The aim of this passage is to cause us to learn how highly God values human life, how the rainbow is a sign of a covenant between God and all flesh and how Canaan, Ham’s son, came to be cursed.
God blessed Noah and his sons and declared that all blood that was shed would have to be accounted for (Gen 9:1-7)
God highly values human life especially, the lives of sinners.
God blessed Noah and his sons. He made them fruitful so that they would fill the earth. God declared that the animals and fish would fear man and man would have dominion over them. All the animals would be food for man in that same way that plants were. However, animal flesh would not be eaten with blood in it which here God calls the animals life. This, I think, was to remind them that human blood and therefore human life was precious and when shed, needed to be accounted for. Where it was at the hand of an animal or another person. God declared that a person that kills another human being would be killed by other human beings because man was created by God in His own image. He also declared that man would multiply and increase greatly to fill the earth.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Matthew 6:25-26 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
How does knowing how highly God values human life affect how you show your love for others?
God established a covenant between Himself and all flesh never to use a flood again to destroy them (Gen 9:8-17)
God has no desire for the destruction of the world.
God then spoke to Noah and his sons to establish a covenant with them their descendants and all the living things that came from the ark. In this covenant, God declared that He would not destroy all living things and the earth using a flood. As a sign of this covenant God put the rainbow in the clouds so that whenever it rained and the rainbow is visible in the clouds, God would remember and keep the water from becoming a flood to destroy all animals and man. The rainbow would be a sign of the covenant between God and all flesh on earth.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
How does this passage change your attitude towards witnessing to the world?
Canaan is cursed to serve his brothers because Ham, his father, shamed Noah (Gen 9:18-29)
We are to honor our parents.
All the people on earth descended from the sons of Noah. These were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah, being a farmer, planted a vineyard and on a particular day he drank the wine made from his vineyard, got drunk and passed out naked in his tent. Ham, his son and the father of Canaan, saw Noah naked and told his brothers. Shem and Japheth took a garment and walking backward so that they would not see their father naked, they went into the tent and covered him. When Noah later woke up and found out that Ham had shamed him, he cursed Canaan, Ham’s son, to become the lowest servant to his brothers. Noah blessed Shem and Japheth and cursed Canaan to be their servant. After the flood Noah lived another 350 years and died at the age of 950 years.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
How can you give more honor to your parents today, even if you think they do not deserve it?