Genesis: The Beginning
Noah’s Promise from God 1-12-16
READ: Genesis 9
Yesterday, we read about the flood the LORD God sent as judgment against the acts of evil (wickedness) on the earth. Today, in Chapter 9, we will explore the blessing and merciful promise God made to Noah, his three sons and their descendants, as well as all the animals on the boat. We will also notice, God speaks a follow-up curse on the son of Ham, Canaan. It appears there are conditions to God’s blessing, doesn’t it?
Once again God tells human beings to go out into the world and multiply with greater power over creation; a new beginning of power that includes fear. It appears to me, before the flood, animals and humans lived in peace; no fear. Things have changed because now humans will not only sacrifice animals as an offering to God for sin, but God has expanded the food chain for humans to include the eating of animals along with grains and vegetables. This is a new beginning in food resources that are acceptable to God. Now, animals have a natural fear of humans. So, as everyone and everything exits the ark there are many new beginnings.
God puts forth a stipulation regarding the animals and using them for food; no eating of their blood as the life-blood is sacred. (NOTE: This will mean a lot more when the work of Messiah comes into focus in God’s plan). God is protective of human life—humans are made in God’s image. Unlawful killing is unacceptable. Through Noah and sons, God establishes a primitive type of government process here in this new beginning. A person(s) who commits murder should be punished—God extends this “human government” the responsibility to use force as it resists evil—the shedding of innocent blood.
God makes an everlasting promise now to Noah; called the Noahic Covenant—the first covenant God made with humanity. This is the only covenant (of five termed “everlasting”) where God promises not to do something. God promises he will never again flood the earth and destroy all humanity; He leaves the sign of the rainbow in the sky as a reminder. The rainbow has a new beginning here; something has changed in the sky or atmosphere to reveal it.
Noah enjoys prosperity with working the soil and he plants a flourishing vineyard. He drinks too much wine one day, becomes drunk, and lay naked in his tent. Noah’s son, Ham, finds Noah and exposes (gossip) his father’s condition to his brothers which brings shame upon Noah. Ham finds satisfaction in bringing shame to his father, Noah; this is the sin to which God will respond. Shem and Japheth on the other hand seek to cover their father’s nakedness and show him respect (walking backward). Ham disrespects and disgraces his father, Noah; now Canaan will disrespect and disgrace his father, Ham. Canaan is cursed and a slave to evil. Shem (Semitic name—Jews are of Semitic descent—Messiah’s lineage) is blessed. (Just for the record, Canaan’s offspring will include Egypt, Philistine, Assyria, and Babylon—Israel’s most dreaded enemies in biblical history). Japheth’s descendants will multiply and extend all over the earth but will be drawn to Shem’s blessing—later the Messiah). What a blessing these descendants enjoy; to partake in the blessing of Messiah because of Shem’s descendants!
Noah lived about 950 years flourishing and multiplying the earth. Through this lesson with Noah, we see our God keeps His promises and He blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. Enjoy a blessed day…in Messiah!