Studies in Torah

Genesis 6:9-11:32: Remembering God’s judgment and mercy in the Flood

Though his generation had forgotten, Noach (Noah) remembered the Creator was in charge, followed His instructions and didn’t have the malice of the world around him. The relationship between God and Noach was a two-way street, and it is because of this one man’s trust in God that all of creation was saved.

What was life like during Noach’s day? We are not given many details but what we are told shows us that the world had deviated so far from God’s perfect plan that He had no choice but to wipe out 99.9 percent of mankind from Earth and start all over again.

Noach was called “righteous” or “perfect” in his generation. It doesn’t mean “without flaw.” God’s word defines very clearly what being perfect is.

“‘You have heard that it was said, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR [Lev. 19:18] and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’” (Matthew 5:43–48 NASB)

Loving other people is how God judges perfection. That is God’s definition of perfection. Perfection and holiness are synonymous.

“‘For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (Leviticus 11:44–45 NASB)

God also defines perfection as knowing what foods are clean and unclean. The reason for all of God’s rules is:

“‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.’” (Leviticus 19:2 NASB)

The entire chapter of Leviticus 19 tells us God’s standard of perfection and holiness. From this we can see that the generation Noach had to live with were utterly unholy and imperfect. Noach was able to live in holiness and perfection despite being completely surrounded by a people who had no interest in striving for perfection of holiness.

Noach and his family did not carry any malice towards their neighbors or arrogance of their moral superiority. The truth is that there were only eight people on the entire planet who put God and His ways first. That’s a humbling truth to dwell upon for a while.

The job of a High Priest was not to judge people. His job was to hear confessions, take offerings and call the repentant individual to live a perfect life from this point on. That was true of Aaron and his descendants and it is even more true of Yeshua, our permanent High Priest.

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you ― not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience ― through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” (1Peter 3:18–22 NASB)

Peter tells us that the Flood of Noach’s time was a type of baptism. It was not for the removal of all mankind’s filthiness. The primary purpose of the Flood was not genocide. If that was the goal, it was an abject failure. The goal of the Flood was to clean the conscience of those who survived it.

The Flood was not for those who died; it was for those who survived. The goal of baptism is the same. It’s to clean the soul of the person being baptized.

Noach’s generation forgot about God and His judgment (2Peter 3:1–7). Noach’s family had no doubt about the nature of God’s existence and His judgement.

“And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.” (Genesis 6:19 NASB)

It is logical to conclude that the animals that God brought on the ark were young or juvenile. It serves no purpose for God to load the ark with large, old animals if the point of saving the animals so for them to reproduce and repopulate the earth.

God lifted up the clean animals to be food and He also lifted up the nation of Israel (by their conduct) above the other nations. God brought Noah a pair of each of the unclean animals and insects and seven pairs of the clean animals, birds and insects.

Why did God bring seven pairs of all the birds on the ark? The book of Revelation gives us a clue.

“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:19–21 NASB)

The birds are a symbol of those who are not of Israel, the guests of this feast. The poor, the rejects, those who are not wanted by society. God wants many guests to gather and attend the Marriage Feast.

God always had a distinction between clean and unclean, what is food and what is not food.

The timeline of the Flood utterly refutes the Lunar Sabbath fallacy. At the time of the Flood, a month was 30 days long, and the calendar was more accurate than than it is now.

God did not do anything haphazardly. Everything He did was on a particular day to show that He is a God of order.

“and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.” (Genesis 8:6–7 NASB)

The raven was sent to find evidence of death but the raven ever found anything dead to eat. This shows us that God in His infinite wisdom not only sent the Flood to kill everything on the earth, He also immediately buried the dead so that when the waters receded, the earth would not be covered in putrid death.

The dove was sent out to find evidence of life and that is what the dove found. Noah then knew that the earth was now clean and ready for life.

Noach came out of the ark and made an offering to God.

“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:20–21 NASB)

God did not offer criticism of Noach’s sacrifice, He was pleased with it. God accepted the offering and God ended the curse that God placed on the earth that had made it difficult to grow and raise food, although some thorns and thistles remain. The fact that Noach was able to quickly raise up a vineyard is proof that God took the curse off the ground.

“I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11 NASB)

God also promised He would never judge the world with water again. The next big judgement will be with fire.

“Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.” (Genesis 9:22 NASB)

Nakedness is not a sin within one’s own home. We have a right to privacy. Even though naked is pretty common today and little stigma is attached to it, most of us still do not go out of our way to show our nakedness to others.

Ham dishonored his father by telling the other brothers that he had seen Noach’s nakedness. It’s not a sin to accidentally see one’s father naked, the sin is broadcasting it and publicly humiliating him.

The curse Canaan received was that although he had many sons, all their territory was taken away.

The separation at Babel encouraged the growth of various legends, myths and religions as the different language groups were compelled to separate. The reputation of Nimrod and his family were carried by different names, throughout the entire earth.  Once they no longer had the cohesive glue of a common language, they had no option except to separate.

They all carried the story of Noach and the ark with them throughout the world.

This section ends with the family of Terah, the father of Abraham. This family line is very important, but also very intertwined and are the subject of the rest of the book of Genesis.

Summary: Tammy.

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