Page 11 - March 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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perlatively wise God in his oft-sung lines:  that man was made in the image of God,
          Deep in unfathomable mines         and to willfully terminate a human life ex-
          Of never-failing skill,            presses an innate hatred of God. Thus, God
          He treasures up His bright designs  introduced capital punishment (vv5-6). It
          And works His sovereign will.      was not rescinded under Law, and New
                                             Testament teaching does not advocate its
        The Interlude                        abolition. Indeed, it teaches that one of the
          Between expressing different aspects of   state’s duties is to maintain law and order,
                                             including the responsibility of enforcing
        the covenant, God introduced numerous   the death penalty. It is an emotive subject,
        innovations to cater to the new era we   but it is not up to the believer to exact
        call The Dispensation of Human Govern-  vengeance; that is the responsibility of
        ment.  The  survivors  of  the  flood  were   civil government as “the minister of God”
        commissioned to commence the process   (Rom 13:1-7).
        of replenishing the earth (Gen 9:1). Allied
        with that, they were vested with author-  The Covenant: Part 2
        ity over animals, birds and fish, and God
        planted within these creatures an innate   As noted, God’s covenant with Noah
        fear of mankind. It is generally accepted   included humanity (v9); it was a perma-
        that it is only when they feel threatened   nent commitment (v12), an “everlasting
        that even the wildest beasts attack humans.   covenant” (v16). Essentially, it was the
        As a general principle, James states, “ev-  assurance on God’s part that He would
        ery kind of beasts … hath been tamed of   never again inflict punishment by a flood
        mankind” (3:7). It is significant that the   (v11). The “bow in the cloud” (v13) was a
        distinctiveness of humanity is maintained;   visible “token,” a sign authenticating His
        man is a creature apart, not just a sophis-  promise. Millennia have passed; God’s
        ticated animal!                      promise has held; the frequent appearance
          Liberty was given for using animal flesh   of the rainbow is a reminder that “God is
        as food (Gen 9:3). Seemingly, prior to the   not a man, that he should lie” (Num 23:19).
        flood, mankind had been vegetarian but   The fact that there will never be another
        his diet now included fish, fowl and flesh.   flood does not infer that God will never
        God’s covenant with Israel restricted the   intervene again. During the Tribulation,
        scope of their fare as part of a regime that   such will be the severity of expressions of
        made them distinct, but the New Testa-  wrath that should He not curtail it, “there
        ment reinstated the full liberty that had   should no flesh be saved” (Mat 24:22).
        been extended to Noah: “every creature of   Then,  flowing  out  of  references  to  the
        God is good … it is sanctified by the word   flood, Peter takes a quantum leap to the
        of God and prayer” (1Ti 4:4-5 KJV). From   end of time, and shows that the universe
        a biblical perspective, believers need be   as it is now is “reserved unto fire” (2Pe
        neither vegetarian nor scrupulous about   3:7). The God who brought it into being
        any meat. The caveat about blood (Gen   from nothing will assign it to nothingness
        9:4) is important; among other things, it is   again, accompanied by “a great noise” and
        a health issue. Any disease in an animal is   “fervent heat” (v10). Sinners should never
        carried in the bloodstream.          console themselves by the promise of God’s
          The gravity of murder is explained in   covenant with Noah!

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