NEW INSTRUCTIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS
Now we come to a new beginning. It is difficult for us to realize what a revolutionary beginning it is. The dispensation of human conscience is over, and God is putting man under government—he is to govern himself. We will see something of this in the covenant which God made with Noah. And let’s keep in mind that, when God made the covenant with Noah, He made it with you and me, for He made it with all mankind.
Genesis 9:1-17 KJV
 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
- God had made the man and the woman on the sixth day of creation, instructing them to, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, found in Genesis 1: 28.
- Now, after the judgment carried out through the great flood, God begins what we might call a “re-creation” with Noah and his sons.
- Eight people are to fulfill the mandate given to Adam and Eve, found in Genesis 7:13, and 1 Peter 3: 20.
- The word replenish is meaningful here because we know that there was a civilization before the Flood, and now there is to be a civilization after the Flood.
- (When Adam was told to replenish the earth, we assume that there had been living creatures—I don’t know what to call them—before Adam. They apparently were living creatures of God’s creation; anything I could say beyond that would be pure speculation.)
- Notice that the first thing God tells Noah to do is to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” There is to be the propagation of the race.
- Remember that God gave this command under special circumstances. Today we are in a time of population explosion, and there is overpopulation that is quite dangerous.
- However, Noah stood in a unique position. He and his family were the only folk around.
- Can you imagine driving down the freeway, going to work in the morning, and there are cars in front of you, cars to the right of you, cars to the left of you, cars behind you, cars honking—you’re in a traffic snarl.
- Then about a year later you go out on the freeway and there is not another car there. Yours is the only one. You might as well take down all the traffic lights.
- You won’t need them because you are the only one driving through.
- This would be quite an unusual experience for us, would it not?
- Well, this was the experience of Noah in his day.
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
- And the fear of you and the dread of you
- The second part re-establishes man‘s dominion over the inferior animals.
- It was now founded not as at first in love and kindness, but in terror; this dread of man prevails among all the stronger as well as the weaker members of the animal tribes and keeps away from his haunts all but those employed in his service.
- Another part of the covenant is man’s protection and rulership over the animal world. I take it that before this time the relationship was different.
- Apparently man had not been a meat eater before.
- All the animals were tame, and one is not inclined to eat an animal that is a pet.
- Remember that the animals came to Noah when the Flood was impending; they seemed to have no fear of him at all. Now the animals will fear and dread man.
- However, man is responsible for the animal world. Man’s treatment of the animal world is a brutal story. Man has attempted to exterminate many of the animals.
- Man would have slaughtered all the whales around the Hawaiian Islands for the money they could get if the government had not intervened.
- At one time the buffalo were in great herds in the West, but they were killed by man. Today we must have places of refuge to protect animals and bird life.
- It is well that we do that. The animals of Africa are being exterminated.
- Man is a mighty brutal creature. We need a government to protect the animals from man.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
- Humanity’s diet now is expanded beyond the vegetation permitted in Genesis 1: 30, and meat becomes a new source of protein.
- We may wonder why God gives such permission at this particular time since creatures are not especially numerous.
- Unclean animals had been taken aboard the ark in twos, while clean animals had been taken by sevens, found in Genesis 7: 2, 3; and some of the latter have already been sacrificed in Genesis 8: 20.
- But capture of creatures for food will not be easy since they now fear humans found in Genesis 9: 2.
- It seems that just as man has to sweat to produce food from the ground found in Genesis 3: 19, he now will be required to exercise a similar effort to obtain meat from earth’s creatures.
- Now God gives to man a new provision for food. Before the Flood God gave to man the green earth, the plant life, to eat. Now He tells Noah that he is able to eat animal life.
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
- God next imposes a limitation on the new allowance concerning humanity’s diet: people are forbidden to eat flesh, or meat, with its blood.
- The restriction and the reason for it will be restated in the Mosaic law in Leviticus 17:10–14, and Deuteronomy 12:16, 23–25.
- Taken together, the passages from Genesis, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy imply that blood either is or somehow represents a creature’s life force.
- One may suggest that the center of life is in the heart or the brain, but these organs function only if the supply of blood to them is maintained. To cut off the blood supply means certain death.
- The draining of the blood before eating the meat was a way of returning the life force of the animal to the God who gave it life. This offers recognition that individuals have taken the life with permission and are partaking of God’s bounty as His guests.
