Peter Barnes: COVENANT WITH ALL FLESH, Gen.9:8-17 (22 March 2020)
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 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. 4 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.
7 And you,[a] 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.” 12 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.”
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[b] having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
The word ‘covenant’ signifies God’s binding relationship with His people. It is a covenant of common grace with the whole cosmos – Noah, his descendants, his cattle, earthworms, everything.
1. This covenant is with the whole world.
– 9:8-11, 13, 17. The covenant with Abraham was made with him and his children -Gen.17:10. The same is true for the covenant with David – 2 Sam.7:12-13. The covenant with Noah includes earthworms!
2. This covenant is forever.
– 9:11-12, 15 – God can never, ever destroy the world again by flood. All God’s covenants are perpetual in substance although not in detail (compare Gen.17:7 and Gal.5:2-4). See Isaiah 54:9-10 – the one covenant stands, so the other one does too.
3. This is a covenant of grace.
– Rom.11:6. The covenant with Noah is not a covenant of saving grace.
4. The sign of the covenant is the rainbow.
– 9:12-16. The sign is the rainbow which has been hijacked by the LGBQTI crowd. Some signs are miraculous e.g. John 2:11
– the word is ‘bow’, and could indicate that God is promising to hang up His weapon of war in the clouds to reassure believers. The sign does not procure the benefits of the covenant. The rainbow does not stop worldwide floods.
– looking to the promise of Jer.31:31-33. Edward Mote:
His oath, His covenant and blood/ Support me in the whelming flood;/ When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.