We find God making the first “Covenant” with Noah and his family and all the animals. God has promised to never flood the entire earth again so Noah and his family don’t run in fear when it rains.
So Noah is commanded to have relations with his wife and make lots of baby’s. I like that verse 3 commands him to eat steak and potatoes, sorry vegans. God is giving Noah the basic guidelines to survive and start this whole thing over, new and fresh. God gives them another of his top 10 list items here. Remember back in Gen 2 he gives them the command to rest and here is another one “do not murder.” Why not? Because “to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God’s image.” What in the world does that mean? We saw it back in Gen 1:27 but I wanted to save it till now to look at it.
Does it mean we physically look like God? My daughters bear my image; they each have a physical feature that I have passed down to them that my pappy had and his pappy before him. Is that what it means? Does God have hair (or a small bald spot like me), eyes, two big toes, opposable thumbs or what about a belly button?! The answer is . . . I have no idea. I know He doesn’t have a belly button, but it’s possible that God gave us features that are similar to His since we were made in His image. Of course, God is infinite and spirit etc and any bodily form he may have would be infinitely perfect. No pimples and no pot belly, but it isn’t exactly like our bodies that have a born on date and an expiration date. These “tents” as Paul calls them are just that, temporary homes here on planet earth.
Or maybe being made in God’s image is about our emotional and spiritual souls. The way we have feelings of love and sorrow, compassion, anger, forgiveness. These are all character traits that set us apart as creatures made in the image of God. The bottom line is we don’t know what features we have that make us look like our Father, but it makes us unique. It makes you unique that God has designed you and created you to be in His image. That is why He loves humans deeper than anything else He created. You have your Fathers eyes and heart and He is wildly in love with you! It’s also and why life is sacred and not to be taken.
Verse 9 God makes a covenant with Noah to never send another flood. A covenant is described by dictionary.com as “an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.” Marriage is supposed to be a great example of that when we stay true to the commitment. When a man looks into the eyes of his schmoopsie-poo and she looks into the eyes of her googlie bear (Monsters Inc) at the church and they declare their undying love for each other. They commit to being together for as long as they both shall live. That is an agreement between 2 parties to keep their promise. What sets a covenant apart from a sterile legal contract is often a more intimate emotional investment in the marriage covenant and a loving compassionate connection when God makes a covenant with His people.
The funny thing about this covenant with Noah and some other covenants that God makes is the parties involved. Take a second and re-read 8-17 again and tell me who the 2 parties are in this agreement? Go ahead, I’ll wait right here . . . Welcome back, did you figure it out? If you said between God and Noah, congratulations, you’re wrong! 🙂 This promise/agreement/covenant is between the only parties that are capable of keeping their end of the deal.
Why was there a flood? Oh yeah, mankind had become wicked and corrupt and deceitful. So we couldn’t be trusted to keep our end of the contract so God made a covenant with Himself on our behalf. The reason I say it’s between God and Himself is in a normal contract between 2 parties if one person does something to break that contact, then the promise/agreement/covenant is null and void. So if that is the case when you read 8-17 what is it that Noah has to do to keep his end of the deal? Nada! God doesn’t say if you’re good boys and girls, I will give you a rainbow and if you break your end of the deal, you had better get your swimmies on!
God promises us that He will never flood the earth again and God is not forgetful. The covenant was made on our behalf so every time we see a rainbow or a “Whooooa Double Rainbow” we are to remember that we have a gracious God who loves us and cares for us.
What are 2 things you have learned about God’s character in this chapter?
Why does God make such a big deal about not taking another human’s life?
In light of verse 6, how does this affect your view on abortion?