Saturday, April 20, 2019

2019.04.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 9:1-7

Questions for Littles: What did God do to Noah and his sons at the beginning of Genesis 9:1? What does He command them to do? What has God now put upon the animals (Genesis 9:2)? Upon how many of them and what kinds? What does He give them to eat (Genesis 9:3)? How many of them? What/how must they not eat any animals (Genesis 9:4)? What does God refer to as an animal’s life? For what does God demand a reckoning in Genesis 9:5? What reckoning, specifically, does He demand in Genesis 9:6? What reason does He give? What commandment does He restate in Genesis 9:7?
In the Scripture for tomorrow’s sermon, we revisit several themes from Genesis 1. The passage begins and ends with the primary theme: be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. In Genesis 9:7, the Lord even says it this way, “bring forth abundantly.”

The superiority and headship of man over the other creatures is also not just restated but escalated—the Lord put the dread of man on all the animals and gave them into man’s hand. The surpassing value of human beings is then reinforced in two ways:

First, man is given permission to kill animals to eat them. Likely, this was already being done, but as God states in Genesis 9:3, He hadn’t authorized this until now. Second, God makes it clear that man’s life is to be valued as the most precious thing in the creation. But notice the reason why—not in and of itself, but because man is created in the image of God. In fact, if a man assaults the image of God by taking another’s life, then it is precisely out of respect for the image of God that the murderer himself is to be executed.

This helps us to understand why God Himself makes a big deal out of us being fruitful and multiplying—because we are a display of Him in His creation. So, yes, on the one hand, if we took this to heart as a society, we would probably have many more large families.

But do you know what else we would have a lot of? Evangelizing those children in corporate worship, family worship, and personal discipleship and discipline. Would it really be valuing them as created in the image of God if we disregarded their eternal souls?!

This also means that we have a much more important way of honoring God’s image in our neighbor than merely declining to murder him. The Lord elsewhere puts the command in the positive form—to love our neighbor as ourselves. And there is no more important way to do this than to tell our neighbor the gospel of Jesus Christ, praying that the Christ of the gospel would send His Spirit to give life and faith to that neighbor.

Heaven understands this priority upon the image of God—all of heaven rejoices over just one sinner who repents! And so should we!
Whose eternal souls are you especially praying and working to see saved? What activities would result from treasuring God’s image in yourself? Whom could you be treating better?
Suggested Songs: ARP8 “Lord, Our Lord” or TPH8B “Lord, Our Lord, in All the Earth”

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