Genesis Chapter 8 and 9 – John Karmelich
1. Welcome to Noah Part 2- “Starting Over”.
a) These chapters of Genesis focus on Noah’s new life after the flood ended.
b) The important lessons for us are not so much how it happened but why God wants us to know this stuff. Why were these specific details about the flood-story recorded and how do they apply to our life today?
2. Let’s start with a comment by Peter on Noah and the flood.
the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight
in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that
now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a
good conscience toward God.
It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ… (1st Peter 3:20b-21 NIV)
b) What is Peter saying? Mainly that the story of Noah is literal itself, but it is also symbolic of our baptism (identification) with Jesus and our new life in Christ.
c) You can study the story of Noah from a literal standpoint and discover all sorts of wonderful things about the ancient world. Further, the earth of full of geological evidence for a worldwide flood.
d) Peter doesn’t spend a lot of time arguing for the literalness of the story. Peter states the literalness of the flood story as if it was a “given”. Peter focuses on the importance of the flood as it relates to you and me.
e) If Peter says Noah’s flood represents our new life in Christ, well then, that’s good enough for me. J
f) Remember the big-purpose of these studies is not to ancient history lessons but to teach you how the bible is relevant to your life today and how to apply these stories to your life.
3. Let’s also look at something Paul said: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
a) Think about passage in relationship to Noah. Every person Noah knew, other than his wife and kids, are now dead.
b) Noah’s life, in the pre-flood world is now gone. That includes his home, the places he grew up, etc. Noah is truly a “new person” starting a new life.
c) One has to read these chapters of Noah from that perspective. I suspect Noah had much fear of what was happening and turned his trust more to God.
d) To become a Christian is to say, “God, I no longer trust in anything or any person for my salvation. Everything I am, everything I own now belongs to you. You, God, are now in charge of my life. I am starting anew.”
i) That is what we do when we become “born-again”.
ii) That is what happened to Noah through this flood.
iii) Peter compares the flood to a baptism. To baptize is not just to dip in water, but it is a symbolic commitment by the person being baptized to say, “I am no longer identifying with my old life, I am now part of God’s family. My old life is now dead in the water. Coming out of the water, I am a new creation. That is Paul’s emphasis here in 2nd Corinthians 5:17. That is Peter ‘s emphasis in 1st Peter 3:20. The concept of “starting over”.
e) Speaking of starting over, we last left our hero Noah floating around in the water waiting for God to land this thing. J
4. Chapter 8., Verse 1: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
a) The last verse of Chapter 7 said “The waters flooded the earth for a 150 days.”
i) The opening verse of Chapter 8 said, “But God remembered Noah…”
ii) These verses are designed to be read as a couple.
b) God did not slap his forehead and say, “Oh no, I forgot about Noah…sorry bud, I was busy, I’ll get right too yah!”. J
c) The idea of “remember” is one of continual remembrance. It is that while the earth was being flooded, God still remembered his plans for Noah’s life.
d) Remember that Noah was on a barge, not a sailing ship. There was no sail, no motor, and no rudder to control the ship. Noah was fully dependant upon God to land the thing.
i) These opening words of “God remembered Noah” should give you comfort when you are going through “rough sailing” trips of your life. You don’t know the outcome and you don’t know where God is going to land your ark. One has to take comfort that God continually remembers you and cares for you. The name Noah means “comfort” or “rest”. God never stopped focusing on Noah, just like he never stops focusing on you.
ii) God never promised Noah he would avoid the storms of life, just that God would provide for Noah through those storms.
e) The next part of this verse mentions that God also cared for the animals.
i) In Verse 1, there was no mention of Noah’s wife and children. In a sense “Noah” represents his family members. God called Noah to be the leader of his family. The family’s trust in Noah’s relationship with God is a great model for a godly father and mother for raising their children.
ii) As for the animals, God does care for them. None of the animals died, or ate each other during this voyage. God was interested in preserving them as well.
f) The last part of the verse mentions a wind over the earth as the waters receded.
i) This should remind you of the second verse of the bible: Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:2 NIV)
ii) The word for “wind” and “spirit” are the same word. It is the Spirit that comes and gives life over the word.
iii) Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63 NIV).
