Sermon – July 26, 2015

Genesis 9:8-17 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Mine, mine, mine. In our text today, God says the covenant he is establishing is his, and he says it three times: v 9: “I establish my covenant”; v 11: “I establish my covenant”; v 15: “I will remember my covenant.”

3.

Mine, mine, mine. We know these words, don’t we?

A room full of toddlers, all having fun. In the corner is little Billy with a fire truck. He’s happy and content, having lots of fun. Sam notices and runs over. “My truck.” Mine, mine, mine . . . a treasured possession.

The Black Friday sales are going on. The line just to get into the store is long. Then the doors open. The store clerks say, “No running,” without effect. The crowd pushes and shoves to get the greatest deal of the season. That TV, that new phone, that gaming system is . . . mine, mine, mine . . . a treasured possession.

A couple goes to a bar for drinks and dancing. He goes to the restroom; when he returns, another guy is talking to his date. Mine, mine, mine. He’s jealous.

Two people are up for the promotion. They started at the company at the same time. Both have been successful, leading various projects. One gets the promotion, and the other cries, “Mine, mine, mine.” He’s jealous.

Oh, we know these feelings well! A treasured possession! We love it! A jealousy because we love it! Mine, mine, mine.

God certainly knows it too. He knows a treasured possession when he sees you. Yes, he becomes jealous when you go off and about. Never thought of it that way?

Then hear the Word of God! God calls you his treasured possession! Ex 19:5: Out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Deut 7:6: The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deut 26:18: And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised. Ps 135:4: For the Lord has chosen [you] to be his own, to be his treasured possession. Mal 3:17: “My treasured possession.” Titus 2:14: “For his own possession.” 1 Pet 2:9: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.”

God calls you his treasured possession, and he is jealous for you! Ex 20:5: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God.” Ex 34:14: “You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Deut 4:24: “The Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deut 5:9: “You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.” Deut 6:15: “The Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God. Nah 1:2: “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.”

God calls you his treasured possession, and he is jealous for you! It is his covenant.

2.

Yet there are times when we think it’s ours. Mine.

How many times do we think we’re in charge? Mine. How many times do we think we’re in control? Mine. How many times do we think we can change it? Mine.

During the summer of 2013, travelers boarded a Las Vegas to Phoenix flight. The plane left the gate but wasn’t cleared for takeoff due to mechanical problems. So it sat on the tarmac, and it sat for hours. Hours on the hot tarmac. Hours without air conditioning, without food, without water. People were stuck for hours on the plane. Two people even passed out.

And then something happened. Whether it was a joke or a subliminal message or the person thought he was in charge, in control, could change things, a man held up his portable music player and belted out the song “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. The passengers banded together in song, but it didn’t change the situation. As sinful human beings, we think we’re in charge, in control, can change things. Mine.

Here Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed is helpful: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me.” We aren’t in charge, in control, able to change it. But God is!

Consider the flood. It was unlike anything mankind has seen before or since. The flood was, without doubt, a holocaust of enormous and exceptional proportions. One day everything was normal, and then . . . the deluge! The water rose for 40 days, and the whole earth remained flooded for 150 days. God is in charge.

1.

So as God created the world, he then re-created. He set the rainbow in the cloud. He established his covenant with you, plural—that is, all of you! He established his covenant with every living creature. He established his covenant with all flesh. He established his covenant for all future generations. And he remembers . . . the covenant everlasting . . . in Hebrew the berith ‘olam.

His covenant that endures. His covenant with Noah. His covenant with Abraham. His covenant at Sinai. His covenant with David. His covenant with Israel. God’s covenant. His covenant with you. Mine!

Yes, without a doubt, you are God’s treasured possession. God said so himself. He said, “When the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant.”

What was the covenant? That he will never forsake us. And he hasn’t! Jesus Christ will never, never, no way ever, never leave or forsake you (Heb 13:5).That’s like saying, “You are mine, mine, forever mine, mine, mine.”

Oh, he prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39). Jesus did the will of the Father. Jesus did the will of the Father and stood before Caiaphas, stood before Herod, stood before Pilate. Jesus did the will of the Father and took the beating, the scourging. Jesus did the will of the Father and endured the weight of the cross. Jesus did the will of the Father and willingly gave up his spirit on the cross for you. He willingly suffered your punishment, taking your place in hell for your sins. He paid for your sins. Your sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. He did this so that a holy and righteous God could claim you as his own.

And then he rose on Easter morn for you. So that you can be his. So that he can possess you.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17–19)

Yes, you are God’s treasured possession! Our God is jealous for you! In our text today God says it is his covenant, and he says it three times: v 9: “my covenant”; v 11: “my covenant”; v 15: “my covenant.” Three times? He must really want you to know it.

God’s Covenant Says Mine, Mine, Mine of Us,

His Treasured Possessions.

“You are mine, mine, forever mine, mine, mine.” In Jesus’ name. Amen!

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