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Sep.03 Genesis Study

Categories: Genesis Study,News


Genesis 9:1-29

Living under the skies of grace”

I. Intro.

II. Vs. 1-17 Eight provisions of God’s covenant

III. Vs. 18-29 Noah and son’s

I. Intro.

gen-studyIn the first 17 verses this chapter we have recorded the first of the major covenants mentioned in the OT. The four are Noah’s, Abraham’s, Israel’s, & David’s. All of them point in some way to yet another one. The final covenant is mentioned in the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34, which was fulfilled by Jesus at His death and is remembered in communion. Paul speaks of its superiority over the other covenants specifically the one God made with Israel. This final agreement is simply known as the “New Covenant.”

At the time Noah’s covenant was given it effected only eight people but as we shall see God in verse 12 its statues are intended to be for “perpetual generations” and it is even sealed with an “everlasting sign.” The word “covenant” means “a coming together” and in human terms implies one person giving conditions by which an agreement can be reached with another person. Supposedly both parties need to agree to the terms which are to be mutually beneficial to each other. When the other person is the Lord as in the case of the five I’ve just mentioned the words refers to God making a pledge without expectations of a return, in other words it is based upon His character and nature.

II. Vs. 1-17 Eight provisions of God’s covenant

Before we look at these eight provisions look at what God said to Noah in 8:21 “although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”. Whatever we discover about these eight provisions it is obvious that the covenant was founded upon God’s grace. God establishes an agreement in grace because of what he has to work with, “you and I”. Paul writes to the Roman’s in 8:3 “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:” We are sinners distorted from what God had originally designed. So every provision of grace is designed to show us that we are sinners who are hopelessly lost, the only way back to God cannot be based upon self-effort but rather upon God’s abundant goodness.

  1. 6:18 The first was established 121 years prior where the intent of God was to preserve mankind through Noah.

  2. 8:21-22 The second is found in the principals of uniformity which say that the basic laws of nature after the flood continue in a cycle with only slight variations which allows for uniform function. All science is based upon the predictability of these laws of nature and it is understanding these laws that has made living in this world dependable.

  3. Vs. 1 Blessing: The words “God blessed Noah” is the same word that when speaks of man “getting down on his knees”. God did well towards Noah and He grants Noah and his family two things:

  1. Be fruitful and multiply”: A great increase of family to enjoy. Noah was to be the head of a new race of men.

  2. And fill the earth”: God sets the whole world before Noah and tells him to enjoy it fill it up.

  1. Vs. 2 Mankind’s rule over the animal kingdom by fear: Prior to the fall Adam had dominion over the rest of creation by love. What Adam ruled by love Noah and his descendants would rule by fear. God had caused the animals to come to Noah for protection but now they would flee Noah. Two reasons for this:

  1. Safety: God assures Noah and his descendant’s safety among the new world by putting the fear of his and his family into creatures that were far more powerful then mankind.

  2. Example: The animals would serve as a living example to Noah and his descendants that something has happened in creation. Even though mankind is still Lord of the jungle he is so by way of fear and not love.

  1. Vs. 3 Sustenance: Most of the plant life had been destroyed in the flood along with the erosion of soil so God enlarges what mankind can eat. Mankind was originally vegetarians but because of the changes upon the earth God widens his food source to everything that lives and only that which dies of natural death is excluded. There are three reasons I can see for this change in diet:

  1. Practically there was a greater need for protein because of the depletion of soils and plant life.

  2. To show us that we are dependent creatures and not masters of our own fate.

  3. To show us that we have no life of our own, it is borrowed from others who have sacrificed their life for ours. God designs this in order to remind us that our life comes at the expense of the death of another.

  4. The inclusion of animals into the food source showed a large difference between the animal kingdom and mankind. Evolutionary as well as polytheistic cultures have blurred these lines and instead of having beef for dinner would invite a cow for supper.

  1. Vs. 4 Sacredness of all life: As long as blood is flowing in an animal’s veins they could not eat it. God wanted mankind to know that all life is His property and not mans. Only God imparts life therefore man has no right to take life apart from God granting him that right. This is an established scientific fact as Lev. 17:11 says “the life of the flesh is in the blood”. Remember Jesus’ words in Matt. 10:29 concerning the sparrows that “not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

  2. Vs. 5 Sanctity of human life: The life of man is sacred to God and only He has the right to take it. Our lives and the lives of other belong to God, not man. All human life was off limits be that the unborn, suffering, or societies unwanted. It does not matter to God if the killing was done as murder, retribution, suicide, abortion, or euthanasia all of them usurp God’s sovereign right over His creation which He alone reins in justice and power. So based upon this we see:

  1. Vs. 6 God instituting civil government: When societies fail to carry out God’s plan’s for humanity which includes capital punishment then violence permeates all of society as human life is devalued.

