the LORD said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household,
because I have seen that you are righteous before me in this
generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a
male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and
his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to
keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven
more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty
nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things
that I have made.
The Lord told Noah, Come into the ark.
As we have already noted, in the midst of judgment God always makes a
place of refuge for those who are his own. As you have it in the
turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait
for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who
delivers us from the wrath to come. I Thessalonians 1:9b-10
But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were
still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been
justified by his blood,we shall be saved from wrath through him. Romans
The nature and timing of God’s
approaching judgments, in relation to our day, can be a bit complex.
So, just let me briefly summarize them for you.
of the Churchwill occur (when Christ will literally extract all true believers from
off the earth and take them to their new home in Heaven).
After that world-altering event, there will come
seven years of wrath calledThe
Tribulation. The last three and a half years of that period is
called The Great Tribulation.
It will consist of a series of intense judgments from God, the like of
which the world has never before seen.
The climax of the Great Tribulation will be Christ’s
literal return to Earth to rule and reign here for a thousand years.
That is called The Millennium.
After that one thousand years, the fiery destruction
of the entire universe will take place. I will not comment further
here concerning these time periods and judgments. A detailed
discussion of them can be found in my commentary on Revelation.
Coming back to our text, the
question arises … How did Noah know
which animals were clean and which were unclean? The answer is, He didn’t.
Not until all the animals came to the ark for loading. Those who
arrived in groups of seven pairs were the clean ones and those who came
in single pairs were the unclean. Also, notice that all of the birds came into
the ark in groups of seven pairs each. In the “for what it’s worth”
department, the book of Exodus lists the clean animals that God
designated under the Law. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him. Noah was six
hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.
So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, went into the
ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals
that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth,
two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had
commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of
the flood were on the earth.
Back in verse 4, God said …after seven more days I will cause it to
rain on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Here, in the 10th verse, we read that is exactly what happened. The
Flood didn’t begin after six days, nor did it wait until the eighth
day, it came exactly seven days later, just as God said that it would.
I mention this to emphasize that God’s word is always true and precise
and is always carried out to the letter. What God says God means. His
word is his bond. Everything God has ever said has come to pass, or
will yet come to pass, exactly as he has said. As Jesus put it in John
17:17 … Thy word is truth.
The detailed and precise fulfillments of hundreds of prophecies in the
Bible are more than adequate proof, by the way, that the Bible is the
Word of God and that God always means and does what he says.
the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the
seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the
great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And
the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
The first thing to note here is that
we are reading history.
We are given the exact day when the Flood began. From our previous
discussion of the age of the earth, you will remember that it occurred
around 2520 BC (Gen.11:10).
Now, just a few hours of extremely
heavy rain can have disastrous consequences. I was in south Texas once
when we received eight inches of rain in a single day. It turned the
whole area into one giant lake. Only the roads, which were elevated two
or three feet above the surrounding farm land, remained above water. It
was an eerie sight. Driving down the highway felt like you were driving
across a lake! Here, in Genesis 7, we are told that ... not only
did flooding rain come ... but it came simultaneously over the face
of the entire earth and in conjunction with the opening up of all the
fountains of the great deep.
I believe this is a reference to the unprecedented outpourings of magma on a scale never before nor since seen in Earth's history.
I recently watched a PBS special on volcanic phenomena. It made the
point that, in Earth's past history, there has been outpourings of
magma that far exceeded mere volcanism. Some were so extensive that the
magma covered literally hundreds of square miles and even large
of entire continents. They stated that the only explanation for this
was that the earth's crust must
resulting in outpourings of magma on an unimaginably gigantic scale. I
believe that this is exactly what is referred to here by all the fountains of
the great deep were broken up.
The fracturing of the earth's crust resulted in massive changes in
topography and, no doubt, significantly raised the level of the seas
that existed on Earth at that time. The evidence of these massive
extrusions of magma from the earth's core can be seen almost everywhere
on earth where one travels today. And, there has been no observable
repetition of it in the modern era. This great judgment by water from
above … combined with the great
fountains of the deep
being broken up from below … brought swift and devastating annihilation
of all animal and human life on earth. Furthermore, it continued,
non-stop, for forty days and forty
nights. For nine hundred sixty consecutive hours,
the entire surface of Earth was pounded with torrential rain
accompanied by massive outpourings of magma from the earth's core. The
utter devastation that resulted can only be imagined. As the Apostle
Peter put it, The earth that then
The wording here, clearly speaks to the fact that the Genesis Flood was
a universal one and not the small local flood that many would like
to have us believe.
the very same day Noah and Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and
Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark;
they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every
creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird
after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to
Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those
that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had
commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.
