27. The New World

First Government and Covenant Promise Gen 9: 1-16

Why is our world in trouble? Why does man have the problems he has? Why do civilisations keep on making the same mistakes? Why does man seem to advance outwardly but inwardly deteriorate? Why did the ancient civilisation have the problems it had? It was not because of man’s environment. He had a perfect environment. So those who tell us today that if we change a person environment it will answer his problems. Wrong! It was not because he was not intelligent. Mankind in the first civilisation was an inventor he was smart. So those who say education will answer the problems of mankind are wrong, it did not answer the problems of intelligent men in the past. The reason for mankind’s problems is that he will not listen to God. Even when God warns him about coming disaster he will not listen. He will go on living, building, eating, drink as though things will always be as they are.

This chapter records Gods provision for the first human government and one of the major covenants of the Bible, a covenant God made with Noah immediately following the Flood with Noah and all humanity. This covenant is the basis for all human government today. Gods provisions for man to live in an orderly society with a human government is revealed in this passage. We all live in a national entity. We have to have guidelines for law and order so that we may have freedom. However true freedom has to have guidelines to secure freedom for all. In God’s covenant with Noah it is intended to govern life in the world following the Flood. Paul emphasises this in Romans 13:1-4.

God’s Mandate to Man Renewed

Vs 1-2 Noah was told to “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen.1: 26-28). This was and is Gods design. Man is to subdue it and have dominion over it, rule over it. The difference is that now the “beast of the field, the fowls of the air and all creeping things” would fear man. The domesticated animals seem not to be included and would not fear man but would accept his presence and company.

Animals Are Permitted for Food.

Vs 3-4 This was a major change. “The change of environment meant man needed protein in meats. It also showed the great gulf between man and animals anticipating the dangers of implicit in the evil doctrine of evolutionary continuity of life of all flesh.” (H. Morris). Man did not come form animals he was created in Gods image and to deny this is to deny the Creator His truth. Man could eat any animal but later in the Jewish economy there were certain restrictions and only “clean” animals could be eaten. Before that and after the formation of the Church believers are free to eat all living things and only abstain if it offends another brother.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul..” (Lev. 17:11). This restriction means the flesh was for meat but the life it represents was for sacrifice. The words “life” and “soul” are the same word (nephesh). The blood of animals could only figuratively cover sin until Christ paid the price (Heb. 9:26). God also anticipated the drinking of blood would be come a pagan practice and they would believe they got the characteristics of the animals whose blood they drank. Christians are not to abstain from eating meat but should not drink blood (1 Tim. 4:3-4; Acts 15:19-20).

Human Government – Capital Punishment – Gods High Value of Humanity

Vs 5-6 “Whoever sheds mans blood” the Lord shed is shapack it means, “poured out” “poured forth” or “shed forth”. The sacredness of mans blood represented his life. He was even more sacred than animals. He was made in Gods image and had an eternal spirit. Neither beast nor man was permitted to spill mans blood. If they did God would require the blood of their own lives. If animals killed a man the animal was to be killed (Ex.21: 28). Modern law still implements this rule. If a man killed another man in cold blood he was put to death. This did not mean revenge killing was all right. God now instituted a law system in order to judge men. God delegated the right to judge a murderer. This law would prevent vengeance and give equal rights under a right justice system. Guilt would have to be proved and not assumed. Before the Flood men were killing men and even made songs about it. This led to universal state of violence and anarchy. There seemed to be no formal human government. God established the institution of human government and authority for crime prevention and laws to guide men in the new world.
The law, which says “You shall not kill” means, you shall not murder in cold blood. Judicial executions were permitted under the law (Heb.10: 28). God even told his people to go to war and kill the enemy. Christ makes a reference to those who kill by the sword will die by the sword (Matt.26: 52). He sent back the converted soldiers into the army even knowing they may have to go to war and kill. Paul says “He that bears the sword bear it not in vein.” (Rom.13: 4; Acts 25:11). This is a reference to capital punishment.
Mercy may be shown to a murderer if true repentance is observed. They may spend their life in jail. David was guilty of the capital crimes of adultery and murder and should have died. God forgave him because he truly repented. However his family paid the consequences over many years until he died. The woman taken in adultery in John 8:3-11 was forgiven by the Lord because he saw her heart and set her free although she deserved capital punishment (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22). A judge or jury has to weigh up all factors and considerations before passing judgment. God has given man the responsibility to govern himself. The sacredness of human life is high on Gods priority list. The law has become too lenient on offenders and they are not being punished for their crimes. God wants men to see the evil of their crimes and be punished accordingly.
Vengeance killing is wrong. To kill another because he killed your friend or a loved one is wrong God has given laws of establishment to take care of that. Vengeance killing causes feuds between families that can last many generations.
God alone reserves vengeance unto himself. Paul said, “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, and I will repay,” (Rom. 12:19, Deut.32: 35). You should not take the law into your own hands use the law that is why God gave it.

