Genesis 9:8-17

April 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. “I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. “It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will 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 never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. “When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

This week, we are going to look at the covenant God made with Noah, and all of the earth. Since I didn’t post this last week (things got busy!), we’re going to recap a little bit. God has destroyed the entire earth with a global Flood. The waters covered all of the mountains on all the earth and no living, land dwelling animal survived unless it was on the ark. The Flood was God’s judgment on the earth for the sinfulness of man. Man’s heart was desperately wicked and his thoughts were only of violence. God had given man 120 years to repent of those sins before He sent the Flood, but it didn’t happen. There were only 8 people who were saved from the Flood. Noah, his wife, his sons Shem, Ham, and Jepheth, and their wives. During the building of the ark, Noah preached righteousness to those around him, but no one would come to salvation. God brought Noah the animals to board the ark. He brought two of every unclean animal and seven pairs of the clean animals. They all boarded the ark, God told Noah and his family to enter, and then God shut the door. For the next forty days and nights, the earth trembled, groaned, and exploded as the fountains of the great deep burst open and the windows of heaven poured out a torrential rain. This was the first time that anyone had seen rain.

After the rains stopped, Noah and his family remained on the ark for about a year. They cared for the animals on the ark and for each other with the food they had stored up. At the appropriate time, God caused the floodwaters to begin subsiding and eventually the land was dry. Noah disembarked from the giant ship that had been his home for the last year and entered a completely different world than the one that he had left when he entered the ark. Destruction from the Flood was everywhere. As he left the ark, Noah heard from God. God gave him the same command that He had given Adam and Eve in the Garden:

“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth”

Things were different now. The fear of man was on every beast and man was no longer a vegetarian. He could now eat meat as well. God still made boundaries for Noah, restricting him from eating the blood of any animal. The blood is where the life is, and God would not allow man to eat it. He also laid down the law for Noah. If a man shed blood, then he would also die. This was different than it had been with Cain, but it was necessary. Man was just starting out again and needed to be protected from himself so that he could fill the earth.

It is here that we begin this week’s study. God has just laid down the law with man and told him, once again, to populate the earth and fill it. Then, he makes a covenant with Noah, his descendants, and every living thing that is on the planet. God promises that He will never again destroy the earth with a Flood. This is significant, especially in light of those who desire to compromise scripture in order to accept secular scientific ideas of the history of mankind. Many who wish to force the Bible to agree with science say that the Flood of Noah was just a localized thing and that it wasn’t global (although we saw a few weeks ago that it can only be a global Flood the way that it reads). But, if this Flood of Noah was just a localized Flood, there are a few problems. One, how does this reflect on the judgment of God? If it was a local flood, many of those who were violent could have escaped the wrath of God and His judgment by moving away from the area. This would mean that, at the least, God’s judgment is incomplete. But, this is not what the Bible says. It also implies that God is unable to punish those He judges and makes Him anything but all-powerful. Two, if the Flood was local,  it makes God a liar. The scriptures say that every land dwelling, air breathing, animal that wasn’t on the ark was destroyed in the Flood. This would not be the case in a local flood. Three, if the Flood was just a local event, then God has broken His promise. There have been numerous instances on the earth where floodwaters have destroyed houses, people, and even entire cities since the Flood of Noah.

It is important that we see the Flood in Genesis for what it is: a global, planet-transforming, Flood that caused damage on a scale unknown by man before or since. If we don’t see it this way, then we are exchanging the truth of scripture for the ideas of mankind. This is never a good thing. To remind us of His promise, God put a rainbow in the sky. This was the sign that God chose for His covenant with Noah and all living flesh on the earth. The fact that those who support homosexuality use a rainbow as their symbol is somewhat ironic, a little funny, and very sad. Those who are living in a homosexual lifestyle are living in sin, just like the adulterers, rapists, murderers, and gossips. Anyone living in sin will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

To this day, God has remembered His covenant and hasn’t destroyed all living flesh with another global Flood. But, just this promise, God has made another. He has promised that the earth will go through another judgment. This time, it will be by fire (2 Peter 3:7). In this judgment, all ungodly men will be destroyed. All those who have not repented of their sins and trusted in Christ alone to save them will perish. Is that you? Are you born again? Have you repented of your sins? The lying, lusting, stealing, coveting, gossip, idolatry, etc? If not, then at this very moment you are under God’s wrath and if nothing is done, you will find yourself in a horrible position on the day of Judgment. Nothing will be able to be done about it then because it will be too late. But, there is still time now. The Bible says that if you will repent of your sins (run from them) and that you put your faith in Christ to save you, then you will be saved. You will be seen as righteous through the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. And, you can have the assurance that when you die, you will go to heaven. It is not easy being a Christian. You will have to give up things that your sinful past loved. You may have to give up friends or lose them because of your new beliefs, but there is nothing that you may lose that could replace what you gain. Please, consider your life and where you stand with God. If you find yourself on the opposite side, living in sinful rebellion, repent of your sins and trust in Jesus. It is your only hope….it is anyone’s only hope….

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