This week we begin the Fall Quarter which is entitled “God's Living Covenant.” The lessons in this unit are about “God's Covenant with the Patriarchs” and where better to begin than with Noah? Today's lesson picks up after Noah and his family have emerged from the ark and Noah has offered a sacrifice of clean animals and birds (Genesis 8:20). Noah sees through his experience that God keeps his word and that He also punishes sin. Noah needs to know what God desires of him.
(Genesis 9: 1-7)
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1. God's first words to Noah were about procreation. God wants Noah and his family to enjoy prosperity in the areas of life that are important. He also promises them protection. “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 you hand are they delivered.” Genesis 9:2. Verse 2 can make you wonder how Noah and his family felt as they left the ark. The mere size of some of the animals could scare anyone. But God promises his protection. The animals will fear humans. In verses three and four God gives His provision for food. Noah and his family may eat anything that moves and lives even the green herb but they are not to consume the blood of any animals (v.4). Next we will see that verses five and six deal with murder. “And surely your blood of your lives will 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 require the life of man. Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Genesis 9: 5, 6. Taking a person's life is serious business in God's eyes. Since we are made in God's image, then no individual should endanger the lives of the innocent. Anyone who deliberately and with malice aforethought takes the life of someone else must understand that there can and should be severe consequences from earthly tribunals. God closes His command with re-emphasizing procreation (v.7).
(Genesis 9: 8-15)
“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.” Genesis 9: 8-10. First, God establishes that the covenant is between Him and Noah and his family and the generations to follow. But this covenant also includes the animals. Next, God gives his covenant's promise that the earth will not be destroyed by flood again (v.11). As a reminder of God's covenant, God gives Noah and perpetual generations a sign that will call to remembrance what He has promised. “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.” Genesis 9:14,15. Each time we see a rainbow we should recall God's promise to all generations that the earth will never be destroyed by water again. The rainbow should remind us that God not only keeps that promise but all His promises as well.