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Sabbath School Lessons on Beginnings and Belongings
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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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!
- Meat and Drink
- 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
- Is it difficult to obey these instructions?
- 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").
- What is the motivation for disobeying God?
(Pride! "That we may make a name for
- Do you allow your pride to get in the way of
- 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
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.)
- What is God's penalty for killing a human?
- Why didn't God apply that penalty to Cain?
- 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.)
- 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?
- The Promise
- 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?
- What are humans to do? (Increase life -
reproduce and fill the earth.)
- What will God do? (He, in turn, promises not
to destroy the life they are creating by
- What is the "sign" of this contract? (The
- 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
- 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
- Man of the Soil
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- What is the goal? (To have the tower reach
- 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.")
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- What is the result of God's confusion of the
languages? (The people did exactly what God
wanted - they spread out on the earth.)
- 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
- 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.