Genesis 9:1-7

March 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”

This week, we begin to look at life after the Flood. The ark has come to rest in the area of Ararat. The earth has dried out and the inhabitants of the ark have disembarked. All air breathing, land-dwelling animals not on the ark have been obliterated. Now, those who have survived the global destruction have been tasked with replenishing the earth (including dinosaurs). Here, as we begin chapter 9, we see that Noah is given this same task. Like his ancestor Adam before him, Noah is told by God that he and his sons should be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The eight humans that survived the Flood will be the ancestors of all of mankind after them. Each person on the planet today is related to one of the three sons of Noah.

Things have changed since the Flood. The landscape is drastically different than when they boarded the ark. The continent they lived on has now been split into multiple continents. The land has been washed away and the mountains have been raised up. I can’t help but think of the tsunami that just recently happened in Japan. I’ve seen videos of the water rushing in and utterly destroying everything in its path. The tsunami was caused by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in one small area of the globe. The thought of the level of destruction that would be caused by the entire globe being put into upheaval is unimaginable. But, this is exactly what happened. It isn’t just the landscape that’s changed though. We find out that the relationship between man and animals has changed as well. It is possible that some animals began to attack people before the Flood (the entire planet was violent), but it is now that things get difficult.

Before the Flood, man ate only vegetables (unless they disobeyed God’s command). Now, he would find sustenance from eating both plants and animals. The fear of man would be found in every animal, and all of the animals on the planet have now been given into the hand of man for food. But, as in the beginning, God makes a stipulation. Noah can eat the animals now, but he cannot eat their blood. God makes it clear that this is where the life is. This statement is special. In a way, it ties together the beginning of mankind (and the planet) and the book of Leviticus (see chapter 17). It also ties together the protoevangelion found in Genesis 3:15 and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. God knows that the life is in the blood and he forbids Noah to eat the blood. Life belongs to God alone.

God also reiterates His judgment upon mankind for their disobedience. God will require the life of every man and beast. It is a requirement of God. It is now extended to murder. God has declared a consequence for anyone who sheds the blood of another man. The murderer will now also lose his/her life. But this isn’t just some random, “I’m a vengeful God and I’ll do whatever I want” type thing. There is at least one reason for the death of the murderer. The person who is murdered is made in the image of God. This is important, especially in the day we live in. So many people talk about the “woman’s right to choose” what she does with her body. If she gets pregnant and decides she doesn’t want the child, she can kill it. Nevermind that the baby is a human being too. Forget about that baby being made in the image of God. None of that matters to those who would kill their unborn children in the name of “choice” (which really means convenience). Women nowadays are “liberated” and “free from the oppression of men” and have the “right” to choose what happens with their bodies. They can do what they want. Including kill their children because of inconvenience. Those who do so don’t care about the value of that baby to God. Just like any other murderer, it is all about self.

There is another reason for this command though. Right now, there are 8 people alive on the face of the planet. These eight people will eventually populate the whole world. To keep sin from spreading, the consequence has been laid down. If people knew that their life would be forfeit if they murdered someone (which is different than killing in self-defense), there were be far fewer people who murdered. The dangers inherent with sin would be obvious and many people would be protected from this sin.

God ends our passage of scripture by reiterating His command to “be fruitful and multiply”. Just like in the beginning of the world, man is given the rules of the land. He has laid out before him everything that God has determined is right. And it is up to him to pass these things along to his descendants so that they too might live in reverence, deference, and obedience to God. How are you living? What are you doing that glorifies God? If you’re not born again, then nothing you are doing glorifies God. No matter how many nice things you have done, no matter how many people you’ve helped, your works are like filthy rags. They mean nothing in the eyes of a holy God. You may say that that’s not fair. You can say that, but God is the One in control here. He’s the One that makes the rules. He has said that the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). If you were to die tonight, and you died without your sins being paid for, then you would find yourself in eternal torment. That is the just punishment that God has set for the one that sins against Him. No amount of good things you do will earn you a place in heaven. But, God has made a way.

 You can be free from your sins and you can have eternal life in heaven. To do this, you must have two things take place in your life. First, you must repent of your sins. You must recognize that you are a sinner. That the lying, stealing, lusting, adultery, hatred, gossip, homosexuality, and all of your other sins have put you at enmity with God. You are a rebel in His eyes deserving of death. You must realize that your sins grieve God and that it is not His wish that you go to hell, but because He is just, that is what will happen. Instead, God’s desire is that you repent of your sins (2 Peter 3:9). He says that if you will apologize for your sins and turn away from those things that you know are wrong, He can save you. But not with repentance alone. Saying your sorry and turning from your sins is not enough. The Bible says that you must put your trust totally in Jesus Christ to save you. You must acknowledge Him as the Savior. He is the One who did something that you could never do, and He gives the gift of salvation freely to those who recognize their sin and come with humility. The Bible says that if you do these two things, you will be saved from the wrath of God and that you can have the assurance that when you die (whether it’s tomorrow or 40 years from now) you will go to heaven and be with God forever. That is it. If you’ve read this far, then you know that you have a choice to make. You can either choose death and the enjoyment of sin for a season (although this season ends abruptly), or you can choose eternal life and the grace of God. If you’re unsure of which to choose, let me help you – choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).

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