Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/18/2022: Genesis 8:20-22

Today please be in prayer for

Falls City First UMC
Rulo Trinity UMC
Missouri River District
Fremont First UMC
Missouri River District
Fremont First UMC
Missouri River District
Gretna UMC
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Genesis 8:20-22

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

As long as the earth endures,
    seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
    shall not cease.’

Today's Devotional

I am often critical of the advertising industry for creating ads which make no sense to me and have no connection to a product, though I realize I am not the target audience for at least 90% of all advertising. However, a while back an insurance company came up with an ad that quickly became one of my all-time favorites.

It opens with an old, old man looking at an ark, so you know this is Noah. Next you see Noah carrying a fawn to the ark, and then you see a giraffe with a rope around its neck and the rope is coming out of a tree, and as the giraffe moves, Noah falls out of the tree. Then Noah is dragging an alligator onto the ark by its tail, and next he is running with a piece of meat in his hand just ahead of some lions. Finally, Noah has all the animals in the ark, and he sits down and looks exhausted. Suddenly he hears a buzzing noise and a mosquito lands on his neck. Without thinking he swats the bug, and then looks at the dead mosquito on his hand, and he listens to the thunder of the approaching storm outside, and then he sighs deeply, and gets up to go find another one. As he goes out of the ark, the message appears on the screen: Sometimes it is hard keeping a promise.

What I love about the ad is the image of Noah working so hard to keep his promise to God that he would build an ark, and then he would go out and save two of every species, so the earth could go on multiplying after this flood that God would send to cleanse the earth of wickedness. But then, the story of Noah is all about promises and keeping promises, both on Noah’s part and on God’s part. This is the story of a covenant where God promises that He will never abandon us, nor any of the creatures that he made. The beautiful thing about this covenant is that it is has no conditions upon it. It is a covenant of love wherein God promises to remember us even if we forget him.

What about our promises? We can make God sad, and we can make God angry, but despite our sinfulness, despite all that we do to hurt each other and to hurt ourselves, God has promised not to abandon us and to not seek our destruction. However, God does call us to turn around and try once more to be the person that we were created to be. That’s a hard promise for me to keep and I’m sure many of you would agree, but I’m encouraged that even when I fail to keep my promises, God keeps his.
-- Rev. Galen Wray, retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

Creator God you made the earth and heavens and human beings and called us into covenant with you. You promised us everything and ask in return only that we keep the promise to love you and live up to the image of you inside each of us. Amen.


Shared Prayers

View Prayer Requests

Submit a Prayer Request

Tools for your Prayer Life

This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color