Thank You, Creator God, for my life – for the ups and the downs that all point to how much You care for me.
Read Genesis 9
God’s Covenant With Noah
9 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 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. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
6 “Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.
7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
The Sons of Noah
18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.
20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,
“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”
26 He also said,
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s[b] territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”
28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.
a Genesis 9:20 Or soil, was the first
b Genesis 9:27 Japheth sounds like the Hebrew for extend.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are some of your earliest memories of life with God? Maybe as a child, or when you went through a conversion experience?
New Year’s resolutions rarely work. So God doesn’t make them. Here we are right after the food, restarting “Project Earth,” and what does God start with? Not new resolutions, but a return to the old ones. Notice how verse 1 takes us straight back to creation in Genesis 1, blessing and filling the earth. Verse 6 also takes us back to the opening chapter, emphasizing the image of God in humankind. Like new creation, this is another idea that won’t get taken up again until the New Testament, where Jesus turns out to be the true image of God (Colossians 1:15).
God makes a covenant with Noah, which means a binding agreement. God is committing Himself to Noah, and to humankind and to every living creature, in a profound way (8–11).
All this good news (blessing, promise, covenant) is to be marked in some way. God puts a “rainbow” in the sky (13). Although the word just meant “bow” – God has just said He will defend life (11), and the “bow” reminds us that God fights for all living creatures – the “bow” that we see in the sky is of course a rainbow. I think of Genesis whenever I see one. So it works!
Is God wanting to “re-launch” anything in your life? How might your early memories become prayers for new experiences with God?
Starting over is scary, Jesus. I don’t want to fail or fall. Teach me to keep my hand in Yours and trust You for every step.