The Rainbow Covenant

The Rainbow Covenant


– Okay, so the last lesson
that we were talking about dealt with the worldwide
effects of the flood and the new environment
that Noah and his family found themselves in, talked
about that last week, a little bit of review. The physical world had
changed dramatically, extreme temperatures
creating change in climate. We think climate change,
like oh, something new. Well, no, the climate started
to change after the flood. There was a severe climate change, and we’re still experiencing
the changing climate that began there. The earth’s surface, now mostly covered with water and mountains. After the flood, of course,
the natural protective layer, that vapor, that water vapor
layer that was around the earth has been dissolved and so, this subjects the earth to genetic changes, deviations,
mutations, diseases, so on and so forth. Another change, of course,
the social world now has changed as well. One family to repopulate. God now authorizes human
government, at this point. Up until this point, it’s
a patriarchal society, but now government is
established to mitigate the evil in the world. Diets will include
meat, which will develop various types of work and
trade for the first time. I’m not saying that men
didn’t eat meat before this, but God authorizes it only here. Then another change, the spiritual world is changed as well. Before, God walked with
man and the creation was a constant and unbroken
reminder of God’s love and God’s pleasure with man. Now the environment is hostile and a constant threat and
reminder of man’s fallen state and ultimate death. Yet despite all of
this, as we read in 9:7, it says, “As for you,” now God is speaking “be fruitful and multiply; “populate the earth abundantly
and multiply in it.” So despite all of these changes, despite all of this disruption, God for the second time, gives the command to multiply
and repopulate the earth. So in order to provide
reassurance that despite the reality of man’s sinful condition and the fallen world, God still loves and plans to save man. God provides some reassurance here. I mean, don’t you do that sometimes those of you who have kids? They’ve disobeyed you, you’ve
counted one, two, three. You’re up to 19, 20, 21,
you know what I’m saying and they really do
something that requires some sort of punishment,
maybe just a little slap, or in the corner, whatever it is, and they cry. Oh, you don’t love me
anymore, so on and so forth, and after the punishment is over, haven’t we as parents seen
ourselves take our kids and bring them closer to us and say, well, you know mommy loves
you, daddy loves you, but you’ve got to listen. We reassure them that it’s okay, that break between them and us, the fact that we may have
spoken to them sternly, there may have been punishment, there may have been some pain even, we reassure them that it’s okay, all that is over now. Let’s obey in the future. Well, that’s what’s happening here. The floods wiped everything out. God has said, okay, go back out, repopulate the earth, but
Noah needs reassurance. So God gives reassurance in two forms, one, He gives His word that this new environment, despite it’s hostility
will be able to sustain man and will continue to do
so until the end of time. I go back here, Genesis
8:22, where God says, “While the earth remains,
seedtime and harvest, “and cold and heat, and summer and winter “and day and night,” the last one I like, “shall not cease.” This business of the
earth is falling apart. Everything is going to be destroyed, and they make movies about it, and, no. Why because God said, yeah,
there will be disruptions, “climate change”, we see it, but He promises seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, night and day. It’s a promise. You can go ahead now, you
can go ahead with your life. The catastrophe that
God brought on the earth with the flood, don’t worry about that. He also provides a physical
token as a visible reminder that He will not allow the
environment to overwhelm them once again, and this is
the subject of the lesson we’re going to talk about tonight, and that’s the Rainbow Covenant, Rainbow Covenant, chapter nine. Let’s read verses 8, 9, and 10. It says, “Then God spoke
to Noah and to his sons “with him saying, Now
behold, I Myself do establish “my covenant with you and with
your descendants after you; “and with every living
creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and
every beast of the earth with you of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.” So note the subjects of God’s covenant. Remember we talked about
covenant last time? A covenant is a promise
of God where He sets the conditions and He
guarantees the results. We can abide by the conditions
and receive the rewards or not receive the
rewards, it doesn’t matter. If He makes the covenant, everything He says that’s
going to happen in the covenant is going to happen. So He mentions Noah and
all of his descendants, which includes everyone since, I mean we’re all, that includes us. We’re descendants of Noah, but He’s also careful to
include all of the animals with Noah as well. So animals, we know
