THE POST DILUVIAL COVENANTEdit
This is an unconditional and everlasting covenant which Yahweh God made with Noach in response to the burnt offering which he made as a priest before God, to consecrate the renewed earth after the judgment of the flood. Genesis 8:20 The flood had a devastating effect upon the earth and had brought in many changes which required some amendments and reassurances from the previous covenant made to Adam.
THE RENEWED EARTHEdit
When the flood waters covered the earth, it reverted to a similar state of desolation as at the beginning (Gen.1: 2). This reversal became like a new start for fallen man on the earth.
With the breaking of the water canopy over the earth which precipitated in rain, the climate altered dramatically as it had previously kept the earth in an even temperature. With the breaking up of the ocean depths and the subsequent upheavals on the earth's surface that changed the surface of the land mass and eroded the soil, the conditions on the earth were very different to what they had been before.
From scientific evidence, it appears that a shift in the earth's axis at this time tilted it from the upright position in it's rotation around the sun and as a result the four seasons as we now know them, were created. Now, rather than an even temperature over the earth, there were definite times for "seedtime and harvest", definite areas of "cold and hot", "winter and summer", with greater contrasts also in the conditions of "day and night". The earth was an entirely different place! Genesis 8:21-22
In the flood, the Garden of Eden was destroyed and as a result, there was no longer a sanctuary, a consecrated area of God, a place set aside for Him on the earth. It would remain so until Moses' time.
THE JUDGMENT ON THE ANTE-DILUVIAL WORLDEdit
The scripture tells us that mankind degraded to the point that "the intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" and that the wickedness of man was so great upon the earth that "Yahweh was sorry that He had made man" (Genesis 6: 5, 6).
"The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth." Genesis 6:11-12
It has been the understanding of Jewish historians and the early church up till the records of Augustine of Hippo (405AD) that there was an infiltration of the human race by the fallen angels fornicating with the "daughters of men" (Genesis 6: 4), which was the cause of this corruption of the human race. The Hebrew text indicates that Noach was the only one who was still "perfect in his generations" (Gen.6: 9).
Josephus says that some angels: "Made God to be their enemy; for many angels of God accompanied with women and begat sons that proved unjust." (Antiquities of the Jews [Bk.1: 3,1])
Jude also refers to these angels who became inflamed with unnatural lust and left their original state to engage in immorality (Jude 6-7). The Book of Enoch also records the misdeeds of these fallen angels.
Satan desired to so corrupt both the physical and soulish aspects of the human race that it would become impossible for the Messiah to be birthed into the world. The flood served the purpose of destroying Satan's progeny, these "mighty men" of angelic offspring, and thwarting his conspiracy.
Judgment was also brought upon the fallen angels themselves who engaged in this sin and they were bound in everlasting chains to await their final judgment. Thus the earth was cleansed and delivered from this Satanic infiltration. The scripture tells us that there were giants in the earth after those days but their influence was limited. Gen.6: 4; Nu.13:33; Deut. 2:10-11 There is indication that great perversion took place in creation, in the crossing of human and animal species both through crossbreeding and genetic monitoring. The whole earth had become corrupt.
The flood served as a warning for all in the future who would live ungodly. 2 Peter 2: 4-6
THE PROMISE OF THE COVENANTEdit
"I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" Genesis 8:21-22
This was an assurance of the continuity of the earth's present conditions for all Noach's descendants and also with every living creature on the renewed earth. It was a new start on a new earth, a different earth.
Yahweh instated Noach as the new federal head of the race and renewed the injunction to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth", giving him a redemptive renewal of the original covenant. (Genesis 9: 1; 1:28). Then He began to outline the adjustments that had become necessary for the changed earth.
Firstly, man is allowed to eat animal flesh as well as the "green herbs" which had already been given to them. But he is told not to eat any flesh which still has the blood (the life of the animal), in it. Genesis 9: 3-4 The vegetation of the earth no longer had the same nutrients in it, so man is allowed to substitute his diet with meat. Noach knows the difference between clean and unclean animals. Genesis 7: 2-3; 8:20
An accounting was to take place for all shed blood on the earth. Whereas before violence filled the earth and the earth became polluted by the shedding of blood, now every life that is taken, is to be accounted for and retribution is to be made. Noach is given authority to administer justice on the earth. Genesis 9: 5, 6
Adam's descendants up till now had not been given the authority to do this. No vengeance was to be taken on Cain's sin and we see no administration of justice by man with Cain or with Lamech and violence went on unrestrained. Man was allowed to live by his own individual conscience of right and wrong, he was not yet mature enough to share in the judicial office over others. Genesis 4: 8-15, 23-24
When man had gone beyond the point of redemption and had expended His grace, Yahweh God meted out the just judgment of execution upon the lives of the sinful, corrupt pre-diluvial world. Capital punishment would now be the means whereby the earth would be kept from again being filled with violence. Although they obviously knew the commandments of God under the previous covenant, as seen by both Cain and Lamech's responses, now the sanctity of human life is given more emphasis, with penalties.
