Friday, September 20, 2013

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday September 22, 2013
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NEVER AGAIN
(GOD makes and keeps covenants for our good)
(Genesis 9:1-17)

When holding and reading the Bible, one must be acutely cognizant of the fact that, in addition to being “the inerrant word of GOD”, we also hold in our hands, a very “human document”. This historical writing tells the story of a chosen people of GOD, and how GOD acted upon their lives, and, on the lives of all mankind, as our HOLY CREATOR.
In the Old Testament, GOD is attempting to show us just how far we are from HIS high and holy standards. In the New Testament, GOD sends us JESUS to try and show us just how we can move closer to that high and holy standard. The Old Testament also contains the stories of the many men and women of deep and powerful unbending faith, such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and the like, who clung to their belief in the Almighty GOD. In this day and age, we too, can build, and embody the same measures of faith that those heroes exhibited, but we must sincerely seek and honor GOD, just as they did, in all that we do.
Genesis is the first book of the Holy Bible, and, the first of five books accredited to the authorship of Moses. Moses is one of the most towering figures in Jewish history, and, the one who came to be known simply, as “The Law Giver”. He begins his writings with the telling of the “Creation Account” of all things, “the fall of man at the hands of Adam and Eve”, and “the subsequent intolerable wickedness of mankind”, which led to the “Great Flood” method of destruction by GOD. However, just as GOD always replaced the darkness of our ancestors existence, with the light of HIS presence in those days, so it is too, in these days of the twenty-first century.
Over the next few lessons, we will focus on, and trace GOD’s covenant promises to HIS people, through, the annals of Old Testament biblical history, and we’ll began with this first account of GOD’s “Rainbow Covenant” with Noah. Noah is the first man in Scripture to be called “righteous” (Genesis 6:9), and he was the only righteous man on earth at the time of the flood!
In Genesis chapter 9, verses 1-15, we take up this great man’s story at a time, immediately following the world-ending Flood. Here Noah and his sons are instructed by GOD, just as Adam and Eve were, in the beginning, to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth with human life. Once again HE gives man dominion over the animals of the earth, but this time, HE allows man the use of animals for food. However, GOD also issued one restriction and that was, that, man not eat an animal with its “lifeblood” still in it. In the beginning, remember that GOD only instructed Adam and Eve to eat the vegetation of the land, with one restriction, do not eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. After their disobedience to GOD, HE quickly removed them from the “Garden of Eden” before they had a chance to eat from the eternal “Tree of Life”.
Because we bear GOD’s image (GOD’s Nature), in HIS eyes, every human being is irreplaceable. In verses 5-7, it is extremely important to understand, that, the “Death sentence” that GOD imposes on those who kill other human beings, is neither “retribution”, nor, is it to be considered as a “preventative measure” to guard against murder itself. Each and every human life is so significant to GOD that, no penalty less than death provides an adequate measure of value. It is the only way to affirm the ultimate worth of an individual, in the eyes of GOD. Apparently GOD saw the necessity for a covenant, that, not only come in the form of a promise from HIM, HE also reasoned that there must be an obligation from man that he not take life lightly, after seeing the devastation of the flood.
GOD did not want the example of the flood’s destruction to be taken as a sign that HE placed a “cheap value” on human life. This covenant was to show that life is sacred, and that man must not destroy that which is made in the spiritual image of GOD. Man also needed to learn how to govern himself with human laws that would ensure the stability of nature, and, that wickedness would not run amok like it had before the flood. And so here we see, quite literally, “the birth of government into human society”.
The next time we look up in the sky and see a Rainbow that spans to connect the Heavens to the earth, remember GOD’s promise of security to Noah, that comes across the spans of time to lend to us also, that same assurance of security. It is reminiscent of the security that CHRIST JESUS gives us, when we accept the covenant that was ushered in to us by HIM many years later, and signed in HIS OWN blood. It is a superior covenant that, unlike the Rainbow Covenant with Noah, reconnects us with GOD, and secures our future in Heaven.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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