Genesis 8:22

The sweet savor of man's burnt offerings -

(1) not the offerings of caprice, but the fulfillment of Divine commands,

(2) the reciprocation of Heaven's communications -

(3) ascends from the earth-built altar and fills the Lord with satisfaction. In return for that obedience and devotion the curse is removed, the earth is sealed with the saving strength of God in a covenant of peace.


(1) grateful acknowledgment of his mercy;

(2) humble obedience to his own revealed will;

(3) consecration of place, time, life, possessions to him.

II. UNION and COMMUNION between God and man is the foundation on which all earthly happiness and security rest.

III. The FORBEARANCE AND MERCY OF GOD in his relation to those whose hearts are yet full of evil is at once probation and grace. The ground is not cursed any more for man's sake, but, the more evidently, that which falls upon the ground may fall upon man himself. The higher revelations of God in the post-Noachic period were-certainly larger bestowments of grace, but at the same time they involved a larger responsibility. So the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews reasons as to the punishment of those who trample underfoot the covenant of the gospel. The progressive covenants which make up the history of God's grace recorded in the Scriptures are progressive separations of the evil and the good, therefore they point to that complete and final separation in which God's righteousness shall be eternally glorified. - R.

While the earth remaineth, seed time, and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
I. In the text there is A SOLEMN HINT OF WARNING. "While the earth remaineth."

1. It is implied that the earth will not always remain.

2. The time when the earth shall no longer remain is not mentioned. The uncertainty of the end of all things is intended to keep us continually on the watch.

3. Let me further remark that the day when the remaining of the earth shall cease cannot be very far off; for according to the Hebrew, which you have in the margin of your Bibles, the text runs thus: "As yet all the days of the earth, seed time and harvest shall not cease." The "while" of the earth's remaining is counted by days; not even months or years are mentioned, much less centuries.

II. Thus, then, there is a hint of warning in our text; but secondly, there is A SENTENCE OF PROMISE, rich and full of meaning: "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." It is a promise concerning temporal things, but yet it breathes a spiritual air, and hath about it the smell of a field that the Lord hath blessed.

1. This promise has been kept. It is long since it was written, it is longer still since it was resolved upon in the mind of God; but it has never failed. There have been times when cold has threatened to bind the whole year in the chains of frost; but genial warmth has pushed it aside. The ordinances of heaven have continued with us as with our fathers.

2. So long-continued is the fulfilment of this promise, and even this race of unbelievers has come to believe in it. We look for the seasons as a matter of course. Why do we not believe God's other promises?

3. Brethren, we have come not only to believe this promise as to the seasons and to make quite sure about it, but we practically act upon our faith. The farmers have sown their autumn wheat, and many of them are longing for an opportunity to sow their spring wheat; but what is sowing but a burial of good store? Why do husbandmen hide their grain in the earth? Because they feel sure that seed time will in due time be followed by harvest. Why do we not act in an equally practical style in reference to the rest of God's promises? True faith makes the promises of God to be of full effect by viewing them as true and putting them to the test.

4. If a man did not act upon the declaration of God in our text, he would be counted foolish. Equally mad are they who treat other promises of God as if they were idle words; no more worthy of notice than the prophecies of a charlatan.

5. Let me close this point by noticing that, whether men believe this or not it will stand true. A man says there will be no winter, and provides no garments; he will shiver in the northern blast all the same when December covers the earth with snow.

III. There is also in the text, I think, A SUGGESTION OF ANALOGIES. Reading these words, not as a philosophical prediction, but as a part of the Word of God, I see in them a moral, spiritual, and mystical meaning.

1. While the earth remaineth there will be changes in the spiritual world. "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." No one of these states continues; it comes and goes. The seasons are a perpetual procession, an endless chain, an ever-moving wheel. Such is this life: such are the feelings of spiritual life with most men: such is the history of the Church of God. It will be so while the earth remaineth, and we remain partakers of the earth.

