Summary: The old (but unworn) story of redemption told through blessing, blood, and life!
As I studied this week I couldn’t help but think of the hymn, I Love to Tell the Story. The last lines say,
And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
'twill be the old, old story
that I have loved so long.
Genesis nine may seem like the same old story, and that really is just what it is. It’s old, but it’s not worn. It’s a story of grace and forgiveness, and a story of atonement and salvation and constant failure and more grace. It’s the story of my life and your life. It’s the story of Christ!
Before we start reading it, though, I want to show you just how old it is. Go back and look at Genesis 1:26-30:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Now let’s go back over to Genesis 9 and read the first seven verses:
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. 7And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
It’s not hard to see the similarities is it? It’s almost like we’re hearing the same old story all over again, and maybe there’s even a temptation to skip on past it in search of something new. But maybe that’s kind of the point: there really is nothing new under the sun. The thing that has been, it is that which shall be. (Eccl. 1:9). The Bible is a story God’s immeasurable love for His people and the lengths to which He goes to save us. He created Adam and blessed him. He gave him everything he would need to survive and gave him dominion over all the earth. We know without doubt that Adam is a type and shadow of the Son of God who would come thousands of years later—submissive to the Father yet Lord over all creation (Ps. 8:5). Adam’s story points us toward the promised Redeemer.
And now here comes Noah—the “first man” in the new world. He too is blessed by God and given dominion over all these things. He too is given all he needs for sustenance, and He too points us toward the Redeemer. The biggest difference between these two sections is the last few verses on blood. Adam was given herbs, fruits, and vegetables to eat, but Noah was also given flesh: “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”
The life of an animal is in its blood. The life of a man is in his blood, and anyone who sheds man’s blood will also have his own blood shed. We could talk about murder and abortion and euthanasia, and these aren’t off-topic, but it seems to me the real point here is in tying together blood and life.