Thanksgiving after the flood
Noah builds the ark
The Ark was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It had three decks, contained stalls with which the animals could be kept, and had a window on the top. In this vessel Noah, his family and the entire created order would be spared from a worldwide flood. When the animals are freed from the ark, Noah offers a sacrifice to the Lord and the rainbow is set as a visible reminder that the Lord would never again destroy the entire world by a flood.
It took time. It took time for Noah to build the ark. It took time for him to preach repentance. It took time to gather the animals into their stalls. It took time for the rains to come and for the flood waters to recede and regress, and for the world to be restored. After all that time the Lord sent His rainbow as a continued reminder that He would never again destroy the entire world by a flood. Not because He was so good. But “because the inclination of man is evil from his youth.” Left to his own devices, man would be right back to where he started - again. God starting over again when man had reached his limit could never restore perfect order to the earth and God grew impatient. A permanent and final solution was necessary. It came in the form of a cross. It is the symbol of the Father’s enduring love. It’s His final offer. Restoration comes in the sacrifice of God’s Son in exchange for the sin of the world. It’s the Father’s final offer. It is a good thing. It works. It brings eternal results.
Almighty and everlasting God, You desire not the death of a sinner but that all would repent and live. Hear our prayers for those outside the Church. Take away their iniquity, and turn them from their false gods to You, the living and true God. Gather them into Your holy Church, to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS
Halley’s Bible Handbook An Abbreviated Bible Commentary Twenty-Third Edition, © 1962 Zondervan Grand Rapids
Collect for these outside the Church, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis