The Bible is filled with promises from God and its important for the believer to be familiar with them. Life brings a variety of challenges and obstacles, temptations and tests, and its often the promises of God that one recalls that propels one through those trying times in ways that glorify God! However, human habit sometimes can cause people to forget God's promises soon after a trial is over and life gets more tame. It can be tempting to relax in one's pursuit of the Lord when life's circumstances get a little more comfortable or hopeful. Thankfully the scriptures provide great examples of proper conduct in the context of God's promises so that believers have a model to follow.
In Genesis 8:15-22 the Bible documents the events that took place as Noah and his family, and all of the animals left the ark. The scriptures show that all of the inhabitants of the ark did not come out of the ark until God commanded them to. This shows that, though Noah had evidence of the circumstances being favorable outside of the ark, he waited upon the Lord for the green light to rely on His leadership and provision. Though the threat of the flood had passed, Noah continued to display dependency on the Lord.
The scriptures go on to say that as the animals left the ark, they spread out all over the world. Since the conditions of the world would have been dramatically different, with severely different climates and topography, the animals would have simply migrated to areas that seemed good to them so that those animals equipped to live in certain areas would have lived, while others might have died. However, since the scriptures show that God was specific to account for two of each "kind" of animals, each animal pair would have been able to reproduce according to its "kind." Also, since the animals already contained the DNA variety in their genetics, as they reproduced, adapting to their changing environments, they would have been able to produce a great deal of variety within each "kind" as can be observed today.
Genesis 8:15-22 then explains that when Noah and his family left the ark, Noah was compelled to worship the Lord. Noah acknowledged the salvation he and his family had received. Noah attributed the grace he had received to God and was compelled to show his gratefulness. The scriptures testify that as Noah left the ark, he built an altar and then provided a series of burnt offerings to the Lord. The original language describes that the "altar" Noah built was simply an elevated platform. As Noah built this elevated platform and dedicated it to the Lord, it was his way of exalting God to a higher and more supreme position. This is seen throughout the Old Testament - especially with Abraham. Noah was willing to confess that the life he and his family possessed was only because of God, who not only caused the flood, but provided safety in the midst of the flood, and then caused the waters to recede, using mechanisms that He can control as Yahweh.
The scriptures then go on to explain God's response to Noah's sacrifices. As God observed the thankfulness of Noah, the scriptures show that God was pleased. He was pleased with Noah's dedication to Him. He was pleased with Noah's sacrifice to Him. The Bible says that as Noah gave his burnt offerings, which is an offering that involves complete consumption of an animal through fire, God saw it as a sweet smelling aroma. In a similar way that a hungry person might be pleased with the smell of some amazing BBQ, God was pleased with the heart of Noah. God never commanded Noah to give a sacrifice or build an altar. God only commanded Noah to exit the ark. The rest was done because Noah knew who God was, knew what He did, and He was compelled as a result to give back something of value to God.
Since God saw the worship of Noah as a sweet smelling aroma, God made some incredible promises. God proclaimed that He would never again curse the ground in the way that He had cursed it with Adam and Eve. This does not mean that the curse from Adam and Eve would be lifted. This simply means that no further curse would come from God. This does not mean that the consequences of future sin would have no affect as a curse. This simply means that God would not add onto the consequences of mankind's sin in His wrath. His wrath would be poured out in a different way, much later. As God witnessed the faithful worship of Noah, He also promised that He would never strike down every living thing in His wrath again. This doesn't mean that God regretted what He did. This doesn't mean that God was acknowledging He made a mistake. God as a righteous and just God had to judge the sin that was in the world. It was unfortunate that there was so much sin in the world that all but 8 people had to die.
God's promises is simply that - a promise. God proclaimed that, even though mankind's inclinations are evil, He would not destroy all life ever again. Genesis 8:15-22 states that so long as the seasons of the earth continue, so long as there is cold and heat, and so long as there is night and day, God will not destroy the world and the people in it. God has been faithful to His promise. Though the world today very much resembles the world before the flood as people rebel against God, seek to mock Him and reject Him, God has been patient and faithful to Himself to sustain life. This is no credit to the work of mankind - even believers. Believers have evil inclinations too. The reason that God has not destroyed the earth as He did in the flood is because God is faithful to Himself. He promised in His grace to sustain the life of the righteous and God has kept that promise. God will continue to keep that promise because He is faithful to Himself as God. He does not change. He cannot lie. His promise is a guarantee so that even in final judgment, there will be a righteous remnant that is saved, and God will not disintegrate the planet, but purge it to create a new one that better suits His desires.
This is an incredible promise to hold onto. Though God' made His promise in the context of Noah's worship, it was Noah's worship that came in response to God's grace. God's grace gave Noah - a sinner - life, and that life facilitated worship. Noah's worship pleased God in such a way that God was willing to verbalize His promise so that His mercy and grace could be well documented in scripture for the benefit of generations to come. Today one can examine the scriptures and see that one's demonstration of one's appreciation for God's grace pleases the Living God. One can examine the scriptures and see that God is faithful to honor His promises in spite of the magnitude of mankind's failure. One can examine scripture and see that mankind's faults and sin cannot sway the faithfulness and promises of the Living God. There are some pretty good reasons to rejoice and follow the example that Noah set in this portion of scripture!