Summary: Why does life continue to exist on earth? Its because God made a covenant with us. Chapter 9 also shows the reemergence of worship and sin.
Genesis 8-9 is the rebooting of creation - there are some strong ties to Genesis 1-3 where God created the earth - here He restarts or reboots it - beginning with the flood (remember "the Spirit brooded over the water"?) then with land, plants, animals, and man.
It is the restarting of worship, of covenant, and the reemergence of sin.
Verses 1 - 3
A change has occurred - instead of man walking with the animals, the creation is now afraid of man - and it’s been this way ever since.
Also - God told Adam that he could eat from every tree - He said nothing about animals. Now animals are okay for them to eat. It’s interesting that God didn’t limit Noah on what animals he could eat - birds, animals, and fish - all are okay at this point.
Verses 4 - 7
No Murder. (we’ll get to that in a moment)
Verses 8 - 11
Edenic Genesis 1:18 Be fruitful, tend the garden, run the place
Noahic Gensis 9:1 Restatement of Edenic, with some changes and some promises
Abrahamic Genesis 12:2 God will bless the world through you
Mosaic Exodus 19:3 Giving of the Law
The Palestinian Deuteronomy 28 Israel inherits the Promised Land
The Davidic 2 Samuel 7:8 A King will come from your line
The New Covenant Matthew 26:26 Jesus is summation of all covenants.
Humanity must have a covenant with God to continue - human life is not self existent. So God restarts the covenant.
I think Noah was pretty happy that God said this - wouldn’t you after going through something like the flood?
Notice He said a "flood" will never again destroy life on the earth - but it will be destroyed by fire at the end.
God wiping out all humanity except the one man and his family that worshipped Him - taking them through the water in an ark - the picture is what God does for us - calls us into His boat (Jesus) and, through baptism as a picture, destroys the flesh and sin - then sets us down all fresh and clean with new life sustained in Jesus.
1 Peter 3:20-22 tell us this.
Notice that the covenant is what God will do - that’s how covenants with God work. God promises to do something and the covenant means we can count on Him doing it. Its not the same when we sign a contract and you agree to do this and I agree to do that and we both benefit - God’s agreements are things He commits to doing for us.
That takes our efforts at pleasing God right out of the picture.
Romans 8:8 says "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." But then in Romans 5:6 it says "when we were powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Jesus said in Luke 12:32 that God is pleased to give us the kingdom
The Noahic covenant has three components: Blessing, Responsibility, and Great Promise.
1. The Blessing - mankind will continue (God’s blessings are important)
Animals will be fearful
Animals will be food
Animals will be responsible - animals that kill humans are to be destroyed
This covenant has never been rescinded.
It is: Unilateral (God does it, we don’t to negotiate)
Universal: not just Israel
Eternal - nature will no longer judge - but God will
Why is it important? So that we don’t have to worry about the other shoe dropping.
So now God shows Noah how to know the covenant is still in effect:
Verses 12 - 17
A rainbow happens when the sun shows through water droplets in the air - the water acts as a prism to split the white light of the sun (all colors) into its constituent colors, on a spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet. Rainbows are round - the bottom half just gets cut out from the earth’s surface - but in an airplane, rainbows are round. The light reflects on the inside of the raindrop and is visible for just an instant before another droplet takes its place. The shape of the rainbow comes from the cone of light obscured by the horizon - and comes at 42 degrees from the sun to the observer. That means that everyone is in the center of their own rainbow.
Interesting that there hadn’t been any mention of rainbows before - possibly suggesting the upper water layer that came crashing down as part of the flood - this layer would have prevented rainbows from forming because there were no water droplets in the atmosphere.
Or perhaps God took an ordinary occurrence and made it into something special - like Mt. Sinai or the rod of the almond tree that budded.