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Genesis 9:1-7 - Life Is In The Blood – Part 1
Last week we ended with all life on earth being destroyed because of sin. We saw how Noah’s obedience saves him and his family, and how the Lord Himself shut the doors of the Ark. We saw that though God was grieved over what He had to do, He is a righteous judge and must remain true to His nature. We seen that though it rained 40 days and 40 nights, Noah and his family were in the Ark a little over a year. But at the end we can rejoice in God’s grace, and that the first thing Noah did after going through this difficult time was to make a sacrifice and worship the Lord.
Now we come to a new beginning, a new era, and literally, a new world. The dispensation of human conscience is over, and God is putting man under government - he is to govern himself. Let’s keep in mind that when God made this covenant with Noah, He made it with you and me and ALL mankind.
So, here are some things we can learn from the next few verses after the flood:
1. Appreciate the value of life (9:1-7). Moses begins with these words: “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” (9:1). This verse is a renewal of God’s first blessing and commission to Adam in Gen 1:28. Like Adam, Noah and his sons were blessed and commanded to reproduce and fill the earth.
The word “blessed” is the key word in Genesis. It is a reminder that the God of the Bible has always been a God that blesses His people. This is always a great word for us to hear. It is so easy for us to be restless and discontent. We always want more. We seem to never be satisfied. Yet, God’s will for us is to express gratitude for His every blessing.
One of the speakers at a disciple making conference I went to once started, ended, and filled his session with these words: “Preach the Kingdom, Bless others.” He told us these are the two most important things for us to be doing at all times, yet two things we fail to do the most. The Scriptures are filled with the Lord, Fathers of children, the Disciples, and many others blessing people. When we don’t have the youth doing benediction at the end of service, I try to always end with the Benediction of: “The Lord Bless you...”
We are a culture who spends so much time cursing people, complaining, talking smack, rumormongering and looking at the faults of others, that it’s no wonder the thought of blessing people doesn’t even cross our minds. And though we are familiar with God’s blessing upon us, we also forget that we can bless the Lord! The Hebrew word for “bless” or “Praise” means “to Kneel,” and the implication is “to kneel in worship.”
Therefore, to ‘bless the Lord’ means to praise Him, exalt Him and worship Him.
Additional blessings are found in 9:2-4: The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you, just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.”
Why did God put this fear and terror of man in all creatures? I think there are two reasons: (1) For the protection of animals who will no longer be at peace with man, and (2) for the protection of man who will no longer be at peace with animals. Moses writes that God gave the animals into Noah’s hands: (And God also says in Jer. 27:5 - “With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please.”. This means humans have been given authority over animals. The Lord then informs Noah and his boys that meat is to be a normal part of the human diet.
The only restriction is that they must not eat meat with the blood in it. Humans are not to devour animals the way animals devour one another, while the blood is pulsating in the flesh. It may be that before the flood animals were not afraid of men. No man had ever killed animals except to kill the domestic sheep and lambs as a sacrifice. Men ate vegetables. There were no carnivorous beasts; and we suppose animals would not be afraid of man. But since the flood, the fear of man has been on beasts, and now men are to eat meat. Now carnivorous animals will eat other animals.
Some people think a vegetable diet is better. But God does not think so. The Scripture says: Luke 10:8 - “...eat such things as are set before you.” And again, the Lord says: 1 Tim. 4:4-5 - “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received, with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
Now even the ceremonial restrictions which were given to the Jews are not binding on N.T. Christians. Col. 2:16-17 - “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath Day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” There was a ceremonial meaning in the ceremonial law, but not a moral command for Christians.
The reason for this Gen. 9:2-4 verse is respect for life and the giver of life. Leviticus 17:11 says: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.” Moses teaches that life is in the blood and God is the giver of life.
oin us next week as we look into the meaning of what the Lord teaches us about life being in the blood.
Blessings to you all.