Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 9:1-4, 6

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth

2 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 your hand are they delivered.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Today’s verses continue the theme of a new beginning for humanity. God is renewing the exact same commandments that He gave in the Garden of Eden, such as for mankind to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,” and to have dominion over the animal kingdom.

The instructions are not completely the same, though, there are are a couple of differences. Now God mentions that the meat of animals is given as a food item, while in the Garden of Eden He had only mentioned fruits and herbs. There is also a new forbidden food item for humanity. Not the fruit of the tree of the knowledge anymore, but blood. And speaking of blood, mankind is expressly forbidden from murder, and a punishment is assigned if that commandment is broken.

It stands out to me how the story of Noah presents a shift in the relationship between God and man. All of the previous instructions between God and man took place in a simpler, idealized setting: the Garden of Eden, and as such the rules were much simpler. Adam and Eve were still innocent then, and therefore only needed very basic instruction. With Noah God is restoring His prior covenants, but several details have been added due to the more complicated nature of fallen man. In fact, I would say that God’s relationship with Noah is something of a middle ground between the simplicity of Adam and Eve and the even greater complexity of Moses and the Israelites.

Indeed we will see that the relationship between God and man becomes more and more complicated throughout the Old Testament, until the arrival of a Savior who is able to answer most of that complexity through his atoning sacrifice. Then things are able to be made far more simple again.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 8:20-22

20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

I mentioned yesterday how Noah represented a new beginning for mankind, and this notion is further echoed in today’s verses. And here we see that God is establishing a new covenant with mankind. The natural order of the world, its cycles and seasons, its days and nights, all these things will continue, and there will not be any more mass extinction.

And He promises this even knowing that man will go astray again. He calls out how “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth,” but that doesn’t change His promise. Jesus would accurately observe “he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). From this point on it is official and covenanted: God knows that is committed to seeing this human experiment all the way through. No matter how many rebellions we make He will continue to work with us.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 6:11-13

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

In these verses we get a little insight as to what was wrong with humanity at this point: they were filled with violence. Flesh had corrupted itself to the point of destroying itself! What a strange and horrifying phenomenon this is in humanity: that we reach the point of self destruction.

We do this on an individual basis, when we intentionally do the very things that we know will cause us harm, sometimes to the most extreme degree of taking our own life! We also destroy ourselves on a global basis, with the genocide of entire societies and the threat of mutually assured destruction.

These behaviors are the final and great insanity! What other form of life is there that intentionally destroys itself? In fact, as I’ve awoken to the state of my own soul, I’ve spent far less time praying to be saved from others, and far more praying to be saved from myself!