Now it is the moment when the promised covenant was to be fulfilled. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark — you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you” (Genesis 6:18, NKJV). In contrast to the divine threat to destroy (Genesis 6:17), this covenant is the promise of life.
Read Genesis 8:20. What did Noah do first when he went out of the ark, and why?
Like Adam and Eve, who surely worshiped God on Sabbath immediately after the six days of Creation, Noah worshiped God immediately after the Flood, another creation event in and of itself. There is a difference, however, between the two acts of worship. Unlike Adam and Eve, who worshiped the Lord directly, Noah had to resort to a sacrifice. This is the first mention in the Scriptures of an altar. The sacrifice is a “burnt offering” (‘olah), the oldest and most frequent sacrifice. For Noah, this sacrifice was a thanksgiving offering (compare with Numbers 15:1-11), given in order to express his gratefulness to the Creator, who had saved him.
Read Genesis 9:2-4. How did the Flood affect the human diet? What is the principle behind God’s restrictions?
Because of the effect of the Flood, plant food was no longer available as it used to be. Therefore, God allowed humans to eat animal flesh. This change of diet generated a change in the relationship between humans and animals, in contrast to what has been between them in the original Creation. In the Creation account, humans and animals, shared the same plant diet and did not threaten each other. In the post-Flood world, the killing of animals for food entailed a relationship of fear and dread (Genesis 9:2). Once they started eating each other, humans and animals had, no doubt, developed a relationship quite different from what they had enjoyed in Eden.
God’s tolerance, however, had two restrictions. First, not all the animals were proper for food. The first restriction was implicit in the distinction between “clean and unclean” animals, which was a part of the Creation order (see Genesis 8:19-20; compare with Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24). The second one, which was explicit and new, was to abstain from the consumption of blood, for life is in the blood (Genesis 9:4).