God has big plans for all of us. In fact, God’s revealed will for mankind can be found in all sixty six books of the Bible. But because this is a blog post and not a dissertation, here are three things that Genesis 9 reveals about God’s plans for us!
1. A culture of life.
God always planned for us to thrive in His earth–it’s us who upset the plan. From Adam and Eve’s rebellion (that lead to mankind’s mortality) to Noah’s peers thinking evil continually (that lead to the global flood) to the abortion culture that makes the murder of innocents okay for the sake of ease and convenience,¹ we seem to always be rushing on to death.
This is partly because it’s in our degenerative nature to rebel against anything God wills, and partly because Satan, the murderer (Jn. 8:44, KJV), is very influential. Like air, he permeates our culture’s atmosphere (Eph. 2:1-2).
But we can’t let him. As Christians, we’re called to promote a culture that values life. That values it to the point that, every time we look at another human being (no matter how irritating), we see a glimmer of God’s image peaking through (Lk 6:32-36).
Of course, valuing life also means punishing those who seek to devalue it (Gen. 9:6), but in the end, killing murders prevents them from creating more victims. And unlike what some may think, God does differentiate between killing the guilty and murdering the innocent.
And you may not find this applicable to you because you’re unlikely to be a lawmaker. But you can talk to politicians, you can speak up on social media, and you can talk to your friends and family about the importance of valuing life. And even if you don’t manage to influence anyone around you, you have control over your own mind.
You can choose to remember that each person around you has a name, a story, a passion, a dream, and an idea about the future. Remember that when people are hard to deal with, and remember that when you feel the Spirit compelling you to share the Gospel.
2. A culture of faith
I remember a time when finances were low and yet I didn’t find myself worried at all. I knew that God had helped my hardworking, determined parents in the past, and I knew He’d do it again. It was simple.
But now that I’m becoming an adult, I find I like to take control of my life a lot more. I like to know the end from the beginning, know the reason why before I obey, and know all the date prior to taking small and measured risks. It’s hard to keep faith ingrained in my nature, but that’s what God requires of me–and what He requires of you.
To do this, we must remember that Babel was man’s best attempt to come together on their own. They built a tall tower and came together to protect themselves against another disaster. And they wanted to communicate and plead with God in case they could sway him out of throwing a hurricane or something similar their way. It sounds like good preparation–amazingly, it even sounds spiritual.
But they were showing just how little faith they had that God would keep His promise to not flood the earth globally again. They were showing that they weren’t satisfied with God’s sacrificial system and the way of prayer. They were painting God as something lower than He is. They were making Him out to be simply a super-powered human, like the petty Greco-Roman gods.
Not that mythology isn’t interesting to read, but it’s only interesting because all the gods are petty and create unnecessary drama for the human world and their own.
Their fallible nature resonates with ours and makes these mythical gods intriguing, but also makes it nigh-impossible to like any of them. They’re too much like the worst parts of us, after all.
Yet God makes it clear that His perfection sets him apart from man (Ps. 50:21).
And that’s wonderful news. God’s perfection is how we know He won’t lie and cheat us like people do. He won’t double-cross us. He won’t fake us out. When He says He won’t send a global flood again, He means it.
And to reassure us of how firm this promise is, God uses the word covenant seven times (Gen. 9:9, 11-13, 15-17) and reminds us that this covenant will last for “perpetual generations” (Gen. 9:12), calling it an “everlasting covenant” (Gen. 9:16).
God put 5467 promises in the Bible to encourage us and help us through life, but they won’t mean much to us if we don’t trust that our God’s faithful to keep His word. So let’s put some faith in the God we trusted our souls’ eternal destination to. Let’s study His promises and stand on His Word.
3. A culture of respect
It’s funny that when we are in school, we’re told to obey authority figures and be kind to one another.
Then, when we’re older, we’re told to be leaders and to withstand peer pressure.
These are all good thing, but sometimes after all that education, we want to think ourselves very grown up, so we either try to become leaders or admire and envy those who clearly have a knack for it. And even the second crowd, the not-great-at-leadership crowd, still like to think that obeying authority is a thing of the past.
Rebellion appeals to us because it promises us that we’ll be free–and isn’t that an attractive thought? But rebellion lies just like every other sin, and we shouldn’t believe it.
Of course, the workforce should eventually sort out that foolish thought process, but I’ve seen grown ups who feel annoyed every time they must obey their boss. They hate the hierarchy because they have forgotten how to be good followers.
They haven’t yet realized that the best leaders are good followers of an even better leader. Or as Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).
There’s no shame in showing respect to whom it’s due (Matt. 22:21). Respect is what leads us to honor those in authority over us, even when they really don’t deserve it at the moment, like Noah getting himself intoxicated (Gen. 9:20-21, 24; Eph. 5:18).
Let’s not forget that Paul, under God’s inspiration, told us the Roman believers that we must obey authority–and the authority at that time persecuted Christians (Rom. 13:1-8). Of course, disobedience to a specific man-made law is okay if that specific law is stopping us from following God’s law, but that’s the only exception granted to us (Acts 5:27-29).
And if we don’t obey? Well, we end up like Ham, disrespecting authority until it gets us into trouble. His punishment was that his son Canaan would be forced into serving his brothers. It’s a bit ironic, considering that sin is an attempt to rebel against the ultimate Ruler of mankind.
Hopefully, none of us will have to be blasted with something quite that bad before we come to our senses. If lack of honor for an intoxicated father is enough to earn Canaan a curse, and the keeping of honor for said intoxicated father is enough to earn Shem and Japheth a blessing, we’d be wise to learn to respect even the most irritating people in authority.
They may not reward us, but God certainly will. And it’s His opinion that matters in the end, isn’t it?
Maybe you’re thinking about being a leader, after all most of us find that more attractive than following orders. That’s not a bad desire. But just remember, good leaders don’t pop brilliant ideas out of nowhere.
If they’re scientists, they use scientific laws and their knowledge of consumers’ nature to make their great innovations.
If they’re artists, they use God’s creation and the principles of balance to make the foreground and background combine into a masterpiece.
If they’re writers, they use their observations of human nature and the natural law to write books that resonate with readers.
In other words, every great leader is always learning a pattern that God already weaved into our universe, and building with the materials that God already created thousands of years ago.
How much more should Christians rely on the principles that God shows us in Scripture? Too many Christian leaders are seeking new and questionable meanings to Scripture passages that are out of context.
It’s sad to see so many so-called free-thinkers refuse to be good followers of the Scripture’s literal interpretation, preferring instead to be duped followers of the debauched and out-of-context interpretations.
So know how to lead well. Lead well by knowing what you stand for and why. Follow Jesus instead of needlessly rebelling against him, as if mankind could ever know more or achieve more than the Omnipotent and Omniscient God. He’s the best leader to follow, you know.
And if you follow Him, you might just find yourself someone else’s spiritual leader.
Just don’t forget to respect God and the law even when you’re in charge. After all, even leaders are under the law. And thank God for that! We sometimes get annoyed when we disagree with authority figures, but it’s a relief to know that God will deal with bad leaders himself (Col. 4:1), and that, as long as we’re not breaking any of God’s principles, it’s always a blessing to obey (Col. 3:22-25).
1. This is a reference to abortion. If you don’t know why I’m equating abortion to
murder, please see Ps. 139:13-16.