5. Verse 2: Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,
a) I stated in the last lesson that Noah kept a calendar.
i) First we had the 40 days of rain (Genesis 7:4)
ii) Then we had 150 days where the water was over the whole earth (Genesis 7:24).
b) I wondered how Noah knew the water was receding? Maybe he just felt it.
i) I suspect he was taking fathoms. This is where you take a long rope and mark it up like a tape measure and see how far you are from the ground.
6. Verse 4: And on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
a) Here is one of the my favorite verses in Genesis. (This means I have a lot stuff to say. J)
b) Why would the God of the Universe want you to know that the ark came to a rest on the 17th day of the 7th month? (Are we supposed to have a holiday to remember this day? J)
c) For those who know the Jewish calendar, “New Year’s” is in the fall.
i) It is called “Rosh Hashanah” (around September or October).
ii) It gets a little more confusing, because at the time of the Exodus, God commands Moses to make the first month in spring “the beginning of months” (Exodus 12:2).
iii) In a technical sense, there is two “new year’s” in the Jewish calendar.
iv) The fall-new year is similar to our “January 1st”. It begins the new year.
v) The halfway point (in the spring) is used to calculate the spring holidays.
a) The “spring new year” is only used to calculate when to celebrate Passover and the religious holidays. That is why it falls on different days every year on our calendar. Christians celebrate “Easter” around the time of the Jewish Passover, so Easter varies every year on our calendar.
b) Confused? J Just remember there is only one Jewish New Year, and that is in the fall. The spring-date is just used for “other calculation purposes”.
vi) The Jewish calendar has 12 months like ours. If the first month is in the fall, the seventh month is in the spring. That is the month when Passover occurs.
vii) Passover is always celebrates on the 14th day of the 7th month (Exodus 12:6), based on the fall New Year’s date.
viii) Gee John, that’s wonderful. What does any of this have to do with Noah?
ix) Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day after Passover.
a) If Passover is the 14th day of the 7th month.
b) Jesus rose from the dead on the 17th day of the 7th month.
c) Noah’s new life on earth began on the 17th day of the 7th month.
d) Just as our new life on earth began when we accept the death and resurrection of Jesus as payments of our sins.
d) Does that mean all the other dates given by Noah have some sort of symbolic meaning?
i) Possibly, but the commentators are pretty “blank” on those topics.
ii) We may discover some meaning behind the other dates one day, but not today.
7. Verse 5: The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
a) On the 17th day of the 7th month, the ark “became stuck” on Mt. Ararat, which is in modern Turkey. This mountaintop is about 17,000 feet above sea level.
b) Noah and the gang sat in the boat and watched the water recede for several more months.
8. Verse 6: After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.
a) In Verse 6 we have another 40 days. This is a separate 40-day period from when the rains first started in Chapter 7.
b) Why Noah waited another 40 days is unknown. Maybe Noah figured he needed to wait and see if any vegetation was growing before he could do some tests.
c) In Verses 7-12, we are going to read of the “bird experiments”.
i) First, Noah is going to send out a raven and see what’s out there, and next he is going to send out doves.
ii) Ravens are scavengers. They can eat old carcasses. Without getting too gross, there may have been old carcasses floating around that the ravens could eat.
iii) Doves are much pickier and eat only vegetation. This is why Noah probably sent out a raven first and then tries the dove tests.
d) Many people take this a step further as a lesson for us.
i) Ravens are “unclean” animals and doves are “clean” animals.
ii) Remember that Noah was ordered to take two of every “unclean” animal on board and seven of every “clean” animal.
iii) We don’t learn what animals are clean and unclean until we get to the book of Leviticus. Noah was have somehow “knew” what was clean.
commandment for Noah to eat meat doesn’t come until Chapter 9.