2. Yet there will be an order in it all. Cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, do not come in a giddy dance or tumultuous hurly burly; but they make up the fair and beautiful year. Chance has no part in these affairs. So in the spiritual kingdom, in the life of the believer, and in the history of the Church of God, all things are made to work for good, and the spiritual is being educated into the heavenly.

3. Great rules will stand while the earth abideth, in the spiritual as well as in the natural world. For instance, there will be seed time and harvest, effort and result, labour and success.

IV. Last of all, I want you to regard my text as A TOKEN FOR THE ASSURANCE OF OUR FAITH. "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." And they do not. In this fact we are bidden to see the seal and token of the covenant.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. A TESTIMONY FOR GOD'S FAITHFULNESS. The return of harvest speaks to you in language not to be mistaken. "Hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering; for He is faithful that has promised." "My covenant will I not break, saith the Lord; nor alter the thing that has gone out of My lips." "But," you will say perhaps, "it is not God's faithfulness I question — I doubt His mercy. The Word of the Lord, that shall stand; but 'His mercy is in the heavens.' It reacheth not to me." And why not? What but mercy, infinite mercy, so prevailed with the Almighty that He should promise "seed time and harvest" so long as the earth endureth!


1. The end of the world is as sure as the harvest.

2. As in harvest the reaper casts aside the weed, so every false professor will be "cast into outer darkness," while the righteous will "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." "Whoso hath ears to hear, let him hear."

3. Again, it is in harvest we receive of that we have sown; and it is in harvest we see the end of the husbandman's labour — why he hath so long "waited for the early and latter rain." And so in the end of the world. Then is it that we shall see the purposes for which the world was made, and wherefore it has been sustained so long. Then we shall see the long suffering of God, and wherefore He hath borne with us so long.

(W. M. Mungeain, B. A.)

I. WHEN WAS THIS PROMISE GIVEN? Immediately after the deluge. In wrath God remembered mercy.

II. WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PROBABLE RESULT, IF GOD HAD GIVEN US JUDGMENT AND NOT MERCY? If the covenant with the seasons had been suspended, all happiness and comfort must have been instantly paralysed, and all animal life extinguished; existence would no longer have been possible, and your palaces, mansions, and cottages would have been mere sepulchres, full of dead men's bones.

III. But thirdly, let us inquire WHETHER A TIME IS NOT COMING WHEN SEED TIME AND HARVEST, HEAT AND COLD, SUMMER AND WINTER, DAY AND NIGHT, WILL CEASE? Yes, the covenant in the text is limited in time, it holds good only "whilst the earth remaineth." Let this consideration lead us to seek an interest in the better covenant, founded on better promises, and which lasts for eternity; and let us rest our hopes on that firm foundation.

(H. Clissold, M. A.)

1. Every harvest teaches the fact of God's wise providence.

2. Every harvest teaches the fact of God's definite purpose. One vast magnificent purpose has kept everything in exact order during all these years of Divine fidelity.

3. God expects every one of His creatures to be as faithful to a purpose as He Himself has been.

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

Once there was a peasant in Switzerland at work in his garden very early in the spring. A lady passing said, "I fear the plants which have come forward rapidly will yet be destroyed by frost." Mark the wisdom of the peasant: — "God has been our Father a great while," was his reply. What faith that reply exhibited in the olden promise, "While the earth remaineth," etc.

A minister going to church one Lord's Day morning, when the weather was extremely cold and stormy, was overtaken by, one of his neighbours, who, shivering, said to him, "It's very cold, sir." "Oh!" replied the minister, "God is as good as His Word still." The other started at his remark, not apprehending his drift, or what he referred to; and asked him what he meant. "Mean!" replied he, "why, He promised above three thousand years ago, and He still makes His Word good, that 'while the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, shall not cease.'"

1. Spiritual winter is an ordination of God. The true spiritual analogue of winter is not spiritual death, not even feeble spiritual life. There is an orderly change in the soul. Unseen, yet very really, God's Spirit is at work, altering influences, changing modes. He introduces a new state of spiritual experiences, seeking to accomplish varied objects, and summoning to new modes of improving His presence.

2. The objects of spiritual winter are:

(1) = — to confirm and strengthen faith.

