Moses depicted Noah’s first act upon disembarking as engaging in worship, making a whole burnt offering (Gen 8:20).[1]

When the rest-inducing aroma of the sacrifice rose to God, he accepted both the offering and the one who made it.[2]

The Lord chose to make a covenant with all humanity, stating that he would never again disrupt his creation with such a catastrophic flood (Gen 8:21–22; Gen 9:11).[3]

Noah soothed the Lord’s justifiable indignation, even though people’s hearts still incline toward evil.[4]

Regular cycles of the seasons and the time of day would characterize the world.[5] Human hearts might be erratic but nature will not be.[6]

As a second Adam,[7] God called Noah to fulfill the original human mandate of Gen 1:28–29 by proliferating and preserving life (Gen 9:1, 7).[8]

However, the enmity between people and creatures increased to the point of death (Gen 9:2–5).[9]

Before eating an animal, one had to drain its blood. This returned the creature’s life force to God, the one who had created it.[10] Even animals’ carcasses had to be treated with dignity.[11]

While people could shed the blood of a creature for sacrifice or in the process of obtaining food, the Lord forbade spilling human blood.[12] Since God made us in his image, a murderer kills someone who resembles the Lord.[13]

Therefore, he instituted the death penalty for intentionally killing someone (Gen 9:6).[14] Noah’s descendants must produce life, not wantonly take it.[15]

Referring to the promise which the Lord made before the flood (Gen 6:17–20),[16] God established a universal and unilateral covenant with Noah and his descendants.[17]

Such a deluge will never again cut off all living things. This covenant does not mean that humanity will never face judgment,[18] only that it will not come in the form of a flood (Gen 9:8–11).[19]

Then God ratified his oath with a sign to indicate that his enmity toward the human race had ceased.[20]

Against the backdrop of clouds—which had previously wrought such great destruction—the Lord placed an upturned bow (Gen 9:12–13).[21]

Whenever a rainbow emerges through the clouds, it reminds God of his covenant with Noah.[22] This enables him to temporarily overlook human depravity (Gen 9:14–17).[23]

The Lord’s covenant with Noah is the first of several such pacts which God has made throughout redemptive history.

Ultimately, they shall culminate with the purification and renewal of all creation (2 Pet 3:5–13). At that time, the Lord will release everything on earth from its bondage to decay (Rom 8:16–22).[24]

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Go to The Sons of Noah

[Related posts include The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28); The Lord Provides Food (Gen 1:29–30); Noah’s Grateful Response (Gen 8:20); A Rest-Inducing Aroma (Gen 8:21); A Promise of Stability (Gen 8:22); A Renewed Mandate (Gen 9:1); Every Moving Living Thing (Gen 9:2–4); Blood for Blood (Gen 9:5–7); Live in Peace (Rom 12:17–18); A Covenant with All Living Things (Gen 9:8–11); A Bow Set in a Cloud (Gen 9:12–17); Co-Heirs with Christ (Rom 8:16–18); Creation’s Eager Expectation (Rom 8:19); Subjected to Futility (Rom 8:20); Set Free from the Slavery of Corruption (Rom 8:21–22); The World Destroyed by Water (2 Pet 3:5–6); Reserved for Fire (2 Pet 3:7); God’s Perception of Time (2 Pet 3:8); The Lord has Patience (2 Pet 3:9); The Day of the Lord Will Come (2 Pet 3:10); Hastening the Day of God (2 Pet 3:11–12); Set Free from the Slavery of Corruption (Rom 8:21–22); and Author and Date of Genesis]

[Click here to go to Chapter 9: A Covenant with Noah (Genesis 8:20–9:17)]

 

[1]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 307.

[2]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 142.

[3]Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God’s Unfolding Purpose, 62.

[4]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 142–3.

[5]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 191.

[6]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 310.

[7]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 313. “Second Adam” is also one of the titles ascribed to Jesus.

[8]Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, 64.

[9]Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God’s Unfolding Purpose, 63.

[10]Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Gen 9:4.

[11]Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God’s Unfolding Purpose, 64.

[12]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 145.

[13]Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, 65.

[14]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 145.

[15]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 316.

[16]Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God’s Unfolding Purpose, 74.

[17]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 246.

[18]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 316.

[19]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 195.

[20]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 317.

[21]Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, 67.

[22]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 196.

[23]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 147.

[24]Williamson, Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God’s Unfolding Purpose, 76.