Gracious Signs and Grievous Sins (Genesis 9-10)
Promise of the Covenant (9:1-17)
The covenant made with Noah comprehended all of creation. It embraced the beasts of the field, as well as the entirety of the human race. The promise of this covenant preserves—through common grace—the created order, the institution of the family, and the continuation of dominion through a renewal of the original divine mandate. Just as God blessed mankind in Genesis 1:28, exhorting Adam and Eve to be fruitful and to multiply and to fill the earth, so He does again here with Noah and his family. The promise is unending and is wonderfully generous on the part of God—it’s entirely unconditional and undeserved. God established the rainbow as a reminder for Himself and for all creation of the promise He had made. Instead of a symbol of war and combat, the rainbow is now a symbol of peace.Problems Continue (9:18-28)
Sin was not eradicated from mankind through the flood. Since the whole earth was to be populated from the three sons of Noah, the sin that is committed within Noah’s immediate family will have far reaching ramifications on all of his descendants. However, though sinful humanity was diversely dispersed from Noah, it is now united again in Christ! We live in a day where an attempt is being made among Christians and churches to revert back to the days when distinctions existed due to the sin of mankind. Instead, we should recognize that Christ came to secure the unity of His people, rather than their diversity. The clear reality in the Bible is that all of humanity descended from one man—Adam (initially), and Noah (eventually). The separation of mankind one from another was due to their sin, and our sin continues to highlight these differences. But the work of Jesus Christ through the gospel overcomes those differences (c.f. Ephesians 2:14-16).Proliferating Population (10:1-32)
In these verses we find a sensible explanation of how the world expanded from post-flood frontier to the 7.5 billion humans in the world today. The emphasis is on the entirety of mankind descending from one man, Noah—beginning with the sons of Japheth (vv. 2-5), the sons of Ham (vv. 6-20), and the sons of Shem (vv. 21-31).
If you, like Noah, have been called by God into the ark of salvation in Christ, then, like Noah, you may trace the rainbow in every trial and discouragement. When the darkest clouds thicken around us, the Son of Righteousness has neither set nor eclipsed; it’s ready smile converts the drops of rain into a bow of peace. Nothing can separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Just as no waters can again destroy this earth, even so neither sin, nor Satan can sweep you to hell. Your “life is hidden with Christ in God.” Have you entered into the ark of salvation in Christ? Through faith in Him and repentance toward God, have you taken refuge from the flood of God’s wrath?