God’s Prevailing Promise and Man’s Frailty and Perseverance.

After Noah and his family exit the ark, they are granted a new beginning and an opportunity similar to Adam and Eve’s. They step out into a new world and a new era of time. God reaffirms his instructions for humanity and reestablishes his covenant.

Consecration (verses 1-7)

God blesses Noah and his family, showing us again the righteous opportunities that faithful parents provide to their children. Verse 1 contains familiar words – “blessed” and the command to “fill the earth.” God’s righteous people will always have opportunity to multiply themselves – not only through our own children, but through spiritual children who we lead to Christ.

Then God gives instructions for this new time of blessing. Three aspects of life on earth change by God’s decree. The first is interaction between humans and the animal kingdom. Beasts now fear humans, who are charged to care for them. In a divine balance, we are also allowed to eat them.

Lastly, humankind is given an obligation to justice and the sober responsibility of capital punishment. When human life is senselessly taken, by beast or man, the perpetrator’s life must be purposefully taken. Humans were made in God’s image in order to be God’s glory on earth. God loves life and so abhors murder. Yet He still desires all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9), even murderers. He extends warnings and mercy up to the last breath.

Ratification (verses 8-19)

In these verses, God reestablishes his unconditional covenant with all life on earth. This is all about God and what He will do. Nothing on our part can negate or confirm this covenant. Adding to His covenant in Genesis 6:18-20, He promises never to destroy all life with a flood again.

The rainbow is a sign of this covenant, a reminder seen from two perspectives, God’s and ours. It further reminds believers that we have been removed from the condemnation of eternal destruction by fire and are forever secure when we enter His rest.

Degradation (verses 20-29)

The story that ends this chapter is a warning to us that even righteous people can fall to the temptation of their flesh as Noah did. When a righteous person falls, it affects his family and tests the character of those around him. Ham was revealed to be a fool. Noah utters the first human curse, and we know that no Canaanites remain in the world today.

We are not meant to dwell on Noah or Ham’s sin. The chapter ends with Noah living 350 more faithful years before he died. He recognized his sin, turned from it, prospered, and persevered.

We also see the continuation of the Messianic promise in the blessing of Shem. Shem’s name means “name,” and through his line would come the one with the most important Name in history – Jesus Christ – through which all descendants of Shem and Japheth may be saved.

Application Points

  • Parents, never underestimate God’s desire to use your children to do great and mighty things for Him. Pray in this direction! Provide opportunities for your children by being faithful yourself. Pray that they will even exceed you in their knowledge of and service for the Lord.
  • This world is being preserved so that more souls can hear of and accept God’s mercy. Is it your personal mission to perpetuate righteousness? Who do you know who needs to hear about the salvation found in the name of Jesus?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Proverbs 24:16, 28:13 – The righteous response to failure.
  • Proverbs 12:10 – Righteous people treat animals sensibly.
  • 1 Timothy 2:1-2 – Justice must be maintained in any culture for a peaceable life.
  • 2 Peter 3:9, John 17:20-21, 1 Timothy 2:4 – God desires for all people to be saved.
  • 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 20:14 – How the world will end.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:12 – Temptation is always with us.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Complete In Thee”

Complete in Thee! No work of mine
May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee—no more shall sin,
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within;
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee—each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.

Dear Savior! when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen will I be,
At Thy right hand—complete in Thee.