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Lesson 6: The Earth After the Flood *

Introduction: The Flood is over, God has saved His faithful. How do they react? Is the earth now one glorious "near heaven" experience? Is all at peace and harmony? Is God lifted up? Or, have humans learned nothing? Let's dive into the Bible and find out!

  1. Meat and Drink

    1. Read Genesis 9:1-3. What post-Flood instructions does God give to humans? (1. Reproduce; 2. Fill the earth; 3. Master the animal kingdom; and, 4. Eat animals.)

      1. Is it difficult to obey these instructions?

    2. Let's skip ahead a couple of chapters. Read Genesis 11:1-4. How does that compare with God's commands? (God told them to fill the earth. They decide to do just the opposite - to build a city and tower and stay in one place ("not be scattered over the face of the whole earth").

      1. What is the motivation for disobeying God? (Pride! "That we may make a name for ourselves.")

      2. Do you allow your pride to get in the way of your obedience?

    3. Look again at Genesis 9:2-3. Do humans have reason to be self-confident? (Yes. God has put them at the top of the chain of creation. But, they want more!)

      1. Would it be a violation of God's order for humans to want less? For example, not to take charge of the animals? (We have this philosophy today in the "species discrimination" crowd. They say we should not eat or wear animals because they are on the same "level" of importance as humans. According to them, the fight against abortion is hypocrisy because of the way we treat animals. This philosophy is directly at odds with the order set up by our Creator and it denigrates the status of humans.)

    4. Read Genesis 9:4-6. We just discussed "species discrimination." Why, according to God, is this an false philosophy? (Humans were made in the image of God!)

      1. What does this say about the theory of evolution? (If you start out on the wrong track, you are going to end up in the wrong place. Believing in the Creation is fundamental to the philosophy of life given to us by God. God says "Humans are made in My image," and all sorts of logical conclusions flow from that. One of those is that you can kill animals to eat without any problem - but neither humans or animals can kill humans.)

      2. What is God's penalty for killing a human? (Death.)

        1. Why didn't God apply that penalty to Cain?

      3. Considering our discussion, why do you think God was particularly interested in the "lifeblood," so much that He told us not to ingest it? (I've mentioned before that my study of the Bible causes me to believe that there are certain "things" that have special significance to God. Without explaining it, light, wine (grape products)and blood are three examples. With blood, what seems to make it special is its connection to life - which we see later in the sanctuary service which foretells Jesus' blood being shed on our behalf to give us life.)

    5. Are all of God's gifts good? For example, I've been a vegetarian for more than 40 years, not because I have any particular regard for animals, but because I have particular regard for myself. I note that after God gave humans animals for food, their life span started radically diminishing. Would it be consistent with God's character to give us a gift that might be good for His overall plan, but not so good in the specific application?

  2. The Promise

    1. Read Genesis 9:7-17. God sets out a covenant, a "contract" or promise to humans. What is the obligation of each under this contract?

      1. What are humans to do? (Increase life - reproduce and fill the earth.)

      2. What will God do? (He, in turn, promises not to destroy the life they are creating by another flood.)

      3. What is the "sign" of this contract? (The rainbow.)

      4. At least in the United States, the sign and colors of the rainbow have been co-opted by the homosexual movement as its symbol. What is particularly ironic about that? (Homosexuals do not reproduce. Perhaps it isn't the "create life" part of the contract in which they are most interested.)

    1. God speaks as if He would have trouble remembering His promise. How do you explain this? What insight into God's character do we get from the rainbow? (We see over and over in the Bible that God uses physical things to remind us of the spiritual. God doesn't want idols in our life, but He does seem to promote memorials.)

  1. Man of the Soil

    1. Read Genesis 9:18-21. Can you think of some reasons why Noah might drink excessively? (Some might call out "three sons!" Remember our discussion about God's promise to destroy the earth?( Genesis 6:13) All of humanity is gone. The earth is likely an ugly place compared to its pre-flood days. It is reasonable that Noah might become depressed.)

    2. Read Genesis 9:22-24. How would you lay the blame here? Why is it that Canaan gets cursed? (Being drunk is not in accord with God's will for His leaders( Titus 1:7). Apparently, that is a lesser problem then failing to show respect for your parents ( Exodus 20:12). I can only imagine that Canaan saw his grandfather Noah laying naked in the tent and he told his father Ham about it. Ham then said to his brothers, "Hey, Dad's naked! Want to see?" To which his brothers replied, "No!" They then took steps to preserve dad's dignity.)

      1. What is the lesson today for children? (Respect is due your parents even when they may fail in doing God's will. Of course, Noah was in general a father who was worthy of great respect - indeed, he had saved his sons' lives from the flood.)

  1. Rebellion

    1. We briefly touched on the tower being built on the plain of Shinar. Read Genesis 11:3-4. What allows them to build a high tower? (Technological advances in construction materials.)

      1. What is the goal? (To have the tower reach into heaven.)

    2. Read Genesis 11:5. Did the tower reach heaven? (I think the writer of Genesis is making a point by saying "God came down" to see the tower. They did not bring their tower to God's level. He couldn't even see it without "coming down.")

    3. How does rebellion begin so fast after the flood? What is at the bottom of this problem? (Pride of intelligence and achievement. A desire for a reputation. Resisting God's directions. It seems related to the reasons why Eve chose to sin.)

    4. Read Genesis 11:6-7. Is God unhappy with the progress of humans? Is God more comfortable with stupid people? (God is uncomfortable with people using their intelligence to oppose Him.)

    5. Read Genesis 11:8-9. Is this fair for God to do? (A Christian lawyer with whom I have worked in the past on religious liberty litigation told me that before he went to court he prayed that his litigation opponents would be confused. This caught my attention because I had always prayed in the past for "our side," but I never prayed for something "bad" for our opponents.)

      1. What do you think - is it God's will to confuse the enemies of His program? (Apparently so. After I thought it through, and decided that this was a proper prayer, I recall in a different case making that prayer and finding that the opposition was, indeed, confused in the litigation.)

      2. What is the result of God's confusion of the languages? (The people did exactly what God wanted - they spread out on the earth.)

    6. Friend, what is your attitude towards God? Do you find that you are often rebelling against what He has written in the Bible? Is pride a problem? Does you life seem confused? Things not going well? How about deciding right now that you will determine to follow God?

  1. Next week: The Man Abram.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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