Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 2

9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require
God is clearly telling Noah and his sons that human life is sacred; it is not to be abused or destroyed unnecessarily. Human life is valued above animal life or the lifeless mass of our planet. Animals are to be preserved and cared for (Proverbs 12:10) and the planet is not to be ransacked, but cared for by us; stewards charged with the responsibility (Revelation 11:18). Yet God cares for man over these, and it was for men that Christ died and rose again.

9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
This verse grants capital punishment to mankind. The highest form of governmental authority, the legal right to execute another human soul for murder, was ceded to Noah and his children; and by implication their posterity. We must observe that the reason was also given: mankind was made in the image of God; we are His image bearers. When we are redeemed, born again, we are renewed in knowledge to the image of Him who created us, Colossians 3:10. James warns that even cursing men ought not to become our conduct, since man is made in God’s similitude, James 3:9. To anyone who objects to this divine sanction we are informed that there is a time for every purpose under heaven; even a time to kill, Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3. God help us to reflect on His word with His Spirit, not our own.

9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
This covenant is universal in implication. God covenanted with Noah, with all of his posterity (that would be everyone alive today, since we are descended from him) and withy every living creature, every beast of the earth and fowl of the air, verses 9-10. God promised, solemnly swore, that no flood would strike, the likes of which that just bore Noah and his family through global destruction. This verse would be especially meaningless if the “local flood theory” some hold was true. If so, God lied. There have been many floods since this one, and they have taken lives and caused destruction. No, there has never been a global deluge since, nor will there be; but the present earth is reserved for fire, and will be consumed in fire, 2nd Peter 3:7. Just like the denizens rejecting God will be consumed in fire, 1st Thessalonians 1:8; Revelation 20:15. Also like a believer’s works that are carnal (aka worldly) are burned in fire, 1st Corinthians 3:15.

9:13-14 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud
Again, God reiterates and tells Noah that His covenant is even between Him and the earth so long as it endures, Genesis 8:22. The sign of this covenant is the rainbow, which apparently never appeared in antediluvian times. This passage even suggests by its language that there may have never been a cloud to darken the sky before the Flood struck, and the heavens opened to pour torrential rain. This would have been especially meaningful to Noah and his sons, since the appearance of a cloud thereafter might have been enough to strike terror into their hearts about another looming judgment. Dark clouds and rain would threaten danger; now instead God says that when rain falls and the clouds darken look for the rainbow: it would be a perpetual promise of Gods fidelity. Now storms and showers hold no hidden threats, but instead are reminders of God’s mercy.
To be Continued.

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