008 Purpose in the Altar and the Rainbow

Purpose In The Altar And The Rainbow

Txt: Gen. 8:20-21, 9:12-16

There is a close connection between the altar and the bow.

The same connection exists between the death and resurrection of Christ.

The altar speaks of sacrifice, the bow of promise and assurance.

Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification.

I. The Altar

– It was an altar builded unto the Lord.

– It was both a witness and a confession that God had holy and righteous claims that must be acknowledged and met.

– The first thing Noah did in coming forth was to recognize that God’s place was the first place.

“In the beginning God.”

A. The need of an offering

– A new beginning was now to be made.

– If the life is to be a blessed and fruitful one, the favour of God must be secured.

– In the fullness of time, the Son of God stepped forth.

– A new order of things was about to begin.

– He made peace by the blood of His cross.

– By His offering we are reconciled to God.

– This is a good start.

B. The nature of the offering

“Every clean beast.”

– Every clean beast means the combination of every creature excellency. A perfect offering.

– When Christ offered Himself a sacrifice unto God it was an offering without spot or blemish.

– Although the first man failed, God found in the second every heart-satisfying virtue.

C. The result of the offering

God found in it:

1. A savour of rest (v. 21)

– Every desire of God’s heart fully met in the sweet savour of Christ’s offering (Eph. 5:2)

2. An assurance of safety

– No more curse.

– There is therefore now no judgement.

– No condemnation.

3. The promise of unceasing blessing (v. 22)

– Every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3)

II. The Rainbow

– The bow of promise comes after the alter of sacrifice.

– As all of the colours of nature are I the bow, so all the promises of God are in Christ.

– Every divine perfection is manifested in the resurrection glory of Jesus.

– Christ as our sacrifice is seen on the altar of the cross; Christ as our intercessor is seen in the bow of His mediatorial glory.

The bow is…

A. A token of God’s goodness

– How kind of God to give such a visible expression of His love and favour, such as assurance of heart.

– If Christ is not risen, we are of all men most miserable.

– But now is Christ risen (1 Cor. 15:17-20)

B. A token of God’s fullness

– There is fullness of colour and beauty in the bow, a fullness that is in sweetest harmony.

– Think of the fullness of the Godhead in Jesus Christ, in Him for us, and all in perfect harmony with a just and holy God.

– O the riches of His glorious grace!

C. A token of God’s faithfulness

“I do set My bow for a covenant” (9:13).

– The setting of Christ at God’s right hand is to us who believe, a token of eternal security.

– He is faithful who hath promised.

“Doest thou believe on the Son of God?” (John 9:35).


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