  2. The establishment of capital punishment: Administered judicially by man, its establishment is not to deter crime but rather to remind all of society the value that God places on all life. That is not to say that mercy could not be applied in certain circumstances where sincere repentance and restitution was made. God’s point to all of mankind is that all human life is precious to Him and to emphasize that God warrants the taken of that which is the most precious to Him as well as man “their own life” if a person takes another’s life.

  3. Vs. 7 Here we are given the growth of population or if you will “sanctity of human life” from a positive side “be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth”. God wanted mankind to live in close relationship with one another. Mankind is prone to think of themselves in terms as basically good when they are isolated for other humans.

Vs. 8-11 We are told four things about this covenant:

  1. Vs. 8 “God spoke to Noah”: God was the initiator of the agreement. What makes this stand out is that compared to all the other religions, God is the One who seeks to have a relationship with His creation instead of man who seeks to have a relationship with God.

  2. Vs. 8-17 Seven times in these verses we are told that God will, establish, look on or set. This tells us who the author is. He did not say, “Hey let’s make a deal, put something on paper and I’ll sign it!

  3. Vs. 10 The scope of the agreement is universal as it is to include all lower forms of life as well as man.

  4. Vs. 11 The purpose of the covenant is to insure that all life will never again be cut off by way of a flood. God is saying that He will not again judge by water because water is accumulative, it permits time for people to think and make decisions. But in the case of un-repentive man it also affords them the illusion of thinking that they are safe. So when God judges again He will do so by fire that will hit sudden and is obvious to all.

  1. Vs. 12-17 The eighth and final provision of God’s covenant is seen in a sign given of assurance. The rainbow which is produced when small droplets of water are hit by rays of light. So we have a beautiful spectrum of color of God’s grace against the dark skies of human sin. God reminds us in the rainbow that His love breaks through even the darkest of mankind’s sin. Where ever there is rain there is always a rainbow you just have to be in the right spot to see it and from heaven you will always see a rainbow for He always remembers us in His glorious grace.

III. Vs. 18-29 Noah and son’s

If we could have just stopped in verse 17 all would have appeared to be well in the new world with Noah and sons. A “new world” a great agreement in God’s grace what could go wrong? This section puts to rest the foolish thought that in our hearts we are basically good.

  • God has just judged and irradiated the open sin that lie in the human heart and started over in a man whom He poured out His grace upon.

  • God has just blessed righteous Noah with an agreement, which provided everything.

If any man after the fall could have said, “Thanks God I’ll take it from here!” it would have been Noah. But instead what this section records is that right on the heels of God’s judgment and blessing Noah fails. As great as God’s work is it not did change the flesh of Noah.The old nature is incurable the only treatment listed for it is to “reckon it to be dead”. As God had spoken to Cain “sin lies at the door.”

Vs. 18-19 This is the third time these names of Noah and his sons appear and it seems as though Noah did not have any more children and that the worlds repopulating was through these six people. Their names mean:

  1. Shem = Name or Renown

  2. Ham = Warm or Hot

  3. Japheth = Enlarge or beautiful posterity

We tend to categorize nationalities based upon certain physical features but God looks not on what a person looks like on the outside but rather what they look like on the inside! And based upon 4:16 and 4:26 there are only two nationalities:

  • Those that “went out from the presence of the LORD

  • Those that “began to call on the name of the LORD

Three points based upon these two verses:

  1. All present people groups are descendants of Noah’s three sons and their wives. From the gene pool of these 6 individuals all the human variations have occurred. The worlds 5 billion population developed from these six. Do the math it would take only around 4000 years with an average growth rate of a ½ % or an average of only 2.5 children per family, which is ¼th the present rate, to achieve this!

  2. The order given us in the names is Shem, Ham and Japheth, which is not according to the Hebrew order of listing the names chronologically. In fact if you look up the names throughout scripture when they appear together they appear no other way. Yet according to Gen. 10:21 Japheth was the oldest then Shem and finally Ham. This tells us that the order throughout all of scripture is always Prophetical.

