God’s Covenant With Noah

A strange situation that saved the life of a condemned man arose as Jim Williams, was about to be executed in the Florida state penitentiary at Raiford in 1926. After he had been strapped into the electric chair and the black hood placed over his head, both the warden and the she … More

Capital Punishment

After the flood there were only eight people alive in the world, Noah and  his family. God told them the things they were to do and He makes a covenant with Noah here in chapter 9.

1. First He told Noah to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth again with people (vv. 1,7). (Just like He had told Adam in Genesis 1:28)

2. Then Noah, like Adam, was to rule  over the ani­mals (v. 2). Before this time the animals had not been afraid of each other or of mankind however, now animals would have a fear of man.

3. They could kill animals for food but were not to eat the blood with the meat (vv. 3-4). Up until this time vegetables, fruits and growing things had been their diet.

4. Next God made a covenant with them that anyone that killed another person should be put to death (vv. 5-6). God made man in His own image and He is to be the giver of life.

After the flood God commanded a dietary change of revolutionary character. He commanded the eating of meat. Even the Lord Jesus Himself ate flesh in His resurrection body (Lk. 24:41-43). The general provisions of the Noahic covenant not only dealt with diet but also with discipline.

The command was given that the murderer should be executed and that law has never been rescinded (v. 6). (“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, for in the image of God made he man”) It is true that image has been injured by the fall, but it is not lost. In this view, a high value is attached to the life of every man, even the poorest and humblest, and an awful criminality is involved in the destruction of it. The sacredness of human life is based on the fact that man was made by God in his own image and for that reason the murderer must be executed by society. Capital punishment was established and is as Scripturally valid today as it was in Noah’s day.

Application

Should those that kill someone be put to death or put in prison? I must believe what Scripture says and not what man thinks (v. 6).


Genesis 9:1-7 (English Standard Version)

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it."

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