- Some suggest that this principle remains intact today, found in Acts 15:20, 29. Others point to Jesus’s purging of all meats found in Mark 7:18, 19 as a basis for saying that dietary regulations from the Old Testament are no longer binding. This may be one of those areas where differences of opinion can exist without passing judgment on those who hold them found in Romans 14:1– 4.
- The blood should be drained out. The blood speaks of life; draining it indicates that the animal should be killed in a merciful way rather than prolonging its suffering and that it must be really dead.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
- God expands on the previous stipulation. So important is the principle that life is in the blood that He states and surely your blood of your lives will I require.
- God will, first of all, require a reckoning for human life that is taken by every beast that is responsible for so doing.
- God declares that He will keep a record of every person killed by a member of the animal kingdom, and He will hold the deadly animal accountable.
- Of course, animals do not understand the concept of guilt, even so, they are accountable to their Creator for their actions.
- How much more, then, is this the case with those created in God’s image, beings who are capable of understanding guilt!
- Both this verse and the next address our accountability to God in this regard.
- This is an interesting statement, but not so meaningful to those of us who do not live on a frontier.
- However, there are certain animals even we encounter—such as skunks and opossums which may be rabid or disease-carrying rodents—that pose a real danger to man.
- Now the fifth and the last statement in the new covenant is the most amazing—
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
- God requires of humans that the life of a murderer, whoso sheddeth man’s blood, must be taken as punishment for the heinous act.
- This principle is later embedded within the Law of Moses, where a distinction is made between premeditated murder and what we would call involuntary manslaughter today, found in Exodus 21:12-14.
- The reason for the kind of punishment we see in our text is based on our uniqueness as creatures made in the image of God . So passionate is God about preserving and protecting this uniqueness that destroying a life must be disciplined to the ultimate degree: life for life, also see Leviticus 24:17 and Numbers 35:31.
- The Old Testament basis for capital punishment is thus quite clear. To take the life of a murderer is to be considered an act of the utmost respect for life-life as a creative gift of God.
- Capital punishment is not a barbaric, inhuman act; instead, it is a just response to a deed that has demonstrated the ultimate contempt for the one who creates life.
- Capital punishment is controversial today, even within Christianity.
- Some may question whether the principle of, life for life, is still valid, given the fact that we are no longer under the old law, but are under grace, found in Romans 6: 14.
- To this concern we can point out that although Jesus has indeed, abolished in his flesh … the law of commandments contained in ordinances, found in Ephesians 2:15 by, nailing it to his cross, found in Colossians 2:14, the requirement of Genesis 9:6 predates the Law of Moses.
- Further, the New Testament itself seems to indicate that capital punishment is still valid, found in Romans 13:4 and Acts 25:11.
- Here God lays down the principle for government and protection of man. He gives the government the right of capital punishment.
- We have seen that in this new covenant which God has given, man is to propagate the race, he is to have the protectorate and the rulership over animals, he is given a new provision for food and a prohibition against the eating of blood.
- Now we see that he is given the principle of government, which is the basis of capital punishment.
- May I say to you that it is amazing how the attitude of the present generation has gotten away from the Bible. You see, we do not have a Bible-oriented population anymore.
- It is almost totally ignorant of the Word of God. As a result, we find the judges, the lawyers, and the politicians all wanting to get rid of capital punishment.
- They have succeeded in many cases, and I think that finally it will be eliminated totally from American culture.
- At the same time we have an increase in crime and the most horrible crimes taking place.
- I believe that capital punishment is scriptural and that it is the basis of government. The government has the right to take a life when that individual has taken someone else’s life.
- Well, I think it is quite obvious that God has ruled it so in order to protect human life. Our lives are no longer safe on the streets and often not in our homes, either.
- Although I know that many officials would deny this, one reason is our attitude toward capital punishment.
- When a criminal knows that if he takes a life, his life is going to be sacrificed, then may I say to you, he’ll think twice before he takes a life.
- Also, there is an idea today about getting a gun-control law. May I say that the problem is not with the gun in the hand, it is with the heart inside the man.
- “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” is a law that we had better get back on our statute books and get rid of this sob-sister stuff.
- Human government is the area into which all mankind has moved (Gentiles included).
- “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” is the basis for human government.
- It has not been changed as far as the governments of the world are concerned.
And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
- This is a repetition of God’s instructions in verse 1.
And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
- GOD communicated by talking to them.
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
- God has already told Noah, with thee will I establish my covenant, found in Genesis 6:18, the first time the word covenant appears in the Bible.
- Following the great flood, God addresses not only Noah but also his three sons, found in Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; and 9:18.
