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. Please read yesterday’s devotional, God Blesses Noah, Part 1, to see some thoughts on fruitfulness and fear, then read the following:
As I mentioned yesterday, Noah and his family (and maybe the animals as well) were all vegetarians up until this point. The only time animals were slain was in a sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of sins. But now, God has delivered the animals into the hands of men (vv. 2-3). Just as they were before encouraged to eat of every fruit of nearly every tree, so now is man encouraged to eat of every animal on the earth. Can you imagine what Noah must have tasted first? There were more clean animals on the ark, so he had a larger stock of lamb, but he would soon be eating pork chops, steak, duck, alligator bites, rocky mountain oysters, genuine oysters, rattlesnake, crawfish, turtle soup, and probably everything else!
As a new meat-eater, God gave him some advice: don’t eat it while it’s still alive (v. 4)—cook the meat first (see Hannah: biblical evidence proving that sushi is nasty!). Other than this prohibition, Noah was free to eat any meat, as well as any plant. Today, we are still just as free as Noah. Certainly, when Moses came along, God gave certain prohibitions against eating certain foods in order to separate the nation of Israel from those around it, but Jesus later declared that all foods are clean (Mark 7:19), and God reiterated this declaration when He gave Peter that vision, affirming that all foods are clean for us to eat (Acts 10:15).
Some fad diets have come and gone saying that we must eat certain foods and avoid others. I’m certainly not one to give dietary advice, but I can give biblical advice: all foods are given to us by God; so long as we eat with thanksgiving, we do not sin in what we eat.
4. The First Law
Unfortunately, many naturalists try to blur the liens between human and animal. They insist that we are just animals at heart, with an animal nature, and we should be treated as animals. They further insist such nonsense as having equal punishment for a man who murders a human and a man who murders a dog under the guise of sayings like “murder is murder.” Ah, but is a man equal to a dog?
God answers with an adamant “no!” We have already seen in Genesis 1 how man is created in the image of God, and so is distinct from the rest of creation. God refers back to that here, when He places a distinction between shedding the blood of an animals and shedding the blood of a man (v. 5-6). While anyone can shed the blood of an animals for food, if anyone sheds the blood of a human, they must be put to death. Thus, we see the first official institution of capital punishment.
Notice, that this too was part of God’s blessing on Noah. God didn’t institute capital punishment in order to threaten Noah and his family to stay in line; God used capital punishment to reassure Noah and his family that they were safe! Just as the animals would have a healthy fear of man, so too should mankind have a healthy fear of harming each other. While the animals could be used for food, cannibalism is strictly forbidden! In making this the First Law, God was blessing Noah and his family—He would always be looking out for them, and He commands that any harm to them be punished.
In the same way, God is always looking out for you. God loves you. Just like He provided for every one of Noah’s needs: purpose, food, and security, so He will provide for everyone of your needs. I know that today may be hard, but God is still in control. If you are still suffering the ark, remember that God will bless you once you come out of the storm. Hold strong to the promise of that day!
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