Again, please be reminded that all
the creatures came to Noah
of their own accord and then simply boarded the ark because their
Creator was directing them to do so. Noah didn’t have to gather them
up. All he had to do was have the ark ready to receive them. There are
many questions and objections to the details that are given here in
Scripture of this unprecedented event. I will not attempt to answer
them all. Usually, a careful reading of the text dispels most of these
objections, as they are simply based on wrong assumptions.
For example, some would object that most of the animals were dangerous
to humans and to each other and therefore such a gathering of them in one place would be highly dangerous and inevitably result
in chaos and death. However, the Bible states that all the creatures of
this ancient world were tame and friendly to man at that time. This is
brought out in the Noahic Covenant
(9:2). Also, we have already been told that all the creatures of this
ancient world were vegetarians (2:29-30). There were no carnivores.
As I recall, evolutionists make a big deal about the fact that lions
have stomachs similar to that of a cow, proving that they once ate
grass and that they evolved. I agree. Nevertheless, they were always
Finally, notice that it was the Lord
who shut the door of the ark. For Noah, his family, and the creatures
aboard the ark … when that door rumbled shut ... it meant safety,
security and refuge. For all who were left outside, however, it meant
certain and irreversible doom.
May I chase a rabbit here for
a moment? There always comes a point in time when it becomes too late
for a lost, Bible denying and unbelieving sinner to be saved ... a time when the door
clicks shut on them. There comes a time when it is too late to repent
... too late to come to Christ ... too late to do anything but perish.
For some, that irreversible moment may come years before their actual
physical death ... when they have hard-heartedly blasphemed the Holy Spirit who has so patiently and lovingly been pleading with them. It
is that certain point in time when they say to God, "NO, I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU!"
… which, in effect, is calling God a liar. In my opinion, that emphatic and total
the Holy Spirit's pleading is inevitably followed by the solemn click
of a forever shut door. This is what Jesus was referred to in Matthew 12:31, when he
I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the
blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven
him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be
forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
The unforgivable sin is unbelief …
the stubborn and adamant refusal of the truth. The Bible says today
is the day of salvation (Hebrews 4:7). No one knows if they will have a
tomorrow. When God closed the door of the ark … it meant total safety
of those within … but it meant destruction
for those who were without. For a hundred and twenty years, God had
been calling out to that generation through his Holy Spirit and through
Noah’s preaching (II Peter 2:5), but they all turned a deaf ear. Then, one
ominous, dark and cloudy day, the door of the ark was shut by the hand
of God and the long-suffering of God had come to an end. Jesus said,
the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and
out and find pasture. John 10:9
When Jesus uttered those words, it wouldn't surprise me if his mind went back to the day when he shut the door of the ark,
over 2500 years before. Jesus, God’s Door, is open for you and me today,
friend. Have you entered in? Come to him. In prayer, ask him to save
you. He is the Ark of God's safety today for all who will enter in. Get on
board before it’s too late. As you have it in the book of Romans,
'whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.' Romans 10:13
the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted
up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and
greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface
of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth,and
all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters
prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the
earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps
on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the
spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So he destroyed all living things which were on the face of the
ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They
were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in
the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one
hundred and fifty days.
For the second time here, we are
told that the flood of waters persisted for forty days and forty nights. It was
devastating. The word, prevailed,
means that the waters continually increased, minute by minute, hour by hour, higher
and higher. For the ark, however, this was not a problem. Designed and
preserved by God, it had not been made to go anywhere. It was simply a
huge barge. All it needed to do was float. And, float it did … drifting
about on the surface of the waters.
By the way, I believe the earth’s
topography, in Noah’s day, was very different from what it is in our
day. There is a great deal of evidence that Noah's world was a
low, hilly, lush paradise. And, that the high mountain ranges we
see today are the results of the destruction of that previous world. This would answer often brought objections like, There couldn’t have been enough water to
cover Mount Everest! Nevertheless,
if Mount Everest did exist in Noah’s day, you can rest assured that it
was no problem for God to put it under water. Our text says that, at
the peak of the Flood (verse 22), the highest hill, or mountain, on
Earth wastwenty-two and a half feet under water and all that was on the dry land, died. Many of the water creatures, of course, survived.
God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that
were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth,
and the waters subsided.
The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped,
and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded
continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days
the waters decreased.
