Devotion on Notable Firsts of the Bible (First Sacrifice of New World), 30 April 2015 Anno Domini
“20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
It should be a comfort to us to know that the first father of the New World (Noah) found grace in the eyes of the LORD in contrast with the first and federal father of the old created world FELL from grace in the eyes of the LORD. The first and only act of worship we find with Adam was his partaking of the forbidden fruit of the serpent, while that of Noah was a goodly and sweet-smelling sacrifice to the Lord his Maker, and at the very moment he stepped outside the Ark at Ararat. The sacrifice of Noah was not unlike that sacrifice made by righteous Abel who was slain by his rebellious brother, Cain. “And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” (Gen 4:4-5) Cain stands in the place of his father Adam as a sinner and murderer. The DNA was fixed in Adam before the Tree. Cain inherited that sinner’s DNA just as did Abel. Cain submitted to the temptation to sin – Abel did not. Abel’s spirit warred against the sinful nature he had inherited from Adam and was accepted by God. Cain was rejected! Cain blames his sin on God instead of its rightful sponsor, the serpent (the Devil).
Do we remember the number of each kind of animal that was with Noah in the Ark? We may be tempted to answer two – male and female of each – but that would not be precisely correct. “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.” (Gen 6:19-21) This was a general commandment to Noah of all species; however, God later gives Noah an exception to this general direction. “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.” (Gen 7:1-3)
It is generally agreed that God gave Noah directions for seven each (with the females) of all clean animals for the purpose of providing meat for those eight souls in the Ark that complied with the food laws that were later canonized by Moses. Why did God tell Noah to take seven male and female of every fowl? “to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.” Birds eat every kind of berry and fruit. The seeds of those plants are dispersed abroad through the alimentary canal of those fowl. God makes provision for EVERYTHING! I need not tell the thinking reader why God instructed pairs of male and female in all cases. Even in that wicked day, homosexuality does not seem to have been prevalent. If it was, and God had commanded only “male & male,” or “female & female,” I doubt you or I would be here today, what think thee?
Noah was not a perfect man, or pure in his righteousness. He was a fellow of great faith in the LORD his God, but he was susceptible to the same temptations and woeful desires that afflict every man descended from Adam. By the way, there has been only one man born of woman who was not descended from Adam. I am sure you will know that that man was Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus was not tainted with the sin-nature that infected the blood of Adam and his progeny, yet, He too was tempted in the same manner we are, but He never succumbed to those temptations. The Father of Jesus was God the Father, and therefore Jesus had the Father’s blood.
Noah became a farmer after the flood. God reiterates His first commandment that He gave in the Garden: “And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” (Gen 9:7) God’s plan could not have been fulfilled if ‘homosexual marriage’ prevailed in that day. “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.” (Gen 9:20) The product of vineyards is grapes, and grapes are the fruit from which real wine is made. It was real wine that Jesus converted from water at the Marriage Feast at Cana of Galilee, and it was real wine that Jesus served at the Last Supper contrary to those who aver that is was only grape juice. Grape juice, in that day, could not have been preserved without souring. IT WAS REAL WINE, Mates! It is unlikely that Noah would have become drunk on grape juice, but surely real wine was the culprit. “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.” (Gen 9:21)
There is no sin in drinking a bit of wine, but there is sin in drinking wine immoderately. Once an elderly gentleman in the Philippines asked me, in a village forum, if he could continue to drink rice wine after accepting Christ? My answer, and I believe it to be biblical, was that there was no sin in the drinking of wine unless the drinking caused us to sin. Noah drank enough wine that his conscience would not have strongly resisted sin. I do not believe Noah sinned in any greater matter than in drinking immoderately – that is so much that his mind could have been altered to the point of succumbing to any sinful desire that could have presented itself. That is the grave danger of drinking alcohol, or consuming drugs, today. It alters the mind that God gave you so that grave sin is often the result. Noah drank so much that he was unaware of any sin that may have been conducted either with, or against, him.
Ham committed some unnamed sin against his father. The sin was certainly not one of ‘accidentally’ finding his father naked. He did SOMETHING to his father and the Bible observes the sensibilities of not relating precisely what the sin was. At any rate, Noah, when he awoke, knew what sin Ham had committed against him. Though this is reading into the script, the only sin that seems reasonable is that of a sexual nature given the circumstances under which it was committed. “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” (Gen 9:22-23) So from what textual reference do I conclude that Ham DID some sin against his father? “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” (Gen 9:24-25)
Bear in mind that Ham is the father of Canaan – the traditional enemies of God’s people, Israel. I cannot conclude the precise sin since the Bible is silent regarding it, but I believe Noah’s reaction to it implies one of severity.
The three sons of Noah – Shem, Ham, and Japheth – were the ones by which the entire world was populated; and they are the source of each racial group of mankind.
“And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. 29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.” (Gen 9:28-29) It must occur to thinking scholars of scripture that there must be some distinct reason for the advanced ages to which men lived in the pre-flood age. There have been several possibilities advanced by both science and theologians. One such theory is that God simply and arbitrarily decided that the evil of men’s hearts is a growing evil, and a shorter life would result in less sin. The second theory and one which seems plausible to me, is this: Sin has an advancing and debilitating effect, not only on the soul, but the body as well. As time continues, we see the effects of sin have grown and cut short the lives of many. The DNA itself seems corrupted by sin and such corruption causes – not improvement – but ugly mutations of character and health.
There is a third theory advanced by men such as the late learned Dr. Henry Morris that there was no rain in the antediluvian world. The basis for this claim is taken from Genesis 1:6-7 – “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” The literal interpretation of this passage implies that a watery canopy surrounded the earth high above in the upper atmosphere. This mantle of water filtered harmful rays of the sun from entering the atmosphere, and also kept the environmental temperature of the earth nearly constant and ideal for comfort. According to this theory, plant life and foliage were watered by a heavy dew that arose at night to water the earth. “ . . . there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen 2:5-7)
I do not know which of these theories is correct – or, indeed, if either of them is so – but in the end, it makes no difference for our salvation. Whatever God has spoken, we can be sure that it is absolute truth. Our understanding may not be perfect, but His Word is always perfect. In our new births, let us do as Noah did and serve the LORD first and foremost.