God’s Covenant With Noah

God desires us to live in covenant relationship with Him.

This lesson is about events on earth immediately following the Flood, after Noah and company had departed from the ark. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and after the flood, humans, land animals, and the birds had a God-given new beginning on earth. This lesson is focused on what Noah did in relation to God, and what God did in relation to Noah, his family, and the animals and birds, immediately after the flood. The covenant God made with Noah on this occasion is still in effect, and it’s spiritual and moral requirements have been folded into God’s covenant of grace, made with all who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.


A. Noah Worshipped God

Gen 8:20  And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

…….The scripture says Noah “took of” meaning took a portion of the 7 pairs of each animal that he brought on the ark with him that was acceptable to God for offering. This scripture shows a trust that Noah had with the Lord, to take from such a small reserve and knowing that the Lord would cause to multiply. As hard as the days of the flood must have been, Noah’s faith in the Lord had to have grown while experiencing the promise of saving him and his family in such a time! Everything God said would happen happened, and because of Noah’s faith and obedience to God Noah’s and his family was saved!

Gen 8:21  And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

…….The earth was in bad shape. Though it may have grieved God to destroy it, I don’t believe He regretted His decision. The imagination of the heart may be evil, but the decision to sin does not have to happen and it does not have to be accepted. Thankfully, He gave His very presence to accompany us in the valley of decision!

Gen 8:22  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

…….After making known what He would not do again, He gave assurance that there would be a time for all days, seasons, and growth.

B. God Blessed Noah

Gen 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Gen 9:2  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Gen 9:3  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

…….With this fear (vs. 2) comes dominance and rule. God didn’t make man for animals herbs, but the opposite. We are superior because He created us to be, not for the sake carelessness, but for the sake of keeping relationship with Him.

Gen 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Gen 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

Gen 9:6  Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

…….Pre flood, there must not have been a punishment for murder (Cain and Abel). Post flood, God commanded that the penalty for murder be the death of the murderer.

Gen 9:7  And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.


A. Parties to the Covenant

Gen 9:8  And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

Gen 9:9  And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

Gen 9:10  And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

Gen 9:11  And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

…….God made this promise to all creation that never again will the entire earth and all that inhabits be destroyed by a flood.

B. Sign of the Covenant

Gen 9:12  And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations (All Eternity):

Gen 9:13  I do set my bow (rainbow) in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Gen 9:14  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

Gen 9:15  And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Gen 9:16  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.

Gen 9:17  And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

……. God gave to Noah a “token” (sign, evidence), of the covenant he made with him “for perpetual generations”. The rainbow, that often appears against the backdrop of sunlit clouds after rain, is the sign of the covenant. Were there no rainbows before the flood occurred? Some Bible scholars think it never rained on the earth before the flood, and vegetation was watered by heavy do use. Others think the rainbow may have been visible before the flood, but had no particular significance until God made it the sign of the covenant with Noah and company. Whether the rainbow was or was not visible before the flood, after the flood, God gave it as evidence of his covenant with every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth, that the flood will never be repeated.


A. One Race; Many Nations

Gen 9:18  And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Gen 9:19  These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

……. all humans on earth today are descended from the three sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. While the table of nations descended from the sons of Noah is given in Genesis chapter 10, we should understand that humans are not divided into three races, descended from Shem, ham, and Japheth. Neither are the many nations descended from the sons of Noah different races. The fact is, from a biblical standpoint, there is only one human race, and all humans are of the same race, regardless of their skin color or ethnic origin.

People with various skin tones and various colors of eyes and hair are descended from all the sons of Noah, and are identified with the various nations descended from the sons of Noah. The Bible testifies to the unity of the human race as humans, descended in the first instance of from Adam and Eve, and in the second instance from Noah’s sons. The division of humans into races, based on their skin color and ethnic origins is an evil intention of humans, not something God devised.

Many people misunderstand the reference made to Canaan, in verse 18. This is a retrospective explanation of why the Canaanites, who were descendants of Ham were so sexually immoral. They invited the judgment of God against them, and God gave their land, the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, who were the descendents of Shem. Noah’s curse on Canaan had nothing to do with skin color nor race, but with morality.

B. Human Sinfulness Prefigured

Gen 9:20  And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

…….This verse alone shows that there had been some time from the flood being over, to the point of a vineyard being mature enough to produce.

Gen 9:21  And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

…….Noah’s first mistake was allowing his mind to get to the place of premeditating his drunkenness. The second mistake was preparing the fermentation of the grape juice to produce the wine. The fact that it takes several weeks for wine to ferment tells us there was plenty of time to change mind, but he didn’t. Here was the third mistake in action, he drank of the wine.

Gen 9:22  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

Gen 9:23  And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

Gen 9:24  And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

Gen 9:25  And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

Gen 9:26  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Gen 9:27  God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Gen 9:28  And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

Gen 9:29  And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

It was good that God provided Noah and his family a new beginning with a new covenant assurance of God‘s care for them. It was bad that, not far into this new beginning, there began to be signs that human sinfulness would eventually return to where it was before the flood. The whole history of the human race on earth is this tension between God‘s goodness, and his goodwill for humans, and the tendency of humans to persist in setting, rejecting God‘s good will. The right choice for every person is to make the decision to embrace the goodness of God and his Goodwill for our lives, and to stay with that decision for a lifetime.

Though it seems like the human race made a full circle in their actions, even after the flood, that is not an accurate statement. Pre flood, the sinfulness and crime was out of control, and it was only by the grace of God that Noah and his family made it out alive. An accurate statement is this, we need Jesus and His Spirit to live a moral life!

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