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Genesis: Chapter 9

Categories: GenesisTags: 2.6 min read

We talked about Noah’s faith in God and how this had brought him, his family and all the animals through the terror of the flood.

At the beginning of this chapter we read that God not only blessed Noah for his faithfulness but he also gave Noah permission to use animals for food. ‘Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb, have I given you all things.’ (Genesis 9:3). It appears that, prior to this time, mankind had not been allowed to eat meat but after the flood man’s relationship with animals began to change.

God’s ruling about draining the blood from the meat before eating it was to ensure that a degenerate way of life did not occur (Genesis 9:4). Pagan worship often included the drinking of animal blood and Noah and his descendants were forbidden to take part in idol worship and pagan practices. God explained that blood symbolically represented life and the shedding of blood symbolically represented death.

We talked about the fact that God condemns murder (the deliberate act of killing another human being) and that he reminds Noah and his family that murder represents an assault on God, as man was created in the image of God (Genesis 9:5). Instead of taking away life God encourages Noah and his family to create life (Genesis 9:7).

We talked about the meaning of the word ‘covenant.’ In the Bible this represents a special promise made by God to a person or a group of people. The promise given to Noah, his family, their descendants and to all living creatures was that God would never again flood the earth (Genesis 9:8 – 11).

The seal for God’s covenant is the rainbow which appears when both sun and rain clouds are in the sky. The rainbow is the reflection of the beams of sun shining through the raindrops. God places emphasis on his covenant by assuring Noah that the rainbow is an ‘everlasting covenant’ that will never be forgotten (Genesis 9:12 – 17).

Although Noah and his family were saved from the flood because of Noah’s righteousness, and his wish to follow God’s way, we are reminded that sin was still part of human nature. The incident of drunkenness (Genesis 9:20) must have occurred sometime after the flood when Noah had been able to cultivate a vineyard. By this time Ham had four sons, the youngest being Canaan. By seeing his father in a drunken state, and then telling his brothers, Ham showed a lack of respect for his father. Shem and Japheth, in contrast, treated their father with respect and showed this by their actions (Genesis 9:23).

Many of the blessings and curses, in the Bible, made by parents on their children and grandchildren were often in the form of prophecies. Noah showed that he understood this principle when he spoke (Genesis 9:24 – 27). The descendants of Canaan did indeed turn out to be an immoral group of people and, as a consequence, were often in a subservient position. Throughout his long life Noah showed that, despite his human failings, he understood the purpose of God.

ADDITIONAL READING

FURTHER THOUGHTS

Mark 1

Categories: Mark|Tags: |

Mark’s gospel has been chosen as a starting point for the group and from the very first chapter it was

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