It is significant to me that God was
not just concerned about Noah. Notice that he was also concerned about
all life that had survived the flood as well as the animals inside the ark. Proverbs 12:10 says,
righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of
the wicked are cruel.
God is a righteous God. He cares
about his creatures. Psalm
lovely is your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even
faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for
the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a
nest for herself, where she may lay her young; even your altars, O LORD
of hosts, my King and my God.
not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to
the ground apart from your Father's will. Matthew 10:29
The fact that so many animals
perished in the Flood should not detract from these basic truths. No doubt,
God had a higher purpose for the removal of all the land creatures of
that first world. Doubtless, one major purpose had to do with fossils. The Flood
fossilized such vast amounts of the previous world's creatures and plant life that, in the future, man would forever observe and be responsible for how he analyzed and interpreted it.
The question is … would the paleontologists and geologists of the future believe God’s
Word concerning all the massive evidences set before them? Or, would they foolishly
make up some stubborn and completely unscientific explanation? I
guess we know the answer. Nevertheless, the time will come when
God's Word will be completely vindicated and its history be undeniable.
Now, concerning the time periods of the Flood, we have:
... 40 days of rain and subterranean
... 150 days, during which the waters completely
covered the earth (brings the total to 190 days).
... 150 days,
during which the waters subsided from off the earth. (brings the days of the total event to 340 days).
Sound like a local flood to you?
the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month,
on the mountains of Ararat.
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the
tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains
The area in which the ark came to
rest is known today as modern Turkey. In fact, there is a high mountain
in Turkey named Mount Ararat.
Several expeditions have been launched there to search for the remains
of the ark. Because of the political
instabilities in the region, however, gaining permission from Turkey’s
Islamic government and local officials for these expeditions has always
been difficult. Further, the possibility that Noah's ark coming to rest on that
particular mountain is slim. Our text says it came
to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
That is a general area that is given to us, not an exact location.
Nevertheless, it is in that general area of northeast Turkey that the
ark came to rest. Furthermore, to expect anything to remain today of the ark ... these some 45 plus centuries later ... is a stretch in itself. Most likely, much of the ark was disassembled and used for other purposes and what was left, being made of wood, would have long ago disintegrated.
Our text says that the Flood began
in the 600th year of Noah’s life, in the second month and the
seventeenth day (7:11). Here in chapter 8, we read that the ark ran
aground on the seventh month and the seventeenth day (8:4), and that it
sat there until the first day of the tenth month, when the waters had
abated enough for the tops of the mountains to be seen (8:5).
it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window
of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept
going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also
sent out from himself a dove,
to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the
dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned
into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole
earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark
to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the
dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and
behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth
; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. So he
waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not
return again to him anymore.
Ravens are scavengers. They are
members of a select group of creatures that are eaters of dead meat.
There is mounting evidence that Tyrannosaurus
was a pre-Flood scavenger in the animal kingdom. At any rate, it was
natural for a raven to come and go from the ark, after feeding on the
dead flesh that it had found. A dove, on the other hand, wouldn’t land
on a floating carcass to feed. So, when it finally returned to the ark
with an olive leaf in its beak, it was a true indicator that the earth
was drying out. Finally, the dove didn’t return at all and Noah knew
that his first impression had been verified. Keep in mind, however,
that these experiments were generated by Noah to salve his own
curiosity. He had no intention of leaving the ark until his God told
him to do so.
it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month,
the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the
earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed
the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the
twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.
In the 601st year of Noah’s life,
the first month, the first day, the door of the ark was removed and the
waters were seen to be completely abated (8:13). Notice, however, that
no person or creature left the ark. Nearly two months went by, after
the covering was removed. Only when Noah received word from the Lord …
would they leave the ark. On the second month, twenty seventh day … the
earth was dried.
God spoke to Noah, saying, ‘Go out of the ark,
you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring
out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds
and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that
they may abound on the earth, and be
fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ So Noah went out, and his
sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him.
I can’t help but think of Isaiah 40:31,
those who wait
on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings
like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not
Think about it. The door of the ark
had stood open for nearly two months. The ground was dry. Yet, Noah
stayed put. He waited for word
from the Lord. As you have it in Romans 8:14,
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
And again, in Psalm 37:23,
steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delights in his way.
God had told Noah to get on board
the ark and, until Noah heard otherwise, that’s where he would stay.
