If you have been following along on my “Insight in Genesis: The Flood” series, Part 5 is the penultimate post. We are almost finished with this dramatic section of Scripture. There is much to take in, absorb and try to understand. But it can be put to practical use.
For instance, after studying the life of Noah and his ark, right away I recognize, I am not like Noah. I must have a rudder on my ship; I feel the need to steer. I must have a pretty, unlimited view; I want to see where God is taking me. And I most certainly get off of the boat before God guides me.
Noah’s Ark Proves God’s Love for Life
God’s instruction to Noah is a special account, and this account sounds very familiar. God is a lover of life, and the ark is proof. For God says to Noah in verses 16 and 17, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you…so they man abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” This passage resembles God’s command to Adam to multiply.
When reading this account, we must not miss that the first thing Noah does is offer a living sacrifice to God. This is the first time we witness this in the Bible. And God’s response might seem strange or uncompassionate when we read that the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.
What was soothing about the smell of flesh?
God is Honored by Sacrifice
It wasn’t the death of the animals that pleased God. To sacrifice what few animals remained, to give them to the Lord was an act of thanks that God had provided, and an act of faith that God would continue to provide. It was the heart of worship and honor that pleased God. And if you think such things aren’t really important, focus on God’s response!
He makes a covenant with Noah and every living thing that He will never again destroy mankind with water. His seal? The rainbow. He promises that all things needed to sustain life, the sun, the moon, the seed, the harvest would never cease.
We can also read into the text in chapter 9 where God speaks of atonement for shedding blood. Once again man is given dominion over the land and the animals, stating that everything that moves on the earth will fear the hand of man. Man is made responsible for his behavior. If any more blood is shed, for murder must have been prevalent before the flood, a blood avenger were to be designated.
The Creator desires life, and plenty of it. He wants humanity to be abundant. Clouds and rain would remain on the face of the earth, but there would never again be a flood to destroy all humanity. This might seem obvious or overstated, but this new covenant is the new starting line for mankind. It is the point all history is written upon.
Going back to the day Noah and his family were released from God’s wrath, to step out of the boat and witness the destruction of the earth that God’s wrath brought, was monumental. Everything was new. They had to begin all over again and build shelter and gardens and get established and familiar with the soil and how to farm it. It would never again sustain them for long life.
This covenant is the only covenant that included all flesh. God’s faithfulness to this covenant was His alone. No requirements were made of man or beast.
Watch this space for Part 6…
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…