Listen to the Podcast here...Noahic Covenant
Last time we left Adam and Eve just outside the Garden Eden in their new, animal skin covering, that God made for them. Even though they disobeyed God, He was kind and merciful to them and instructed them in the way they should go as they entered the new realm of life that included pain, suffering, weeds, thorns and thistles.
It’s at this point we need to remember that it was their own doing that brought them to this place. There was no one else to blame for the state they were in.
We continue today in Genesis to set the stage for the scene on the Earth before God made the next Covenant.
And Adam knew Eve, his wife and she conceived and gave birth to Cain….let’s stop right there…
I have always heard “knew” described as Adam and Eve had physical relations, hence she conceived a child which is mentioned later in the verse. But there is so much more to the word “knew”
I “know” how difficult it is to translate some words from German to English, since German is my native tongue. There are words that have to go through several rounds of translating in my head before they come out in the proper American version. Such as Untersetz, which is an important word to know in the moment you need to share it. Give me an untersetzt. My kingdom for an untersetzt! Now please!….Unter means under, setzt means to sit….ok, I that thing that sits under…. I need that thing that sits under this hot pot of spaghetti sauce before I drop it! Finally the word comes to me…which is not an American word at all, but a borrowed French word….A TRIVET! Yes, that’s it, I need a Trivet!
“Gemütlichkeit” is another word that always gives me trouble in translating to English. Americans would consider it hospitality, but the term has so much more meaning behind it. It is a sense of warm coziness, with friends and family, inside with candles, and conversation, and warm drinks, away from the outside world.
The primitive root of to know, according to the Strongs Concordance, Know (Which properly means to ascertain by seeing) is used in a great variety of our senses.
All of these can be included in the term knew in “Adam knew his wife,” as:
observation, care, recognition, instruction, designation, acknowledge, advise, appoint, to be aware of, to discern, discover, make self known, mark, respect, teach, tell, understand, and have understanding of.
Do see what I see?
I see a recognition on Adam’s behalf of the things he should have been doing. He is now living in an understanding manner with Eve. As my husband mentioned when we were discussing this, “We could roll all those terms into one as…intimacy”
It looks as if Adam is walking as head of his household now, although most likely not perfectly as there is sin in the world, but at least it seems as if his heart is in the right place.
The rest of verse one goes on. Eve said, I have gotten a man child from the LORD!
If you and your husband were the only people in this new realm on earth? Might you wonder if this man child was the fulfillment of the promise that God made? Might this man child be the one who saves you from the consequences of sin? But in the very next verse of this Historical record we hear of the birth of another man child.
Time flies when we read the account of these two verses.
In the third verse we learn, Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel was a keeper of sheep. And in the process of time, it came to pass, that both sons brought an offering to the Lord.
Do you notice what I notice?
More time had passed and the sons of Adam and Eve are bringing a sacrifice to God.
Abel brought the best of his flock of sheep with the fat and God had respect for his offering.
Cain brought his offering of grains to the Lord, but the Lord did not respect this offering.
There was nothing in Genesis at this point to indicate why these sacrifices brought about acceptance or not, but we do learn from our parents as they teach us. Adam and Eve were taught by the best teacher after they sinned. God showed them that blood needed to be shed to cover the sin they had committed. Perhaps Adam was still acting as the head of his household and teaching his children well.
In was written in later accounts of history in Leviticus and Hebrews that blood was to be shed as an acceptable sacrifice. This helps me see how important it is to still teach our children well when they are young, before they read the written word, and to hide these truths in their hearts.
Cain became very upset and depressed
So the LORD asked Cain….
Why are you so upset?
Why are you depressed?
If you do what is right, you will be accepted won’t you?
But if you don’t do what is right, sin is crouching near you, turning towards you.
However, you must take dominion over it.
Instead Cain lured his brother out to the wilderness and killed him.
Once again we hear similar words from God…
Where’s your brother Able?
Instead of coming clean with God, CAIN shrugs it off and answers, how am I supposed to know? Am I my brother’s keeper?
Once again, God questions CAIN. God knows exactly what CAIN did, but gives him a chance to come clean. But CAIN’S heart refused to admit what he had done to his brother.
What did you do? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. From here on out, you will till the ground, but it will not yield it’s fruit to you and you will be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth.
CAIN then lived as an exile, out of the presence of the Lord and lived in the land of Nod on the east of Eden with a mark on him so that others knew not to kill him.
Once again there is mercy on the children of God even though they chose to live in disobedience to the One who made them.
Cain went on to have many children, and so did Adam and Eve. But it wasn’t until Enos was born that humans began to call upon the name of the Lord again.
That took a LONG time.
In those days mankind lived a long lives. Adam, after having another son, Seth, lived 930 years and then he died.
All the way to Noah’s day who was 500 years old, and he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
In the middle of this account of History, there is a whole chapter on Genelogies in the Bible. Instead of a boring account of me reading this to you, I share a snippet of the Skit "Christ and the Veil" It was written by my son, and he shares it around the kitchen table at dinner time with his children.
You can find more info on this
"Christ and the Veil" on Stephen Hardy's Facebook Page at "Christ and the Veil- A One Man Play" or to request a booking for him to share this skit at your church or Park or gathering.
At this point the Earth was being filled with many people that God wanted to love, and be loved by in return, but as usual, He’s merciful and will not force others to love Him.
He did however, see that the evil deeds of humans were growing more and more and even their thoughts were becoming only evil on a continual basis.
Then the Lord regretted having made humans and He was deeply grieved.
God was deeply grieved.
When things go wrong on earth mankind is quick to cry out and blame God for all the evil.
