God's Covenant with Noah... Kind of confusing???

Discussion in 'Exegetical Forum' started by Stope, Jul 27, 2017.

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  1. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    "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."
    ---What cursing of the ground is he referencing? Is it the cursing of the ground by way of the when Adam and Eve's sin caused the earth to produce thorns and such, or is it from when Cain was cursed that the earth would not yield for him?
    ---Further, why did God curse the gound when it is humans who are evil?

    "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.”
    ---What does this mean? Is it implied that since the days of Cain that produce didnt grow (and that was by way of the seasons not doing their thing)?
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The word for "curse" is distinct here, and is not the same as in either of the other two instances. I would say that the "curse" mentioned here at the end of ch.8 is nothing other than the ruin of the first world in the flood.

    As for why the ground is cursed, "ground" is "adamah," it is Adam's source, Adam is the chief creation and lord of it (or was meant to be). It was cursed for his sake, 3:17; for by his sin he ruined not merely himself, but all he was meant to tend and guard. There's a principle of headship ingrained in creation from the very start.

    The promise of v22 is that the earth will continue to spin on its axis and around the sun, and be home for man with no (significant/global) interruption of its perennial cycles until the end of the ages, when God's redemptive purposes for the world in its present form are complete.
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  3. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    ---It does seem to be in that context, but the usage of "curse" threw me off. Thank you

    ---That seems a little bit odd of a thing to promise. It almost seems like he could have said "and the sun will still shine" or birds will still chirp". In other words, why would he have singled out and highlighted this specific fact? I wonder if it might have to do with the fact that the "SCIENTIFIC" reason/mode that God used to cause the flood was that he in some way sort of threw off the seasons... Thoughts?
  4. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The "oddity" comes from what? Agriculture is essential to long-term survival and flourishing of human community. And it depends in great part on seasonal patterns. Focus on what God did say, and ponder the "why" question, rather than "why not." Certainly, for a whole year of flooding the ground, the patterns of weather/seasons were irrelevant to the surviving human race, whatever was happening outside the ark. It literally made no difference.

    Otherwise, your proposal seems to rest on external-to-revelation factors, matters of speculation, or unknowns. Survival of humanity as a rule depends on the world continuing to cycle reliably. There was "day and night" before the flood; why should Noah and crew not recognize the other three cycles, and all four together as a "return to normalcy," which would not again be interrupted until the end of time? To me, that's the obvious intent.
  5. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    One aspect on 8:22; think about how this relates to the new covenant and the gospel. . .

    Jeremiah 33:20-26: 20Thus says the Lord, 'If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, 21then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant. . .25Thus says the Lord, 'If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, 26then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant. . .

    The Lord is referring back to the covenant with Noah—and to Genesis 8:22 in particular. And He's saying—look--if you can do something to break the promise I made to Noah about preserving the fixed patterns of the earth, then—and only then—can you break My Covenant of Grace. If you can stop the sun and moon from coming up, then—and only then—can you nullify or mess up or revoke your standing in the Covenant of Grace. But until then, forget about it—there's nothing you can do to alter the covenant promises I've made to you. And that's not all. Notice that God is not only saying: If you can stop the sun and moon from coming up, you can break My Covenant of Grace (vv20-21)—but He's saying if you can defy time and space so as to make it so that the sun and moon never came up to begin with (vv25-26)—only then can you break My Covenant of Grace with you—but not until then. Your standing in the Covenant of Grace is that secure. It's impossible to change God's purposes of grace towards you. You couldn't do it if you tried. You just don't have that kind of power. God is telling us that there is absolutely nothing we can do to nullify or change or revoke the promises that He's made to us in the Covenant of Grace: “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken” (Isaiah 54:10). God's promises are forever.
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