I believe in the pre-flood world everyone was a vegetarian.
b) The “clean” animals were for sacrifice. It was a visual reminder that God requires the shedding of innocent blood for the payment of sins.
iv) Some see the raven as a symbol of those who wish to “jump ahead” of God’s redemptive plan. The “unclean” raven was willing to go out, and live on carcasses or whatever else it could scrounge up. The dove, a word-picture of peace and the Holy Spirit in different parts of the bible still “worked” with Noah.
a) There may be “hints” in these two birds of those people who acknowledge God, but then “go on their merry way” when the floods-of-life go away and the dove still give thanks to God and focus upon him even when things are getting better.
v) If you think I’m reading too much into this, that’s ok too. J
9. Verse 11: When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
a) Olive leafs can grow in amazing places. Seeds of most plants can be dead and survive all sorts of conditions and then bring new life again.
b) One can have a field day doing sermons on this one. J Noah waited for “new life” to begin on earth prior to starting out on his new life.
c) In the New Testament, the dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, as a “dove-like” creature or symbol landed on Jesus as he came out of the water at John’s baptism. That dove symbol is mentioned in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:32 & John 1:32).
d) Here is the dove “leading the way” for Noah as when He begins his new life on earth.
10. Verse 13: By the first day of the first month of Noah's six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
a) The interesting speculation has to do with Noah’s birthday.
i) Noah turned “601” in Verse 13. In fact, Verse 13 says it was the first day of the first month of first anniversary of Noah’s 600th birthday.
a) The emphasis is on a new beginning for Noah.
b) The flood started when Noah was just over 600.
c) After that many years, is it really necessary to remember your birthday? J
ii) I think “all the one’s” are just word-pictures associated with Noah’s new life.
b) In Verse 14, it says that Noah waited another month and 27 days until the earth was completely dry.
i) One thing that puzzled me about Verse 14 is “why the extra time?”
ii) Personally, after being on a boat for a year, I’d be stir crazy and anxious to get going and check out the scenery!
iii) Yet we read of Noah waiting this extra month and 27 days on the earth.
iv) What I suspect, but cannot prove is that Noah was waiting on God’s timing.
v) I say that because in Verse 15, God commands Noah to get out of the ark.
vi) Let’s face it; Noah has just been through this traumatic flood. Everyone he knew other than his wife & children were dead. Now he is starting a new life. I can understand Noah’s hesitancy to get moving out of the comfort of the ark.
11. Verse 15: Then God said to Noah, 16 "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you--the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground--so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it."
a) In the introduction of this lesson, Peter compares the flood-story to our baptism.
i) Baptism is a two part word-picture:
a) The first is to go under the water to show your old life is “dead in the water”. You are no longer associating with your old life prior to your relationship with Jesus. Just as Noah is “dead” to everyone he knew prior to the flood, so in a sense are you dead to your old life.
b) The second part is to come out of the water. This is a word-picture of being born again. It is the association with your new life.
ii) God is telling Noah here, “OK, Noah, it is time to start your new life. It is time to come out of the water. You are now born again. To be born again does not mean to sit in the ark all day. Let’s roll!”
b) I may be reading too much into this, but I give Noah credit for waiting on God’s timing before leaving the ark. Noah could have started exploring a month earlier, but Noah understood he was responsible for his wife and the animals. He is waiting on God’s timing before taking the next step.
i) Be careful about the idea of “waiting on God’s timing”. For example, if the alarm clock is going off in the morning, is it necessary to pray: “Lord, shall I wake up now?” Lord, do you want me to go brush my teeth today?” J
ii) I find there are times in my life where opportunities are put in front of me where I believe God is leading me forward. God works in the background in our lives and when we look back at our lives we can see how God guided us. My point is you don’t have to wait for the audible voice of God to “get moving”. Most often, God just wants us to use our brain and God-given knowledge and live our lives based on solid biblical instruction.
c) Back to the text itself: Noah is told by God in a sense, “get moving”.
i) God says in effect, “OK, Noah, it’s over. Get your wife and the kids and all the animals out of there. Its time for everyone to start repopulating.
a) To me, one of the great miracles is the fact that no animals or bugs died in the captivity. Noah didn’t accidentally step on a cockroach no matter how badly I wanted him to do so! J
ii) There are times in our lives when God is telling us in effect, “get moving”.
a) God gave Noah a plan. The plan involved the flood and the next step involved repopulation. Noah waited on God’s timing, and now it is time for Noah to move on to “part 2” of God’s plan.