- God’s covenant includes not only them but their seed, or descendants.
- Therefore the covenant about to be explained embraces all human beings.
- “With your seed after you” includes all the human race.
And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
- God’s covenant also applies to every living creature.
- Therefore the prohibitions and warnings that were given earlier regarding these creatures and humans are balanced with the establishment of a special covenant with both parties.
- The nature of that covenant is explained next.
- All of God’s creatures are included in this covenant.
- Isaiah predicts that someday the lion and the lamb will lie down together and that they will not hurt or destroy each other.
- In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he mentions that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain in this present age.
- May I say to you that God has made this covenant with Noah and with all of His creatures until the time His Kingdom comes on earth.
- It is for all of Noah’s descendants and “every living creature that is with you.”
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
- The specifics of the Lord’s covenant are provided: never again will He use the waters of a flood to cut off life and destroy the earth as He has just done.
- The next destruction of the earth will be by fire, not water found in 2 Peter 3:6-12.
- This is God’s promise. His purpose is that He will not again destroy the earth with a flood.
- The next time His judgment of the earth will be by fire. We find that stated in 2 Peter 3.
- In the next few verses we see the picture of the covenant, and in my opinion, really a spiritual meaning of the covenant. It is sort of a sacrament, if you please.
- The thing which makes it that is a visible sign to which are annexed promises.
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
- Once more the all-inclusive nature of the covenant is emphasized: it is for Noah and his sons along with every living creature.
- Moreover, the covenant is for perpetual generations, which is another way of describing, your seed after you, in Genesis 9:9.
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
- The visual reminder of the bow, or rainbow, is the token of that covenant.
- The noun bow generally describes an instrument of death, used for hunting or warfare, as found in Genesis 27:3; 48:22; etc.
- Genesis 9:13, 14, 16 and Ezekiel 1:28 are the only places in the Old Testament where this word signifies a rainbow.
- Perhaps the symbolism in God’s declaration lies in the fact that He is laying aside an instrument of destruction in keeping with His promise not to destroy the earth again by means of a flood.
- Some believe that this is the first appearance of a rainbow, marking its significance as part of the covenant that God is establishing.
- Others maintain that the rainbow has already been seen on previous occasions after rainfalls, but the rainbow becomes the token of God’s covenant only after He speaks the words in the verse before us.
And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little hurt. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify.
And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
- God’s memory never fails, of course. So the phrase I will remember does not imply that God might somehow forget certain details and needs a rainbow to be reminded of them.
- In a passage such as this, the phrase I will remember carries with it the idea that God is about to act to fulfill a promise He has made.
- A similar usage is found in Exodus 2:24, where God hears the cries of the Israelites in bondage in Egypt, and remembered his covenant.
- God’s response in Exodus 3 is to call Moses to be Israel’s deliverer.
- In the case at hand, God takes personal charge of being the deliverer as He continuously ensures that the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
- This verse reemphasizes what has already been stated.
- Notice that God says, “I will look upon it” and “I will remember.” God didn’t say that you would see it; He said that He would see it.
- He said He would look upon it and it would be an “everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”
- That ought to be the encouragement whenever you look at a rainbow.
And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
- A final reaffirmation of the rainbow’s importance is given to Noah himself.
- This is only fitting since this account of the flood began with God’s message to Noah about how corrupt the earth had become, as found in Genesis 6:13, and of God’s intention to establish His covenant with Noah, found in 6:18.
- When Noah is first introduced in Scripture, he is called, a just man and perfect in his generations, as found in Genesis 6:9.
- Because Noah faithfully did, according to all that God commanded him, found in 6:22, he is now given the privilege to witness God’s, re-creative, activity and to hear God announce the terms of a covenant with all flesh that is upon the earth.
- It is still true that those who faithfully obey and serve God receive numerous blessings, privileges, and insights that remain only mysteries to those who, like the vast majority in Noah’s day, remain entrenched in their wickedness, as found in Matthew 13:10-16 and Colossians 1:26.
- This is God’s covenant, not merely with Noah but with all flesh that is upon the earth.
- Let me say again that the rainbow could be called a sacrament because a sacrament is a visible sign to which are annexed certain promises.
- The Passover feast, the brazen serpent, Gideon’s fleece, and in our day, baptism and the Lord’s Supper are such signs.
- God makes a promise and attaches a sign to it. Now the rainbow is God’s answer to Noah’s altar. It is as if God says, “I’ll remember, and I’ll look upon it.”
I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,
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