God’s Promise to the World and to Mankind

Shared on March 13, 2024

When God calls out to you, what do you do? Sadly, mankind has a history of choosing to ignore the Lord. God has made a promise to you if you choose to listen and obey Him. God’s promise should be taken seriously and we should move towards His promise. Noah and Abraham set really good examples for us to follow when it comes to answering God’s call. Join Pastor McCrary in this week’s study to take a look at how one should respond to God’s promise.


The journey to the cross is filled with many key moments that I want to share with you in this series of studies.  In last week’s study, we saw the key moment where God gave one command in the garden to Adam and Eve.  In that moment, we saw that Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord and was removed from the garden.  Disobedience, I said last week, is when one chooses not to follow God’s instructions.

In this week’s study, we are going to move forward as we take a look at more pivotal moments on the journey to the cross.  This week I want to not simply focus on sin, but also focus on faithfulness.  Faithfulness is rewarded and because of the faith of a couple men, God made some key promises.  

God Calls Noah

Let’s start off this week’s study in Genesis 6:1-8.  Scripture tells us that time had passed from the days of Adam and Eve.  We come to a time in scripture where mankind has multiplied.  We are told that the “sons of God saw the daughters of men” and they took wives to themselves (Gen. 6:2).

The wickedness of mankind

Not to veer off subject but I do want to touch on the mention of the “sons of God”.  In most cases, a reference to the sons of God is a reference to the angels of God (Job 1:6).  Some like to try to use this verse to say that God’s angels were marrying and even breeding with women.  I’m not sure how much more I can disagree with this, but I disagree emphatically!

First and foremost, the angels of God, as shown throughout scripture, were faithful to his will.  Yes, Satan was an angel of the Lord, and yes, quite a few angels fell with him (Rev. 12:9).  Satan is often called a serpent or great dragon as he is no longer considered an angel.  Those angels that fell with the devil are considered demons rather than sons of God.

The angels of God serve only in the role of carrying out the Lord’s will.  As we saw last week, the Lord desired that mankind be fruitful and multiply.  So, the “sons of God” reference are simply sons, young men.  Sons were marrying daughters and they were having families.

Though mankind was seemingly prospering, we will see that there was a problem- sin.  God said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh (Gen. 6:3).”  Even though mankind had fallen in the garden, God was trying to reach out to mankind but he wouldn’t listen.  So, because of this, mankind’s days in the world are limited.  This is an interesting note because the Lord initially created the world for man to dwell in forever.

Sadly, sin was in the heart of mankind and so we are limited by its nature.  God saw that the wickedness of mankind had become so great that He became saw for creating mankind (Gen. 6:5-6).  These moments become pivotal for mankind.  Scripture tells us that the Lord was set to destroy mankind from the earth along with every living thing (Gen. 6:7).

Noah finds grace

Though God was poised to destroy mankind from the face of the earth, we are told that Noah found grace in God’s eyes (Gen. 6:8).  So, why out of all people did Noah find grace in the eyes of God?  Scripture tells us that Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations (Gen. 6:9).  What does it mean that Noah was both just and perfect?  

Was Noah without sin?  As Paul said, “all have sinned all fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).”  However, like other just men found in scripture, what made Noah perfect was that he walked with God.  For example, Enoch was one that walked with God and was taken by God because of his fellowship (Gen. 5:24).  Job questioned and accused God, but he was a devout man of faith and was blessed two-fold (Job 1:1; 42:12-16).

We often talk about the world we live in being a sinful world- it is!  Yet, just because the world is sinful, that doesn’t mean we should live as a sinner.  God looks for the effort of faith.  Though we are going to have our moments where we falter.  The Lord still looks for our effort of walking with Him.

God’s promise with Noah

Noah was commanded to build the ark and he obeyed.  As I said in a recent sermon, in order for you to follow the Lord, you must obey His instructions.  When you listen to God’s instructions and do them, you will be blessed.

After the Great Flood came to an end, Noah and his family stepped back out on dry ground.  Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered up a burnt offering, a sign of being committed to God (Gen. 8:20).  This was an offering that pleased the Lord and then the Lord moved to make a covenant with Noah.

The Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake (Gen. 8:21).”  God said in His heart, “Nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”

The covenant with Noah, you should understand, is a key moment on the journey to the cross.  Now, why is that?  Well, the Lord gave life a second chance, right?  This covenant was more focused on the world and nature than it was mankind.

God said, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night shall not cease (Gen. 8:22).”  Yes, God made a covenant with Noah but this covenant was about not destroying the world because of mankind!

The world suffered because of the sins of mankind.  What’s truly sad about this is that this world was created to be where mankind could dwell with the Lord.  God knew very well that mankind would sin again.  The Lord said that the “imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”  

What’s fascinating about this covenant is that God does not promise He won’t judge mankind again.  So, while mankind got a second chance through Noah, a warning had been sent by God.  The warning:  mankind should not live in sin.  Let’s add to that warning that mankind should obey God’s voice!

Could mankind be obedient this time around?  The answer points to the cross.

The Day of Abraham 

Mankind wasted the second opportunity given to them by the Lord.  After the days of Noah, mankind behaved wickedly.  At one point, mankind came together to build a tower to the heavens to “make a name” for themselves (Gen. 11:4).  There was no real reason to build the tower outside of making a name.  Many people still live with the mindset of making a name.

