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We are now almost ready to turn our attention to the covenant itself and examine its terms

Arthur PinkII.

Having contemplated the occasion when the Lord God entered into covenant with Noah, the unspeakably solemn circumstances which formed its background, we are now almost ready to turn our attention to the covenant itself and examine its terms. The covenants which the Lord established at successive intervals with different parties were substantially one, embracing in the main the same promises and receiving similar confirmation. The Sinaitic covenant—although it possessed peculiar features which distinguished it from all others—was no exception. They were all of them revelations of God’s gracious purpose, exhibited at first in an obscure form, but unfolding according to an obvious law of progress: each renewal adding something to what was previously known, so that the path of the just was as the shining light, which shone more and more unto the perfect day, when the shadows were displaced by the substance itself.

We are not to suppose that the divine promises, of which the covenant was the expression and confirmation, were not previously known. The antecedent history shows otherwise. The declaration made by Jehovah to the serpent in Genesis 3:15, while it announced his doom, clearly intimated mercy and deliverance unto the woman’s “seed”—an expression which is by no means to be restricted to Christ personally, but which pertains to Christ mystically, that is, to the head and His body, the church. The divine institution of sacrifices opened a wide door of hope to those who were convicted of their sinful and lost condition by nature, as the recorded case of Abel clearly shows (Heb. 11:4). The spiritual history of Enoch, who walked with God and before his translation received testimony that he pleased Him (Heb. 11:5), is a further evidence that the very earliest of the saints were blessed with considerable spiritual light, and were granted an insight into God’s eternal counsels of grace.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

That which we have assayed to do in this first chapter on the Noahic covenant

Arthur PinkThat which we have assayed to do in this first chapter on the Noahic covenant has been to indicate its background, the occasion of it, and why it took the particular form it did. Just as the various Messianic prophecies, given by God at different times and at wide intervals, were suited to the local occasions when they were first made, so it was in the different renewals of His covenant of grace. Each of those renewals—unto Abraham, Moses, David and so forth—adumbrated some special feature of the everlasting covenant into which God had entered with the Mediator; but the immediate circumstances of each of those favored men molded, or gave form to, each particular feature of the eternal agreement which was severally shadowed forth unto them. We trust that the reader will now the better perceive the reasons why God gave unto Noah the particular statements recorded in Genesis 9.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

What does such language imply?

Arthur PinkAnd I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood, neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen. 9:1-4, 8-11).

What does such language imply? What fears were such gracious declarations designed to calm? What other conclusions can logically be drawn from these verses than those that we have sketched in the preceding paragraphs? To me, at least, an endeavor to place myself in Noah’s position and follow out the thoughts most likely to engage his mind, has caused me to admire as never before the suitability of the divine revelation then given to Noah.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

And God blessed Noah, and his sons

September 28, 2021 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkAnd God blessed Noah, and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and dread of you [why such repetition, but for the sake of emphasis?] shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. . . .And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood, neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen. 9:1-4, 8-11).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

How had we of felt in Noah’s place?

September 21, 2021 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkSome readers may consider that we have gone beyond due bounds in what has been said above, and that we have drawn too much upon our own imagination. But Scripture says, “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man” (Prov. 27:17). How had you felt, dear reader, had you been in Noah’s place? What had been my thoughts, had I been circumstanced as he was? Would we have had no such fears as those we have sought to describe? Had we anticipated the unknown future without any such dark forebodings? Could we have passed through such a fearful ordeal, and have returned to an earth from which the last of our former companions had been swept away, without wondering if the next storm of divine judgment would not quite complete its awful work? Would we, only eight all told, have been quite confident that the wild beasts would leave us unmolested? Why, it is just this very mental background which enables us to appreciate the tender mercy in what God now said unto Noah.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

But with thee will I establish my covenant

September 14, 2021 Leave a comment

PinkBut as we endeavor to follow the thoughts which must have presented themselves to our patriarch’s mind, we must not overlook one bright ray of comfort which doubtless did much to relieve the darkness of his trepidations. When God had declared unto Noah, “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven, and every thing that is in the earth shall die,” He also added, “But with thee will I establish my covenant” (Gen. 6:17, 18). That gracious promise provided a resting place for his poor heart during the dreary days and months when he had been shut up in the ark, and must also have imparted some cheer as he now stood upon the judgment-swept and desolate earth. Yet, who that has any personal experience of the fierce assaults made by carnal reasonings (unbelief) can doubt but what Noah’s faith now met with a painful conflict as it sought to withstand the influence of gloom and anxiety.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

