Genesis 9: Signs, Sin and Servants

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Devotionals

Genesis 9 picks up with Noah and his family beginning life again outside of the ark. The flood is over. God’s judgment passed…and now He turns to address Noah and his family. They’re given virtually the same command/ mandate that was given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28. They were to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth”. As God’s image-bearers, they were to spread all over the place and live as his representatives…to live lives that reflect well on Him…so that He gets glory. That’s the plan…..and it’s not just for the folks in Genesis…..that’s why all of us exist. We are created to honor God with our lives….To be little reflections of him and what he’s like.

We’ll talk about this more later, but for now….just think…..what greater purpose can you think of for your existence? It’s incredible! Each human being on this planet is made unique…with unique talents/abilities and personalities, etc…but we’re all made for the same purpose….to make God look good! Now…don’t misunderstand what I mean. When I say, “make God look good”, don’t think that we make improvements to God like a Hollywood makeover or those people on What Not to Wear (my wife watches…not me!). Any example we use will be imperfect, but think of it like a spotlight. Our lives are meant to be like spotlights that highlight the LORD’s greatness. Spotlights that direct attention to him.

Oops….I got sidetracked. Oh yeah…fill the earth. Noah and his peeps are to fill the earth as God’s image-bearers….just like Adam and Eve were told in the beginning, but the LORD also includes a little something (a warning perhaps) that wasn’t necessary in Genesis 1-2 but is now necessary because of sin. Verse 6,

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

Here the LORD deals with murder. Remember…Genesis 6 (verse 11-13) twice speaks of the earth being “filled with violence”. I think it’s safe to assume that there was a lot of killing going on. So in response, the LORD steps in and literally lays down the law concerning murder. You take a life, you lose yours. And notice why this is the punishment that you get….notice why murder is wrong….”for God made man in his own image”. All human life is precious because all people are made in God’s image. To murder is to have no regard for human life. To have no regard for human life is to have no regard for God.

So the LORD puts some rules in place to curb violence. Life for life. And then he makes a covenant with Noah and his offspring (his kids…and their kids…and so on)…and all the creatures on the earth. A covenant is a formal agreement that connects two people or groups of people in a relationship. There are usually terms of the agreement (things both parties agree to do) and consequences for not following through on the agreement. In verses 9-12, God makes a covenant with Noah, his family and the rest of creation, where he promises to never destroy the earth with a flood. The sign of the covenant is a rainbow (verse 12-13). So, the next time you see a rainbow in the clouds remember God’s promise……

After reading of this covenant, we read of Noah’s 3 sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. We’re told that the whole earth (after the flood) was populated from these 3 dudes. (verse 19) believe it or not. This obviously didn’t happen overnight. But anyway…in the meantime we see the continuation of sin even after the LORD’s amazing displays of grace and kindness. Noah get’s drunk. And on top of that you have this weird situation recorded in verse 20-23. Noah is drunk and he’s laying in his tent naked as the day he was born, and the text says,

“And Ham, the father of Canaan. saw the nakedness of his father and told his brothers outside.”

Genesis 9:22

Now, I’m not exactly sure what was going on, but Ham looked at his father while he was naked and as a result got cursed. He was told,

“a servant of servants shall [you be to your] brothers….” verse 25.

Sin and the consequences it brings….continue….

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