We are quick to ask where is God when these catastrophes happen?
Why isn’t He helping?
Have you ever wondered what grieves God’s heart?
He could see where the future was going for mankind.
So. Once again, even though God dealt out consequences to disobedience on all of mankind, Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Grace: kindness, favor, graciousness, in the sense of bending or stooping in kindness to an inferior. To favor, bestow, to have pity on , to have mercy on.
So God talks with Noah, and tells him The end of all flesh is come. The earth is filled with violence through mankind, and I will destroy them and the earth.
And here we come to the instructions for the beginning of the move towards the next Covenant, because sin on the earth had now bloomed to full flower and it was time for judgement and mercifully, another reset.
The Noahic Covenant
The Noahic Covenant was to secure the Earth as a stage for the restitution of all things.
Even though it had never rained on the earth before, God told Noah to make a huge Ark, He gave him the instructions on how to build it, what to make it out of, and to cover it in pitch, inside and out.
This pitch was a tar like substance used as a coating made from the henna plant which was used for dyeing, was the color of dried blood. Figuratively this pitch was a redemption price.
The root word is of pitch is
kaw-Far … to cover, condone, appease, to make an atonement, cleanse, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to purge, to RECONCILE.
So Noah did all that the Lord commanded him to do. Did you hear that? Noah actually obeyed God. Noah and his sons built the ark so that Noah and his wife, and his three sons Ham Shem and Japeth, and their wives and the animals that God instructed would all be safe in the Ark when the waters came.
And in this, God established the Covenant with Noah and all the living humans and animals to come.
When Noah was 600 years old, they all got in the Ark and God shut the door.
600 years old.
What are we doing with a life that lasts about 100 years?
The flood lasted 40 days.
Can you imagine the sounds of the cries of those outside the ark as the first of the rain drops began to fall and reality began to set in? Then as the waters began to grow deep.
Let me in, Let me in. But by then it was too late.
The ark began to float, and the ark didn’t come to land until the highest mountains were covered in water, and everything that had breath, had died.
Only Noah and those in the ark were left and they floated around on the waters for another 150 days until the waters receded and the Ark landed on Mt Ararat. Eventually God instructed Noah and his family to get out of the Ark, and Once again the instruction to be fruitful and multiply the earth was given.
Noah’s reaction to the instruction of God remands me of
traveling out of my own Country and after only 6 weeks elsewhere, I was so thankful to be back on familiar soil.
I witnessed someone kiss the ground after getting off the plane.
Noah may have done the same, after getting off the ark, but that is not recorded for us in scripture.
What he did do, was 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.
There are tears in my eyes as I think of the heart of Noah at this moment. I look for meaningful moments in life, and this is definitely one of them. For the smoke that rose to the LORD from this altar brought a pleasing aroma in such contrast to the stench of the world for so long that made God’s heart grieve. It breaks my heart to know that we break God’s heart when we sin against Him.
It’s not the smell of a good bbq, but a heart of obedience that pleased the LORD… and He said:
“I will never again curse the ground because of man and the evil intentions of his heart, and neither will I strike down every living creature as I have done.”
The first thing Noah did on dry ground was to worship God through sacrifice. His heart was filled with gratitude for God. The magnificent scope of being saved from destruction brought praise in his heart for God’s leading and guiding.
God also let Noah in on a few changes for the future life on earth.
“while the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night”
No longer will there be a blanket like vapor covering the earth as it was emptied during the flood. From now on there will be seasonal and temperature changes. Many commentators believe this is the reason for a shorter life span in mankind after the flood.
Another insight of mass extinction revealed fossil records of the animal. Some skeletal remains of animals reveal sudden destruction while eating, or hunting another animal.
Here we finally arrive at the front porch of the Noahic Covenant, Genesis Chapter 9 Where God, once again instructs His children for life in a new world.
God tells Noah and the family….
After the instructions are shared, God again makes a covenant with man and this time includes all of creation.
Imagine standing just outside the ark smelling the aroma rising to heaven, as you watch the animals leave the ark, as you realize they are afraid of you now.
There may have been a little vegetation that survived the flood, the animals are now afraid of you and you must find them if you were going to be able to eat.
The reserves brought on the ark, if any were left, would not last long. I don’t remember reading any whining or complaining from Noah or the family about these things. With our own fires, and hurricane and floods, and destruction these days, it’s easy to get into an attitude of complaining rather than an attitude of gratitude when our eyes are focused in the wrong area.
As the eight humans stand in awe of what God has done to save them, God begins to share another unconditional covenant.
“I make this Covenant with you, and all of mankind, and even with the animals.
Never will I destroy all flesh on the earth in a flood again.
Never again will there be a flood to destroy the entire earth.
As a sign of this Covenant that I make with you, I will put a rainbow in the clouds, and when I see it I will remember my everlasting covenant with you.
This promise from God originated in His own heart. God’s promise was freely made on His part and was not dependent on Noah or any other human descendant or what they may or may not do in the future.
Can you see The attributes of God shine through in this Covenant? He is Omniscient, all knowing, Omnipresent, ever present, Omnipotent, all powerful, compassionate, merciful sovereignty and grace shine briliiantly like the facets on a diamond in the sunlight….kind of like the rays of sunlight through the clouds like a rainbow.
If you haven’t noticed by now, God’s Covenants foreshadow the work of Jesus that is fulfilled in and through Him.
These Covenants require some sort of faith response in our own lives.
Do we believe them or not?
Are we going to trust God and His word or not?
Are we going to choose life on our own terms like Adam and Eve, and all those that lived on earth before the flood?