This blog post will cover the devotionals #63-68 for Genesis Chapter 9.
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 Genesis 9:1,2,7
In devotional #6, we saw what God said to Adam and Eve after creating them. Genesis 1:28 says, “And God blessed them, and said unto them, “Reproduce, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and tame it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then we see nearly the exact same thing said to Noah and his sons in Genesis 9:1, 2. “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Reproduce, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you will be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moves upon the earth, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are delivered into your hand.” (1) Reproduce, multiply, and replenish the earth. This exact phrase was said to Adam’s family and Noah’s. (2) Tame the earth, and have dominion over the fish, fowl, and every living thing that moves on the earth. The fear and dread of you will be on every beast, fowl, and all that moves on the earth, and the fish—they are delivered into your hand. In both chapters, it says to replenish the earth. It can mean ‘fill’ or ‘refill’. They were both told to subdue (tame) and have dominion over all the [non-human] creatures, and in Genesis 9, they were told that the creatures would fear / dread them. Strong’s Concordance defines ‘dread’ in a couple of ways that really grabs my attention in this context. It says ‘broken’ and ‘prostrate’. What do the cowboys say when they want to tame a horse? ‘Let’s break him.’ What does ‘prostrate’ mean? “Lay flat on the ground, with face downward, especially in reverence or submission.” This is the description of one who has been dominated. We discussed, in devotional #61, how the earth’s environment and circumstances post-flood was a type of ‘Re-Creation’, and this just continues to support that. God had to give the exact same instructions at the earth’s ‘Re-Creation’ (or renewal) as He did at the earth’s first Creation. It was time to start over.
 Genesis 9:3-6
In devotional #63, we saw how God repeated His original instructions for Adam’s family to Noah’s—to reproduce and replenish the earth, and to tame and have dominion over all non-human creatures. Now, we'll see what else He repeated. In devotional #8, we saw that God had designed man to eat herbs and fruits, and land animals and birds were meant to eat green herbs (Genesis 1:29, 30). Now that the flood had occurred, there was going to need to be some extra provision made for Noah’s family and the animals—considering that basically all plant-life was destroyed, and what was saved (all the seed that God had Noah gather and store in the ark in Genesis 6:21) would need to go through the period of sowing, growing, and reaping. We discussed this in devotionals #51 and #53. Thus, God told Noah that ‘every’ moving thing (living creature) would be food for them now—just as He had given them the green herb. While it appears here that God said they could eat literally any animal, He only intended certain (‘clean’) animals to be eaten. We briefly discussed (in devotional #53) the possible reasons behind why God only permitted a pair of each unclean animal to board the ark, as opposed to seven (like He allowed for the clean animals). However, He gave the stipulation on how the acceptable flesh (meat) could be eaten—they couldn’t eat it without draining the blood (which represented the life of the creature). We learned before that meat without its blood is basically just jerky. Leviticus 3:17 says that “It must be a perpetual statute…throughout all your homes, that you eat neither fat nor blood.” What’s interesting is that Leviticus 7:26 repeats it, expounding on the fact that the blood of no animals—including fowl and beasts (cattle)—should be eaten. However, verse 27 says, “Whatever person that eats any type of blood …will be cut off from his people.” I see a parallel with what we’re looking at in Genesis 9 because, while it appears that verses 3, 4 are unrelated to verses 5, 6, we can see the connection clearly—God essentially tells them, “I will require your own blood for any man’s blood you draw.” He says this, not only to man, but also to the animals! No man or animal was permitted to kill (or eat) any other man, or it’d cost them. So, not only was God broadening man’s diet, but also that of the animals. Why did God say the blood couldn’t be eaten? This precise restriction is said to have been made (as with the sacrifices also) to be a special reminder of the atoning blood of Christ’s sacrifice (which was what all sacrifices before the cross symbolized). And I believe Genesis 9:6 confirms that. God said, “Whoever sheds man’s blood will have his blood be shed by man: because He made man in the image of God.” God made man in His image. He who kills any man is essentially killing the Son of Man. We see this same principle stated in another way. Matthew 25:40 says, “Truly, I say to you, as you have done it unto one of the least of these, My brothers, you have done it unto Me.”