What assurance could Noah have that the evil of fallen men would not again break out in the same wicked works

September 7, 2021 8 comments

Arthur PinkWhat assurance could he have that the evil propensities of fallen men would not again break out in works just as heinous as any performed by those who had found a watery grave? Would not men still be impatient against divine restraints, and treat the divine warnings with reckless contempt? Were such fears realized, should the corruption of the human heart once more develop in enormities and unlimited crimes, then what else could be expected than a repetition of the judgment which he had just survived? And where could such a recurrence of crime and punishment end? Did there not seem but one likely answer: the Almighty, in His righteous indignation, would utterly exterminate a guilty race which refused to be reclaimed. Such fears would not be the bogies of unwarrantable pessimism, but the natural and logical conclusions to be drawn from what had already transpired upon the theater of this earth. It is only by thus entering into the exercises of Noah’s heart that we can really appreciate the pertinency of that assurance which Jehovah now gave him.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

Noah witnessed the out-breaking of human depravity, but also the failure of all religious means to restrain this out-breaking

Arthur PinkBut more; Noah had not only witnessed the out-breakings of human depravity in its worst forms, he had also seen the failure of all the religious means employed to restrain the same. Outside of his own little family, the worship of God had entirely ceased, the preaching of His servants was completely disregarded, and profligacy and violence universally prevailed. Even his building of the ark—”by the which he condemned the world” (Heb. 11:7)—had no effect upon the wicked. The divine warnings were openly flouted, until the Flood came and swept them all away. Nor had Noah any reason now to believe that human nature had undergone any radical change for the better, or that sin had been eradicated from the hearts of the few survivors of the Deluge. As Noah reflected upon the past, his anticipations of the future must have been anxious and gloomy.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

Noah must have had a distinct and painful memory of sins that were past

August 24, 2021 3 comments

Arthur PinkAlthough the natural disposition of the animals preserved with him in the ark had been by Divine power brought under restraint, he could not be ignorant that, when again left at large, their natural tempers and the instinctive ferocity of some of them would be resumed; and multiplying, in a more rapid ratio than his own family, he might probably have distrusted his ability to cope with them, and might have anticipated the likelihood of perishing before their destructive violence. He knew, too, that the heart of man was full of evil, and that however his naturally bad propensities may have been awed by the fearful catastrophe from which he had recently escaped, the effect of it was not likely to be lasting; the time he might well fear would come—and that at no distant period—when the sinful tendencies of the heart would acquire strength, would be excited by temptation, and soon issue in the most disastrous consequences.

He must have had a distinct and painful remembrance of those sins of lawlessness and violence with which he had been familiar in the old world. He might reasonably dread their repetition, and look forward to times when human life would be held cheap, and when wanton passion would not scruple to sacrifice it in the furtherance of its selfish purposes, unrestrained by any competent authority, and only feebly checked by the dread of revenge. The prospect would have been anything but cheering, and it cannot be thought surprising that he should have contemplated it with feelings of concern and dismay. He could form his views of the future simply from what he knew of the past, and his memory could recall little but what was painful and distressing” (John Kelly, 1861).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

It was in connection with this act of worship that the Lord God now entered into a covenant with the new head of the race

Arthur PinkIt was in connection with this act of worship that the Lord God now entered into a covenant with the new head of the race; but before examining its terms, let us further ponder the circumstances in which Noah now found himself, and try to form some idea of the thoughts which must then have exercised his mind. “However remarkable the deliverance he had experienced, whatever the conclusions he might have been warranted to draw from it in regard to the certainty of the Divine favor towards himself, and however ardent his gratitude in the view of the great mercy of which he had been the recipient, he was still a man, and his novel situation could hardly fail to awaken anxiety and apprehension on several distinct grounds. He and his family were few in number, and with very slender means of shelter and defense in their reach. His condition was far from secure.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant