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God's Magna Charta
The Rainbow Covenant
"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."
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In the last article, we'd journeyed through the period that dealt with God remembering Noah after He had unleashed the Great Flood of Judgement upon humanity. This Great Flood was fatal, for it had lasted for forty days and nights. Soon after it had ended, we'd learned how Noah started off using a raven when it came to scouting the lands for dry ground.
However, when Noah didn't seem satisfied with the raven results, we later learned; Noah ended up turning the scouting tasks over to the dove. The Scriptures reveal that Noah received much better results from the dove.
Nevertheless, not too long after this had happened, Noah and his family were finally given permission by God to leave the Ark. So Noah left the Ark, and it's during this time, he would immediately build an altar unto the Lord. Noah used this altar to offer up sacrifices to God.
Now shortly after Noah had done this, God makes a promise to humanity through Noah:
"Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.
And never again will I destroy the living creatures, as I have done.
As long as the earth endures, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." -- Genesis 8:21,22
Keep in mind that this article will cover the continuation of this divine promise by God.
As we move forward, this is where we find God presenting to Noah what I like to call His "Magna Charta" to humanity and all the earth. A Magna Charta is a set of rules that God expected all to follow. Now let's begin by exploring this divine pledge a little further by taking a closer look at what God had spoken unto Noah and the new world.
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God's Divine Pledge
Taking A Closer Look
"Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." -- Genesis 9:1
Now fortunately for us, God had placed a new world before humanity. God would remind the human race that this earth, was in fact, created for them. So the Lord reinstall what He had first told Adam and Eve: "Then God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" -- Genesis 1:28
"The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands." -- Genesis 9:2
Now it's at this point; once again, God places humanity in the position of being able to subdue and rule over all the inferior creatures that inhabited the earth. But there's a difference this time around when God had first placed humanity in this position. When God had first given Adam this command, I want to point out that this order of power was done through "love" when it came to humanity and the creatures of the earth. For the Lord didn't mention "fear" when He'd first given this command.
However, this position of power God is now mentioning, this time around, when it comes to the authority that humanity will now have over the creatures of the earth, will be established through fear. Notice how God makes this clear: "The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth..."
"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." -- Genesis 9:3
Now, it's at this point that we find God giving humanity permission to eat the meat of the animals for the first time. Notice that before the Great Flood, when God had first given Adam the command - keep in mind that the diet of the human race was limited only to the seed-bearing plants of the earth (fruits & herbs and possibly roots) : "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." -- Genesis 1:29
When you read this passage, be careful not to run (verse 29) into (verse 30) too quickly. In (verse 30) God starts to give the beast, and the birds of the earth, their own menu of life. And if you read it too quickly, you could easily think that the first time around, God had included the beast and the birds for humanity to eat as well, during the recording of that particular account:
"And to all the beast of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground, everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food. And it was so." -- Genesis 1:30
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So This Time Around
why the Change in Diet?
Now one could easily wonder, by putting forth the question: "Why did God all of a sudden allow humanity the option of eating the meat of animals?" And honestly, I must admit, this question is warranted, and unfortunately, the Sacred Record does not say why.
But if we were to be daring in our assessment of the diet change, we could assume that the reason behind the change would be that the earth had just come out of a major flood that lasted for forty days and nights. And it's very well possible that the Great Flood had severely damaged the earth's soil, which in turn, at least for the time being, hindered the earth's surface ability to produce vegetation consistently during this time.
God permitting humanity to eat the meat of animals during this time helped to ensure that there would be more than enough food for the human race to survive on, as the world was in the process of finishing the transition from the old to the new.
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Murderers will Pay a Price
"But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it." -- Genesis 9:4
Understand that although God had allowed humanity the option of eating the flesh of animals. God did not want the animals to be tortured or left to suffer when they were being killed. Even though the human being is the highlight of God's creation, the Lord still has tremendous love for all that He has created, including the animals.
"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man." -- Genesis 9:5
Here we find God making the vow that all murderers will be dealt with, either in this life or the next. Understand that murderers will pay a hefty price for the taking of innocent life.
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The Rainbow Covenant
But God wouldn't be done, for He continues. And it's during this time we find the Lord laying out, what would be known as the "Rainbow Covenant," or as some scholars would like to say, the Noahic Covenant. Now just like all of God's covenants found throughout the Bible, this is God making a promise to humanity. Notice how I said to "humanity" -- being that there are covenants that God had made that were more specific when it comes to a particular group of people or person. For example, here are a few:
The Abrahamic Covenant dealt specifically with Abraham and his descendants, eventually including the nation of Israel.
The Mosaic Covenant dealt with Israel, the Ten Commandments, and the 600 or so commands regarding the laws that the Israel nation had to follow.
The New Covenant deals with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It would be through this covenant; we're offered salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life. This covenant is offered to all those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. This covenant started with Israel, but when they'd rejected Christ as the true Messiah, the covenant was open to anybody who would accept Christ as their one true Messiah.
Nevertheless, here's God laying out the Rainbow Covenant to Noah:
"This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember you and all living creatures of every kind.
"Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth." -- Genesis 8:12-16
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
So we've taken a good look at what I'd like to call God's Magna Charta. This Charta is what God had spoken to humanity and the new natural world after the Great Flood of Judgement had run its course upon the earth's surface. Nevertheless, in the following article, we will continue our journey by looking at the introduction that deals with Noah's three sons Shem, Ham, Japheth, and his grandson Canaan.
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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