Missiology Through Scripture – Genesis 9:17

“God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.” – Genesis 9:17

It is not a common place to think about missions and evangelism when it comes to discussing Noah and the great flood. When God destroys all but a handful of people on the planet it seems hard to find a message of outreach buried in the details. In fact, God’s global outreach is in complete and rare form here in the flood account.

The flood was purposed to wipe great evil from the earth and to create the seeds of a holy race which would grow into God’s elect people of Israel. The foundation of God’s elect were purified through the flood (Gen 8), God covenants with those people (Gen 8 & 9), disperses them throughout the world with the tower of Babel (Gen 11), and sets the stage for the reclaiming of his elect, beginning with Abram (Gen 12).

The Lord launches into the missions movement by establishing a covenant with all the flesh on the earth (Gen 9:17). Tim Keller once preached, “God does not have to enter into a covenant; he doesn’t have to become the Savior of the world because of its sin. He has to become the Savior of the world because of ours.”[1] In this covenant with the people, God promises life and grace. This covenant of grace is what leads from Noah through Abram, to David, and fulfillment in Jesus. God’s covenant established here with man is in its final stages today through the reaching out to the nations (Mat 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) until every nation, tongue, and people is reached (Rev 14:6).

God is not just saying he is the Creator of the world, but he is also saying he is the Savior of the world. Through his covenant of grace Yahweh lets it be known he will save his people. God is desirous of ensuring his mercy covers the planet.


[1] Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).

About Mike

Mike, 48, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2008 to 2016 Mike served as a fulltime missionary with MTW's church planting team in La Ceiba, Honduras. Mike launched that ministry and served as the Team Leader most of his time in Honduras. Mike and his wife currently live in Central Africa where they launched yet another new missions ministry for MTW in Equatorial Guinea.
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