12. Verse 18: So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds--everything that moves on the earth--came out of the ark, one kind after another.
a) One of the patterns you see in the bible is a repetition of the following set of actions:
i) God gives a command.
ii) People obeying the command.
b) For example, we read here of God telling Noah to get off the ark, and here in Verse 18 we read of Noah obeying God’s commandment.
c) I believe the purpose of the repetition is because God delights in us actually obeying what he asks us to do. It brings God such joy when he obeys, the bible “mentions it twice”.
d) Let me give you another example:
i) When you get to the book of Exodus, there are chapters dedicated to all the construction details of building a tabernacle to God.
ii) Then the book of Exodus practically repeats all the same chapters over again as the Israelites actually built the thing.
iii) When you read Exodus, you think, “Why waste all the ink?” Couldn’t God just say “and the Israelites built the tabernacle as God instructed” and save a lot of space? The point, like here in Genesis, is that I believe God enjoys when those who follow Him are obedient to God’s commands. Thus God “spends the ink” showing how His followers obeyed his commands.
13. Verse 20: Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
a) Verse 20 is my favorite verse in the chapter. Get ready for more lengthy commentary! J
b) Noah just spent about a year on this ark.
c) Noah acted on faith that all of God told him to do. He built the ark, watched every animal go in and come out and God preserved Noah through the flood.
d) When Noah was told to go in the ark, Noah brought “seven of the clean animals and two of the unclean” (Genesis 7:2). This means that besides two of every animal, Noah brought along additional “clean” animals for sacrifice.
e) Noah takes makes an altar and sacrifices all the remaining “clean” animals.
i) Noah, who is now starting his new life, begins by offering “all he has” to God.
f) Let’s take this word-picture and apply it to our Christian life:
i) Jesus paid the price for our sins. All we have to do on our part is believe that and live our life on the fact that when we get to heaven and God asks us, “Are you guilty?” We say, “Yes, but Jesus paid the price so I can spend eternity in heaven”.
ii) What is the next thing to do with that knowledge of our salvation?
a) The answer is we give thanks to God.
iii) The first thing Noah did, was not to explore, not to look at his wife and say “lets get repopulating!” J The first thing Noah did was say “thank you” to God. Noah took all the remainder of the clean animals and offered them to God.
iv) Noah said in effect, “OK God, Here is what is left of the sacrificial animals.” I’m offering them to you. You are in charge of my life and I’m obeying your orders. I’m going to move forward. I’m going to begin my new life by showing my gratitude to you for saving my life.”
g) Notice God’s response to Noah’s action in the next verse.
14. Verse 21: The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 22 "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
a) From Verses 21-22, through the first half of Chapter 9 is called by scholars “The Noah covenant” (among other titles).
b) This “covenant” is an unconditional promise made by God. The promise is God will never again destroy the earth by a flood, despite the evilness of mankind.
i) If God makes a promise to us, we can count on God not breaking that promise.
ii) God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). If God were capable of lying, then we can’t trust anything God says. Therefore, if we are trusting God’s word as truth, then we must trust in this promise to Noah, as well as all the promises to us in the bible, especially those made by and about Jesus himself.
c) These verses are another proof that the flood is a worldwide flood.
i) Throughout history, there have been local floods that have killed many people.
ii) Some people argue that Noah’s flood was only a local flood.
a) First of all, if that were true, why didn’t Noah and the animals simply “seek higher ground”?
b) Second, if it was only a local flood, then God’s promises in these verses are not true. God is promising in Verses 21 and 22 that He would never destroy the world again with a flood. If the flood was only a “local thing”, then God has failed to keep his promise.
d) These verses bring up another question: Will life go on “as is” forever?
i) These verses are implying that God will never destroy the earth again. God is saying that despite the evil that is in man, there will always be “seasons”.
a) “Seasons” implies times for planting and harvesting as well as summer, spring, fall and winter.