This is an extension of the function in the earth from that of a priest to that of a judge. The role of administering justice is that of a king. We see Noach entering into this role when he blesses his sons and curses Canaan for the breaking God's commandment of looking upon the nakedness of his parent. This is evidence of spiritual growth in the progression of man from the role of priesthood to that of kingship, to maintain order and preserve the race from further judgements. Genesis 9:20-27
Then Yahweh made a vow, that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood, making it a covenant promise to Noach, his descendants after him, and every living creature on the earth. Genesis 9: 8-11
This is a promise of protection, provision and continuance of the pattern of life for the human race. When He later entered into covenant with David, He referred back to this promise and it's perpetuity as a sign of the integrity and surety of His promises. Jeremiah 33:19-26; 31;35-37
THE SACRIFICE FOR THE COVENANTEdit
The sacrifices which Noach made indicates that he had a knowledge of the different laws and requirements for sacrificial offerings which would have been taught to Adam, and handed down the generations. Gen. 8:20 Likewise they knew Yahweh's righteous requirements and standards for living, His laws and statutes.
It was only after the dispersion from the tower of Babel that the knowledge of the sacrificial laws became distorted and mixed with idolatry, but even so, remnants of it remained in most heathen cultures.
Men made altars of stone upon which they offered their sacrifices but a particular place or structure for worship was not decreed by Yahweh God. Redemption rested on the priesthood of the head of each family. But man in his rebellion, began to establish his own way of redemption in a political unity and centering themselves at Babel in an edifice to reach into the heavens, contrary to His command to refill the earth.
The tower of Babel was a declaration of independence from God to establish their own religion and their own way of worship in a self-governed society, by a self-devised path to "spiritual" life. Genesis 11: 3-4
To preserve a remnant and overthrow their rebellious purpose, Yahweh confused their language so that they no could longer understand one another and maintain their unity. As a result they began to gather in ethnic groups of the same 'tongue' and separate from one another, becoming scattered over the face of the whole earth which He had originally commanded them. Genesis 11: 5-9 Evidence is seen in the ziggurat pyramid-like structures over the world, where each group, after they were scattered, attempted to duplicate what they were seeking to achieve at Babel in reaching to "heaven". All of the ancient religions have similar characteristics, centered around a priesthood inherited from the 'gods', the fallen angels whom they were deifying and worshipping.
With this judgment, Satan was thwarted in seeking to establish his one-world counterfeit religion and set up his government over the earth. By the dispersion of the forces of the kingdom of Satan when the people were separated, Yahweh was able to initiate His plan of calling out a nation that would bring forth His kingdom in the earth.
THE SEAL OF THE COVENANTEdit
"And God said: This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9:12-13
Yahweh said it would be a sign for every living creature and that He "will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant"" between God and every living creature. Genesis 9:14-17
It is like an icon in the sky that tells you that Almighty God will never again annihilate all mankind, but that He will remember the covenant which He made with every living creature.
When speaking to the rebellious House of Israel (the ten tribes) whom He eventually divorced because of their continued idolatry, it was to this covenantal sign that He referred, as their assurance that He would not permanently forsake them. He likens His wrath with them to the storm which is followed by the bow in the sky, as a promise of assurance that He will once again restore them to Himself. Isaiah 54, verses 8-10
And faithfully, regardless of the iniquity of man, Yahweh God has kept His covenant promise to not destroy the earth again for man's sake. The rainbow continues to appear as the token of His covenant.
All of Noach's descendants that have lived in a society where there is a judicial system, who do not come under the Abrahamic covenants, come under this one. It is binding upon all the inhabitants of the earth who live in a society of established laws and they will be judged in the resurrection under the terms of this covenant.
The terms of which are -- 1. Worshipping the one true God - no idolatry (inherent in all covenants) 2. The sanctity of Marriage - no immorality (established in Eden) 3. The sanctity of human life - no destruction of human life 4. No blood to be eaten - nothing which has died of itself or which has been :strangled (i.e. not drained of it's blood)
These basic requirements from the Noachic covenant are what the Jerusalem Council put forth to those who were turning to God from among the nations, that they were to begin to observe, in order to be received into fellowship. Their spiritual growth would motivate them in a fuller observance of God's laws. Acts 15:28-29