Devotions in Genesis (week 11): This week we will study God’s protection and care for Noah and his family after the flood.
Monday: read Genesis 9:1-7. God restores creation, but with painful reminders of how the Fall has permanently scarred the created order. Now men must be warned not only against murder (Gen. 9:5-6) but even against disrespect for the blood of sacrifices (Gen. 9:4). Because of the constant need for forgiveness by the taking of the life of the sacrifice, such blood must be treated with reverence. But treating the blood of animals as holy would not provide the daily sense of cleansing so desperately needed. As Hebrews 10:11 says, those sacrifices offered day after day could not take away sins or give peace to the offerer.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God that when Jesus came, ‘He offered for all time one sacrifice for sins… (Hebrews 10:12).’ Now when we labor under the weight of our daily trespasses, we can rejoice in the power of the blood of Jesus to truly cleanse our sin:
‘Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain, could give the guilty conscience peace or wash away the stain. But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb, takes all our sins away, a sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they.’ (Isaac Watts)
Tuesday: read Genesis 9:1-7 & Romans 8:37-39. Why the repetition to Noah in verse 1 and then again in verse 7 to be ‘fruitful and multiply?’ Perhaps one reason was to reassure Noah that his building of a godly family would be successful despite the world’s violent threats against him and his offspring. God knows how the culture of this world is a culture of death. To protect families of believers, therefore, God takes it on Himself to personally ‘demand an accounting (Gen. 9:5)’ for the shedding of innocent blood.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God that when it comes to the sanctity of human life we aren’t left in the hands of human judges to see that those who destroy it are brought to justice. God values the death of men, whose shed blood ‘cries out to Him from the ground’ (Gen. 4:10) – especially His own redeemed people, whose death is precious in His sight. We need not fear, then, for not even death can separate us ‘from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.’
Wednesday: read Genesis 9:7-17. In a hostile world, Noah could be tempted to retreat from his God-given duty to ‘fruitfully multiply,’ much like Lot’s daughters in fear and isolation soiled the cave of their father with incest because they believed ‘no one’ was there to protect and provide them with families (Genesis 19:30-32). They forgot God’s promise in Genesis 9:11 never again to destroy the whole world as He had done in the flood; they assumed they were the only ones left, and denied God’s promise to preserve godly offspring (Genesis 3:15).
Meditate and Pray: Thank God that He knows our proneness to despair of life. He gives us the rainbow in Gen. 9:16 as a sign that He is a life-giving God. In the same way, the cross of Christ stands over time as a perpetual reminder that God’s love never fails to preserve the lives and the faith of His own.
Thursday: read Genesis 9:18-19 & 10:1-32. Leaving the curse of Canaan in Genesis 9:20-29 until next week, we now focus on the family tree of Noah, which shows us that God kept His promise to bless Noah with a fruitful and long life. Though ‘every inclination of man’s heart was still wicked from childhood’ (Gen. 8:21); though this world was and is a dangerous place because of sin, God still was able to make Noah’s family flourish through Noah’s sons Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God that He alone has the power to preserve this world and all that is in it. Look to Him alone as the One who ‘satisfies the desires of every living thing (Psalm 145:15-16).’ In this day when man arrogantly claims the ability to destroy human civilization and the world as we know it, let us reaffirm our faith that God alone holds the fate of this world in His hand – and has clearly indicated for our encouragement how it will end: not till Jesus returns and we meet to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)!
Friday: read Genesis 10:32-11:4. Notice the sons of Noah ‘spreading out over the earth’ in Gen.10:32. This was in accord with God’s plan, for His desire is for men in this world to be spiritual pilgrims, wandering until they find Him. He has ‘determined the times set for men and the exact places where they should live. He did this so that men should seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him (Acts 17:26-27).’ On the other hand, Gen. 11’s ‘Tower of Babel’ shows us men’s desire to reject this wandering life of searching for God and instead find unity and safety without Him in their own human power centers.
Meditate and Pray: The tower of Babel, as we shall see, de-humanizes men by tempting them to ‘seek a name for themselves.’ God instead finds the orphan and the widow, the weak and the lost, and gives them a personal name as His own children. How does He provide such an individual hope for every sinner who will turn to Him? By sending ONE to die for the MANY! Jesus Christ’s death in our place means that even ‘the poor will eat and be satisfied…all who go down to the dust will kneel before Him – those who cannot keep themselves alive (Psalm 22:26 & 29).’ Praise God that He knows you by name and knows your individual needs intimately. No need to try and build a tower up to heaven. He has come down to find you. Have you bowed the knee so that He can keep you alive?