ii) Peter, in the New Testament, gives the answer: But they (non-believers) deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed (Noah’s flood). By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2nd Peter 3:5-7 NIV)
iii) What is Peter saying? Peter is saying “You need to read the fine print in God’s statement to Noah”. J God is saying he will never destroy the earth with water again. Peter is saying the world will be destroyed and judged one day, but it will be by fire, and not by water. (See Chapter 9, Verse 8 for the reference to “no more destruction by water/flood.)
a) Peter, the Book of Revelation and the Old Testament prophet Isaiah all predict that the world will be destroyed one day and God will create a new one. There is coming a day when this world will be destroyed and judged.
b) Why does God destroy this one? Because it has been incurably infected with sin. The earth is killed out of mercy. The same way the pre-flood world was killed out of mercy. God then creates a new one.
c) (References: Isaiah 65:17, 66:22, 2nd Peter 3:13, Revelation Chapter 21).
15. Chapter 9, Verse 1: Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
a) God is telling Noah, “You are no longer to be a vegetarian, get the BBQ ready! J
b) Some speculate God may have given this command out of necessity.
i) The earth didn’t have enough vegetation yet. It takes time to grow crops.
ii) Noah would also need time for the animals to repopulate before killing them, so Noah would probably need to survive on his supplies a little while longer.
c) Verse 2 mentions that the animals will “have a fear of you (Noah)”.
i) God, who loves the animals, now gave them some sort of “instinct” to know that humans are meat-eating creatures and they should have a fear of man.
ii) At this point in history, Noah could now eat any animal he wanted.
iii) It wasn’t until Moses came around, many hundreds of years later, that further restrictions came to the Jewish diet on which animals they could and could not eat. That was a different time, and was for a different purpose.
iv) The bible often works that way in terms of “further revelations”. My point is that the command given to Noah to “eat it all” is not a contradiction of the commands given to Moses on which foods the Israelites can and cannot eat.
d) It’s time to “stand back and look at the big picture” so far:
i) From Chapters 1-8, we have this 2,000-year period from Adam to the flood.
ii) We are now beginning the next major time frame, which runs from Noah to the birth of the Jewish nation.
iii) So what was the “big purpose” of the first 2,000 years of world history?
a) Why does God want us to know about those first 2,000 years?
b) Why does the bible spend only 8 chapters on that period and the remainder of the bible on the post-flood era we now life in?
iv) Let’ me summarize some major things for us to learn from “time era #1”.
a) God wanted to show us what the “ideal” world was like.
b) First God created the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve messed up and God punished them.
c) For the next 2,000 years God wanted to show what life was like in an ideal setting. People could live for hundreds of years. There were no predator animals and everyone was a vegetarian.
d) Despite idealistic conditions, the vast majority of people rebelled against God. What the pre-flood world shows us is that even in the best of settings, people rebel against God. You can give people every blessing in the world, and they still won’t turn their lives over to God in gratitude.
e) I believe that is why we live in such a rotten world. God shows us enough misery in life to keep God-dependant and us God-centered in order to remind us of what is important for eternal life.
v) In a sense, all of history is a “trial” of mankind before God.
a) A purpose of history shows all the possible excuses that man can give to God as to why we are “good people” and deserve eternal life. To put it another way, history is “man on trial”. We give all the excuses we can give to justify ourselves before God. History then proves God is right.
b) Without the pre-flood world, one possible question we could ask God is “Hey God, its not fair. We rebelled because life is so tough here. If we just had a perfect world, then we would follow you.” Well, that perfect world existed for 2,000 years. So much for that excuse! J Since Adam, we all have this sin-gene that is past on from generation to generation. God gave us free will so He can test us and see if we choose Him out of our free will. Before the world, in a wonderful natural setting, man still choose to rebel against God.
e) Let’s get back to people eating animals.
i) There is a Jewish traditional commentary on this that goes as follows: The greatest purpose an animal can serve on this earth is to be food for a human”.
ii) God wants us to respect and have dominion over the animals, but he also wants us to use them as a food source. God “changed” our bodies after the flood to eat animal protein for our survival.
