|Church School Lesson: Never Again|
September 22, 2013
Background: Genesis 6:9-9:28; Print: Genesis 9:8-17;
Key Verse: Genesis 9:11; Devotional: Isaiah 54:9-14
8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:
9 "And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,
10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.
11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."
12 And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
17 And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."
Genesis Chapter 9 (Commentary)
9:8-11. God declared that he would establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature. This covenant was made between the sovereign Lord and Noah, his descendants, and every living creature on the earth. He promised again that a flood would never again destroy all life. Capital punishment would function to keep life on earth in check so such a drastic universal judgment would not be needed again.
9:12-17. The sign of the Noahic covenant was the rainbow that forms in the clouds, especially after a rain. This was probably a new phenomenon as a result of the changed atmospheric conditions. This sign would be observed by mankind, but it would be a sign that would bring remembrance of the covenant on God's part. This covenant is of the nature of an unconditional royal grant type (see "Deeper Discoveries") because the substance of the covenant was what God promised to do. Mankind has no responsibility in ensuring that God would not flood the earth again. The sign was for God since he had obligated himself and made the promise to man.
9:8-17Noah stepped out of the ark onto an earth devoid of human life. But God gave him a reassuring promise. This covenant had three parts: (1) never again will a flood do such destruction; (2) as long as the earth remains, the seasons will always come as expected; (3) a rainbow will be visible when it rains as a sign to all that God will keep his promises. The earth's order and seasons are still preserved, and rainbows still remind us of God's faithfulness to his Word.