(2)To act as a check upon excesses.

(3)To help in the training of the Christian character and the Christian Church.

3. How are we to improve spiritual winter?

(1)By learning a lesson of mutual Christian tolerance.

(2)By treasuring up the clear vision and calm judgment which the winter of the soul is fitted to impart, for the improvement of the season when fervour shall be renewed and emotion once more excited.

(A. Mackennal, D. D.)

The seasonable changes to which our earth is subject are of vast importance to man. They serve —

1. To impress us with the fact of the brevity of life.

2. To keep the soul in constant action.

3. To revive the recollections of old truths. What are the truths that nature reproduces in winter?

I. THE EVANESCENT FORMS OF EARTHLY LIFE. Individuals, families, and nations have their seasons — their spring, summer, autumn, winter.

II. THE STERN ASPECTS OF NATURE'S GOD. Winter significantly hints that the Absolute cannot be trifled with — that He curses as well as blesses, destroys as well as saves.

III. THE RETRIBUTIVE LAW OF THE CREATION. Winter brings on men the penalties for not rightly attending to the other seasons.

IV. THE PROBABLE RESUSCITATION OF BURIED EXISTENCE. The life of the world in winter is not gone out, it is only sleeping..

1. The resuscitation of Christian truth.

2. The resuscitation of conscience.

3. The resuscitation of the human body.


1. Something ought, by the time we have arrived at autumn, to have been got ready to give to man. Have you done it? What fruit have you borne in life for your brother men; how much wheat will God find in you when He comes to reap your fields? We have read the answer that should be given in the harvest time every year. Few sights are fairer than that seen autumn after autumn round many an English homestead, when, as evening falls, the wains stand laden among the golden stubble, and the gleaners are scattered over the misty field; when men and women cluster round the gathered sheaves, and rejoice in the loving kindness of the earth; where, in the dewy air, the shouts of happy people ring, and over all the broad moon shines down to bless with its yellow light the same old recurring scene it has looked on and loved for so many thousand years. It is the picture of a fruitful human life when its autumn tide has come; and blessed are they of whom men can feel the same as when they share in a harvest home — of whom they can say, "He has reached his autumn, we reap his golden produce, and we thank him in our hearts"; and in whose own spirit glimmers fair the moonlight of peace in the evening of life, the peace that is born of work completed, the humble, happy knowledge that can say, "Men will feed on my thoughts, my work shall nourish them, and God in whose strength I have lived, will garner all for me." There is no blessedness in life to be compared with that; it is the true, unselfish joy of harvest.

2. There is a second aspect of autumn that follows upon the harvest. A fortnight ago I went into Epping Forest in the morning. The wind blew keen and strong through a cloudless sky: but a faint, fine mist was on the ground. The air was full of leaves that fluttered to their rest on the red earth and the dark green pools scattered through the wood. The grass was silver-sown with frosted dew, and the birds sang cheerily but quietly. Things were just touched with the breath of decay; one knew that the time of mirth, that even the harvest time was gone away; but the light was too fresh and the sky too bright for sadness. There was an inspiration of work in the air — of quiet, hopeful work — though the ingathering of the year was over. And looking through the thin red foliage of the trees, beyond the skirt of the wood, I saw the rest of the autumn work of man — two dark-brown fields of rich earth, the upturned ridges just touched with the bright footprints of the frost, and in one, looming large through the light mist, two horses drew the plough, and tossed a darker ridge to light, and in the other a sower was sowing corn. And I thought, as I beheld, that our autumn life is not only production, but preparation; not only harvests, but ploughing and sowing. It is not enough to have produced a harvest: we must make ready for a new harvest for men and for ourselves, and more for men than for ourselves. To do so for ourselves alone were selfish, and would defeat its end, for work with that motive has from the very beginning the seed of corruption in it, and the harvest it may reach will be cankered. To begin with one's self is to end in fruitlessness. Begin, on the contrary, your work of sowing with the motive of Christ: "I do this for the love of men"; and you will then find that, without knowing it, and because you did not know or think about it, you have ploughed and sown in the noblest way for yourself. In the new spring time of God's paradise, where only summer's fulness, but never autumn's decay is known, you will fulfil your being, and not one aspiration shall fail of its completion, not one failure but shall be repaired, not one yearning for truth but shall be satisfied, not one effort made here to bring forth a harvest, to plough the land of the world, to sow the seed of good and truth, but shall find at last a noble scope, and expand itself into an infinite sphere of labour. These are the hopes of autumn.

