PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 9
Theme: The Covenant Of Grace
Key Text: Verse 9


            The terror of the flood was history! The dark night had passed away. A new day was dawning! As a new civilization began its new career, the light of a new covenant was revealed! Originating with God, the Noahic covenant was established in pure grace. The Divine “I will’s” (9:11, 15, 16), or the unconditional promises, as opposed to the “Thou shalt’s” (Gen. 2:17) of the former Edenic agreement, so vividly represent the new and better covenant in Christ (see Heb. 8:8-12).


1. The Setting Of The Covenant
            Noah and his family didn’t step out of the ark into the same old world. The first one had “perished,” (2 Pet. 3:6) and they entered a brand new atmosphere. As F. B. Meyer suggests, it was “the world of resurrection,” and thus an environment of special blessing and fruitfulness (see 9:1). It was a sphere of exaltation and dominion (see 9:2-4). Under heavenly guidelines, it was also a realm of safety and peace (see 9:5,6). Similarly, because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, the world of the new covenant, along with its many benefits, is provided for us.


2. The Sign Of The Covenant
            The charter of the new age was sealed with a “token” (9:12), or a sign. The “bow in the cloud” (9:13) accompanied God’s promise to never send another “flood” that would “destroy all flesh” (9:15). It was “God’s proof of His faithfulness to the children of men” (R. S. Candlish). Since, as Matthew Henry points out, “this bow has neither string nor arrow,” that which is usually an indication of war is a becoming portrait of grace and peace. Besides this, the rainbow doesn’t arch downward, but upward– so depictive of our acceptance in Christ.


3. The Success Of The Covenant
            In spite of the past, the Lord was gracious in this new hour. Yes, the earth had been overspread with wickedness. Consequently, it had been overspread with the waters of God’s wrath. But, now, through the kindness of God, “the whole earth” began to be “overspread” with people again (9:19). Although Noah and Ham failed miserably (see 9:21,22), grace triumphed! In God’s dealings with Shem and Japheth, we learn that His blessings are greater than His curses! Of course, this is another reminder of our wonderful position in Christ.



            A boy had stolen several things out of his neighbor’s shed. Knowing this, the neighbor purposefully invited him over for a meal and treated him royally for the evening. He was thanked for coming and even given a standing invitation to visit frequently. Soon after, the stolen items were returned. In God’s covenant of grace, the guilty sinner is brought into the vast realm of divine kindness and is so blessed in Christ that a life of sin is forsaken and a life of holiness pursued.