Other laws became necessary because man came into the new world with a sin nature. There would be laws about robbery, adultery, property laws, ownership laws.

Forms of Government

There are various forms of ideas for society. i.e. “Communism is the idea of a free society with no division or alienation, where humanity is free from oppression and scarcity. A communist society would have no governments, countries, or class divisions. It teaches that there is no priviate ownersghip but that all is to be collective ownership. It is a socio-economic structure that promotes the establishment of a classless, stateless, society based on common ownership of themaeans of production.

Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of inalienable rights in which people are free to produce and trade and thus precondition an economic system in which all property is privately owned and operated for profit and in which investments, distribution, income, production, and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a market economy. It is usually considered to involve the right of individuals and corporations, to trade, using money, in goods, services (including finance), labour and land.” (Wickedpedia)

Theocracy is a form of government in which a “god” or “deity” is recognized as the supreme civil ruler. For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e. a church), replacing or dominating civil government. Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws. ( We will examine the view of Church and State when we come to our section ion Ecclesiology).

Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, with an emphasis on liberty, rule of law, popular soveriecnty, and the civic virtue practiced by citizens.

Democracy – “rule by the majority” (demos – crowd or mob). Democracy and aristocracy are incompatible as forms of government due to the hereditary nature of power in an aristocratic system.

Aristocracy is a hereditary form of government, where rule is established through an internal struggle over who has the most status and influence over society and internal relations. Power is maintained by a hereditary elite, from a caste, class, family (or even some individuals).

Autocracy- “rule by a single individual”, such as a dictator or absolute monarch.

Meritocracy – “rule by those who most deserve to rule”. While this appears to be the same as the original meaning of “aristocracy”, the term “meritocracy” has usually implied a much more fluid form of government in which one is, at most, considered “best” for life, but must continually prove one’s “merit” in order to stay in power. This power is not passed on to descendants.

Oligarchy – “rule by the few”. Whether an aristocracy is also an oligarchy depends entirely upon one’s idea of what is a “few”.

Monarchy – “rule by a single individual”. Historically, the vast majority of monarchs have been aristocrats themselves. However, they have also been very often at odds with the rest of the aristocracy, since it was composed of their rivals. The struggle between a ruling dynastic family and the other aristocratic families in the same country has been a central theme of medieval history

Plutocracy – “rule by the wealthy”. In actual practice, aristocrats’ wealth allows them to portray their own virtues as the “best” ones. Usually, this wealth is passed down through inheritance, and in countries like England may be kept intact through primogeniture, in which the oldest child (usually first male) inherits the bulk of the wealth and titles.

Divine Instituations and the Christians Responsibility to Government

1. The first divine instution was human freedom. God made Adam an individual free agent. Each person has the right for individual freedom withing the law or guidelines God instituted.

2. The second divine institution was marriage. God gave Eve to Adam and they became “one flesh”. This is under attack today in so many ways.