3. There is yet another aspect of autumn, and it is the aspect of decay. The evening falls, the damp air is chill, the mist rises, and the leafless trees are hooded in its ghostly garment. Our feet brush in the avenues through the thick floor of sodden leaves, and through the places we remember green and bright as paradise a low wind sighs in sorrow for the past.

(Stopford A. Brooke, M. A.)


1. The harvest is a time of poetry, rich in meaning, full of beauty, and set to music by God Himself, the poetry of nature smiling in her loveliness and ripe fruition, accompanied by the music of the breeze, as it rustles among the golden ears of bearded grain, and enlivened by sounds of human gladness.

2. Harvest is a time of joy. Then is seen the fruit of long and arduous toil, the fulfilment of ardent hopes and doubtful promises.

3. It is not only the result of work and the triumph of work, but it needs work to secure its golden spoils. Labour is the price of securing as well as of cultivating the fruits of the soil? What more joyous occupation than gathering the fruits of the soil? Man is here a worker with God.

4. Harvest is a time for thankfulness. Whose is the earth we till? God's. Whose the seed we sow? God's. Whose the influences of the sunshine, rain, and air? God's. Whose are the appointed laws by which the seed develops into the plant, and by which the plant bears the precious grain? God's. Whose gift is the intelligence that wields the reaper and drives the team afield? God's. All come from God.

II. THE NATURAL HARVEST REPRESENTS OTHER HARVESTS IN WHICH MEN HAVE A PART. Nature is a picture lesson for man to learn, and there are realities in the world of mind and man corresponding to her images.

1. There is a seed time and harvest in the history of man, analogous to that established by God in nature. Look over the record of the ages and do you not find that the exertions, the struggles, the sacrifices of the men in one age have produced results for the benefit of later generations? Who sowed the harvest of civilization which we are now reaping? Was it not the sages and the poets of ancient Greece, the lawyers and rulers of ancient Rome; the prophets and apostles, the martyrs and evangelists of the Jewish and of the early Christian Church? These were the men that sowed the seeds of law, of learning, of morality, and of religion; and we today, in conjunction with other Christian people, are reaping in our Christian civilization, with all its faults and deficiencies, still great and glorious, the fruit of all their toils, the rich results of their laborious exertions. To bygone ages, to bygone men, how much, then, do we owe! Ah! you cannot separate the ages. One sows, another reaps, and the world of man is richer.

2. There are seed time and harvest for every individual life. The young especially ought to remember that they are now to make those preparations without which age will bear but little fruit. Now is the season to deposit the store of knowledge in their memories as into genial soil, there to take root and germinate into blissful fruit, so that when future years come they may reap the harvest of ripened wisdom and be enriched with the results of work which has gone before, and looking into their minds, as into rich storehouses, they may view the accumulated thoughts, facts, and principles, which form the abundant harvest of their minds. Nor is it with knowledge and wisdom in secular affairs that the individual seed time and harvest should be solely concerned. The spirit requires cultivation. Seed time and harvest is also going on at the same time in the sphere of Christian experience. No sooner do we know the Saviour than we begin to reap the fruits of believing; every gain to our Christian knowledge, or effort of the Christian life, procures for us a greater benefit. We reap as we go on sowing and cultivating our immortal nature — sowing truth, love, and holiness, we reap present satisfaction, delight, and peace, and prepare the way for grander and richer harvests on high. And even in heaven the cultivation of our powers of love and wisdom will go on forever, and bring us increasing harvests of progress in all that is excellent and godlike — world without end.