they don’t have a soul. They have sentient life,
but they don’t have a soul, in the image of God, but they
are still God’s creatures and He includes them in His care as well. So He’s making a promise
to man and to the creation that He will care for them. So, let’s read the long
passage verses 11 through 17. He says, “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.” God said, “This is the
sign of the covenant, “which I am making between me and you “and every living
creature that is with you “for all successive generations. “I set My bow in the could, “and it shall be for a sign of a covenant “between me and the earth. “It shall come about when I bring a cloud “over the earth that the bow
will be seen in the cloud, “and I will remember my
covenant, which is between “me and you and every
living creature of all flesh “and never again shall
the water become a flood “to destroy all flesh. “When the bow is in the cloud, “then I will look upon it to remember “the everlasting covenant between God “and every living creature of all flesh “that is on the earth,”
and God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant, “which I have established between me “and all flesh that is on the earth.” So the promise is that
the earth and life upon it will never again be
destroyed by a great flood. Will there be destruction by floods, yes. Will there ever be a
flood that will destroy everything again like
the great flood, no, no. I mean, could you imagine
after Noah every time it started to rain? Without this promise, people thinking, uh oh, here we go again. I mean, if you didn’t have this promise, nobody would live further
than a mile away from the ark. So this promise here gives man the courage to go on. Even though the environment will be harsh, there may be hurricanes
and floods and whatever that would seem a like a repeat of the worldwide destruction, the rainbow, He says, will appear as a
reminder of the promise. Now some people say the
rainbow was always there and God simply invested it with meaning, but think about what we learned in the pre-flood environment. In the pre-flood environment,
there was no rain. Everything was watered by
the underground tributaries and the water vapor. It was like a hot house,
it was like a greenhouse. So there was no rain, no
rain, no storms, no rainbows. So this is a first instance
and the original significance that God gives to it. Now, of course, we can explain a rainbow. Physically, we can explain it. The idea here is it will now
appear for the first time and God gives it it’s first meaning. Such a shame that the rainbow, something that is Biblical
that the only place that actually gives it significance, a spiritual or theological
significance from the Bible has been co-opted now
and is now the symbol for gay rights or gay life,
and so on and so forth, a terrible thing. So, we continue here. Although the world does
not acknowledge it, whenever we do see a rainbow,
it still remains a direct sign of God’s promise to
maintain the environment and to sustain life until Jesus comes. Basically, that’s what the rainbow does. People get killed in floods
and so on and so forth, but we know that God
is not going to destroy the world with water and
when you think about it for a minute, I mean, there’s more water than anything else in the world. So it would seem that the
water has the potential to destroy the earth still,
but we have this promise. So in the world, there are various ways of classifying races. Let’s talk about the sons of Noah. Different ways to classify
various cultures and races, the three or three, four, five, six, depends on the system that you use. There are Caucasian, White,
Negroid, which is Black, Oriental, now we say Asian, and then there are mixtures of these. There are about 150 nations
of significance in the world, about 3,000 main languages, lot of offshoots and dialects, but about 3,000 main languages
and the source of all this has been a problem for
evolutionary scientists. If you’re wondering, has
he just changed gears, yeah, I’ve changed gears. We’re moving away from the flood and the effects of the flood. We’re moving on now to Noah, his sons, and the re-population of the earth and where the races come from. So as I say, the source
of all these has been a problem for evolutionary scientists. There are some reports today that indicate that man originated in
the North African region or in the Middle-eastern region. For us, that’s not a stretch, right, but if you’re an evolutionary scientist well whoa,
that gives you a problem, that all races all come from one place doesn’t match your idea
of how things work. A lot of people don’t like the implication of these findings because
they seem to confirm the Biblical record of the
origin of different races. The Bible does say all the
races started in one place and moved out. The Bible does provide the information on the beginning and the
dispersion of the early groups that ultimately developed
into different races that we now have today,
and we’re going to try to make those bridges
during this lesson here. Let’s read verse 18 and 19. It says, “Now the sons of