3. The third divine institution was family. God told the first couple to “be frutiful and multiply and fill theearth.”

4. The fourth divine institution was to belong to a national entity (Gen.10). God set boundries for the nations and when one lives within a boundry of a nation they submit to their laws of establishment.

5. The Laws of Establishment.

a) First there must be subjects (Rom. 13:1-7). 1 The “subjects” (used to mean absolute obedience). We are to be subject for “conscience sake” this is an obligation and will help us keep a clear conscience (13:5). However there is one exception and that is when obedience to civil authority would require disobedience to God’s Word (Ex. 1:17; Dan. 3:16-18; 6:7, 10; Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29).

b) “Governing authorities” refers to every position of civil authority without regard to competency, morality, reasonableness, or any other failing (1 Thess. 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Tit. 3:1-2). The preson may be immoral or have some other bad conduct. You are to respect the office not the person if they are not worth respecting.

c) All authority is God appointed, it is drevived from Him, He defines it, “there is no autority except form God”. As the soveriegn ruler of the universe he institued 4 authorities in on the earth 1) the govenrment over all citizens, 2) the church over all beleivers, 3) the parents over all children, 4) the masters over all employees.

d) Vs 2 Rebellion against government is wrong. Although when a governemnet removes the divine institutions and rights of the people there may be a just cause for a reveloution.

e) vs 3 Governements are a deterent to crime. “not a terror togood works butot evil…do what is God, give praise.”

f) Vs 4 Government representatives are Gods “ministers for good”. By helping restain evil (even though they themselves may be evil) they protect life and property. They protect our rights. (Paul used his rights in Acts 16:37; 22:25, 29; 25:11).

g) vs 5. Capital punishement. “for he does no bear the sword in vain; for he is Gods minister (servant), an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” (Gen.9:6, Matt. 26:52; Acts 25:11).

h) Vs 6 Governing a country means taxation. Taxes are paid by individuals and corporastions on the basis of income and ownership to pay for the infrastructure of society i.e. hospitals, roads, schools, etc.

God’s Rainbow Covenant
Vs 9-10 A Biblical covenant is not God and man coming to an agreement it is solely of God. It is God’s unconditional promise. He controls history and the nations. Man is never a threat to the government of God. What God allows is His prerogative. He does not make deals with men. He lays down the rules, the guidelines under which all humanity must live. He gives man assurance that he will not flood the whole earth again by giving the sign of the “bow in the cloud” (vs. 13). Before the Flood there was only invisible vapour water in the upper air, and no rainbow was possible. It would have needed sunlight and the “cloud” liquid droplets in the air before it can form. The new hydrological cycle following the Flood made it possible because the upper canopy was gone. Now after a storm there a rainbow appears to remind us God will not Flood the whole earth again.

The Covenant is Mentioned Eight Times

Vs 11-12 God established his covenant. He said it was “a token, or a sign to man”. He mentions the covenant 8 times Gen. 6:18, 9: 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 16, 17. This covenant is not only made with Noah, but with “all flesh that is upon the earth.” Vs 17. It governs human life.