3. But there is, strictly speaking, a spiritual harvest. And this spiritual harvest has a double aspect — as it respects the righteous, as it respects the wicked. Have you never seen the drunkard, the sensualist, the debauchee, sowing to the lusts of his flesh, nourishing, cultivating, pampering his passions and the brute-like instincts of his nature, and reaping in like kind, creating evil and degraded habits for himself, brutalizing and polluting his thoughts and his imagination, destroying his strength, and health, and manly beauty, and ruining his immortal soul? He is reaping what he sows. Have you never seen, on the other hand, the noble Christian, sowing to the higher life of the spirit, sowing love and kindness to all around him, to come back to him in a harvest of gratitude and affection; sowing intelligence and wisdom to be paid to him in happy thoughts, beautiful fancies, and glorious aspirations; sowing piety, and adoration, and devotion to God, and reaping here the peace that passeth understanding, joy in the Holy Ghost, sweet communion with God, and in the world to come, life everlasting. Let us be thankful for nature's kindly law, the regular return of seed time and harvest, the ordinance of our covenant Jehovah, our loving Father in heaven.

(E. E. Bayliss.)

This promise still holds good. It has never yet failed. It cannot fail, for it is the Word of God.

1. Common things are too often taken as matters of course. The Source and Author of them all is forgotten.

2. God not only orders all these things, maintaining them in constant succession, as He said He would, but He orders them in the best and wisest manner. He takes in at a glance the wants of all His creatures, foresees all the consequences, both near and far off, of what He does, and sends His dealings accordingly. A labouring man used to say, when he heard people complaining of the weather — "It is such weather as God sends, and therefore it pleases me."

3. But all this concerns the present life only. May we not learn something from the text concerning the life to come? The very words carry our thoughts on to the future state. "While the earth remaineth." This promise, then, sure as it is, is only for a time — "while the earth remaineth"; and the earth will not remain forever as it now is. A great change will come — a new heaven and a new earth. Then at length seed time and harvest will be no longer distinguished.

4. Not only the promise of the text, but every other promise that God has made, will be fulfilled.

(F. Bourdillon, M. A.)

One vast, magnificent purpose has kept everything in exact order during all these years of Divine fidelity. And the single point you need to observe most closely is this: He has expected every one of His creatures to be as faithful to a purpose as He has been. Take one of the most insignificant flowers in the meadow for an illustration. Let a naturalist tell you of the private history it has wrought out since the spring opened. Let him show you how the leaves were held out on either side, like palms of two hands, just to catch the falling showers in their hollow; how they drew in unreckoned moisture by a million ducts unseen, transmitting it hastily into their great laboratory; how they distilled it and mingled and separated it and saturated it with sunshine and with mould, until it was ready to be lodged upon the spot where it was needed as an increment of growth; how they laboured on thus for months, till the day arrived for a supreme effort to give forth a blossom; and then how they borrowed this little substance from the soil, and received that little substance from the atmosphere, and commissioned fluid messengers to go down to the roots for help; how they mysteriously wrought with exquisite skill the delicate tissues into new forms of beauty, until at last the petals and pistils came forward into life, and the field grew brilliant with a fresh flower. That entire meadow could go on repeating the lesson. Let us remember that each small spear and leaflet, when it found that its parent stalk no longer had need of it — indeed, would be better if it would put itself out of the way — quietly sacrificed itself for the general good, dropped off the stem to let sunshine come unhindered. So the seed — that one great, precious thing, the seed — had its chance to be fashioned and ripened to fulness and grace. You may learn thus very easily, by inquiring at each door of existence of Science, who is keeper of them all, that God has given for every one of His creations its fixed work in the orderly round of effort, as well as in the narrower circles of reciprocal duties.

(G. S. Robinson, D. D.).