Noah who came out of the ark “were Shem and Ham and Japheth “and Ham was the father of Canaan. “These three were the sons of Noah, “and from these, the whole
earth was populated.” Okay, so how was the earth populated? The Bible says in black and white the whole earth was
populated from these three. You are free to disbelieve that. You can reject that. You can say, ‘pss’, that you know, yeah, I don’t buy that. Okay, it’s your choice. What you cannot do is say
the Bible doesn’t say that. You can’t do that. You don’t have to agree,
but you can’t say the Bible doesn’t say that because
it says it right here from these, the whole earth was populated. So we’re going to continue
to stick just to what the scriptures say and let’s
see how does that work. So in this passage, the sons of Noah are once again introduced and they are brought
forward as the originators of what is now the human race. I want to read a passage from Dr. Henry Morris’ book, The Genesis Flood. He says, “All the physical characteristics “of the different tribes
and nations must therefore “have been present in
the genetic constitutions “of these six people,” the
three sons and their wives. “Somehow, by the regular
mechanisms of genetics, “variation, recombination,
all the various tribes “and nations must have developed.” So let’s keep reading what the Bible says. It says, “Then Noah began
farming and planted a vineyard. “He drank of the wine and became drunk, “and uncovered himself inside his tent. “Ham, the father of
Canaan, saw the nakedness “of his father and told
his two brothers outside. “but Shem and Japheth
took a garment and laid it “upon both their shoulders
and walked backward “and covered the nakedness of their father “and their faces were turned away so that “they did not see their
father’s nakedness.” So an interesting story here. We’re kind of given a
look at the character of these three men through
an incident that happened during a moment of
weakness in Noah’s life. So the Bible says that
Noah planted a vineyard. He drank the wine and he got drunk. So nothing new about that, right? First time, however, in the
Bible that wine is mentioned and it is mentioned in a negative way, as something that can be abused. It doesn’t say, but we know
that Noah was a great man. Look at what he’s gone through, this man, the destruction of the
earth and everything, yet he’s remained faithful, a great man, but not a perfect man. You can be a man of faith, you can be a great spiritual man, doesn’t mean you’re a perfect man. He was strong against worldly temptation, but in a weak moment, he fell, and in doing so, he shamed
himself because of it. So get the picture, he’s
laying drunk in his tent and naked in a drunken
stupor, probably just hot. He’s just hot. Now here we see the reactions and some of the character of his son. Ham, and they keep mentioning Ham, who is the forefather of the Canaanites. They don’t mention about Japheth, they don’t mention about Shem. They keep mentioning about Ham, and there’s a reason for that. Keep that in mind. So what does Ham do? He enters the tent and it
says he gazed at his father. Now some people say that there was a sexual connotation here, but the fact that the next verse says that he told his brothers about it suggests really another situation. The term gaze in the Hebrew means to look at with satisfaction, and then the term to
tell refers to a telling with delight. Can you put the two ideas together here? This reveals a man who is happy to see his father’s weakness and reveal it to his two brothers. Can’t you just hear it? How many thousands of years ago was this? Can’t you just hear it? Hey you guys, you got to come and see this. The old man is out like
a light, butt naked. Come on, come on, it’s hilarious. Isn’t that human nature? Of course it is. So some believe that
Ham, although a believer, was a rebellious individual
and he was constrained under his father’s rule and
in seeing him in his weakness, he rejoiced and he tried
to sway his brothers into mockery and rebellion. Yeah, not such a bigshot
now Mr. Noah, Mr. Patriarch. This trait seemed to crop
out in his ancestors. That’s why they keep
mentioning the Canaanites. If you study about the Canaanites, one of the things you’re going to find out about that people, the Canaanites, is that they were extremely
sexually perverse. Much of their religious practice had to do with human sexuality, orgies, that type of thing. Shem and Japheth, the two brothers, they don’t go along with his delight, but rather they try to
cover their father’s shame and not see him in order
to share that shame. They don’t want their father to be shamed. Now the essential difference between them is that Ham obeyed out
of constraint and fear, and when the figure of authority fell, his respect and his self
control fell with it. The other brothers obeyed
from faith and principle. So the one who embodied these principles when the father fell, their
faith and their commitment did not fall with him. They continued to uphold principles. Isn’t that what we want from our children? How many times have we said this, those of you old enough
