The God of the Seasons (Part 1: Autumn)
And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, since the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:21-22)
Autumn has come upon us bringing a coolness in the air and glittery stars in the sky. It is one of my favorite seasons. When I was a young girl, I remember my Aunt Natline would give my siblings and I an assignment to go out and rake the leaves outside of our front yard. In order to make it fun, she would buy fall decorative leaf bags and have us fill each bag until it was big, bulky, and round. I am a true nature girl, so as you can imagine, anything that has to do with the great outdoors was exciting. I love how Fall decorates our landscapes with glitz and dazzles of golds, browns, and red foliage. Autumn is quite spectacular!
Ladies, we are invited by our Faithful Father to enjoy, celebrate, and give praise for his steadfast love and faithfulness to his people, as He is the Maker and Originator of this seasonal art show! Each second, hour, and season testifies that God is not only real but his ways are true and righteous.
In Genesis 8:21-22, God points to the seasons as proof of His faithfulness in His covenant with Noah.
After the ark settled on dry ground, Noah offered a sacrifice to God which is a pleasing aroma that appeases His wrath. God’s response to Noah’s sacrifice is that He promised to never strike down every living thing on earth (by flooding the world with water; Gen. 9:15) because of man's sin, but instead, he allowed the earth to remain, and with it the moon, stars and the seasons, so that we can remember his grace towards us for all time.
This is very similar to the covenant promises spoken to Abraham where He again points to aspects of His creation as proof of His faithfulness. In Genesis 15:5, he says, “Look towards heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘so shall your offspring be.’”
The LORD unpacks this promise again but adds the sand of the seashore in Genesis 22:17, “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
God’s saving acts toward Noah in rescuing him from the flood and bringing about a new creation foreshadows His love towards undeserving sinners like us who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ’s blood and righteousness for the forgiveness of sin. God’s covenant promise is Christ Himself, the Offspring of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). He is the Lamb that Abraham was referring to when speaking to Isaac, whom God would provide for Himself (Gen. 22:8; cf. John 1:29). His sacrifice was a superior pleasing aroma to the Father (Eph. 5:1-2), as He took upon himself the wrath that we deserve and was cursed for us, so that we are not destroyed for our sin like the people during Noah’s days. For all of God’s promises find their ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). However, it is only a promise to those who placed their faith in Christ. For without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.
God’s covenant promises displayed in the seasons call for reverent worship. God is holy, and He is faithful. The seasons should cause you to rejoice and tremble. If the beauty of Autumn still happens on a planet ruined by sin, how much more glorious will His new creation be in the New Jerusalem (2 Peter 3:13)!
With everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.” “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and I will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. - (Isaiah 54:8-10)