A Fresh Start

Genesis in 3D: Downfall  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:15
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God sets boundaries on Man's relationship with animals, other humans and Himself.

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Where do mercy and accountability meet? The account of the global flood reveals both concepts.
Can God be both merciful and just? Are mercy and justice applicable both to perpetrator and victim?
Most of us desire accountability when we are (or are acquainted with) the victim. But we desire mercy when we are (or are acquainted with) the accused.
This has become abundantly clear when one looks at politics of policing that have escalated following the George Floyd incident in Minnesota. Those who wish to hold law enforcement accountable have made demands of reform and defunding; while many have observed that reducing police resources leads to increases in crime. At the same time calls to hold offenders accountable by stricter sentencing appears harsh; while many have documented that strict sentencing often ignores societal influences such as poverty and mental illness.
Transition: Today’s text shows us that God is to be worshipped as the absolute source of mercy, while mankind must give an account for actions and attitudes. Mercy and Justice are both met when wrath is diverted to another.

God Renews Provision for Mankind (Genesis 9 :1-4)

The provisions that God makes in chapter 9 are rooted in values demonstrated in the end of chapter 8. The 3 oldest covenants in Genesis are basically God’s goodness to man, and God’s expectation in return. In Eden9 (some lable this a mandate rather than a covenant) God gives earth to man and expects obedience [don’t eat from that tree]. In Genesis 12 God promises to bless Abraham and expects his descendent to be set apart by the sign of circumcision. In the covenant with Noah God promises to divert/delay his wrath and expects mankind to keep each other in line.

Return to Eden (8:20; 9:1)

1. Man’s worship
a. Then – in response to the previous 375 days (and the 500 years before that) Noah’s heart wanted to bless the Lord.
b. We tend to equate worship with music, but much of the ancient world equated worship with sacrifice, and the New Testament world connects love with obedience.
c. Many tend to consider the 2 music medleys as our time of worship, but I know that the desire of our Elders and Worship committee is to see our gathering in order to work together and encourage each other, our times of praying with and for each other, our time of offering, and our time of hearing what God wants of us is ALL worship.
d. God has placed within each of us the ability to observe the Lord’s goodness and to respond. That response is worship, in all its forms.
2. God’s Provision
In response to Noah’s worship, God restates the blessing that He first gave to Adam
3. But God increases the blessing in vv.2-3

Every Beast (9:2-3)

Scholars disagree about man’s diet before the flood. Was man vegetarian or carnivorous?
I see no explicit instruction to eat meat in the first 8 chapters of Genesis. But there is also no prohibition against it.
Also, why was Able raising livestock if not for consumption? Some believe Eden was vegan, but when Adam and Eve were chased out of the garden, death entered humanity so that eating of livestock was permitted (but not commanded). Others wonder if lions and coyotes were herbivores before the Fall. Did God create them with sharp pointy teeth for tearing, or grinding teeth like cattle? What about fossils of creatures that modern man calls dinosaurs?
John Walton, a professor who was at MBI when I was a student even though I never had him for a class, believes that man ate domesticated animals from Gen 3-8, but Gen 9 (every beast, every bird, and everything that creeps, and all the fish) opened up the hunting of game.
To be honest, there are later restrictions and relaxing of those restrictions upon which meat. Exodus only cooked lamb, Clean/unclean in Wilderness, Daniel’s vegetable diet, Peter’s instruction to kill and eat, Paul’s freedom about conscience and bargain meat from the pagan markets, Etc. So when someone tells you they observe a “biblical diet” ask them which part of the Bible?

Application (v.4)

1. God connects life with blood, which will be a theme revisited in Exodus. Remember, the Pentateuch was written by Moses and initially given to the Jews after the Exodus (even if it describes previous events). To the Jews who just were required to put lamb’s blood on their doorpost, God is setting the stage for the importance of blood, as His son would shed blood as the ultimate Passover Lamb, which we remember with grape juice in communion whenever we eat it together.
2. Hunting and Fishing responsibly is within the blessing that God extended to man after the flood.
Transition: Some Covenants are unilateral – One party does something regardless of the other. This Covenant is bilateral- it places expectations on both parties.