1. The first time the covenant is mentioned is in Genesis 6:18. God promised to preserve mankind. God would preserve mankind through the Flood.
2. The second time it is mentioned God promised He would continue to maintain nature (Genesis 8:21-22). God has continued to faithfully keep this promise of the covenant for thousands of years. He has made nature fully dependable. We can predict the seasons. He continues to provide mans needs. God has created a nature that is dependable and upon which men can rely. He has the right to change the weather patterns of He so wishes. He can interfere in his own nature anytime he chooses, and has done so in the past.
The reason God made this covenant with men is that man was made in Gods image and God wants to redeem him. Man has moved away for God. Modern civilization is as bad as the first civilization. Men’s modern achievements do not impress God He sees the heart. “Because, the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Vs 21. God wants to impress this fundamental truth upon men. Man has fallen form his original calling and become a slave to sin. His mind is distorted and twisted by the sin nature within. It enslaves the mind, will, and emotions of men. That is why fallen man is a victim of evil imaginations from his youth on. God took action and made a way back to Himself. It is the love story of His Son dieing for our sins, to redeem us by His work on the cross to reconcile us to God.
The beautiful life given to Adam became corrupted when he sinned. Since then men are born sinners, not little angels, since then men are born prone to do wrong that is why we have to teach young children to do right. It is in us to do the wrong thing. Man is not born right with God he needs to get right with God at the point of God consciousness and gospel understanding. History records that anything man achieves eventually decays. He is on an endless search and never contented. Society is marred even more when there are a collective number of individuals living together; there are murders, crimes against humanity and against property. Lawlessness (which will increase in the last days) increases and corruption becomes widespread. As more people live and move on earth more things can go wrong, there are more accidents because of this. People find it difficult to go on living because of the pressures society brings causing many to commit suicide. Mental problems and insanity increases. This is the result of a fallen human heart that has rejected God. Only God can save men. God provided this covenant to show men His grace and desires they come back to Him. History is “His Story” He wants us to see Him in all his works and creation. God established nature, it is stable and dependable Man cannot blame his evil on the state of nature he must take personal responsibility for his state and actions.
3. The relationship between man and animals would change they would fear man. (Genesis 9:1-2). Animals now fear men, most of them run and hide form him. They instinctively run from man because they fear him. They are not easily subjected to or obedient to him anymore. The good relationship has been replaced by fear.
4. Animals are now made the proper food of man (Genesis 9:3). Each time we eat we should be reminded that God gave the seasons and that God gave the meat. That is why we give thanks for our food. We are alive because we eat living plants or dead animals to sustain our life. We are dependent upon Gods provision and creation. Jesus said referring to life given because of the death of another, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. But whosoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,” (John 6:53-54). He did not mean that literally, but symbolically, spiritually, just as He said, “I am the door.” He was not a literal door. We are to feed on him, and draw from him all that we need. He is designed for life, and without Jesus Christ we can never fulfil our calling and destiny.
5. God taught that life human life was a sacred. (Genesis 9:4-6)
Man was permitted to kill animals (but not drink the blood) for food but he was forbidden to kill another human being for any reason. God said the life is in the blood, and life is God’s property. It is never man’s property. “All souls are mine said the Lord.” Man does not impart life; he does not originate it and it does not belong to him. Therefore, he has no right to take life. Man is God’s property. Even in the proper taking of animal life (which is permitted by man), he still must recognize the sovereignty and authority of God over life. So God says, do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life of the animal.
Man is to live his life under God, in relationship to God. “For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning.” The life of man is sacred to God; only God has the right to take it. If anyone else violates this, God will hold the person responsible and they should pay the penalty for doing so. God says, “I will surely require a reckoning.” There is no escape.
Vengeance killing is wrong. To kill another because he killed your friend or a loved one is wrong God has given laws of establishment to take care of that. Vengeance killing causes feuds between families that can last many generations.
God alone reserves vengeance unto himself. Paul said, “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, and I will repay,” (Rom. 12:19, Deut.32: 35). You should not take the law into your own hands use the law that is why God gave it.