 Genesis 9:8-17
The people that lived in the millennium before the flood had never experienced rain or natural disasters (until their very end), but they also had never witnessed the gorgeous phenomenon created by the mix of rain and sunshine—the rainbow. Now, we might just automatically want to say that God arbitrarily designed the rainbow to be a reminder, but even the rainbow has a simple scientific explanation. I like how one astronomer and meteorologist describes it: “The raindrops act like miniature prisms, refracting or breaking sunlight into various colors as well as reflecting it to produce the spectrum.” Men hadn’t witnessed rainbows before the flood because there had never been raindrops in the sky to create one. What I think is great is that God chose to use the very ‘sign’ in the sky that was created by the event itself to remind Himself (and, more importantly, us) that He wouldn’t allow the world-destroying flood to occur again. He called it a ‘token’ of His covenant (promise / contract) with creation. When we think of tokens, we may think of coins, but Strong’s Concordance describes it as ‘consent’ (among other things, such as ‘monument’ or ‘sign’, which are both relevant as well). Using the idea of consent in the context of this covenant is powerful. It shows us how God’s wrath works. As we’ve seen before, God consented to man’s wish for Him to depart—thus consenting to allow the world to be destroyed. Thus, in this post-flood promise God was making—He would not consent to man’s wish for Him to allow the world to be destroyed again in this way. Genesis 9:8-17 appears to be showing a promise between God and His creatures, but deep-down, God was making a promise to Himself—with Himself—and His creatures were merely benefactors of the promise. Doing this, the contract couldn't be broken by man. Even in devotional #61, we pointed out that God promised within His own heart (in Genesis 8) what He later promised Noah (in Genesis 9). However, not only were His creatures benefactors of the promise, but they were being protected—from themselves! What a powerful concept! Is it so hard to understand, then, why Satan has done all in his power to distort the beautiful meaning that God attached to the rainbow? We know that the world had come to a point of constant sin, and that mankind was allowed to pursue their unnatural inclinations that ultimately led to their demise. We read in Romans 1:26, 27, “For this cause, God gave them up to vile affections: even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust toward each other; men working with men that which is shameful, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was appropriate.” This verse is talking specifically about God’s wrath being applied in the case of homosexual activity. He gave them up to the natural consequences of their immoral choices / actions. The rainbow today is used as to symbolize LGBTQ—everything that has to do with changing the natural use of the male and female pleasure / reproductive organs into something vile. Satan’s ultimate goal is to bring down—with himself (to final destruction)—as many of God’s creatures as possible. The more that Satan can distort the symbol of God’s promise, the more he can make mankind forget that promise altogether, causing them to do all in their power to somehow get God to break it. Satan will do all he can to get God to break His promises—but we can praise the Lord for three things: (1) Though we forget God's promises, He never does. (2) God made the contract with Himself instead of us. (3) He cannot break His promises!
 Genesis 9:20-27 (Part 1)
After God stated His covenant with His creatures, Noah became a husbandman (likely meaning a farmer). This would make sense, considering all the food that he took on the ark (to both eat on board and replant after landing again). Here we see the only specific mention of what he planted between his landing and his death—a vineyard. Unfortunately, even a righteous man of God makes mistakes, and Noah must have gotten a few too many sips of a too-fermented batch of his grape juice. In his drunken stupor, he ended up passing out naked in in his tent. His son, Ham, saw him naked. The Bible gave specific instructions about not looking at someone's nakedness. In their culture, to reveal a person’s nakedness (especially one’s family member) was to take away their dignity—and it was considered a great sin. One example of a passage that discusses this is Leviticus 18:6-8. “None of you should approach any that is near of kin to you, to uncover their nakedness…The nakedness of your father, or your mother, you must not uncover: she is your mother; you must not uncover her nakedness. You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife: it is your father’s nakedness.” There are two things to note here: (1) Seeing your father’s nakedness or seeing your mother’s nakedness is identical—both belong to your father. (2) Uncovering someone’s nakedness means to sleep with them (sexually). Even verse 6 supports that idea—“You must not approach any of your kin.” Now, Genesis 9:21, 22 is worded slightly vaguely: “He was drunk; and he was uncovered in his tent. And Ham saw the nakedness of his father.” Based on what we saw in Leviticus, and the vague phrases in Genesis, people believe that Ham either took advantage of, or even simply uncovered, his father’s nakedness. The Bible doesn’t explicitly state what exactly Ham did (did he accidentally find his father naked, or intentionally choose to look at him?), but the passage does suggest he may have done something directly to Noah. Some scholars believe he may have either castrated or raped his father (castration would've likely been something to do with male dominance, rape would’ve been an even greater perversion of both incest and homosexuality). We’ll see a similar scenario happen several generations later with Lot and his daughters. There’s also the possibility that Ham had sexual relations of some sort with his mother (Noah’s wife). Whether he did one of the latter or not, he went out and told his brothers of his father’s nakedness. Strong’s Concordance uses some appropriate terminology in describing what it meant by ‘told’ here. It says ‘expose’ or ‘announce’. Was he telling them in order to shame his father (taking away his dignity), or so they could go in and look at their naked father (or worse) as well? Thankfully, his brothers didn’t fall into the same sin as Ham, and they sought to preserve their father’s dignity, while protecting their own. They raised a cloth and walked it in backward to lay it over his naked body. Obviously, they didn’t dress Noah, so when he woke up, he must have quickly realized that he’d been both exposed and discovered. However, if something destructive or sexual had been done to him, then that also would’ve caused him to realize something had happened—as Genesis 9:24 states, “Noah awoke…and knew what his younger son had done to him.” Since we don’t know the exact circumstances behind Ham’s actions, we have to assume that Noah either spoke with his sons and discovered that way, or somehow already knew that Ham was at fault there.