to have had teenagers? How many times have we
said to the teenagers I’m raising you in such a
way that when I’m not there you’re going to make the right decision. You’re not going to make the
decision because I’m watching you, you’re going to make the right
decision because that’s what you want to decide whether I’m there or not. Well, this is exactly these two sons, they made the right decision. Now there’s an amazing
similarity between Noah and Adam in their respective experiences. Adam, he was commanded to
fill the earth and control it. Noah was commanded to replenish
the earth after the flood. Adam, the ancestor of
all men before the flood. Noah, ancestor of all men after the flood. Adam, sinned by partaking
of a forbidden fruit. Noah, sinned by partaking of
a fruit in a forbidden way. Adam, the result of his sin was that his nakedness was revealed. For Noah, the result of his sin was that his nakedness was revealed. Number five, Adam was covered by God with animal skins and Noah was covered by his son’s with his own cloak. Number six, there’s seven of these. The result for Adam ended in a prophecy, which affected future generations. God gave him the promise of the seed, the seed of Satan and
the seed of the woman, those seeds. That was the prophecy. For Noah, the result was a prophecy, which affected each son and
their future generations and we’re going to talk
about that in a minute. Then finally, along with the curse, there was also a promise
of blessing in the future for Adam, and in the same
way, along with the curse was also a renewed promise of a blessing. So let’s keep going through
this story, shall we? Verse 24, it says, “When
Noah awoke from his wine, “he knew what his youngest
son had done to him. “So he said Cursed be Canaan, “a servant of servants he
shall be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, “the God of Shem and let
Canaan be his servant. “May God enlarge Japheth “and let him dwell in the tents of Shem “and let Canaan be his servant.” So these verses contain
the prophecy concerning the track that the descendants
of these three men will take. So, Noah wakes up from his drunken stupor and in some way, probably his
wife or his sons told him. He finds out what has taken place. Now that the hearts and the
true character of his sons are revealed to him, Noah makes a prophecy concerning each one of his sons. So he talks to Ham first. He refers to Ham through
his descendants, Canaan. The writer is making
sure that the connection between Ham and the Canaanites is made. Today, how would we say that? The apple does not fall far from the tree. Well, here, he’s saying, you know Ham, his descendants are Canaanites. The reader is saying,
oh, okay, now we get it. We know what kind of guy this is, but the specific curse
is that the descendants of Ham will be in a position
of service to the descendants of the other two brothers. This does not describe or
support the idea of slavery or conquest, however. History shows that the Sumerians, for example, the Egyptians, the Ethiopians,
some of the Oriental peoples who were descendants of Ham were never historically enslaved to anyone, however, history shows that their concerns historically as a people, Ham’s descendants have been in the area of
serving the cursed earth, if you wish in their
pursuit of development, whereas the Shemites have
had a more theological bent and the Japhites have had
a knack for philosophy and commerce. So the curse, the prophecy
about Ham is that he’d be a servant of the earth, he
would toil in the earth, he would develop things
to make the earth work and be in service to the others. Now I want to make an aside here,
a parenthetical statement. Several centuries ago,
many trying to justify the slavery of Africans
and others but mainly here in the United States,
interpreted this verse to say that God had cursed
the Black man to slavery and a white man was
justified in owning slaves because this was their
position and they would say because the Bible says so. A lot of people say, how did
people who call themselves Christians and go to church
on Sunday and Wednesday or whatever, how did they then
go back to their plantations and have slaves? How did these two things work? Well, these two things worked
because of this particular passage of scripture that
was interpreted by preachers and teachers and so on
and so forth to justify and to permit the keeping
of Black people as slaves. Well first of all, as I
said, not all descendants of Ham were Black, that’s to begin with. Secondly, it was service
that the Hamites provided, not slavery, not slavery. Slavery is immoral. It’s immoral, slavery is immoral. So God would not, you
understand what I’m saying, He would not institutionalize
a thing that is immoral. So it’s highly unlikely
that Noah under the power of the spirit of God
would curse an entire race of people to perpetual slavery, but if your main income is derived and supported by keeping slaves, you might have a hard
time grasping this idea. You might prefer going with
the other interpretation because it would be more self-serving. Historically, the Hamitic