Capital Punishment

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” God gave these instructions to government. It refers to the taking of life under certain conditions. Paul makes clear; government acts as the instrument of God. It is the agent of God. As we read in Romans 13, government is the servant of God, (Romans 13:4) and it “does not bear the sword in vain,” (Romans 13:4). It is God who takes human life, when it is done through proper governmental channels, and therefore it is not murder.
Capital punishment is a deterrent to crime but it is more than that. We know this because the death of an animal that killed a man it is not merely a deterrent. If an animal accidentally or deliberately killed a man, the animal’s life was taken. It was to be killed, “Of every beast I will require it.” The reason for taking of life is to teach us how wrong it is to kill a human being created in Gods image. Only God has the right to take it. He gives us the conditions when life has to be taken. God values human life highly.
Murder causes God to act on the basis of His justice. We are to honour Him and His wishes. We are to correct injustice, violence, and bloodshed by His standards. God does not ignore these. God set a mark on Cain to teach men that they must not take vengeance into their own hands. Even murderers must be dealt with according to His instructions not by human vengeance. Before the Flood, men were evil and twisted. They began to be violent to one another and to justify violence (as you see in the case of Lamech, in Chapter 4:23-24). The result was the spreading of violence throughout the earth that resulted at last in the judgment of the Flood. The earth was filled with violence in those days.
Now, after the Flood, God is reinstating this prohibition against taking human life, but he controls it by permitting the taking of the life of the murderer.
“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.”

God said, “of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.” Human justice may fail, it may miss out on something or may become weak in application and sometimes the innocent suffer with the guilty wrongfully. God does not look at humanity as a human family of “one blood” or one flesh “all in Adam”. His desire is to protect the human race from violent murder God requires the entire human race to protect human life. Murder will be avenged against the race, not merely against the guilty individual.
Violence begets violence. God wants us to put a stop to it. Naïve people with naïve laws make a mockery of Gods intentions. Men are evil and must be held responsible for their actions. Sadly sometimes because of our human nature the innocent suffer wrongfully. Violence must never be justified. When not dealt with it can bring widespread violence to a city or a country or even cause a feud or war.

6. The sixth provision of this covenant is for reproduction of the human race and to populate the earth: “And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it.” (Genesis 9:7)
God does not want man to live in isolation. He created him a social creature to live with others. Sometimes we get annoyed with people and want to drop out of society but we cannot live without people and God knows that. However we tend to move into cities and crime rates soar and culture disappears. Sin multiplies in places where there is a concentration of human beings. Someone once said, “God made the countryside and men made the cities.”
7. The seventh provision of the covenant is to guarantee that there will never again be a universal flood: “Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every living beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:8-11).
God has kept that promise. There have been many local floods since that time but never a universal one, never again a flood to destroy all flesh. God changed his method of judgment. It is not to be by water but by fire (2 Peter 3:7, 3:12). God will not judge by a worldwide flood again. .
8. The last provision of the Rainbow Covenant it is a sign of assurance (Gen. 9:2-17)
God emphasises the rainbow covenant. It is a sign of Gods grace. This portrays Gods love for humanity. God is speaking to humanity though the rainbow. But man does not listen. He sees the, colourful physical beauty but not the spiritual message. God is speaking through naturre He is saying you can depend upon Me. Through all the evil in our world God gives us a sign of His love and provision. God loves us and went a step further and gave us the New covenant through His Son who died to redeem us. He wants us to have peace with him and live as He intended us to live. We can only do it through Christ dwelling in our hearts.

The sign is a “token or sign of the covenant” God gave man was the rainbow. The fossils under the earth remind us of the Flood and the rainbow above the earth reminds us of the Flood. God lets man know earth will continue even if there is the threat of nuclear war, or the ozone problem, or the pollution problem, or Aids epidemic, man will not be wiped out. God has a day appointed for that. He will not let man totally annihilate mankind. (Gen. 8:21-22). Every time there is a rainbow God reminds himself of His promise and covenant. It is “my bow” it belongs to him. He is reminding man of the traumatic event of the Flood. Even though there have been local floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes tsunamis and many after-effects form the Flood God will never destroy the earth again with a “mabbul” worldwide flood. God is still on the throne and remembers his promise to mankind. The rainbow reminds us of eternity for we see a rainbow surrounding the throne in heaven (Ezk. 1:28; Rev. 4:3). In both cases he is about to come in judgment but it is limed judgment with grace available.
The mighty angel of Revelation 10:1-5 who is probably the Lord Jesus, comes to claim dominion over the earth and the description is as follows: “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head; his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”