Noah was an obedient servant. He knew what it was to walk with God. He
had been walking with God the entire year he had been on the ark. He
knew what God expected of him. One of the greatest problems we saints
have in our walk with the Lord … is waiting
on him, is it not? If God tells us to do something or be somewhere, we
shouldn't anticipate his will to leave that ministry or place until we
hear otherwise. Like soldiers in an army, we have our orders. Our job
is to follow. His job is to lead. When the time is right, God will give
us any new orders he has for us. Don’t anticipate God’s direction for
your life. Moses comes to mind here. He tried to jump the gun on the
will of God by thinking he knew best when to deliver the people of
Israel (Acts 7:23-29). But, in God’s timing, that didn’t come about for
another forty years. Do you wait upon the Lord, dear saint? We are
invited to walk with him, you
know, not ahead of him.
Coming back to our text, can you
picture the utter delight of all those occupants of the ark when they
finally got word from the Lord to get off that ark? In total, they had
spent over a year in there. It must have been quite a celebration when
the ark finally emptied out. We can only imagine all those animals’
joy at being free to roam again.
Noah built an altar
to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird,
and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a
soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in his heart, ‘I
will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the
imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again
destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth
remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and
day and night shall not cease.’
After getting off the ark, it is significant that the first
thing Noah did was to build an altar and worship
God. He built an altar and presented sacrifices. For over a year, Noah
had undoubtedly missed worshiping the Lord at an altar. His heart must
have been overflowing with thanksgiving for the great salvation he, his
family and all the animals had received. Also, for the new, clean
and wonderfully different world that now lay glistening before them.
Now, there were only seven pairs of
any one clean animal that had entered the ark the year before. I
suspect, however, they may have procreated and increased in number while aboard
the ark. In any case, Noah didn’t hesitate to offer some of them as a
sacrifice. Noah knew his God and he knew that putting the Lord first
came before everything else. As a result, we read that the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.
Of course this expression is another anthropomorphism. God doesn’t have
nostrils. God is a spirit. The Lord often accommodates his words by using our own human expressions to communicate with us.
May we step aside here for a moment?
The Mormons often use these anthropomorphisms to try and prove that the
God of the Bible is really just a highly evolved human being. They
believe that God has always had a human body. They have a saying … As man is now, God once was. As God is
now, man soon will be. How utterly foolish this is. In a famous
debate, a Mormon was challenged by a verse from the Psalms that says … Under his wings we
safely abide. The debater then asked … Is your god also a giant chicken? I
relate this somewhat amusing point because it brings up another very important principle of interpretation we need
to use when we interpret Scripture. It’s the principle of accommodation.
God often accommodates his terminology in order to better communicate
with us. When someone does not recognize this about the Bible, they can
come up with some pretty strange views about God ... like the Mormons
Coming back to the text … notice,
the Lord purposed in his heart that he would never again curse the
ground for man's sake. He meant, as he had done with Adam ... and
again, with Cain (4:12). He would never again use that kind of judgment. He also said … while the earth remains,
he would never again destroy every living
For what it is worth, a great many men and creatures will be destroyed
during the Great Tribulation. However, it will come in gradual stages …
with many people being delivered (See: Rev. 7:20) before the final day
of the dissolving of the universe by fire comes.
Finally, I believe that verse 22, is
a very important verse concerning the nature of the new world in which
Noah and the animals found themselves. Notice, it was at this point in
Earth’s history that seasons were
instituted. Apparently, during the Flood, God caused a tilt in the earth’s axis
causing it to begin to wobble in its orbit around the sun. So, from
that time on, the earth began to experience distinct seasons that it had never
experienced before. Gone was the uniform climate that was so taken
for granted prior to the Flood. The institution of seasons was, no
doubt, the final nail in the coffin for the dinosaurs.
God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and
multiply, and fill the earth. And the
fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth,
on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the
fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food
for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.
But you shall not eat flesh with its
life, that is, its blood.
Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of
every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand
of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood
shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. And as for
you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And
multiply in it.?
We come now to the first covenant that God made with man.
Theologians call it the Noahic
It is very important to note that this covenant is still in effect
today. Nowhere in the Word of God is any part of this covenant said to
have been set aside or fulfilled. There are six parts to it. God
fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
During my college days, I took a
course called Population Problems.
It was presented by the Sociology Department at New Mexico State
University. The gist of it was that the earth is basically
overpopulated and we need to take drastic measures to confront the
problem. However, the professor also pointed out that, as far as actual
square footage on our planet is concerned … we humans
only take up a minute fraction of space. He illustrated his
point by demonstrating mathematically that if you dug a hole one mile square and one mile deep, you could put every
living human being on Earth at that time in that hole and still have room left over!