  3. In verse 18 we are told only Ham’s fourth and youngest son Canaan who was the father of the Canaanites. This is the Bible’s way of getting our attention as this was the family line that was inhabiting the land of Canaan when Israel came out of Egypt and it was because of their wickedness and perversion that God told Israel to wipe them out in order to preserve society. Ham’s perversion effected his son’s future.

Vs. 20-24 We are given five pieces of information in these verses:

  1. Vs. 20 Noah has a new job: For 120 years he was a ship builder now he becomes a farmer. God often calls us to new vocations in which we are to use are gifts to His glory. Perhaps part of Noah’s down fall was the failure to realize that just because he was no longer an “evangelistic ship builder” he was still to use God’s gifts in planting a new harvest.

  2. Vs. 21 The drunkenness of Noah: This is the first mention of wine in scripture but it is certain that they had fermented drink prior to the flood. Fermentation has to do with the decay and death not with atmospheric conditions. In fact Jesus declared in Matt. 24:38 that the generation prior to the flood was eating and “drinking”. Noah who had remained sober in a drunken world was the first to get drunk in a sober world. The NT does not excuse Noah but there is no mention of his failure past this verse in the Bible. Ezek. 14:14, 20 puts him with Daniel, and Job as the pure of the pure of people. What do we learn from this?

  1. Failure whether willful or not always has consequences.

  2. Past victories do not insure present victories.

  3. Personal failure does not limit God’s ability to love, forgive and restore.

  1. Vs. 21 He became uncovered in his tent: The Hebrew word is the same word used by

Pagan nations to strip bare their captives to shame them. This would indicate that Noah’s nakedness was a deliberate act caused by his drunkenness. So these two sins have been linked throughout history as a person loses their natural inhibitions and conscious. The amazing thing to me is how God’s grace as far as the Bible is concerned cover Noah’s uncovered failure.

  1. Vs. 22 The perversion of Ham: In Lev 18:6 as well as here the Jews interpret the phrase “saw the nakedness” to mean to “look with pleasure and delight on his father’s nakedness” as meaning sexual perversion. One Jewish commentary on this passage says that he taught the public to live as man had done prior to the flood and he invited his brothers into the same sin.

  2. Vs. 23-24 The respect shown by Shem and Japheth: Here we see that sin literally covers a multitude of sins. Restoration is always the aim of confronting ones sin. Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord awoke to find that he and his youngest son had sinned. Folk’s no matter how God may have used you in the past there is a daily need to put off the old man and to be renewed in the Spirit of our mind. (Eph. 4:22-24)

Vs. 25 Notice that the sin of Ham has its Prophetical implication not so much to Ham as it does to Ham’s youngest son Canaan. God gives Noah insight into how Ham’s tolerance for perversion would impact his youngest child. The phrase “servant of servants” is found nowhere else in the Bible and it does not mean slave of slaves but rather “steward”. The idea is that they would have a superiority over resources in the physical and material realm. The nations that came from Canaan include the empires of Samaria, Phoenicia, Egypt Ethiopia and many in the Asian nations. All of which have produced explorers, cultivators, builders, navigators and warriors.

Vs. 26 Shem is associated with the true worship of God and with this that God’s Son would be born into this race. From his descendants the Semitic nations have emerged Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrian’s, and Persian’s. All of these people groups became very religious and most of them were monotheistic.

Vs. 27 Japheth was not only enlarged geographically but also educationally as from him would come Greeks, Romans, Aryans, Europeans and Indians in which many of the thinkers of the world have come from. Most of the western half of the world come from Japheth. The phrase “And may he dwell in the tents of Shem” is quite prophetical as from Shem came Judaism and the proper worship of God yet through the birth of their Messiah Jesus we have come to dwell in their tents. What’s interesting to me is that the synoptic gospels are written with these three sons of Noah in mind:

  • Matt. Is written with the Semitic people in mind

  • Mark is written for the steward Ham as it is practical

  • Luke is written for the gentile Japheth

Vs. 28-29 Noah lived 950 years, 20 more than Adam but 19 less then Methuselah and preached 350 years more to his descendants. He saw two worlds and according to Hebrews was an heir of yet another world that He saw by faith. We Christians are like Noah as well as we have seen two worlds and are according to Hebrews 11:10 “waiting for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.