18. While justly angry,
God did not turn away
from a world bent on destruction
but turned to face it in love.
With patience and tender care
the Lord set out
on the long road of redemption
to reclaim the lost as his people
and the world as his kingdom.

For God’s response to sin, see Genesis 3:9-15, John 3:16, and Luke 1:68-75; for the aim to restore the kingdom, see Revelation 11:15.

19. Although Adam and Eve were expelled
from the garden
and their days burdened
by the weight of sin,
the Lord held on to them in love
and promised to crush
the evil forces
they had unleashed.

For God’s kindness to Adam and Eve, see Genesis 3:15-19.

20. When evil filled the earth,
God judged it with a flood
but rescued Noah and his family
and animals of every kind.
He covenanted with all creatures
that seasons will continue
and that such destruction
will not come again
until the last day
when the Lord returns
to make all things new.

For God’s promise not to repeat the flood, see Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 2, and 2 Peter 3; for the final renewal, see Revelation 21:1-5.

21. The Lord promised to be God
to Abraham, Sarah, and their children,
calling them to walk faithfully before him
and blessing the nations through them.
God chose Israel to show the glory of his name,
the power of his love,
and the wisdom of his ways.
The Lord gave them the law
through Moses
and led them
by rulers and teachers,
shaping a people
in whom God is revealed—
a light to the nations.

For God’s promise to Abraham and to his people Israel, see Genesis 12:1-3, Deuteronomy 7-8, and Romans 9; for Abraham’s children as the light to the nations, see Micah 6:8 and Isaiah 60.

22. When Israel spurned God's love—
lusting after other gods,
trusting in power and wealth,
and hurting the weak—
God scattered them among the nations,
yet kept a faithful remnant
and promised them the Messiah:
a prophet to speak good news,
a king to crush evil and rule the earth with justice,
a priest to be sacrificed for sinners.
God promised to forgive their sins
and give them a new heart and a new spirit,
moving them to walk in his ways.

For the scattering, see 2 Chronicles 36 and Isaiah 10:1-11; for the promises, see Isaiah 53, Jeremiah 31, and Ezekiel 36.