The population of the earth today is approximately 7 billion and my professor’s calculations still pencil. There are many different aspects to the debate about overpopulation. I would simply
point out two things.
a. First, the earth is designed by God to completely
accommodate man and all his needs
... far in excess of what we might imagine. Food surpluses that have
been produced by U.S. farmers alone are evidence of this fact.
wherever there is starvation in our world today ... it is due primarily
to politics, war, greed and evil men. It is not due to
the lack of resources or size of the population. The Catholics have it
right on this point. They say that man was commanded to be fruitful and
multiply and that’s exactly what they intend to do until God tells them
otherwise. That is the first tenant of the Noahic Covenant and a point
2. ...the fear and dread
of you shall be upon every beast...
By the second tenant of the Noahic
Covenant, God put the fear and dread of maninto the hearts of all the animals, birds, fish and creeping things.
Up until that time, man and the animal kingdom lived in harmony together and
without fear. That had been so from the days when Adam first named the
animals. This goes a long way in explaining how the animals were so
manageable during the days in which they were in the ark, does it not?
But, why put the fear of man into the hearts of animals, birds and fish
now? Might I suggest it was so that ... now that they were a God given
source of food ... it would go a long way toward helping to preserve
them? If they all had remained docile and friendly,
like they were in the pre-Flood world, I suspect most of
them would now be extinct.
3. ...Every moving thing
that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as
the green herbs.
Not long ago, one of my
granddaughters came to me and said that her friend wanted to know if
there was anywhere in the Bible that said it was alright to eat meat.
I sensed that it was her question as well, since many of her
teachers in the public school system were pushing the animal rights agenda and its companion, vegetarianism. Their premise is: man is just a higher form of animal ... animals have the same rights as humans ... eating hamburgers is cannibalism ... we must lobby Congress
... etc. This third tenant of the Noahic Covenant runs completely counter to these
popular unbiblical views of our day. In the Noahic Covenant, it was God himself who gave all the living creatures over to man for food. The Apostle Paul speaks to this issue as follows,
the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from
the faith, giving heed to deceiving
spirits and doctrines of demons,
speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a
hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding
to abstain from foods which God created to be received with
thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every
creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received
with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
I Timothy 4:1-5
This is right where we live today,
is it not? Notice, in the above scripture, that the meat that we eat is
sanctified by the word
of God and prayer.
In other words, all meats are for our eating because the Word of God
says so. That right and freedom, I might add, was born here in Genesis
9, in the Noahic Covenant. Jesus himself ate meat (John 21:10-13).
4. ...But you shall not
eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
The fourth tenant of the Noahic
Covenant forbids the eating of raw flesh with its blood. When the early
Church at Jerusalem sent out a message to its new Gentile believers, it
instructed them to abstain
from the eating of blood.
that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols,
and fornication, and things strangled, and blood. Acts 15:20
This was in deference to the Jewish
believers who would have been greatly offended by such a practice since it
was forbidden in the Mosaic Law. However, they were also correct in
their admonition in that it adhered to the Noahic Covenant as well, which was still in effect at that time, even as it is today. Clearly, blood is precious and special in the eyes of God. The Scripture says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). The
animal sacrifices that Noah brought to God, as well as all the
sacrifices that were later offered under the Mosaic Covenant, depicted
the shed blood of the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God,
that would be shed on the cross one day. For these reasons, eating or
drinking of blood should be avoided by believers.
5. Whoever sheds man’s
blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made
The fifth tenant of the Noahic
Covenant was the institution of capital
There is a great deal of confusion among Christians and non-Christians
alike about this subject today. And, it is only clarified if we accept
God’s Word on the subject. God is the one who delegated to man (through
government) the obligation and commandment to execute murderers. The
argument is often brought up that capital punishment is simply
murdering a murderer! The reasoning goes like this … When you kill a murderer, you are no
better than they! How can two wrongs make a right? Not! When
murderers are executed, they are executed by the direct will and
commandment of God … an obligation which he has delegated to man
through human government. Notice the reason that God gave that
murderers should be executed. It is because they wantonly destroyed
another human being who was made in the image of God himself. Humans
are very special in God’s eyes. They are made in his own image.