peoples have provided the world with basic
concepts and inventions, tools that serve the
purposes of the other races but they themselves have
never taken full advantage of their own innovations. I mean, the Hamitic people,
they were the original explorers and settlers of
almost all parts of the world after the tower of Babel. They were the first to
cultivate vegetables and livestock in an organized way, first to develop basic
structural forms and tools, first to develop weaving
and fabric devices. They discovered the use
of medicines and surgery. They invented basic math
and navigation, surveying, I’m going on and on here,
banking, postal systems, commerce, trade. They were the first to develop
these types of activities in the world, not just Ham and his son, I mean the people that
come out of that source. Paper, ink, printing,
communication, first developed by various ancestors of Ham. They provided much of the
essential building blocks for social development,
but they did not gain advantage or prosperity because of their overall contribution. That’s what Noah’s prophecy is about. You’re going to be in
service to the others. The others are going to make
bank with what you develop and what you produce. So in this way, they were
the servant of servants. They served the interests
of the other two. The Hamites served the material interests of the other two brothers
and their descendants, but the Bible does not,
not just this verse, but if you take the entire Bible, you can’t support the
idea of human slavery. I mean, you can’t. Alright, what about Shem? Only got five minutes,
gotta move quickly here. Very little is said about Shem, right, but the little bit that
we have speaks volumes. The Shemites who became the Semites or the Semitic people and
from Shem’s descendants came Abraham, from whom
came the Jewish people, and through whom came the
Lord Jesus Christ, Shem. So there’s a glimmer of this promise here because only for Shem does Noah mention a relationship and a knowledge of God. It doesn’t mention God for Ham, doesn’t mention God for Japheth, but he does mention God for Shem. So we know of Shem, that
he was spiritual in nature. As a matter of fact, the term Jehovah is used here for Lord,
implying that Shem knew the true God intimately and
not just through his father. Also mentioned is the
fact that Ham would serve his interests in the future. Alright, Japheth, the last one, Noah says three things about Japheth. He would be enlarged. This term does not mean geographically but rather philosophically,
meaning open-minded, curious, wide interests. He also said he would dwell in tents. That terms means to have fellowship with. These two would share
their lives and talents and advantages with one another. Also, Ham would serve
the interest of Japheth, as I’ve explained. So these three men, they don’t
represent individual races, like Black, White, Oriental or Asian. They represent streams of nation that have a variety of races mixed with each one. They do represent in a
general way, however, how each stream has developed. Let me show you that. The Semites from Shem, they
have dominated religious motivations centered in Monotheism. From the Shemites, we have the main Monotheistic religions. The Jews and the Muslims
come from the Shemites. The Zoroastrians, an ancient
religion, Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism was a
Monotheistic religion. So from Shem, we get the
great Monotheistic religions, just as Noah had said. That tribe would be sensitive
to spiritual things. The Japhites, their descendants include the Greeks and
the Romans, Europeans, Americans if you’re wondering, I’m an American, where did I come from? Well if you come from Europe
or something like that, this is where you go
back, where we go back. The Japhites have excelled
and stressed science and philosophy in their development. Then the Hamites, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Asians, Africans, they
have pioneered settlement and cultivation and technology. Now there are exceptions. Of course, there’s crossovers, but the general trend
historically has followed the model originally set
up by Noah in his prophecy. Last verse says “Noah lived 350 years “after the flood. “So all the days of Noah were 950 years “and he died.” So what this is telling us,
the writer who’s writing this that Noah was the last
patriarch to be unaffected by the new environment,
living longer than anyone other than Jared and Methuselah. The idea here is that,
now, we’re going to begin seeing people and when they
start giving their ages, they’re not going to be
anymore 900, 800, 700. Now the ages are going to be 300, 200, 100. We see now the affect
of the harsh environment that people live in
and the change of diet, the introduction of
disease in the environment and so on and so forth
is going to take a toll on human life and it’s
going to shrink down. Okay, so the end of the life of the man who lived in both worlds,
before and after the flood. Next week, we’re going to
go to the tower of Babel and see how the nations developed from that particular incident.

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