16. Verse 4: "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
a) OK, God is now telling Noah that he must eat kosher! J
b) The word “kosher” is a Jewish term that refers to how food is prepared.
i) People think eating kosher has to do with which foods they can and cannot eat.
ii) Technically it is wrong. Kosher is about the preparation. Taking out the blood.
c) Let’s jump way ahead to the New Testament and a debate between Jewish-born-Christians and non-Jewish Christians.
i) In the Book of Acts, there is a big dispute about whether or not non-Jewish Christians should be circumcised. By Acts Chapter 15, there was a big meeting and all the church leaders said no, but they did ask that non-Jewish Christians do a few things. One of them was to avoid eating blood. (Acts 15:20, 15:29)
ii) In this compromise, the Jewish-Christians said nothing about obeying the 10 commandments, nothing about avoiding certain animals. But they did mention avoiding blood. What was meant in Acts was the ritual of drinking blood, which is a pagan ritual in many cultures.
d) This leads us back to God and Noah.
i) Long before the 10 commandments, long before the restrictions on what type of animals to eat, long before even God called the first Jewish person (Abraham), God told Adam to avoid blood.
a) First of all, this is not a commandment against eating a steak rare! J
b) It is not a commandment against giving blood to the Red Cross!
c) Also, it is not a command against blood transfusions.
(1) I know some religious Jews and they will say that this verse, and those like it have nothing to do with blood transfusions.
d) This is against eating an animal uncooked (eating “live” if you will) or against drinking blood as a ritual.
ii) Blood, in the bible, is a word-picture associated with “life”.
a) We think of blood as a necessity to human life.
iii) God considers life to be precious. It is to be respected.
17. Verse 6: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
a) The next thing we read about, right after the part of “no-drinking blood, is a reminder about murder.
b) God is not against killing, just murder. Killing in times of war and self-defense is not a sin. To commit murder is to be accountable to God.
i) Remember that Jesus said all sins are forgivable except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10) That specific sin is about denying Jesus as God.
ii) This means that murder is forgivable.
a) On a side note, I consider suicide a sin as that is murder of oneself. If one puts their trust in Jesus for all their sins, and later commits suicide, they are still in heaven as Jesus paid the price for that sin as well. I’m not saying suicide is a positive thing, just that it is forgivable.
iii) Remember that if you seek forgiveness, you must go to the person you hurt to ask forgiveness. If you hit Bob, you need to go to Bob for forgiveness. This is why I am in favor of capital punishment, even if the man asks forgiveness. The debt to society must still be paid. If the person is sincere, then God will forgive him for all of eternity. A perfect God is perfect in his forgiveness. The price was paid for that murder on the cross. God still expects us to enforce the laws for the good of society and have capital punishment. Society is a better place with capital punishment in place and that is why God ordained it.
18. Verse 7: As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."
a) God is saying, “instead of thinking about murder, let me give you something better to occupy your time! J
b) All joking aside, when we focus on what God does command us to do, it becomes more difficult to commit the sins God wants us to avoid.
19. Verse 8: Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you--the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you--every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." 17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."
a) Here are the famous “rainbow” covenant verses. God is saying that when we see a rainbow, it is a reminder that there will never again be a worldwide flood.
b) Rainbows usually appear after a rainstorm. Those rainbows remind us that, “This was only a local storm (as opposed to world-wide) and it didn’t last forever”.
i) The rainbow is to remind us of God’s promise to never flood the entire earth again with water.
ii) Many scientific, biblical commentaries talk about the fact that the rainbow could not physically exist prior to the worldwide flood. Prior to the flood, there was the water (or ice) canopy over the earth, and the atmospheric conditions would not permit a rainbow.
c) When you read this paragraph, it appear to read as if God is saying “You know, I was thinking about flooding the earth again, but then I see the rainbow, and oh yeah, I made this promise that I wouldn’t do that again.” J
i) If God is perfect, then God knows all things. If God knows all things, he is not capable of learning.
ii) This paragraph is not written for God’s sake, but for our sake.
iii) It is a reminder to us that a worldwide flood will never happen again.
iv) I’ve lived through some pretty long rainstorms where I’ve considered working on an ark. J It’s always wonderful to see a beautiful day after it is all gone.
v) We look at the beauty of a rainbow and remind ourselves of God’s promise.
vi) One can take this word-picture a step further and see it as the “storms of life”. One can apply this to the difficult things we go through in life and remind ourselves that “this is not for eternity”. There is a better day coming.
d) Remember that this promise by God (“covenant”) isn’t just for humans, it is for animals and plant life as well. If God created something (in this case animals and plants), then God does care for them. God wants us to have dominion over them and yes, eat them, but at the same time, to not annihilate a species completely.
