, some of it bad. Yet even if the world went to hell in a hand-basket, God would not flood the whole world again to save a chosen few.  He decided to send His Son Jesus instead; and Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

Our God is merciful; He never gives up. We have to trust Him on that.

“Somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly and the dreams that you dream of, dreams really do come true!” (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”)