 Genesis 9:20-27 (Part 2)
For Ham’s sin, which we discussed in devotional #66, Noah predicted what consequences would fall upon Ham—and more importantly, Ham’s son, Canaan. If it was the case that Ham castrated Noah, then he took away his ability to have a fourth child / son. Since Canaan was Ham’s fourth son, it is thought that this may be why Canaan was the one mentioned in the curse, rather than Ham himself. However, Noah also pronounced a blessing for Shem (and Japheth)—since the consequences of their good actions were also predicted. Noah’s curse (which was really a divinely inspired prophecy) didn’t fix his sons’ characters and/or destinies—but showed the natural result of their chosen courses and developed characters. It foretold the history of the three great races that would spring from these fathers of mankind. His prophecy was also not an arbitrary public condemnation (done out of wrath), nor a declaration of favoritism. Noah traced Ham’s descendants through his son, Canaan, declaring that he’d be a servant to his brothers. Ham’s unnatural crime revealed the vileness and impiety of his character—declaring that familial reverence had long before left his soul. Children inherit their parents’ dispositions and tendencies and imitate their example—practicing their sins from generation to generation. Ham’s evil characteristics (his vileness and irreverence) were perpetuated / reproduced in Canaan and his posterity. This ‘cursed’ them for many generations—as their continued guilt called natural consequences upon themselves. Canaan’s posterity descended to the most degraded heathenism. Their prophetic curse revealed their future slavery to Shem’s and Japheth’s descendants but didn’t begin for centuries because God continued bearing with their impiety and corruption until they passed the limits of divine tolerance. Shem and Japheth’s reverence for their father (and the divine statutes) promised a brighter future for their descendants, and thus, Noah’s prophecy declared: “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan will be his servant. God will enlarge Japheth, and he will dwell in Shem’s tents; and Canaan will be his servant.” We’ll see, in devotional #74, what Shem’s great blessing would be (which Japheth also enjoyed).
 Genesis 9:18,19,28,29
Noah lived another 350 years after the flood (950 years total). This is incredible because nobody (outside of Noah's grandfather and great-great-grandfather) lived this long (not even Adam!). We know that Noah was roughly five hundred years old when he began having children and building the ark (Genesis 5:32), and six hundred years old when the flood began (Genesis 7:6). [600 + 350 = 950] So, this timeline adds up well. Now, the way that Genesis 9:28, 29 is worded might make us ask the same question when it comes to Genesis 11:10, where we see that, two years after the flood, Shem was one hundred years old and had his son, Arphaxad. We'll look more at this in devotional #73, but this information also helps us understand the timeline of the flood and Noah’s experience. If Noah was in his six hundredth year of life when the flood started (the rain lasted forty days and forty nights, but they were in the boat for just over a year), and Genesis 9:28 says he lived 350 years ‘after’ the flood and died in his 950th year, it’s hard to say exactly how much of the actual period of standing flood waters was excluded from ‘the flood’. If we did exact calculations, this is what it’d appear to look like: In the six hundredth year of Noah (on the seventeenth day of the second month)—the forty days and nights of rain began. In the next year (on the first day of the first month), the water was gone. On the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the ground was completely dry, and Noah left the ark. We don’t know the exact day and month Noah was born, but just looking at the two sets of dates shown in the second month, two years back-to-back, would automatically show us that Noah was somewhere into his 601st year of life when he left the ark. That means that the 350 years ‘after the flood’ had to include some of the time they were in the ark (perhaps once the flood waters were gone—on the first day of the new year?). If we do similar calculations for Shem, who was one hundred years old, two years ‘after the flood’, we might be reasonable to calculate that timing from the first day of the 601st year of Noah’s life. The flood started 1,656 years after Creation (in Noah’s six hundredth year of life). Thus, at the start of the 1,657th year, we could assume that Shem was ninety-eight years old. Now Noah’s three sons were the new ancestral lines that repopulated the earth (how it started with Adam and Eve and their sons), and in devotionals #69 and #73 (Genesis 10 and 11), we’ll take a look at their lines of descendants, and see which Jesus would come through.