July 11, 2008

Promises Come With a Sign

Genesis 9:8-17

God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the cove-nant I have established …”
Genesis 9:17


Are you familiar with the “pinky swear”? Perhaps you remember it from childhood or still play it from time to time, as I do with my children. Here's how it works: someone promises you something, and because you want to make sure they mean it, you say the words “pinky swear.” The two of you then hook your pinky fingers together to confirm the promise that has been made. You can also link both your pinkies to seal the promise with a “double pinky swear.” While this is just a game, it can help kids learn that promises are important. Adults also accompany their promises with actions to show that they intend to honor their commitments. People shake hands after a business deal. In a wedding ceremony the bride and groom confirm their vows by placing rings on each other's fingers. Done in good faith, these signs indicate that when people make promises, they mean what they are saying. When God makes promises, he gives signs too. The rainbow confirms the covenant God made with Noah. One of the best signs God ever gave was the one mentioned by angels when Jesus was born: “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). Paul puts it this way: “No matter how many promises God has made, they are ?Yes' in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Thank you, Lord, for giving us so many reminders of your love and for being faithful to each promise you have made. Help us to keep our promises too. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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