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This Chapter opens, to us, the beginning of the account of the new world, after the destruction of the old; so that here we commence, again, as it were, the history of mankind, in general, and of the Church of God in particular. In the contents of this chapter, we are highly interested; not only because it relates to us the goodness of God, in a way of providence to the world at large; but because we have in it the outlines of divine mercy, in the way of grace, confirmed afresh by covenant engagements, to Noah and his descendants, unto the latest generations.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Liveth; that is, fit for food, 1 Timothy 4:4 .
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
There is somewhat very striking in this precept; and which is more than once, again repeated, under the law, with the reason of its appointment; see Leviticus 17:10-11 . No doubt, the grand object aimed at, all along, is in reference to the blood of atonement, by the Lord Jesus. And it is a matter of infinite moment, worthy the Reader's closest regard, how particular the Holy Ghost hath been, in every age of the church, from the fall of man to the death of Christ, to keep alive this leading doctrine in the minds of the people.
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
It is worthy particular notice, what is said in this verse, that God will require the life of man, even of the irrational part of the creation, with the reason given. It may serve to shew in what light the crime of murder is held in the sight of God.
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
Once for all, I beg the Reader to remark with me, the distinguishing features of the divine covenant; namely, that it is all of God: that it is to be fulfilled by God; and that it is ultimately leading to God, in the promotion of his glory. How precious the thought, that he who makes it, undertakes for its completion; and therefore leaves not the issue of it, to anything doubtful or uncertain. Well might the apostle draw that sweet conclusion from it, Galatians 3:15-29 .
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Reader! do not forget, while perusing those verses, to turn to two passages in the book of the Revelations; Revelation 4:3 , and Revelation 10:1 . Can anything be more decisive, in proof that all that is here said, refers to the person and covenant-righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ?
And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Reader! it is not among the smallest of our mercies, that God the Holy Ghost hath caused the infirmities of his saints to be left on record; by which we are taught, that the best of men are but men, and of like passions with ourselves. There is none but Jesus, to whom that sweet scripture is applicable, Hebrews 7:26 . For the real character of Noah, and, indeed, of all the faithful like him, compare this 21st verse with Genesis 6:9 , then turn to 2 Chronicles 32:31 , both which together will serve to explain what, in scripture language, is meant by a just man.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
This may serve to shew what an awful thing it is, in those who from despising the people of God, take pleasure in publishing their infirmities. God speaks of such, by the prophet, in a decided manner. Hosea 4:8 .
And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
These expressions are prophetical! 800 years after you may read their accomplishment. Joshua 9:23 ; Judges 1:28 , &c,
And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.
Noah lived, in all, 950 years; a sojourner in two worlds it may be said of him, and yet but a sojourner; for at length he died, and came under the universal sentence. Genesis 3:19
READER! if your feelings correspond with mine, from the perusal of this sweet chapter, you will like to dwell with peculiar rapture on what God saith in it, concerning the rainbow; and if, under the Holy Ghost's teaching, you are led to discover some of those precious things, which seem to be connected with it, you will love to consider it again and again, in the most devout contemplation. Methinks, I could forever gaze on it, while the words of the Lord vibrate on my ear, or are present to my remembrance. What though I know that beautiful arch it forms in the heavens is produced from natural causes, and is constructed solely from the reflection of the sun-beams on the drops of rain; yet do I not know, also, that the God of nature is the God of grace too; and that such is the sovereignty of his goodness and his power, that all things are made to act subordinate to his high designs, who worketh according to the counsel of his own will. And shall I not indulge the pleasing thought, when my God causeth this glorious object to be hung out for man's notice in the heavens, though the means producing it be natural, yet the sign intended from it is gracious? Great Father of mercies! hast thou said, that thou wilt set thy bow in the cloud, that it shall be a token of thy merciful engagements to mankind; that thou wilt look upon it, and that thou wilt remember thine everlasting covenant? Oh! then, give me grace, to look upon it also; and to behold in it, by an eye of faith, that mighty Angel, even the Lord Jesus Christ, whom John, the beloved apostle, in after ages, saw clothed with a rainbow round the throne. May I so look by grace, until mine eye awakens all the affections of my heart, and my soul is confirmed and established in the full assurance of faith and dependence upon all the covenant promises of God the Father, in Christ Jesus the Lord.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 9". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17