Friday, January 03, 2014

Genesis 8-11 Fire can only burn a patch once

From Genesis 8-11
Gen 8.1; Story; God remembers Noah and all the animals with him. God subsides the waters.
Gen 8.2-5; Story; The waters continue to drop and they can eventually see mountains again
Gen 8.6-12; Story; Noah sends out birds to see if the waters had subsided.
Gen 8.13-19; Story; The earth is now dry and God commands Noah and everyone else to leave the ark.
Gen 8.20-22; Story; Noah offers burnt offerings on an altar. The LORD smells the aroma and vows never again to curse the ground (Adam's curse) and never again to strike down every living creature (Noah's flood)
Gen 9.1-17; Story; God blesses, commands and warns Noah and his sons. God makes a rainbow covenant with Noah.
Gen 9.18-28; Story; Noah drinks and gets naked. Noah's sons respond differently and are judged accordingly.
Gen 10.1-32; Story; The generations of Noah from which the nations spread over the earth after the flood.
Gen 11.1-9; Story; The people of the earth build a city and a tower and the LORD descends and scatters them.
Gen 11.10-26; Story; Shem's descendants reaching to Terah and Abram.
Gen 11.27-32; Story; The generations of Terah introducing Abram and Lot.

Passage and comments
There are a few interesting tidbits in this passage below;

[20] Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. [21] And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. [22] While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Gen 8.20-22)

The first is the burnt offering Noah offered. How did Noah know what a burnt offering was? He probably picked it up from the people he just left behind. Otherwise perhaps the LORD told him? But why would the LORD impose a levitical law on him? There are other possibilities I won’t go into know.

Perhaps as a result of the pleasing aroma the LORD vows three things.

He will never again curse the ground. This harks back to Genesis 3 where God cursed the ground, or is there another curse? What does it mean for God to have cursed the ground since it may now be no longer cursed? We have another reference to the intentions of mans heart being evil. This time from youth.

The second vow is that the LORD will never again strike down every living creature.

The third is while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. While the earth remains. Interesting way of putting things.

Story of Jesus
Where a fire has burned it cannot burn again. I suspect this is much like what we have read here regarding Noah and the flood. The LORD promises never to do it again. Jesus death is the same. It was a one time act, never again to be repeated. Jesus took the punishment we deserve. So if we do sin again. We know that Jesus death on the cross has already paid for this sin as well. When Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, he removed from his people the possibility they would experience the punishment of God. Once saved, always saved. That’s what we call assurance.