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…
I. THE TIME WHEN IT WAS MADE WAS JUST AFTER THE FLOOD AND CONSEQUENTLY:
1. A time of desolation. A father runs to the comfort of a frightened child; so our heavenly Father is never so ready to come to our comfort, as when the soul is filled to the full with a trembling fear of Him. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant."
2. In confirmation of this, observe again, the Lord made this covenant with Noah, when Noah was humbling himself as a sinner before Him.
II. BUT WHAT WAS THIS COVENANT THAT THE LORD ENTERED INTO WITH NOAH AT THIS TIME? It is remarkable that, though detailed in this chapter with much minuteness, it relates only to temporal blessings. Not one spiritual promise does it contain. All it stipulates is, that there shall never again be a general flood or famine on the earth. And yet, notwithstanding this, it bears in many particulars so close a resemblance to that everlasting covenant established in Christ between Jehovah and His Church, that we cannot look at the one without thinking of the other; we see the same God acting in both on the same principles; making in fact the one almost a type or counterpart of the other.
1. This covenant had God alone as its author.
2. This covenant was a disclosure to Noah of God's secret thoughts and purposes. The history describes it as such, for it traces it not simply to God, but to the heart and mind of God.
3. This covenant with Noah was connected with a sacrifice; it was, indeed, founded on one.
III. Let us pass on now to THE APPOINTED TOKEN OF THIS COVENANT. Now, what is there resembling this in the Christian covenant? We may turn to the sacrament of the Lord's supper. It is of the same character. It is a memorial to us of our sinfulness and danger, and of the promises God has given us in our crucified Lord of security from that sinfulness and danger. It is, too, like the rainbow, a memorial of God's own appointment; and being such, we may safely look on it in the same light in which He holds up this shining bow to us, as a memorial to God Himself of His promises. On our part, it is a reminding Him of them, a pleading of them before Him; and it is like an assuring of us on His part, that He will never forget them. Hence we sometimes call it a seal of God's covenant of grace. Every time it is celebrated among us, it confirms and ratifies anew that covenant, as a seal ratifies the earthly contract to which it is affixed. And hence our Church tells us that our Lord "instituted and ordained these holy mysteries as pledges of His love, as well as for a continual remembrance of His death."
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: