Genesis 8–11: Rinse & Repeat

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 3: Monday

Monday’s Bible reading is Genesis 8–11.  Chapters 8 and 9 tell the events of Noah’s life as the Flood ends and his family begins life again on land.  In 10 and 11, his three sons and their descendants are traced as they separate by families, languages, lands and nations; the building of the Tower of Babel and the subsequent scattering of people is found in the first half of chapter 11.

Noah and the Flood are mentioned several places in the New Testament to provide understanding of judgment and salvation.  1 Peter 3:20b–21 is one reference.  In his commentary on 1 Peter, Edmund Clowney explains:

“By providing the ark, God saved Noah and his family from the judgment of the flood.  That deliverance, however, did not in itself give eternal life to the eight persons who were spared.  Like the exodus liberation, it was a symbol of God’s final salvation from all sin and death.  Peter uses the term ‘antitype’ to describe the relation of the new to the old.  (3:21; NIV’s verb symbolizes translates the Greek noun antitypos).  This use of ‘type’ and ‘antitype’ is itself figurative, drawn from the striking of coins or the impression of seals.  ‘Type’ describes either a matrix from which an impression is made or an image created.  In the letter to the Hebrews, the typology is vertical.  That is, the heavenly realities are called the ‘type’ and the earthly symbolizes the ‘antitype’.  The tabernacle in the wilderness was therefore the antitype of the heavenly sanctuary.  In Paul’s letters and here in 1 Peter, the typology is horizontal in history:  the Old Testament is the type, and therefore Christ’s fulfillment is the antitype.”

Jesus also speaks of Noah:

“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Matthew 24:37–39

As I was reading Genesis 8–11, I noted the same characteristics of God:  He is merciful and kind; He is holy and judges sin.  Man has not changed either.  God reiterates the words of  Genesis 6:5 in Genesis 8:21b: “…for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”   In chapter 9, Noah becomes drunk and his son Ham dishonors him, while in chapter 11, the Tower of Babel is constructed out of man’s prideful heart.

Cain did not learn from God’s judgment on his mother and father.  Noah’s descendants haven’t learned anything from God’s judgment with the Flood.  Despite seeing or hearing of God’s judgment on sin and rebellion, man’s desire is to be like God and the evil intent of his heart remain unchanged.

God’s lovingkindness remains, and He has plans to break this cycle caused by hearts of stone.  At the end of chapter 11, a man named Abram is born, and through him, God will bless all the families of the earth.

_________
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Edmund Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter, 1988, pp. 164–165.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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