Just as I swore that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you.
In this reading from the prophet Isaiah (this section of the large book of Isaiah is known as Second Isaiah), God reaffirms that God will never forsake the people and will continue to hold up the covenant created with Noah. To Noah, God said, “I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” Notice that the covenant God makes with Noah is a covenant of compassion and care for all of the earth. Covenants that God establishes are to be everlasting. God will uphold them for all time. Thus, to the
Hebrews in exile, God is telling them, “If I’ve maintained my covenant with Noah, I will maintain my covenant with you.” The covenant with the Hebrew people as they return from exile is this: God will not be angry with them or rebuke them. Anger is banished from the possibility of God. Because of this, we too live in the covenant established with the Hebrew exiles. God will not be angry with us. This truth changes how we operate daily. Rather than changing our behaviors out of fear of retribution, it is love that transforms us. It is love that transforms our complaints to gratitude. The question is then, how is love transforming you?