As we look at Genesis chapter 9, there are many thoughts we can take away from it. This post will mention three. We see the apparent beginning of mankind eating meat, the covenant of the rainbow, and the cursing of Ham. While this will make the post extra long, I can’t decide which one to omit.
Should we be vegetarians?
According to verse 2, there is going to be a dread of mankind from the animals; the same animals that went into the ark with Noah. Just the wording of the verse indicates that this is a new thing. In fact, if we go back to chapter 1 we will see this:
Genesis 1:29-30 ESV And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (30) And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
In Genesis chapter 9 verses 3 and 4 read this way:
Genesis 9:3-4 ESV Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (4) But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
Here we seem to have a clear indication that originally man was a vegetarian and so were the animals. This, of course, does not mean that we should be what we were (if we were) before the flood but it does show a difference between how we lived before the flood and what God allowed after the flood.
In addition to this allowance of eating meat were two restrictions. One, not to eat meat with blood. That seems to continue even to this day.
Acts 15:20 ESV but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
The second restriction involved the death of either man or beast who kills a man. The reason? Man is created in God’s image. To kill man is to kill the image of God. This is the basis, as I understand it, for capital crimes. The death penalty seems to be enacted here first.
The covenant of the Rainbow
What does it take to make a rainbow? Well, it takes two things: Rain (water particles) and Sun. This is one reason why I think that perhaps, it really did not rain in the world before the flood. Two passages before the flood and one from here in chapter 9.
Genesis 2:5-6 ESV When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, (6) and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—
Hebrews 11:7 ESV By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Genesis 9:13-14 ESV I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (14) When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,
If you look at all this verses, you might come to the conclusion that it had never rained on the earth when God told Noah that he would bring a flood by having it rain 40 days and 40 nights, to which Noah said “What’s rain?” (concerning events as yet unseen-never before seen) and afterwards God brings clouds and with the clouds come rainbows. A reminder of the flood and a promise never to do it again.
The cursing of Ham
So Noah got drunk. Then he went into his tent and uncovered himself. It certainly doesn’t seem to be the type of thing a righteous man would do. But we will focus on what happened. The text tells us the following:
Ham saw his father’s nakedness
Ham told his brother outside what he saw
Noah realized what his younger son had “done” to him
Noah cursed Canaan (the son of Ham)
Much speculation has been written about this and I am afraid that I could only add to such speculation. However, in such speculation, let us at least look at what the text says. From verse 24, Ham DID something to Noah while Noah was drunk. If the Genealogy given in chapter 10 is in order, Ham was Canaan’s 4th son, meaning he was born many years after the flood. That Ham was cursed seems to give cause for us to believe that he was somehow involved in this incident. So, since we are speculating because the text is void of details. I offer this. Ham (a younger man and perhaps subject to the follies of youth) saw grandpa Noah in a drunken stupor and told his dad. His dad rather than covering his father up decided to share the disgrace and further uncover his father’s reputation with his two brothers.
Proverbs 25:9 ESV Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another’s secret,
His brothers did right by Noah and hid the shame rather than further spread it. If the thing Ham ‘did’ was a simple as that (though many suggest much worse), it would be bad enough and if one is correct is assuming that Canaan had a part in it, then the curse on him is not unjust at all, but becomes a punishment his father should have inflicted which Noah did in the absence of such punishment.
There is much we can look at in this chapter and discuss. Do you have an opinion as to what happened between Noah and Ham? Whether it rained before the flood or not? Whether men were vegetarians or not? please share your thoughts….
Genesis 8 shows Noah still in the ark and water is not just over his head, it is over the mountains. It takes a long time for the waters to start to recede from the earth and one might wonder what would happen to Noah during that time. A wonderful thing did happen:
God remembered Noah
Oh, to be remembered by God. If you have every had a friend who forgot about you, you can understand the pain of that loss, especially if they were a good friend, or perhaps even “more than friends.”
God knows all of us but it is the remembering that indicates a care and concern for us which Noah received in Genesis 8.
Genesis 8:1 ESV But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
Of course, God was also concerned about the beasts and livestock too. Still, as Jesus will teach in Matthew 6, while God does take care of them,”we” are of greater value. God will take care of us.
Matthew 6:26 ESV Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
A more important question is “Do we remember God?”
God makes a covenant
At the end of the chapter God makes a covenant with Noah:
Genesis 8:22 ESV While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
This should be of great comfort to us because we know that, although the world will end someday, it will not end before God is ready to end it.
When I was growing up, among the big fears was Nuclear war. Post Nuclear war movies like Planet of the Apes, Damnation Alley, etc spoke of the horrors of the world “ending” with a Nuclear war. (Not that it actually “ended” it was just very hard living.) Even today movies show the world ending in terrible ways.
What God said, and I believe, is that the world will end when GOD says it ends and until then, we will still have seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night!