Therefore, man has been given the responsibility to avenge all who have
deliberately distroyed those made in his image. It is very important that they carry this
out. As you have it in Romans
every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no
authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God,
and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are
not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of
the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
For he is God's minister to you for good. But
if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for
he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices
God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: ‘...and as for me,
behold, I establish my covenant
with you and with your descendants
and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle,
and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark,
every beast of the earth. Thus I establish my covenant with you: never again shall all flesh be cut off by
the waters of the flood;
never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said:
‘This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you, and
every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I
set my rainbow in the cloud,
and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow
shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember my covenant which is
between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters
shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I
will look on it to
remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature
of all flesh that is on the earth.’ And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I
have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’
6. ...never again shall
all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall
there be a flood to destroy the earth.
This is the final, yet core tenant,
of the Noahic Covenant. Namely, that God would never again destroy the
earth with water. Let’s step aside here for a moment and look once
again at the evidence that the Flood was not just local, as so many
liberal critics have proposed.
this were merely a local flood, there could never have been another
following it, according to God’s Word in the Noahic Covenant.
Obviously, however, that has not been the case. There are floods all
the time. So, God couldn't have been
referring to a local flood.
Second, from that day forward the sign of God’s Covenant with Noah was the
rainbow. This seems ridiculous to men today. I recall in college
it was roundly debunked in favor of the scientific explanation … namely
that a rainbow is merely the refraction of light through the prism of
water droplets resulting in the colors of light becoming visible and
following the curvature of the sun. For the believer of the Bible,
however, a rainbow is far more than the scientific explanation of it. I
believe a rainbow had never before been seen by man prior to the Flood.
You will remember that before the Flood, the earth was not watered by
rain. Hence, there were no clouds as we know them. The earth was
watered subterraneously (2:5-6). The first rainbow was a new and
wondrous phenomenon to Noah and his family.
However, also keep in mind that the
sign of the Covenant (the rainbow) was
not given as a sign for man. It was for God (9:16). Does God need
reminding? No. But, he wants you and me to know that he is faithful.
So, for our sakes, he
assures us that at all times he will keep this visible representation
before him of his promise to never again destroy the earth by water.
You may have noticed that, from an airplane, rainbows are completely
round. Let me ask you a question. How many rainbows do you suppose
exist right now, right this very second, around the world? I should
think hundreds, if not thousands. And, our omnipresent God looks upon
each and every one of them. He even has one that is perpetually above
his throne in Heaven (Rev. 4:2-3). The point is … God will keep his
word. Never ... ever ... again will mankind and all of Earth’s land creatures
be destroyed by water. God’s rainbows are his ever present reminders of
that promise in his Noahic Covenant with us.
the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan.
These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was
populated. And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.
Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his
tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment,
laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the
nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did
not see their father's nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew
what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of
servants he shall be to his brethren.’ And he said: ‘Blessed be the
LORD, The God of Shem, and may Canaan
be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the
tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his
servant.’ And Noah lived after
the flood three hundred and fifty years. So all the days of Noah were
nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.
I would like to comment on three
brought out the nobility of Shem
They honored their father’s
predicament by not entering into whatever Ham did. Ham’s sin was crass,
perverted and disrespectful. Possibly, he just made fun of his father's nakedness
and took others to see. However, the text indicates that he may have
done more than that. Shem and Japheth, however, would have no part of
it. By their actions, they fulfilled one of the Ten Commandments, not
yet written … namely … honor thy father and
They acted righteously and went to their helpless father’s aid by
covering up his nakedness and they did so without so much as actually
looking upon him themselves.
Noah’s curse on Ham
and his lineage was prophetic and appropriate.
The age in which Noah lived was the
age of the Patriarchs. Noah was a Patriarch. The Patriarchs were men who were both priests
and heads over their families.
Their word was law and was so honored by God. Having said that,
however, let me say that it is sad that many have taken this curse from
Noah out of context. Some have said that all of Ham’s descendants are
cursed forever. They twist the Scripture here, saying that it refers to
the Black race, seeking biblical support for their racism. That is
utter nonsense! This curse was long ago fulfilled. It ended with the
Canaanites. It began to be fulfilled when the Canaanites were subjected
under Abraham, and the curse was finally and historically fulfilled
under Joshua when the people of Israel entered the Promised Land and
completely subjected the wicked Canaanite descendants of Ham that they
Noah may not have
been at fault for becoming drunk.
The new world that greeted Noah and
his sons had many unfamiliar aspects. I suspect that the fermentation
process, or the timing of it in that new environment, was one of those
new unfamiliarities. So, Noah may not have been familiar with the
potency of what he was drinking.
Finally here in this chapter, we come to
the death of one of God’s great saints. We are told that Noah died at
the ripe old age of 950.
taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Proceed to next