The plan to build the city and tower of Babel failed as the Lord did not permit it (Gen. 11:5-8).  God confused the languages which caused the people to be able to understand each other.  So, the people scattered to different parts as mankind continued to grow.

After that point in scripture, we are introduced to a man named Abram.  Abram came through the genealogy tree of Shem, the oldest son of Noah (Gen. 6:10; 11:10-26).  Abram lived in a country named “Haran” with father Terah, his wife Sarai, and the rest of his family (Gen. 11:31).

God calls on Abraham

In Genesis 12:1, God instructs Abraham to get out of his country and away from his family and his father’s house.  This is another pivotal moment in scripture.  What’s unique about this moment, which is similar to Noah, is that neither man had ever heard from God.  So far as recorded in scripture, this is the first time God speaks to Abraham.

Now, something we don’t often talk about when we speak about Abraham is the fact that he was a gentile first.  The reason why the Lord instructed him to leave Haran and his father’s house was likely due to idol worship (Josh. 24:2).  The Lord desired to have a personal relationship with Abraham.  So, in this pivotal moment Abraham is given this choice:  listen to some unknown voice or stay with his people.

God tells Abraham that He will lead him to a land to dwell.  God promised that He would bless Abraham and make him a great nation (Gen. 12:2).  In this promise from the Lord, God said that all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3).  Both of these verses make up what is known as the Abrahamic Covenant.

Now, let me be clear, at that point, while one could say this was the covenant these words had yet been sealed.  Abraham had to decide whether or not he would do as he was told- would he obey God’s instructions?  Scripture tells us that Abraham departed as the Lord had instructed him to do (Gen. 12:4).  So, in a manner of speaking, Abraham was obedient.

Now, why do I say ‘in a manner of speaking’?  Well, we are told that Abraham brought some folks with him as he left Haran.  Abraham brought his nephew with him, Lot.  We are told that he brought his wife with him, which I don’t imagine was an issue with God (Gen. 12:5).  However, Abraham also packed up all of their possessions to bring with them.  Abraham also brought all the people he had acquired in Haran.

So, while Abraham was obedient to God’s instructions, his obedience wasn’t complete.  Abraham had brought with him people who the Lord had instructed him to leave behind. That said, Abraham came to the land of Canaan passing through Shechem (Gen. 12:6).  So, Abraham was moving from the north going southward in the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:9).

God’s promise confirmed

Abraham’s obedience led him to Egypt from where he then went back up to inherit the land of Canaan (Gen. 13:1).  After Lot left him, the Lord said to Abraham, “all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever (Gen. 13:15).”

By traveling through the land, God showed Abraham all the land.  So far, so good for Abraham on this journey, right?  He listened to God and most importantly, he had been obedient.  Sure, he had brought some people he wasn’t supposed to bring with him, but he had been obedient for the most part.

Now, I do want to point out that when Abraham left Haran, he was 75 years old (Gen. 12:4).  I point this out because at 75 is when God promised what He would give to Abraham.  God did not confirm the covenant with Abraham until he was 99 years old (Gen. 17:1-2)!  That is 14 years of living that Abraham had to do before God confirmed the covenant.

Scripture doesn’t hide the fact that Abraham was old when God confirmed His covenant with him!  Not only did God confirm the covenant at that time but he reaffirmed that Abraham would have an heir when he was 100!  Abraham laughed at the thought of being 100 years old and having a child with Sarah who was just as old!

Many of us give up on God after waiting a day to recognize God’s response to our prayers!  So, from the time that the Lord promised what He would do for Abraham to 99 were pivotal.  Within that time span, Abraham could have easily fell out of faith in the Lord through all he went through.

During that time span, he and Sarah began to believe she would be unable to bear him an heir.  So, Sarah gave Abraham her handmaid, Hagar, to lay with and have a son (Gen. 16:1-4).  Hagar gave birth to Ishmael when Abraham was 86 years old (Gen. 16:15-16).  This was honestly a moment of failure on Abraham and Sarah’s part.  God said to Abraham that Ishmael was not the son of promise.

So, during that time span, Abraham had to learn how to live by faith rather than force God’s promises to happen.  This is a lesson that many of us have to learn today:  wait on God.  Too often we get out ahead of God and the only thing we end up doing is making a mess of things.

Blessed through Abraham

Thankfully Abraham lived in obedience to God’s instructions.  Sure, he may have had his slip ups, but he did not ever stray from God.  Because of this, we can look back at all God promised to him and see our blessing.  You see, though Abraham lived in obedience, the world around him was still a world of sin.

While the covenant with Noah was more world focused, the covenant with Abraham was mankind focused.  God confirmed that Abraham would be the father of many nations (Gen. 17:4).  Abraham’s name was changed from Abram to Abraham (Gen. 17:5).  God also confirmed Abraham’s descendants would receive the land he dwelt in, Canaan.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, those promises center on Abraham, not all of mankind.  However, if we look back at Genesis 12:3, God promised through Abraham, all families of the earth would be blessed.  God confirmed this covenant several generations later through the giving of Jesus.  

God gave His only begotten so that all who believe in Him will live forever (John 3:16; 6:40).  Both of the covenants that we have looked at today are key moments on the journey to the cross.  Noah and Abraham, through their faith, showed that man could obey God’s instructions.  Yet, even though they were faithful, they showed that man wasn’t perfect.  So, the covenants were made to give mankind a second chance and to save us from our sin.

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