God Requires Accountability from Mankind (Genesis 9:5-7)

Capital Punishment (vv.5-6)

1. Consequences – there is time associated with the crime!
a. “My body, my choice” doesn’t consider that the preborn human has a body of his own.
b. Street violence rarely considers the value of the person whose presence is an obstacle to the desires of the criminal.
c. Whenever one person violently exercises power over another, the perpetrator is viewing himself as Lord over the other. We will see in the Mosaic Covenant that starts with “There is only 1 God – YHWH”
2. Deterrent - Keeps lawlessness from increasing
The descendants of Cain have been reproducing with impunity; which has permitted violence and corruption to multiply for hundreds of years.
While God admits that wickedness is in the heart of man from youth (8:21), His plan to mediate wickedness is that man will hold each other accountable for disregarding the image-bearing nature of his neighbor.
3. Imago Dei – cannot ignore the imago without repercussions.
a. 6b gives the reason for 5-6. This is not an act of vindictiveness! It is an attempt for God’s glory to be preserved and honored.
b. Capital execution does NOT mean that the police or the warden has more value than the convicted person. It is a mutual agreement that the perpetrator has been convicted of a crime that is bigger than any individual active in the penalty.
c. Some claim that being pro-life demands BOTH opposition to abortion and capital punishment based upon the imago dei within the individual.
The imago dei within the uterus is innocent because he/she has not imposed his/her will on any other image bearer.
The imago dei on death row has been marred beyond repair because he/she has imposed human will upon another image bearer.

Human Flourishing (v.7)

Quality AND quantity
This says the same duo in two ways. Fruitful is same as increase greatly and multiply is the same as multiply.
The first mandate is an increase in influence. Make life better for others and yourself. [better is NOT more comfortable for you, betteris the purpose of God becoming more accessible.] As Jesus taught us to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth”
The second mandate is quantity. Under the shadow of image bearing, the call to multiplication is an expression of increasing the presence of YHWH followers in all places.
I was an associate pastor in years past in a church with significant conflict. I was told by our lead pastor that we could either focus our influence on changing the minds of the critics or reach so many new people who were on board with the mission that the critics voices would be silenced.”


I’m not into power politics, but my prayer that we would make disciples of all in Chase County is grounded in both quality (disciples of Jesus Christ) and quantity (we aren’t done until all have been reached).
Our mission of Everyone, Everywhere, starting Here is directly connected to Genesis 9:1 & 7

God Redirects His Wrath from Mankind (Genesis 9:8-17)

God Displays His Mercy (8-11)

The covenant precedes the sign. The promise is not against localized flooding, but is specifically a promise not to use water in a universal destruction.

A Symbol of a Reality (12-13)

Just as a wedding ring is a symbol of the promise, not the promise itself; and baptism is a symbol of new life, not the life itself; God attached significance to a symbol.
a. The word for bow is literally a warrior’s bow (Gen 27:3; 2 Sam 22:35), so some theologians see the symbolism of a warrior choosing not to shoot.
b. Other theologians read bow in the cloud and dismiss any weaponry allusions. (Just as a butterflyhas nothing to do with butter, a bow in the clouds has nothing to do with archery.)
c. Just because your wedding ring looks a particular way and has unique significance to you, that does not mean all people have that same opinion of your ring. There is room for differing opinions. Some people see significance that other people do not see.
2. Personally, I believe it is a travesty that the symbol of God’s promise has been twisted in current usage. The rainbow is used as a symbol of “pride” that nobody can question.
The logic (in some minds) is: If God isn’t going to destroy humanity, then nobody has a right to question my choices or identity.
I have 2 problems with this logic. 1) v.5 just spoke about mankind keeping other humans from multiplying corruption and violence. 2) Just because God promises not to destroy life by flood is NOT a promise that He ignores sin!
Patience, mercy and tolerance are NOT to be confused with ignorance or forgetfulness.
Transition: God’s Mercy does not negate His wrath. God remembers His covenant and chooses to deal with sin in a specific way.

God Delivers His Wrath (vv.14-16)

1. Sin cannot be ignored. In order for God to be just He MUST not interfere with the consequences of sin. God’s righteous wrath upon sin and disobedience was never dispelled, it was stored up until being poured out in full on Christ.
Notice the word remember in 15 & 16. God sees our sin, remembers that He promised not to invoke death immediately and remembers that the penalty remains.
2. Jesus took sin upon Himself
Jesus (God in flesh) came to earth, lived sinlessly, and as our substitute for sin died the death that each one of us deserves.
3. Double Imputation
When Jesus prayed “not my will but yours be done” in the garden, He agreed to have the Triune God pour out all of the wrath for your sin and mine upon Himself, and His righteousness to be reckoned to our accounts.
4. The beauty of the Gospel is NOT that sin is ignored, it is that Jesus paid for all the sin of anyone who will call upon him in repentance and faith.


1. We must prioritize (Like Noah) our love and devotion to God.
2. We must accept accountability for sin by repentance
3. We place our faith in the redirection of God’s wrath and rely upon the ransom Jesus paid.


8:21 tells us that God knows the intentions of our hearts, yet He chooses to divert His wrath so that we can have fellowship with Him now and into eternity.
Song of Response .. “Only a Sinner” (vv.2 & 3)
Benediction: Romans 16:20 (ESV) — The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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