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THE NOAHIC COVENANT
(Making A Promise)
September 3, 2017
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 8:20-22; 9:8-17
KEY VERSE: And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth (Genesis 9:11)
INTRODUCTION: This all takes place AFTER the universal flood and Noah and his family leaves the Ark. The following is an outline of the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 8:20-9:27).
A. The Elements of the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 8:20-9:27)
1. The relation of man to the earth under the Adamic Covenant is confirmed (Genesis 8:21).
2. The order of nature is confirmed (Genesis 8:22).
3. Human government is established (Genesis 9:1-6).
4. Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water (Genesis 8:21; Genesis 9:11).
5. A prophetic declaration concerning Ham ( Genesis 9:24-25).
6. A prophetic declaration concerning Shem (Genesis 9:26-27).
7. A prophetic declaration concerning Japeth (Genesis 9:27).
B. The failure of Man under the Noahic Covenant.
Genesis 11:1-9 describes the failure of man under the Noahic Covenant. (Expressly the Tower of Babylon) This marks an important turning point in God's dealing with man.
I. NOAH PLEASES GOD WITH HIS OFFERING. (Genesis 8:20-22)
A. Noah Gave An Offering.
(Genesis 8:20) 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.
Now do you see why Noah took seven of the clean beasts and only two of the unclean? He is now offering the clean beasts as sacrifices.
The first thing that Noah did when he came out of the ark was to build an altar to the Lord and offer a sacrifice, a burnt offering, to Him. That burnt offering speaks of the person of Jesus Christ. It was offered on the basis of acceptance before God and of praise to God in recognition of Him. Without doubt, this was one of the things that caused God to be pleased with Noah at this particular time.
B. God Made An Observation.
(Genesis 8:21) And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; 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.
The Lord said, “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” You can just write it down that that is true. What about your youth? Was your imagination evil or not? In our contemporary society we can see the rebellion of youth, and isn’t it interesting to note the direction they have gone? They have gone in the same direction. Every imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth -- and it does not improve. May I say to you, the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. That just happens to be an accurate statement that was made a long time ago.
INSIGHT: One pastor said this, “I was visiting in a hospital the other night. The curtain was pulled between the beds, but you could hear the next patient talking with her husband. It seemed to be a contest between those two to see who could out cuss the other one! I have never heard such profanity on the part of two human beings.”
C. People Failed To Repent.
(Genesis 8:22) While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
1. The earth’s judgment.
It has been suggested that the Flood was so extensive that it tilted the earth. As you know, the earth is not straight on its axis. We are off center, if you please. The magnetic center is different from the center on which we are revolving. Something happened somewhere along the line, and it is the belief of many that this is when it took place. Because the earth revolves like that, that gives us our seasons. It is sort of going around like a wobbly top. You remember that when you were young and would spin a top, the top would run down and get wobbly. That is the way the earth revolves today, and as a result we have the seasons.
2. The three R’s.
Prior to the Flood, man learned the three R’s: (1) Rebellion against God was realized -- it came right out in the open. (2) Revelation from God was rejected by man. Noah’s witness did not reach them. (3) Repentance was absolutely repudiated; there was no return to God at all. Men refused the refuge that God provided, and for 120 years Noah had no converts. These are the three R’s.
INSIGHT: Men led in rebellion, they rejected the revelation, and there was no repentance on their part. For the majority of people today this is still true.
3. The “new father.”
Now as this man Noah comes forth from the ark, he stands in a most unique position. He stands in the position of being the head of the human race -- the same position Adam had. It’s said that we are all related to Adam, but we are closer kin than that: we are all related in Noah. In one sense, Noah is the father of all of us today.
II. GOD ESTABLISHES A COVENANT WITH NOAH. (Genesis 9:8-11)
A. God Makes The Noahic Covenant.
(Genesis 9:8-9) And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you.
God instituted this covenant with Noah and all his descendants. God said that the Noahic Covenant is “With you and with your seed after you.” According to the Noahic Covenant, God “unconditionally” promised to NEVER again destroy mankind and animals with a massive universal flood. God put the burden solely upon Himself for keeping the Noahic Covenant. God did not give any conditions for Noah or his descendants (including you and me) to keep. And remember, God keeps his promises.
