Noah and his family were finally off the ark after 15 long months. God had saved them from the destruction that He had wrought on the rest of the world. After Noah made an offering of praise and thanks to the Lord, He blessed the entire family and their descendants, including you and me. Verse 1 reads,
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”
His first blessing was in the form of this familiar command, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” It was up to Noah and his sons to be the forefathers of all the peoples who would fill the earth. They were all that was left, but just as God had filled the earth with only Adam and Eve, He would do so with Noah’s sons and their wives. He was reminding them that there was hope and a future by giving them the same words He had spoken to Adam and Eve in the beginning. In Genesis 1:28-29 God said,
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
Now God added to that promise and covenant He had made with Adam and Eve.
Verses 2-3 read,
The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
The animals had not previously had a natural fear of man, but after the Flood, God gave them that fear. Before the Flood, the animals were under men’s dominion but not afraid because they would need to obey Noah and spend more than a year enclosed with him. But after the flood, both animals and men became carnivores. The fear was a protection for the predator/prey relationship as a balance for the population.
There was also the promise of animals as food and provision for Noah and his descendants. Previously God have given man plants, trees, and seeds, but now he said, “I give you everything.” They would no longer have to rely solely on plants and seeds but now could add meat. The offerings men made to God after this point would bless both God and man in communion and fellowship, as well as provision for the priest who would offer it, even though there were no priests yet (Leviticus 7:15, Leviticus 10:12-15).
But this promise came with a warning, about respecting life. Verses 4-6 reads,
But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
God required that the blood be removed from the meat they would eat. Blood represents life and the draining of it, gives us an appreciation for the life the animal held. Today, most of us do not hunt for our food, we get it from farms and ranches who do all the work of raising and gathering. Our food is butchered and prepared by someone else. So we don’t always appreciate that the steak was once a cow that lived and breathed or that the bread was once stalks of wheat. But we are meant to appreciate it and be thankful to God, the Giver of Life.
Thoughtlessness about that blood, and the life which was taken is no small thing. Life is sacred because it comes from God. He promised He would avenge the taking of life, especially the life of man, because we are made in His image. God doesn’t take that lightly but too many of us do. All men, saved or not saved, farmer or banker, are made in the image of God and so are to be respected as God’s creation. Then God reiterated this fact by reminding Noah and his family to make more life rather than take it. Verses 7-11 read,
And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
To show us how holy life is to Him, God made a covenant with men and every kind of animal to never destroy life by a flood and never send a flood to destroy the earth. He also chose to add a beautiful reminder for both Himself and us. Verses 12-17
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
God didn’t and does not need his memory jogged about His promise. The rainbow reminds us that even though the clouds are dark and the storm may be difficult God is saying, ‘I will not let this storm devastate or obliterate you.’
The Lord is so good! His promises are forever. His covenants are forever. If God said, do this and I will do that, you can be certain He will hold up His end. Jesus reminded us He is the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation in Revelation 3:14.
In Deuteronomy 7:6-11 The Lord told Israel,
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.”
Here are just a few beautiful promises from God Romans 8:37-39 says,
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord
Psalm 139:13-18 reads,
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
And Deuteronomy 31:8 reads,
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Believer, whatever it is you are going through today, remember God loves you, you are special made in His image and He is with you. When the storms of life are brewing all around you look up to the skies, see His rainbow and remember His promises to you.