This is not to say that we should be care free with how we use the resources God gave us in our world but neither should we be overly concerned when those that do not honor God do things to that appear to destroy the world as if they will actually succeed!
Three things have been “end of the world calamities” in my life: Nuclear war, Global cooling, and Global warming. So far none of it has stopped seed time, harvest, heat, cold, summer, winter, day, or night! So do not be anxious, God is in control. In the end, we will all die so we need to live to God and be sure we are going to be in Heaven with Him.
Noah also takes center stage in chapter 7. There are 2 things to learn from this chapter. One corrects a childhood lesson and the other teaches us a very important lesson.
NOT two of every kind of animal
If you grew up like I did, you think that Noah had two of each kind of animal. It is an easy way to remember the lesson without over complicated it for a small child but for an older child or adult, the text reveals something else. Gen 7:2
Genesis 7:2 ESV Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate…
It was 2 pair for the unclean but 7 for the clean. Otherwise, what happened to the animals Noah sacrificed in chapter 8? (Some of you are thinking: Oh , that is what happened to the Unicorns!) No!
Genesis 8:20 ESV Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Now they did go in 2 by 2 but somehow every picture shows 2 giraffe, 2 hippos, 2 lions, etc. When we read the text we can understand the actual count of animals.
Only 8 persons were saved in the ark.
How sad it is to see that Noah, a preacher of righteousness, had to enter the ark with only his wife, sons and daughter in laws. 8 total people saved from the flood.
Genesis 7:7 ESV And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
The lesson to be learned from this is that the world was so bad (Gen 6:5) that Noah had no success in convincing them that a flood was coming. This is one passage that reminds us that few people will be saved. In the midst of a lot of teaching which states that “everyone will be saved, ” we need to take note that same God who wants to save everyone, let everyone else drown.
God is not inconsistent. Repentance and Faith in him are required to have a relationship with Him. If we do not repent at the preaching of the Gospel today, and enter the ark of safety (known as Jesus), then when the next flood (of fire) comes, we will be caught up in it.
In Genesis chapter 6, we are introduced to Noah and the promised flood to come. As always, there are many things that we can learn from this chapter but we are going to look at three today. Please comment below with the things in that chapter that stand out for you.
God’s people and the World’s people don’t mix.
It has been said that if you put a boat in the water, it works perfectly. But, if you put the water in the boat, you have a problem.
In this passage, the Sons of God are not just finding the daughters of man attractive but they are taking them as wives and producing children. When those that are righteous allow those who are not righteous to have such an influence on their children (as all mothers do), it should be no surprise when in a short period of time that the wickedness grows. It grows so much that scripture says ‘that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’ (verse 5).
That is a lot of evil thinking among people who live to be 600 to 900 years old.
Why is it that the Sons of God wanted the daughters of man? Verse two says that they were attractive. I don’t think that this is to say that the daughters of God were unattractive but I imagine that the daughters of man were more willing to emphasize their feminine characteristics, perhaps with braiding of hair, gold or attire, the very thing that woman who seek to please God will DE-emphasize according to Peter.
1Pe 3:3 ESV Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—
There is little doubt that a worldly woman will more often than not turn a godly man from service to God. Even a wise man like Solomon fell to this trap.
1Ki 11:4 ESV For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
The good news is that a godly woman can turn hearts to God and build up the strength of those already serving God. Sons of God should look for wives among others who will follow God with their whole heart and be more like the worthy woman of Proverbs 31. While there are exceptions (Rahab and Ruth stand out here) most of the time that worthy woman is going to found among the Daughters of God.
Noah found favor in God’s sight-Noah walked with God.
Just like his great grandfather, Enoch, Noah walked with God. Verse 9 tells us that he was a righteous man and blameless in his generation, that he walked with God. These three things are key to why Noah found favor in God’s sight. When the world is finally destroyed, who will be the ones who are saved? It will be those who walk with God. Those who are righteous. We, of course, will not stand in our own righteousness but rather the righteousness of Christ.
Php 3:9 ESV and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
Noah did not stand in his own righteousness either, but his faith, just like all who walk with God, will be counted as righteousness through Jesus Christ.
Noah did all that God commanded.
The book of Hebrews tells us that by Faith Noah took God’s warning seriously and built that ark. Faith is used in Hebrews 11, as it generally is, of trusting obedience. Noah believed and trusted God and then obeyed what God told him to do. We don’t know what kind of wood Gopher wood was but assuming it was Cedar wood, then Noah did not build the ark out of Elm or Pine….He built it to the given dimensions and also with the right number of doors (one) and windows (one) and gathered the animals God sent him.
He did all that God commanded him. When we do things by faith we do them the way God tells us to, not the way we want to or His way if it is convenient for us.
There are many points to make from Genesis 6. What other lessons have you found in this chapter that warns of the flood to come?