Now that Noah has gotten off the ark and offered a sacrifice to God, God blesses Noah. There are four main aspects to this blessing that I would like us to look at: Fruitfulness, Fear, Food, and the First Law (isn’t it nice when alliteration is provided for you?). We will look at the first two in today’s devotional, and the last two in tomorrow’s.
This is the most prominent part of God’s blessing because it is pronounced twice (v 1, and v 7). Remember that the entire earth has been destroyed by a global flood, and the only human survivors are Noah, his wife, his three sons, and there wives. This means that, in order for the human race to thrive, these four couples need to have a lot of babies! Perhaps this is why Noah is urged to be fruitful twice! Maybe, because he is getting older, he needed the extra reminder. Most young men certainly don’t need to be commanded to “be fruitful and multiply”—it’s an instinct that is built in!
But all the same, this is a command of God, and it is still relevant for us today. I’m not just saying that we need to use our time of quarantine wisely and have a lot of children, but rather, follow the command to “fill the earth” (v. 1), and “increase greatly on the earth” (v. 7). Noah and his family knew God, and they were supposed to multiply, teaching their children about God. Eventually, the entire earth was to be filled with people who worship God. We are supposed to be doing the same: teaching our children about God, as well as making disciples of non-believers. In this way, we too will fill the earth with people who worship God.
The second command that God gives is not to Noah, but to all of the animals. To Noah, God gives reassurance that the animals will all have a fear of him (v. 2). This reminds me of a sweet mother comforting her child that he doesn’t need to be afraid of the big scary spider, because it’s more afraid of him than he is of it.
Think about it for a minute: I’m sure that, as Noah watched the dinosaurs, rhinoceros’s, lions, bears, snakes, and crocodiles depart from the ark, there was a little fear in his heart. I’m sure that, back while they were taking care of these animals on the ark, Noah’s family kept a healthy distance from the more dangerous ones, perhaps tossing food into the cages.
Or maybe, this is when the change happened that caused potential fear. After all, the animals were vegetarians in the Garden of Eden, and some have even speculated that they remained vegetarians until after the Great Flood. It was only now that God would command for animals to be eaten as food, so it is reasonable to assume that, until now, the animals themselves did not eat other flesh as food. Only now, would these incredible beasts understand that their claws and teeth could be used to cut flesh as easily as plants. This would naturally bring fear into the hearts of Noah and his family.
But God gives reassurance: “you don’t need to fear these animals, because they will fear you!” God has reiterated the promise He gave to Adam and given Noah and his family dominion over all of creation. All the animals would be in fear of him, and he was to care for them, just like he had on the ark for the last year.
As Christians, we too should be conservationists. Probably not to the extreme that many take it today, but we should be caring for God’s creation. It is here for our use, but not for our abuse. We should care for the plants, the animals, and everything that God has made, knowing that He has made us a little lower than the angels, but higher than any other animal on earth, and they have fear of us.
Please come back tomorrow to see the other two aspects of God’s blessing on Noah.
COMMENTS FOR THIS POST HAVE BEEN DISABLED.