Mount Ararat
Cease, Cold, During, Getting, Goes, Grain, Harvest, Heat, Henceforth, Remains, Seed, Seedtime, Seed-time, Summer, Winter
1. God remembers Noah and calms the waters.
4. The ark rests on Ararat.
6. Noah sends forth a raven and then a dove.
13. Noah, being commanded, goes forth from the ark.
20. He builds an altar, and offers sacrifices,
21. which God accepts, and promises to curse the earth no more.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 8:22

     1095   God, patience of
     1335   blessing
     1355   providence
     4007   creation, and God
     4060   nature
     4065   orderliness
     4406   agriculture
     4464   harvest
     4506   seed
     4806   cold
     4829   heat
     4854   weather, God's sovereignty
     4921   day
     4970   seasons, of year
     4975   week
     5267   control
     8331   reliability

Genesis 8:15-22

     5106   Noah

Genesis 8:21-22

     1347   covenant, with Noah
     7227   flood, the

December 27. "He Sent Forth the Dove which Returned not Again unto Him" (Gen. viii. 12).
"He sent forth the dove which returned not again unto him" (Gen. viii. 12). First, we have the dove going forth from the ark, and finding no rest upon the wild and drifting waste of sin and judgment. This represents the Old Testament period, perhaps, when the Holy Ghost visited this sinful world, but could find no resting-place, and went back to the bosom of God. Next, we have the dove going forth and returning with the olive leaf in her mouth, the symbol and the pledge of peace and reconciliation,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

'Clear Shining after Rain'
'And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Sermon of the Seasons
"Oh, the long and dreary Winter! Oh, the cold and cruel Winter!" We say to ourselves, Will spring-time never come? In addition to this, trade and commerce continue in a state of stagnation; crowds are out of employment, and where business is carried on, it yields little profit. Our watchmen are asked if they discern any signs of returning day, and they answer, "No." Thus we bow our heads in a common affliction, and ask each man comfort of his fellow; for as yet we see not our signs, neither does
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

The Best of the Best
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys."--Song of Solomon 2:1. THE time of flowers has come, and as they are in some faint degree emblems of our Lord, it is well, when God thus calls, that we should seek to learn what he desires to teach us by them. If nature now spreads out her roses and her lilies, or prepares to do so, let us try, not only to see them, but to see Christ as he is shadowed forth in them. "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." If these are the words
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

The Unchangeable One
Psalm cxix. 89-96. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me:
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

On Gen. viii. I
On Gen. viii. I Hippolytus, the expositor of the Targum, and my master, Jacobus Rohaviensis, have said: On the twenty-seventh day of the month Jiar, which is the second Hebrew month, the ark rose from the base of the holy mount; and already the waters bore it, and it was carried upon them round about towards the four cardinal points of the world. The ark accordingly held off from the holy mount towards the east, then returned towards the west, then turned to the south, and finally, bearing off eastwards,
Hippolytus—The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus

The Song of the Three Children
DANIEL iii. 16, 17, 18. O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. We read this morning, instead of the Te Deum, the Song of the Three Children, beginning, 'Oh all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Nature of Covenanting.
A covenant is a mutual voluntary compact between two parties on given terms or conditions. It may be made between superiors and inferiors, or between equals. The sentiment that a covenant can be made only between parties respectively independent of one another is inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. Parties to covenants in a great variety of relative circumstances, are there introduced. There, covenant relations among men are represented as obtaining not merely between nation and nation,
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

That it is Profitable to Communicate Often
The Voice of the Disciple Behold I come unto Thee, O Lord, that I may be blessed through Thy gift, and be made joyful in Thy holy feast which Thou, O God, of Thy goodness hast prepared for the poor.(1) Behold in Thee is all that I can and ought to desire, Thou art my salvation and redemption, my hope and strength, my honour and glory. Therefore rejoice the soul of Thy servant this day, for unto Thee, O Lord Jesus, do I lift up my soul.(2) I long now to receive Thee devoutly and reverently, I desire
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Covenanting Enforced by the Grant of Covenant Signs and Seals.
To declare emphatically that the people of God are a covenant people, various signs were in sovereignty vouchsafed. The lights in the firmament of heaven were appointed to be for signs, affording direction to the mariner, the husbandman, and others. Miracles wrought on memorable occasions, were constituted signs or tokens of God's universal government. The gracious grant of covenant signs was made in order to proclaim the truth of the existence of God's covenant with his people, to urge the performance
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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