Summary: Genesis verse-by-verse
The last time we were in Genesis we looked at when the flood waters were subsiding from the earth and how everything received some rest.
- The ark rested from its floating.
- The dove rested from its searching.
- Noah rested from his waiting.
- The Lord rested from His wrath.
Chapter eight is the chapter of rest. But now that the ark, the earth, Noah and his
family and all the animals can get some rest from the flood, its time for life to once again fill the earth. Humanity gets a second chance to live.
You know, there’s some things in life that you just don’t get a second chance to do, like first impressions. You never get a chance to re-do your first impression.
[Herzog wearing giant cowboy hat story.]
You never get a second chance at a first impression.
But some things in life you do get a second chance at. In tonight’s passage we see humanity getting a second chance. Remember, mankind had gotten so bad, so sinful, that the Lord wiped everyone out except Noah and His family. But, mankind would get a second chance to live. A second chance to fill the earth. A second chance to live as God had created him to live. And this second chance entirely rests upon the power of God.
I. God was the source of man’s new life on the earth
[Read Genesis 9:1, 1:28a.]
Just like He did with Adam and Eve, God charged Noah to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Now while that’s a wonderful task to be trusted with, it must have been somewhat daunting. I mean, all that’s left is eight people and it’s up to them to repopulate the entire earth. Do you think the questions could have come into Noah’s head? Noah was 600 years old at this point, and no doubt his wife was about the same age. They weren’t going to have any more kids, so it would be up to three couples to fill the earth with humanity.
- What if one of the couples couldn’t have kids?
- What if someone got sick and died?
- What if they ran out of food?
- What if? What if? What if?
But you know what, when you get down to it, the fate of humanity didn’t rest upon the
shoulders of Noah’s son’s and their wives. The fate of humanity rested in the power of God.
[Read Genesis 9:1.]
God “blessed” Noah and his sons in the task that He’d given them. It was like He was giving them the ability to do what He’d asked them to do. His blessing was upon their lives and their life’s purpose.
We get the English word ‘bless’ from the Hebrew word “barak” and it shows that God is pronouncing His blessing upon Noah and his sons. God blesses them just like He blessed Adam and Eve and gave them the ability to be fruitful and multiply.
I think sometimes we take for granted the ability to have children. I mean, when you really think about the biological process of becoming pregnant and how it’s such a miracle when it happens, it really is amazing. Only God can make life happen. And that’s because He’s the power source of life as we know it upon the earth.
[Read Psalm 104:27-30.]
The earth and life itself relies on the power of God to continue to exist. God is the source of life as we know it. And in Noah’s day, God blessed them and gave them the ability to be fruitful and fill the earth with humanity. God was the source of man’s new life upon the earth.
II. God provides the sustenance of man’s new life on earth
[Read Genesis 9:2-4, 1:28-29.]
Now in this new civilization, things would be a little different than they were before.
In the beginning the animals respected man and was submissive to him. But now the animals lived in fear and even in terror of man. Their relationship had changed. And let’s not try and over-spiritualize this. After all, when God first created man he was created to be a vegetarian. Now he’s eating meat. No wonder the animals would live in fear of man. Word would get around to all the animals that the big shiny sharp thing that man had in his hand wasn’t going to be used to clean under their hoofs. “They’re chopping our heads off with it!” No wonder animals are scared of us.
But anyway, this was God’s way of providing sustenance for man. Remember, Noah is walking out onto a land that had been decimated by the flood. Crops would have to be replanted. Fruit trees would have to grow into fruit-bearing maturity. And I believe that because the protective covering of the firmament wasn’t in place any more crops wouldn’t grow as quickly and as large as they used to.