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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2002

God's Two Promises

Many children love playing outside during summer vacation. But sometimes it rains and they have to stay inside. Could you imagine being inside for a whole year? It sure would feel good to get out, wouldn’t it? Think how happy Noah and his family must have been to get out in the sunlight!

But some questions might have entered their minds as they walked out of the ark. They might have wondered if God would bring another flood and destroy man again. After all, there was no guarantee that all of Noah's descendants would obey the Lord. What if men became wicked again? Would another ark have to be built?

If these questions were on the minds of Noah's family, they didn't stay on their minds very long. When Noah and his family came off of the ark, a beautiful rainbow crossed the sky. As they looked at the rainbow, God made them a promise. He promised that "never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth" (Genesis 9:11). God said that the rainbow was a sign that He would never destroy the Earth by a flood. Can you imagine how relieved Noah's family must have felt? They would never have to build another ark!

Yet, as Noah's descendants began to fill the Earth, they once again became wicked .Because of their wickedness, God made another promise to all mankind. God promised to destroy the Earth and the whole Universe, but next time it will be burned up-not flooded. In 2 Peter 3:10, God promised that "both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." Some people have tried to predict when this will happen, but Jesus has told us that "no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).

At first, it may be a little scary to think about the Universe burning up, but when Peter told this news to the early Christians he wasn't trying to scare them. In fact, Peter wanted the Christians to look forward to Christ's second coming. It will be a time of great joy for those who are doing good, because Christ will take us home to heaven . Since the Universe will someday be destroyed, Peter told the early Christians to live godly, righteous lives so that they would not be afraid.

The rainbow reminds us that God will never flood the entire Earth. But it also reminds us that the Universe will be burned up someday. If we obey God and live righteous lives, that day will be a wonderful day of rejoicing!

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