20. Verse 18: The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.
a) Now we get into another story. The focus of the story is on Noah and his grandson Canaan. The story does not give a lot of details, and there is a lot of speculation as to those details. The key to reading and understanding Verse 18 to the end of the Chapter 9 is to focus on what is written versus what is not written.
b) Notice Noah’s grandson Canaan is mentioned as a parenthesis. That parenthesis is not in the original Hebrew, but it is not a bad idea either. The main point of the story of the remainder of the chapter has to do with Noah and Canaan.
21. Verse 20: Noah, a man of the soil, preceded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.
a) Here is the one of the most puzzling verse of the chapters: Noah gets drunk.
b) There is no explanation given as to why he got drunk, just that it happened.
c) The commentaries are filled with speculation as to why he did it, but there is no text anywhere in the bible to support anyone’s speculations.
d) My theory is he just “sinned”. Remember the focus of this little story is on the sin of Ham and his son Canaan, not on Noah getting drunk.
i) I would argue that the bible does not condemn drinking of alcohol, but it very much condemns those who get drunk.
ii) Personally, my alcoholic intake is at a very minimum, because frankly, “why would I want to “fog up” my relationship with God? I believe as a Christian you can drink all the alcohol you want, but why would you want to? Why dilute the wonderful peace and joy that God brings to your life?
e) Back to Noah, I think the point is that “sin does not die of old age”.
i) The text never says that Noah sinned. The text does say that bad things happened because Noah got drunk. That could be a good summary right there on the evils of getting drunk. Drinking itself isn’t as bad as the consequences of that action.
ii) Despite all the wonderful obedient things that Noah did, the “sin gene” nature is still part of him. Despite being “born-again”, we still have to live with our sin nature and keep our focus on God to keep that sin nature in check.
22. Verse 22: Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father's nakedness.
a) This is a case where the English language is “limited” in its translation.
b) The original Hebrew implies that somehow Ham “mocked” his father for being drunk and naked. If I were to speculate I would say Ham said to his brothers, “Hey, come check out dad…He’s drunk as a skunk and past out naked on the floor”. The other two brothers, instead of joining the mockery, go and cover up their father.”
23. Verse 24: When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers."
a) Whenever I read this, my first thought is “Why curse Canaan as opposed to his father Ham? We just read of Ham taunting his father, not Canaan.”
b) Like I said in Verse 18, this section of the text has a lot of mysteries and the text gives little clues as to its meaning. Since we don’t know why Noah choose to curse Canaan, we simply take the text at face value that somehow Canaan is to be cursed.
i) Some speculate that Canaan did some sort of sexually perverted thing to Noah. Notice the text does not even hint of that action.
a) “On the other hand”, God told Noah and the kids to “be fruitful and multiply”. If Canaan did do something like that, it would explain the curse that Noah threw on him in the next set of verses.
ii) I have learned the concept of “where the bible is silent, I keep silent.” One day when we get to heaven, we can ask for more details about this one and why the curse was given.
c) If I was to “think like Noah”, and focus on what text we do have in Genesis, I would think about Noah’s ancestors. Let’s go back to the descendants of Cain and Abel.
i) In Chapters 4 and 5, the focus was on the “godly” descendants of Abel and the “ungodly” descendants of Cain.
a) Chapter 4 focused on the descendants of Cain. They all did “great things”, but there is no mention of God. The implication is they focused on things of this world and not God.
b) Chapter 5 focuses on the descendants of Cain’s brother Abel. The text implies that this was a line of people who were God-centered in their life.