B. All God’s Creatures Are Included.
(Genesis 9:10) And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
All of God’s creatures are included in this covenant. Isaiah predicts that someday the lion and the lamb will lie down together and that they will not hurt or destroy. In Paul’s epistle to the Romans he mentions that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain in this present age.
May I say to you that God has made this covenant with Noah and with all of His creatures until the time His kingdom comes on earth. It is for all of Noah’s descendants and “every living creature that is with you.”
C. The Noahic Covenant Is God’s Promise.
(Genesis 9:11) And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
This is God’s promise. God’s purpose is that He will not again destroy the earth with a flood. The next time God’s judgment of the earth will be by fire. We find that stated in 2 Peter 3:7.
III. GOD PROVIDES A SIGN OF THE COVENANT. (Genesis 9:12-17)
A. The Rainbow Is God’s Sign Of The Noahic Covenant.
(Genesis 9:12-13) And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
In Genesis 9:12-17 we see the picture of the covenant, and in my opinion, really a spiritual meaning of the covenant. The rainbow is more or less of a sacrament, that is, a token of a covenant. The rainbow is a visible sign to which are added promises.
B. The Rainbow Will Be Looked Upon By God Himself.
(Genesis 9:14-16) And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow 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; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Notice that God says, “I will look upon it” and “I will remember.” God didn’t say that you would see it; He said that He would see it. He said He would look upon it and it would be an “everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” That ought to be the encouragement whenever you look at a rainbow.
C. The Rainbow Is The Reminder Of The Noahic Covenant.
(Genesis 9:17) And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
1. This covenant is all-inclusive.
This is God’s covenant, not merely with Noah BUT WITH ALL FLESH THAT IS UPON THE EARTH!
2. The rainbow is a sign.
Let me say again that the rainbow could be called a sacrament because a sacrament is a visible sign to which are given certain promises. The Passover feast, the brazen serpent, Gideon’s fleece, and in our day baptism and the Lord’s Supper are such signs.
3. The sign encourages God’s people.
We should see that the merit is in what the sign speaks of. There is no faith in a promise and there is no assurance in a sign -- the promise and the sign go together. God makes a promise and attaches a sign to it. The rainbow is God’s answer to Noah’s altar. It is as if God says, “I’ll remember, I’ll look upon it, and I’ll take care of you.”
INSIGHT: Vernon McGee said this, “A friend of mine told me about a time he was traveling by plane across the country and going over a storm. The plane was up where the sun was shining, and all of a sudden he saw a rainbow that went all the way around, a complete circle. I guess that is the way God always sees it.”
By Henry G. Bosch
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. – Genesis 9:13
Do you like to look at rainbows? When you see a rainbow, have you ever thought that God is looking at it too?
The next time that multicolored spectrum of beauty bends over the landscape, take time to view it in the light of God’s promise to Noah: “The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature” (Genesis 9:16).
The rainbow was a reminder of God’s gracious pledge that He would never again destroy the earth with water. A worse calamity, though, is coming. Peter warned, “The heavens and the earth . . . are reserved for fire until the day of judgment” (2 Peter 3:7).
The rainbow, seen against the clouds of judgment, spoke of grace. But the rainbow fades when compared to God’s grace shown at Calvary. At the cross, God’s wrath against sin was placed on Jesus Christ, the believer’s substitute. When the Light of the world met the storm clouds of judgment at Calvary, a beautiful bow of promise and forgiveness came into view. And one day believers will gather around God’s rainbow-circled throne (Revelation 4:1-3).
So next time you see a rainbow, remember God’s abundant mercy and grace.
-- Adapted from Henry G. Bosch, Our Daily Bread, April 13, 1997
CONCLUSION: God gave assurance that He would never send another flood to destroy life on the earth. The covenant included not only man but also birds, cattle, and the beasts of the field (Ezekiel 1:10; Revelation 4:7). The sign of the Noahic Covenant is the rainbow, a bridge of beauty that joins heaven and earth.
We need to learn to trust God’s Word. He is the Almighty God of the Bible who keeps His word and who has promised us a way of salvation – the forgiveness of sins. Have you trusted God’s promise and accepted His Son (Jesus Christ) as your Savior?
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Every rainbow reminds us of our promise-keeping God.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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