ii) Now with that in mind, let’s talk about why Noah cursed the descendants of Canaan (no relationship to Cain of Cain &Abel)
a) What Noah remembers about his ancestors is that when a person starts to live their life without a God-centered focus, their lives get worse and worse. It affects their descendants as well as they do not learn, nor care about God. When it comes to caring about God, children watch how their parents’ act far more than what they say about God.
b) Maybe Noah saw how Ham (father of Canaan) messed up. God then gave Noah this prophetic message how his descendants would be non-God fearing people for that reason.
iii) There is a biblical principal of “if God gives you a lot of knowledge, then God holds you accountable for that knowledge”. (See Luke 12:48).
a) Noah’s three sons got to see a “lot of God” with the worldwide flood. Therefore, God held them accountable.
24. Verse 26: He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. 27 May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave."
a) Noah not only curses out Canaan, but also blesses Canaan’s uncle-Shem and uncle-Japeth.
b) You get the impression that the purpose of this section is not so much to curse Canaan as to give a prediction of future activity.
c) Genesis is a book about beginnings. Canaan was the father of the Canaanites. These were the main people that occupied the territory of Israel prior to the Israelites conquering the land in the days of Joshua.
i) One of the reasons God wanted Joshua to conquer and destroy the Canaanites was due to the wickedness of those people.
ii) I remember reading an archeology report one time about the ancient practices of the Canaanites. The archeologist comment was, “Once you understand how wicked, evil and perverse these people were, you are amazed that God waited as long as he did to destroy them.”
d) Also notice that of Noah’s two other brothers, Japheth gets more of a blessing than Shem.
i) This is another text where the “why” reason is not given. Noah appears to be given a prophetic prediction as well as a blessing and a curse.
ii) Japheth became the father of most of the European tribes while Shem went east and south. If you look at the dominance of the “West” over the world-cultures through history, that blessing of the growth of Japheth has come true.
iii) Unfortunately and tragically, through much of world history, many white cultures said that the black culture are “Cain’s descendants” and are part of the curse. That is not biblically supported and is a myth in order to justify the evil of bigotry.
25. Verse 28: After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Altogether, Noah lived 950 years, and then he died.
a) Here is the wrap-up verse on Noah’s life. God gave Noah another 350 years after the flood. He may have had more sons and daughters, and helped repopulate the world.
b) What people forget is that Noah lived until the time of Abraham. Noah remained a “living witness” for about 350 more years of how God judged the world by a flood, and another judgment will come again by fire! As we cover the next two chapters of Genesis, , which goes from Noah to Abraham, remember that Noah lived all through that time.
c) Going back to Genesis 5, all the people between Seth and Noah all lived between 900-1000 years, except for Enoch, who was raptured.
i) Noah represented the last of an era. The last of the pre-flood people who knew of a paradise world where one can live a very long time.
ii) After Noah, we will start reading of much shorter life spans. Now that the canopy of water is down, ultra violet rays are starting to come in and age people.
26. I stated in the beginning of this lesson that it is about “starting over”.
a) These two chapters covered the events from the time the flood waters receded until the end of Noah’s life. Literally, it is about Noah’s new life after the flood.
b) Symbolically, we learn lessons about how this represents our “new life” in Christ.
i) The New Testament teaches how the flood is symbolic of baptism and our new life in Christ.
ii) Noah, like us, had his great moments and his struggles even with his new life.
iii) The main thing to remember about Noah is that he was obedient to what God demanded of him. Even the one “drunk incident” got essentially no biblical commentary as God sees Noah as a man forgiven of all of his sins, even the “post-flood (re: post-baptism).
iv) How does the New Testament memorialize Noah’s life?
a) “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. “ (Hebrews 11:7, NIV)
c) We’re going to meet Noah one day. We’ll hear all about his 950 years on earth and events not recorded in the bible. Noah has great eternal rewards because of his obedience to what God asked him to do. That alone is a wonderful reminder for us!
27. Let’s pray. Father, help us to live in obedience to what you call us and ask us to do. May your Holy Spirit guide us, strengthen us and give us the knowledge we need to be your witnesses to a lost and dying world. Help us to seek you daily for that guidance of your expectations for us. For we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.